Iran blames ‘interfering countries’ for failure of Annan’s plan
DUBAI, Aug 3 — Iran today blamed “some interfering countries” for the failure of a peace plan by former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan in Syria, the official IRNA news agency reported, a day after the international envoy said he would leave his role.
Annan said yesterday he would quit as the peace envoy, frustrated by “finger-pointing” and a stalemate at the UN Security Council while the armed rebellion against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was becoming increasingly bloody.
Iranian officials have repeatedly voiced support for Annan’s attempt, centred on an April ceasefire that never took hold, to resolve the spiralling crisis that opposition activists say has left around 18,000 people dead since the uprising began in March 2011.
“It seems that some interfering countries were not happy with the efforts made by ... Annan to stop the shipment of arms to Syria and end terrorist acts,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast was quoted as saying.
“Not only these countries did not help ... Annan’s plan, every time his plan succeeded in one area we would witness a rise in terrorist actions in Syria,” he added, according to IRNA.
Shi’ite Muslim Iran backed popular uprisings that removed leaders in Egypt, Libya and Yemen but has steadfastly supported Assad, who is a member of the minority Alawite sect, an offshoot of Shi’ite Islam.
Annan repeatedly said regional power Iran should be involved in efforts to find a peaceful solution to the Syria crisis despite the West’s firm rejection of any role.
Iranian leaders have accused the West of plotting with Arab countries to overthrow the Syrian leadership and bolster the status of Israel in the region through backing extremist militant groups.
Last month, Iran said it was ready to host talks between the Syrian government and opposition groups, an offer rejected by members of the Syrian opposition.
“All those countries in favour of stability and security in the ... Middle East should make a joint effort to bring calm to Syria and pave the way for resolving the issue through Syrian-Syrian talks between the government and the opposition,” IRNA quoted Mehmanparast as saying. — Reuters