Iran to help ensure Syrian regime elections 'free, fair'

Iran to help ensure Syrian regime elections 'free and fair'
2 min read
13 May, 2021
Iran Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif offered to help with the upcoming elections, which are expected to be highly fraudulent.
Iranian elections have been accused of lacking transparency [Getty]

Iran has offered to supervise and monitor upcoming presidential elections in Syria, which analysts say is a rubber stamp for President Bashar Al-Assad's rule.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif made the offer to oversee the elections while announcing the opening of an Iranian consulate in the city of Aleppo. 

"The presidential elections in Syria are very important and we are ready to supervise. We hope that the Syrian people will decide their future by participating in them," Iranian media quoted Zarif as saying. 

The Syrian presidential elections are scheduled to take place on 26 May and it is widely believed that the results are a foregone conclusion, with President Assad expected to steal another term. 

Syria has long been accused of holding "sham" elections designed to keep Assad in power, while elections in Iran have also been scrutinised for a lack of transparency and multiple allegations of fraud. 

Iran has been a longtime supporter of President Assad and has provided the regime with militias and lines of credit since the war started in 2011. 

During the meeting in Damascus, Syria's Foreign Minister Faisal Mikdad was also questioned on reports about a restoration of ties between Syria and Saudi Arabia. 

"Syria and Iran have been working for a long time bridge the gap of views between various Arab and Islamic countries and benefit from all the energies available in these two camps, and we welcome any step in this direction," said Mikdad. 

Read more: Syria Insight: Assad begins his re-election campaign

When questioned about the possibility of Riyadh sending an ambassador to Damascus, Mikdad said, "ask the Saudis about the embassy".

Riyadh recently denied reports of a security delegation visiting Damascus, with the Saudi foreign ministry describing the reports as "inaccurate".

"The Kingdom's policy towards Syria is still based on the support of the Syrian people, and a political solution under the umbrella of the United Nations and in accordance with Security Council resolutions and for the sake of Syria's unity and Arab identity," they added.

Saudi Arabia was one of the key backers of the opposition that sought to end the rule of Assad. 

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