Iran says abrupt Assad fall would be 'catastrophic'

LONDON - Iran said an abrupt end to the rule of Syrian President Bashar Assad would have catastrophic consequences for his country, as Tehran pushed ahead with a diplomatic meeting of allies it says is the best way of resolving the intensifying conflict in Syria.
Nations with "a correct and realistic position" would attend a meeting on Thursday in Tehran to discuss the conflict, a senior Iranian diplomat said this week, indicating that no nation that backs the opposition and calls for Assad to leave power would be present.