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Zarif In Damascas To Finalize Iran's Plan To End Syrian Civil War

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif visits Syria August 12 to put the finishing details on Iran's new plan to help resolve the civil war there, his spokeswoman said.

Iran is one of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's strongest backers, and has been marketing itself as a key player that could help resolve Syria's crisis following the successfully brokered nuclear deal.

Western and Arab nations say that Assad must go as part of any resolution of the conflict, which has killed more than 250,000 people since it broke out in March 2011.

Spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham told Iranian state news agency IRNA that the Syrian peace plan, which Iran plans to present to the United Nations, is based on "respect for the Syrian people's legitimate right to reforms and to decide their own future."

It rejects "using terrorism for political ends" as well as "foreign interference in the Syrian government," she said, adding that more details will be revealed after Zarif's visit to Syria.

Based on reporting by AFP, AP, and Reuters