Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Syria, Iran say Assad to remain in power till 2014

DAMASCUS, Syria — Iran and Syria condemned a U.S. plan to assist rebels fighting to topple President Bashar Assad on Saturday and signaled the Syrian leader intends to stay in power at least until 2014 presidential elections.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry announced on Thursday that the Obama administration was giving an additional $60 million in assistance to Syria's political opposition and would, for the first time, provide nonlethal aid directly to the rebels.

In their first official statements on the decision, the Syrian and Iranian foreign ministers accused Washington of having double standards and warned it will only delay an end to the civil war. Iran is a staunch ally of the Syrian regime and has stood by the embattled Assad.

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem and his Iranian counterpart, Ali Akbar Salehi, also set clear parameters for any future talks with the opposition, saying that whether Assad stays or goes will be decided in presidential elections scheduled for next year. Salehi went further to say Assad may run for another term.

"Assad is Syria's legal president until the next elections. Individuals have the freedom to run as candidates. Until that time, Assad is Syria's president," Salehi said at a joint news conference in Tehran.

Al-Moallem said the Syrian people have the right to choose their leaders through the ballot box.

Syrian gain: The Syrian military said it regained control over villages along a key highway to open a potential supply route in the contested north. The army command said it had eradicated the remnants of "terrorist agents and mercenaries" near Hama and Aleppo airport.

Syria, Iran say Assad to remain in power till 2014 03/02/13 [Last modified: Saturday, March 2, 2013 8:52pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Associated Press.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Editorial: Turn the heat up on AC problem in Hillsborough schools

    Editorials

    Hillsborough County School District students do not want to hear that their buildings are decrepit. They do not want to hear that Florida's legislators are complicit. All they want to hear is the sweet sound of a classroom air conditioner kicking in at full power. Anything less creates uncomfortably hot classrooms and …

    Superintendent Jeff Eakins and the current Hillsborough County School Board did not create this air conditioning mess, but they own it now.
  2. Man in bunny mask part of trio that breaks into Odessa McDonald's to haul away ATM

    Crime

    ODESSA — A man in a bunny mask and two also-masked accomplices broke into a McDonald's early Wednesday, hoisted an automatic teller machine into a stolen minivan, then dumped the ATM and the van into a pond, deputies say.

    Three masked men, including one in a bunny mask, broke into an Odessa McDonald's early Wednesday and stole the ATM.
 [Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office]
  3. Plan your weekend Aug. 25-27: Craig Morgan, Wearable Art 13, SNL's Pete Davidson, Rodeo Fest

    Events

    Plan your weekend

    USF

    Pete Davidson: Saturday Night Live star Pete Davidson will headline this year's University of South Florida Round-Up Comedy Show, a back-to-school tradition at USF. Expect to hear about his recent trip to rehab, since he's known for his confessional …

    The 12th annual Wearable art Fashion Show was held at the Dunedin Fine Art Center on Saturday evening, August 27, 2016.
DAVID W DOONAN | Special To The Times
  4. Richard Corcoran takes aim at public financing of campaigns

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — House Speaker Richard Corcoran, R-Land O'Lakes, may not be running for governor — not yet anyway — but his latest idea will get the attention of those who are.

    House Speaker Richard Corcoran, R- Land O' Lakes, is proposing an end to public financing of campaigns. [SCOTT KEELER | Tampa Bay Times]
  5. Jeb Bush on the 'most ridiculous example of political correctness in history'

    Blogs

    Jeb Bush on ESPN's decision to pull commentator Robert Lee from a football broadcast at the University of Virginia.