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Senior Iranian official says Assad has 'pivotal' role to play in any Syria solution

  • In this photo released on the official Facebook page of the Syrian Presidency, Syrian President Bashar Assad, right, speaks with Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian, left, in Damascus, Syria, Thursday, Sept. 3, 2015. Abdollahian says Syrian President Bashar Assad has a “pivotal and central” role to play in the war on terrorism and is an important part of any solution for the war-torn country. (Syrian Presidency via Facebook)

    In this photo released on the official Facebook page of the Syrian Presidency, Syrian President Bashar Assad, right, speaks with Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian, left, in Damascus, Syria, Thursday, Sept. 3, 2015. Abdollahian says Syrian President Bashar Assad has a “pivotal and central” role to play in the war on terrorism and is an important part of any solution for the war-torn country. (Syrian Presidency via Facebook)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian, left, sits next to his Syrian counterpart Faisal Mekdad, right, as he speaks during a joint press conference, in Damascus, Syria, Thursday, Sept. 3, 2015. Abdollahian says Syrian President Bashar Assad has a “pivotal and central” role to play in the war on terrorism and is an important part of any solution for the war-torn country. (SANA via AP)

    In this photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian, left, sits next to his Syrian counterpart Faisal Mekdad, right, as he speaks during a joint press conference, in Damascus, Syria, Thursday, Sept. 3, 2015. Abdollahian says Syrian President Bashar Assad has a “pivotal and central” role to play in the war on terrorism and is an important part of any solution for the war-torn country. (SANA via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian, left, sits next to his Syrian counterpart Faisal Mekdad, right, during a joint press conference, in Damascus, Syria, Thursday, Sept. 3, 2015. Abdollahian says Syrian President Bashar Assad has a “pivotal and central” role to play in the war on terrorism and is an important part of any solution for the war-torn country. (SANA via AP)

    In this photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian, left, sits next to his Syrian counterpart Faisal Mekdad, right, during a joint press conference, in Damascus, Syria, Thursday, Sept. 3, 2015. Abdollahian says Syrian President Bashar Assad has a “pivotal and central” role to play in the war on terrorism and is an important part of any solution for the war-torn country. (SANA via AP)  (The Associated Press)

A senior Iranian official says President Bashar Assad has a "pivotal" role to play in the war on terrorism and in resolving Syria's devastating four-year conflict.

Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian said after meeting with Assad on Thursday that any "successful" attempt to find a solution should take into consideration the right of the Syrian people to shape their future.

Iran is a key backer of Assad and has said it is working on a four-point initiative to end the Syrian civil war. Abdollahian met earlier in the week with U.N. special envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura while on a trip to neighboring Beirut.