Iran hails Syria parliamentary vote, vows to broaden ties



Iranian Majlis (parliament) speaker Ali Larijani has commended the recent “successful” parliamentary elections in Syria, saying the Islamic Republic will continue to broaden its already “close and extensive” cooperation with the Arab state.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran’s strategy is [based on] close and extensive cooperation with the government and nation of this country (Syria) with a view to establishment of stability, peace and security in the [Middle East] region,” Larijani said in a message of congratulation to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Monday.

He added that the high turnout of the Syrian electorate despite “widespread political, psychological and security pressure” and “futile attempts” by terrorist groups to prevent a massive public participation indicated the Syrians’ “firm” support for President Assad.

Larijani said the Syrian people regard Assad as the symbol of resistance and their country’s independence despite all-out aggression by terrorist elements and their regional and international supporters.

The top Iranian parliamentarian expressed confidence that terrorist and extremist groups will soon be defeated in Syria.

The Syrian electoral commission announced late Saturday that the National Unity coalition, comprising the ruling Ba’ath Party and its allies, had won 200 of the 250 seats at the People’s Assembly (Majlis al-Sha’ab).

Out of 8,834,994 eligible voters, more than five million cast their votes in government-controlled areas across the country on April 13. The figure was equal to 57.56 percent.

The vote is the second parliamentary ballot since the beginning of the war in 2011. The last parliamentarian elections were held in 2012.

Parliament members are elected for a four-year term. The foreign-backed opposition in Syria had boycotted the recent and the last elections.

The foreign-sponsored conflict in Syria has left over 470,000 people dead since its inception in March 2011, according to a February report by the Syrian Center for Policy Research. A foreign-based monitoring group, the so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, says, however, that 270,000 have been killed in the conflict.

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