Last updated: 24 November, 2013

Syria hails historic Iran nuclear accord

Syria’s regime hailed the “historic” nuclear deal between its ally Iran and world powers Sunday as proof that negotiations rather than military action were the best way to resolve crises.

Syria “considers it to be a historic accord which guarantees the interests of the brotherly Iranian people and acknowledges their right to the peaceful use of nuclear energy,” the foreign ministry said, quoted by local media.

The deal sealed in Geneva was “proof that political solutions to crises in the region are the best way to guarantee security and stability, far from any foreign interference and the threat of a resort to force,” the ministry added.

The international community, led by the United States and Russia, has been pushing for a peace conference to discuss the Syrian conflict, also in the Swiss city of Geneva.

The conference, which was first mooted earlier this year, has been delayed multiple times because of disagreements over what it would discuss and who would take part.

The regime of President Bashar al-Assad insists his departure from office will not be on the table, but the opposition insists he must step down.

Iran has remained one of Syria’s closest allies throughout the conflict, which began in March 2011 and has killed more than 120,000 people.

Tehran has offered Syria money and military expertise, while Lebanon’s Iranian-backed Shiite group Hezbollah has sent fighters to battle alongside the regime against rebel forces.

Officials have said a Syria peace conference could be held in Geneva next month, though it remains unclear whether the divided opposition would attend.