Head of the Syrian Negotiations Commission Nasr al-Hariri stressed the need for a comprehensive political transition in Syria in order to put an end to the suffering of the Syrian people, stressing that Iran is the biggest obstacle to a real political solution.
In an interview with Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper on Friday, Hariri blamed Iran’s presence in Syria for the stalled political process as he stressed the need for the Iranian terrorist militias to leave Syria.
“No solution is possible as long as Iran maintains a presence in Syria. The presence of the Iranian-backed militias in Syria means the continuation of chaos and instability as well as increased sectarian strife,” Hariri said.
Hariri pointed out that Iran has taken eight concrete steps to strengthen its presence in Syria, making the commander of the Quds Brigade of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) Qassem Suleimani as the de facto ruler of Syria.
“First, blocking the political solution because it’s not in Iran’s interest as the restoration of peace and stability will require Iran to leave Syria.”
“Second, securing Syrian citizenship for terrorist militias and seizure of Syrians’ property. Third, bringing tens of thousands of foreign militias into Syria and controlling the decision-making in vital Syrian institutions,” Hariri explained.
As for the four remaining measures, Hariri said they included “the establishment of military bases in Syria, the building of arms depots and factories, the signing off on economic contracts to seize strategic wealth, and inciting sectarian mobilization among the poor youth who are exhausted by the dire economic conditions to use them as cannon fodder in the fighting.”
As for the political process, Hariri said: “Our approach is the most realistic one. They tried all solutions, including the Geneva negotiations, the Sochi track, the Astana process, and civil society groups. Therefore, we reiterate there is no solution except in accordance with our vision and except one meeting the demands of the Syrian people for a genuine political transition that includes the departure of Bashar al-Assad.”
Hariri downplayed the impact of the results of the Assad regime’s military operations on the political solution, stressing that “achieving military gains does not mean that the basic issues have been resolved. What about fighting terrorism, the refugees and the internally displaced people, chaos, the economy, reconstruction, and the Iranian occupation? These issues cannot be addressed without a comprehensive solution in Syria. It is time to stop the bloodshed and achieve political transition meeting the aspirations of the Syrian people and ensuring Assad’s departure.”
Hariri held the Assad regime primarily responsible for the current situation in Syria. “We do not want Syria to become an arena for score-settling between regional and global powers as the Syrian people are paying the price with their blood, civilization, heritage, and economy. This makes it imperative that we reach a political solution ensuing the withdrawal of the Iranian and other foreign militias as well as the achievement of political transition.” (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)