Iran, Russia to Intensify Diplomatic Efforts to Find Political Solution to crisis in Syria

Several Russian officials will visit Tehran in the next few days to discuss bilateral ties and also work out joint diplomatic efforts to encourage a political solution to the crisis in Syria, senior parliamentary sources revealed on Saturday.

Hossein Sheikholeslam, a top advisor of the Iranian parliament speaker for international affairs, said Deputy Head of the Russian Federation Council Ilyas Umakhanov is scheduled to arrive in Tehran at the head of a parliamentary delegation on Sunday,according to FNA.

He added that Mikhail Bogdanov, the Special Representative of the Russian President for the Middle-East, is also due to join the first delegation on Wednesday to discuss further expansion of parliamentary and bilateral relations and explore avenues for a negotiated end to the ongoing crisis in Syria.

Sheikholeslam stressed the two countries' close positions on the developments in the region, especially on Syria, Iraq, Palestine and Lebanon, and said, "The visit (by the Russian officials) will provide a good opportunity for Iran and Russia, as two countries which are calling for and insisting on the cessation of violence in Syria, to exchange views and possibly work out joint political and diplomatic efforts for a political solution to the crisis in Syria."

Sheikholeslam further reiterated regional solutions to the crisis in Syria, and said China and Russia should play an active role in working out such solutions, adding that partnership of all the relevant parties in a political trend to end the crisis is amongst the duties of Iran's diplomatic apparatus.

Syria has been experiencing unrest since March 2011 with organized attacks by well-armed gangs against the Syrian police, border guards, statesmen, army and the civilians being reported across the country.

Thousands of people have been killed since terrorist and armed groups turned protest rallies into armed clashes.

The government blames outlaws, saboteurs, and armed terrorist groups for the deaths, stressing that the unrest is being orchestrated from abroad.