Saturday, August 30, 2014


Annan Backs Iran Playing 'Positive' Role In Ending Syria Crisis

Kofi Annan (left), an envoy for the United Nations and the Arab League on Syria, attends a news conference with Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi after a meeting with senior Iranian officials on July 10.
Kofi Annan (left), an envoy for the United Nations and the Arab League on Syria, attends a news conference with Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi after a meeting with senior Iranian officials on July 10.
Visiting international envoy Kofi Annan has said in Tehran that Iran can play a “positive” role in resolving the Syrian crisis, and that the Islamic republic has offered support for ending the conflict peacefully.

Annan was speaking after talks in the Iranian capital with Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi.

"I must say that throughout my assumption of the function of special envoy, I have received encouragement and cooperation from the [Iranian foreign] minister and from the government," Annan said, "and I look forward to working together, continuing to work together, to resolve this conflict."

Annan did not specify what support Iran has offered to resolve the conflict. But Tehran, along with Russia, are the Syrian regime’s main remaining international allies.

However, the United States and European Union, which are in a dispute with Iran over the Islamic republic’s nuclear program, have objected to Iran playing a role in settling the 16-month-old conflict between the Syrian government and opponents who seek the end of the regime.

Annan, the joint envoy of the United Nations and Arab League, said he could only speak for himself regarding Iranian involvement.

Support For Annan Plan

Speaking at the joint news conference, Foreign Minister Salehi expressed Iran's full support for Annan's peace plan aimed at ending the Syrian bloodshed.

The Annan plan -- which called for a cease-fire to take hold in April and negotiations launched -- has never been implemented by the Syrian regime nor the opposition.

The Iranian foreign minister also reiterated Tehran's support for the Assad regime, saying the president should be given the chance to implement his promised reforms.

Salehi said "any wrong decisions" in regard to the Syrian conflict "could lead to a regional catastrophe."

In Moscow, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said on July 10 that Russia wanted to host a new meeting of foreign powers on the Syrian crisis.

Bogdanov, however, echoed Iran in stressing that the talks should not decide Assad's fate.

Bogdanov also said Saudi Arabia -- a major supporter of the Syrian opposition -- and Iran should both participate in any new international conference. Both Iran and Saudi Arabia were excluded from a June 30 meeting on the crisis in Geneva.

Violence Rages On

The Geneva talks ended with a broad consensus on the need for a transition of power in Syria, but it did not reach agreement on Assad's fate.

Russia has for years been a major weapons supplier to the Syrian regime and operates a naval base there.

The British-based pro-opposition Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said at least 98 people, including 34 Syrian soldiers, were killed nationwide on July 9 as the Syrian violence continued.

The observatory says more than 17, 000 people -- mostly civilians, but also members of the security forces -- have been killed since the conflict began in March, 2011. The figures provided by the group cannot be independently verified.

Based on reporting by dpa, AFP, and AP
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Comment Sorting
by: Anonymous
July 11, 2012 09:17
really inexplicable why U.S. American and European politicians do not accept a constructive role that Iran might play to solve the Syrian crisis. What is some politicians want, another Iraq, it's quite close. Many decisions regarding the Middle East have not been very successful. SO why not involve Iran. At least, they live in the region. Thus, they are probably very interested in a long-term solution and against a destabilizing conflict. Would definitely be not in their own interest.
All this Iran this, Iran that talk really evokes some doubts as to the sincereness of the some pf the parties talking of peace for the region.
You cannot make peace if you ignore a fairly influential player. even if you don't like the majority of their approaches and maybe consider them an adversary on many fronts, I guess any military intervention in Syria would not be very helpful, not for Iran, not for Lebanon, not for Israel. Since, mostly radical elements would profit. It's highly likely that many Alewites, Christians and probably even less radical Sunnis would have to flee from Syria. This having said, of course, it's clear that Assad and his followers have to contribute to reducing the tension and the killings.

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