In a dramatic move, Russia has termed the role of Iran vital in ending the 16 months old conflict that has cost lives of more than 15,000 innocent civilians at the hand of security forces loyal to the Syrian regime. While talking to Interfax news agency on Tuesday, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov also expressed regret over the absence of Iran in the Geneva conference and said that it was nearly impossible to restore normalcy in Syria without taking Iranian leadership on board. said this .
Russia had been pressing the world powers over inclusion of Iran in the Geneva conference, but the idea was rejected by the United States and other western countries. The Geneva talks remained almost inconclusive, as the participants could not decide on the fate of President Bashar al-Assad. Russia like Iran has always supported and defended the dictator, saying the matter should be resolved through diplomatic means. Iran is considered a major stakeholder in the Syrian crisis; therefore, Russia believes that Iranian leadership should be taken on board to successfully resolve the crisis.
President Assad has always accused foreign powers of funding the uprising against his rule. A couple of days back, he said that the United States was funding and sponsoring armed groups in Syria to destabilize the government. He, however, failed to produce any solid evidence to prove his stance. Assad said this while giving an interview to a German ARD program broadcast on Sunday. The dictator alleged that the United States was part of the conflict as the country was offering political and diplomatic support to rebels and dissidents.
The Obama administration believes that if Russia helps negotiate a deal with Assad, the violence in the country can easily be halted at the earliest. Also, the international community believes the best solution to the Syrian uprising is a negotiated settlement. Presidentdiscussed the proposal with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, a month back. Obama’s national security advisor, Thomas E. Donilon, also discussed the proposed plan with the Russian president at a meeting in Moscow.