France’s Hollande says Iran 'must help' with Syria crisis

France’s Hollande says Iran 'must help' with Syria crisis
France's president Francois Hollande on Tuesday said that after nuclear deal, the Islamic Republic should help solve crises devastating the region such as the Syrian civil war.
2 min read
25 August, 2015
Hollande said Assad could not be part of his country's future [Getty]

French President Francois Hollande said the deal reached with Iran over its nuclear program has opened a window of opportunity to include it in resolving regional crises such as Syria, where it is Assad's primary backer.

Hollande delivered his annual foreign policy speech to French ambassadors on Tuesday saying, "We must ask Iran to associate itself with the resolution of crises that are devastating the region," Hollande said. "Iran must be a constructive player."

Hollande also said Turkey must do more to tackle the Islamic State group [IS] in Syria and urged it to restore dialogue with Kurdish groups after launching strikes against them more than a month ago.

The French President’s speech has come a day after the Turkish foreign minister announced that Turkey and the US would launch air operations to push IS from a border area in northern Syria and prevent militants from bringing in fighters and arms in.

"All the players need to be part of the solution. I'm thinking of Gulf Arab states and Iran. I'm thinking of Turkey that needs to be involved in the fight against Islamic State and needs to relaunch dialogue with the Kurds," Hollande said.

Turkey's critics say it has used its role in the US-led coalition against IS as a cover to attack Kurdish PKK fighters and stem Kurdish political and territorial ambitions. Ankara says it is conducting a "synchronized war on terror".

Hollande reiterated that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad could not be part of his country's future, but said there were signs that a political transition could be found.

France, which has taken part in air strikes against IS in Iraq but not Syria, said there were no plans to change that policy.

"We will continue to help the Syrian opposition and participate in the coalition in Iraq ensuring it is more effective," he said.