The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran has, in a statement, congratulated the Syrian nation and government on the successful elections held in the country and the victory of Bashar al-Assad.
“The successful holding of elections and the massive turnout of Syrian people is an important step towards the establishment of peace, stability, calm, reconstruction, and prosperity of Syria,” the Friday statement said.
The statement added, “The Islamic Republic of Iran respects the Syrian people’s decision, and supports their right to decide their fate and the future of their country without any foreign interference.”
“Iran congratulates President Assad and the resilient people of Syria on his decisive victory in these elections,” it further said.
Assad was re-elected in a landslide, officials said Thursday, ushering in a fourth seven-year term in the war-torn country.
Officials said 18 million were eligible to vote. But in the country ravaged by the 10-year-old conflict, areas controlled by militants or Kurdish-led troops did not hold the vote.
At least 8 million, mostly displaced, live in those areas in northwest and northeast Syria.
Over 5 million refugees — mostly living in neighbouring countries — have largely refrained from casting their ballots.
Syria’s parliament speaker, Hammoud Sabbagh, announced the final results from Wednesday’s vote. He said Assad garnered 95.1% of the votes. He said turnout stood at 78.6% of the voters, in an election that lasted for 17 hours on Wednesday with no independent monitors.