[QODLink]
Middle East
UN-Arab envoy seeks Iran help in Syria crisis
Kofi Annan calls for "positive role" from Iran in Syria conflict, warning of disaster if his plan to end violence fails.
Last Modified: 10 Jul 2012 15:25

International envoy Kofi Annan travelled to Tehran to seek support in resolving the conflict in Syria, warning of a disaster if his peace plan fails.

Annan spoke after holding talks in Tehran on Tuesday with Ali Akbar Salehi, the Iranian foreign minister.

"Iran can play a positive role," he said, adding he would continue to work with the Iranian leadership to resolve the crisis.

Rare insights into life in Homs under daily shelling

"There is a risk that the situation in Syrian gets out of hand and spreads  to the region," Annan told a joint news conference with Salehi, who hailed Annan's "neutrality".

Before flying to Tehran, Annan said in Damascus on Monday he had agreed on a new approach with President Bashar al-Assad to stop the violence.

Last week, Annan acknowledged that international efforts to find a political solution for Syria had failed and called for a greater role for Iran, saying Tehran "should be part of the solution".

Activists say the violence in Syria has killed more than 17,000 people since the conflict began in March 2011.

Iran role contested

Salman Shaikh, director of the Brookings Doha Center and an analyst on regional politics, said: "Kofi thinks you can't have a political transition and solution without the Iranians on board, but this is still part of the understanding that Assad and the regime will be part of the solution - an idea many of us have given up on."

The US has rejected Iranian participation in international meetings on the crisis in Syria.

Spotlight
In-depth coverage of escalating violence across Syria

Annan, the joint envoy for Syria from the UN and the Arab League, presented a peace plan earlier this year, but it has never been followed.

Government forces and rebels have widely disregarded a ceasefire that was to begin in April, and spreading violence has kept nearly 300 UN observers monitoring the truce stuck in their hotels in Syria.

After a two-hour meeting with Assad on Monday, Annan said the men had agreed on an "approach'' to stop the violence, and that the diplomat would share it with the armed opposition.

"I also stressed the importance of moving ahead with a political dialogue which the president accepts," Annan said.

442

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
More than one-quarter of Gaza's population has been displaced, causing a humanitarian crisis.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Muslim charities claim discrimination after major UK banks began closing their accounts.
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Featured
In Brussels, NGO staff are being trained to fill the shortfall of field workers in West Africa.
Lawsuit by 6-year-old girl, locked up for a year, reignites debate over indefinite detention of 'boat people'.
Indonesian and Malaysian authorities are keeping a close eye on local supporters of the hard-line Middle East group.
Citizens of the tiny African nation say they're increasingly anxious of the fallout after alleged coup.
A humanitarian crisis and a budget crisis converge in the heart of the human smuggling corridor in Texas.
join our mailing list