AFP reports: Iran’s supreme leader dismissed Sunday the chances of foreign countries bartering a deal over Syria’s future, suggesting they should focus on securing a halt to fighting that allows fresh elections.
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei also repeated his ban on direct talks with the United States about turmoil in the Middle East, saying US objectives in the region were utterly at odds with Iranian policy.
The comments, to Iran’s ambassadors and other top diplomats, were Khamenei’s first since his country joined international negotiations on the four-year Syrian conflict.
He said Syria’s people must choose who their leader would be, rather than the US and other foreign powers trying to decide for them.
“The Americans seek to impose their own interests, not solve problems. They want to impose 60, 70 percent of their will,” he said, alluding to the peace talks which took place Friday in Vienna.
“So what’s the point of negotiations?” he said, insisting that military and financial support given to rebels fighting President Bashar al-Assad, principally from Gulf states and the US, must stop if the Syria conflict is to end. [Continue reading…]