Syria has insisted it is not an envoy for the West, but agreed it might yet act as a mediator in the Iranian nuclear row. President Bashar al-Assad came to Tehran fresh from the Mediterranean Union summit in Paris. It was thought he might be carrying new proposals to ease the stand off, but Assad said that was not the case.
“This trip was planned regardless of my visit to France, and regardless of the recent nuclear developments,” he said. “However, because of the strong friendship between Syria and Iran, we were asked in France to play a role in resolving the nuclear issue, but without defining that role.”
Iran has already said it will not retreat one inch from what it calls its nuclear rights.
“We submitted a proposal to the West, and they put their ideas to us, said Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad. “However, we are serious, and are ready for talks based on proper principles, which could yet produce results.”
The West accuses Iran of trying to build nuclear weapons under the guise of a civilian power plan. Tehran was given an informal two-week deadline to abandon its research, or face new sanctions. Iran has repeatedly refused, and dismissed any idea of a deadline or reprisals. Israel has hinted it is ready to attack Iran’s nuclear sites, and Washington insists all options remain on the table.