In a February meeting with US Senators, Syrian President Bashar Assad maintained that IAEA monitoring of Iran's nuclear program would ensure that the Islamic Republic's pursuit of nuclear power was for civilian purposes only. The comments were revealed in a US State Department document leaked on the Wikileaks website earlier this week.
On future Israel-Syria peace negotiations, Assad offered no specifics on re-opening talks, but expressed Syria's desire for the process to continue with US involvement.
In response to repeated concerns about Syrian support for Hamas and Hizbullah, Assad remarked that these were democratically elected organizations in the Palestinian Authority and Lebanon; dealing with them was simply part of the reality of politics in the Middle East.
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