TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran’s parliamentary speaker is proposing Syria hold presidential elections as a way to end the civil war between Syrian rebels and the regime of key Tehran ally President Bashar Assad.

Such as plan is almost certainly to be rejected by many opposition factions and would be nearly impossible to stage under the current level of violence. But it suggests Iran recognizes the growing pressures on Assad’s regime and is seeking ways to preserve a pro-Iranian leadership in Damascus.

Ali Larijani told Iran’s state-run Arabic language Al-Alam TV on Monday that presidential elections in Syria could be held while planning future parliamentary elections. He said fighting in Damascus and elsewhere has blocked an attempt to organize voting.

Larijani claims Assad’s government backs the idea.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.