Kofi Annan, the UN-Arab League envoy to Syria, told a press conference in Tehran today that he hopes Iran will be a part of any solution to the crisis in Syria, even as Iran’s Foreign Minister emphasized that changes in Syria must be achieved under the government of Beshar Assad.
Iranian media report that Annan arrived in Tehran Tuesday night following a visit to Turkey. Stressing that any military solution could be catastrophic, the former UN chief told reporters today that he has reached an agreement on the Syrian crisis with his Iranian counterparts. “The geopolitical location of Syria is such that any miscalculation or error can have unimaginable consequences,” Annan emphasized.
He maintained that, according to the US-Arab League peace plan, a ceasefire will come into effect at 6 AM on Thursday. He added that the Syrian government has made certain demands, and the opposition forces have been receptive to the possibility of a ceasefire.
Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said Iran will support Annan’s peace plan so long as it sticks to its current approach.
Salehi confirmed that the Syrian people have a right to put their demands to the Behsar Assad government, adding: “Mr. Beshar Assad has promised to implement changes and be accountable to the demands of the people. The necessary opportunity must be given to the Syrian government to carry out the changes under the leadership of Beshar Assad.”
The Assad government has announced that it is going along with Annan’s peace plan and that forces have already starting pulling back from a number of cities. However, the government has said that a full ceasefire can only be achieved under the supervision of foreign observers, which apparently was not part of the original peace plan.