Annan Seeks Iranian Support for Peace Plan
Kofi Annan, the engineer of the six-point peace plan reported accepted by Syria reportedly accepted by Syria, headed to Tehran to persuade Iranian leadership to support the on the implementation of the plan; a deadline which is less than 24-hours away. Annan reiterated to media sources that he has “received government assurances” that they had begun withdrawing troops from population areas. Opposition forces on the ground report no progress in the implementation of the plan, as security forces remain in population areas. On the other hand, Damascus wants guarantees from the opposition that the “rebels would observe a truce.” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov expressed his understanding for Syrian authorities concerns, noting that Annan’s peace plan has not been accepted by some, “if not the majority,” of the opposition groups.
On Tuesday, Annan penned a letter to the U.N. Security Council, blaming the Syrian government for the lack of progress. Iranian state-owned Press TV reported Saeed Jalili emphasized a peaceful solution for Syria in his meeting with Annan. Jalili outlined a two-phased solution: first, the opposition commit to stopping the violence; second, free parliamentary elections held in line with the country’s new constitution. Jalili added that efforts by actors to remove President Assad “are a major impediment to progress.” Both U.S. and British camps have made statements acknowledging that there have been no changes, or implementation, of the plan by the Syrian government. Russia and China, both of which have vetoed two Security Council resolutions, attempted at ending the violence in Syria, and both have urged the Syrian government to fully implement Anna’s plan.
Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan condemned the violence that spilled over into the refugee camp of Yayladagi in the Turkish border province of Hatay, and warned that Turkey may use military force to set up a buffer zone if violence continues.
Kofi Annan has not given up on the ability of the plan to end the violence, and insists that Iran can play an integral part in the solution. The plan received strong support form all 15 Security Council members, all of who approved a media statement expressing “deep concern” for the failure of Damascus to withdraw its troops and heavy equipment. As the 6:00 AM deadline approaches, the possibility of the plan’s failure grows. The consequences of such failure remain unknown.