Annan wants Tehran to be part of Syria solution

Hurriyet Daily News reports: Iran should be a part of the solution to the Syria crisis, international mediator Kofi Annan said June 22, a week before a planned crisis meeting, which is now in doubt due to Western objections to the Islamic Republic’s participation, is scheduled to take place.

The United States has vehemently opposed Russia’s demand for Iran’s involvement. Annan said the composition of the meeting is one of the sticking points that may not be resolved until next week. “I have made it quite clear that I believe Iran should be part of the solution,” Annan told reporters in Geneva. Iran, a powerful ally and neighbor of Syria, is the subject of a diplomatic standoff between the United States and Russia, which differ not only on the way forward on Syria but also on Iran’s nuclear program.

Annan also urged the international community to raise the level of pressure on both sides in the conflict.

“It’s time for countries of influence to raise the level of pressure on the parties on the ground and to persuade them to stop the killing and start the talking,” he said. Annan, who underlined the importance of making sure the crisis did not spread to neighbouring countries, also praised the work of the U.N.’s unarmed observers under Major General Robert Mood, head of the UN Supervision Mission in Syria (UNSMIS).

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