In Paris today, Secretary of State John Kerry said the U.S. and its allies are making headway against the Islamic State group, despite last week’s terror attack.
Kerry said in the aftermath of the Paris massacre and the downing of the Russian jetliner in Egypt, there are signs of new cooperation in the battle against the militants.
However, the U.S. still wants President Bashar al-Assad to transition out of power, while Russia and Iran say Assad can return stability to the shattered country.
An Iranian official said Monday that President Bashar al-Assad of Syria should remain in power and be included in elections as part of any diplomatic negotiation aimed at ending the civil war.
As reported by The New York Times, the statement, by Hossein Amir Abdollahian, a deputy foreign minister, was not a new position for Iran, Assad’s regional ally.
Iran isn't just a diplomatic ally to Assad, as Borzou Daragahi reports for Buzzfeed News, Iranian troops and their Hezbollah proxies have been fighting Islamic State militants and other insurgent groups who aim to depose
Assad. Daragahi writes: "Iran’s Syria expedition is a huge gamble. If Assad triumphs, Iran and its proxies could claim a major military and propaganda victory against the U.S. and its allies, especially Syrian rebels’ patrons in Saudi Arabia and Turkey. Failure [of Assad] would likely turn Syria into a Sunni-led state loyal to Riyadh and curtail Iran’s supply line of weapons to Hezbollah, whose primary mission is to confront Israel."
Borzou Daragahi, Middle East Correspondent based in Istanbul for Buzzfeed News