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A senior Syrian official said nobody can stop embattled President Bashar al-Assad from seeking re-election and that a government team has been formed for peace talks, in an exclusive interview Thursday with AFP. "Nobody has the right to interfere and say he must run or he should not run," Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Muqdad said, shortly after Russia criticised statements that he wanted to seek another term in 2014. "President Assad in my opinion should be a candidate but he will decide when the time comes for him to decide," he said. Any Syrian national can be candidate," said Muqdad.
By Timothy Gardner and Patricia Zengerle WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Despite opposition from the Obama administration, U.S. senators introduced legislation on Thursday to impose sanctions on Iran if the country breaks an interim deal struck last month under which Tehran agreed to curb its nuclear program. Democrats Robert Menendez, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Charles Schumer, the third-ranking Democrat in the Senate, and Republican Senator Mark Kirk introduced with 23 others the bill intended to choke off funding to Iran's nuclear program by cutting off its oil sales.