In Washington Post Op-ed, Iran's Rohani Offers to Mediate Syrian Conflict

The president announces his government's 'readiness to help facilitate dialogue' between Assad's Syrian government and the opposition.

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Iranian President Hassan Rohani offered Tehran's help to mediate between warring factions in the Syrian civil war, in an article published Friday in the Washington Post.

"We must create an atmosphere where peoples of the region can decide their own fates," he wrote. "As part of this, I announce my government's readiness to help facilitate dialogue between the Syrian government and the opposition."

Since taking office in August, Rohani has been signalling interest in dialogue with the U.S. and other long-standing Iranian rivals and has called for renewed talks with international powers over Tehran's disputed nuclear program.

His Washington Post article, posted late Thursday on the paper's website, was titled "Why Iran seeks constructive engagement."

Rohani is scheduled to address the annual UN General Assembly on Tuesday in New York.

"As I depart for New York for the opening of the UN General Assembly, I urge my counterparts to seize the opportunity presented by Iran's recent election," he wrote.

"I urge them to make the most of the mandate for prudent engagement that my people have given me and to respond genuinely to my government's efforts to engage in constructive dialogue."

The United Nations estimates that more than 100,000 people have died since early 2011 in the conflict between Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime and an array of rebel groups.

Iranian President Hasan Rohani waves after being sworn in at parliament in Tehran, Iran, Aug. 4, 2013.Credit: AP

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