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Russian ambassador denies report claiming Iran, Turkey, Russia agreed on removal of Assad

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Denying a report on an agreement made by Iran, Russia, and Turkey to remove Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and from power, Russian Ambassador to Iran Levan Dzhagaryan told the Mehr News Agency that the future of Syria and Assad will be decided by the Syrian people through free and transparent elections, not by foreign countries.

The report was published earlier this month by the Middle East Monitor news website.

The report indicated that the Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC) said it anticipates Russia will coordinate with Turkey and Iran to oust Assad in favor of a transitional government with representation from the current regime and the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

“Russia suspects that Assad is not only unable to no longer lead the country, but also that the head of the Syrian regime is dragging Moscow towards the Afghan scenario, which is a very disconcerting possibility for Russia,” Russian state news agency TASS said in an editorial.

According to some experts, what has kept al-Assad in power during the nearly 10-year-long civil war is his friendship with Iran.

Dzhagaryan blamed the United States for the circulation of such rumors.

“These kinds of rumors have been circulated by hostile countries that are against the success of the Astana talks. … If any government doesn’t suit the US and its allies, they impose sanctions and try to remove it illegally.”

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