Iran 'ready' to talk to US and Saudi Arabia about Syria

Hassan Rouhani says Tehran "will sit at any table with regional countries and world powers" to restore peace in Syria.

    Iran 'ready' to talk to US and Saudi Arabia about Syria
    Hassan Rouhani's remarks came during a press conference in Tehran with visiting Austrian counterpart Heinz Fischer [EPA]

    Iran's president has said his country is ready to hold talks with the United States and Saudi Arabia on ways to resolve the Syrian civil war.

    Shia powerhouse Iran is a leading patron of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and accuses Sunni rival Saudi Arabia and the US of siding with anti-Assad rebels and fighters.

    President Hassan Rouhani's remarks came during a press conference on Tuesday in Tehran with visiting Austrian counterpart Heinz Fischer.

    Inside Story: Europe debating Syria's war

    Rouhani said: "Iran will sit at any table with regional countries and world powers if the outcome will be a safer, stable and democratic future for Syria."

    He said this is part of his nation's commitment to "international, Islamic and humane" norms.

    Iran has always criticised Western and Gulf nations' efforts to topple the regime of President Assad that is battling a four-year-old rebellion.

    Tehran has provided the Syrian army with financial and logistical support throughout the conflict, which has so far killed more than 240,000 people.


    RELATED: ISIL captures last government oilfield in Syria


    Fischer's visit on Tuesday follows the signing in July of a landmark accord between Iran and world powers on its disputed nuclear programme, after talks held in Austria.

    He was also due to meet Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei later, a rare event for a Western official.

    The long-awaited nuclear deal - signed with Russia, France, Britain, China, Germany and the US - has cleared a path to lift sanctions that have crippled Iran's economy, and should reopen channels for foreign investment in oil and gas-rich Iran.

    Neutral Austria, which has long had good relations with Iran, is hoping for a five-fold increase in exports to the Islamic republic, according to the Austrian chamber of commerce.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    What obstacles do young women in technology have to overcome to achieve their dreams? Play this retro game to find out.

    The War in October: What Happened in 1973?

    The War in October: What Happened in 1973?

    Al Jazeera examines three weeks of war from which both Arabs and Israelis claimed to emerge victorious.