Iran, Iraq back Syria peace plan, Annan says

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Iran, Iraq back Syria peace plan, Annan says

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UN and Arab League envoy on Syria Kofi Annan said on Wednesday that both Iran and Iraq back his peace plan to end the 17-month standoff between President Bashar Assad’s regime and the opposition.

Returning from a visit to the region after meetings with officials in Damascus, Baghdad and Tehran, Annan said both nations could play a key role in shaping a transitional government.

“In both Iran and Iraq, the governments committed to supporting the six point plan. They supported the idea of political transition, which will be Syrian-led,” Annan told the Security Council via videolink from Geneva.

But Damascus says Annan’s plan is failing because the international community is turning a blind eye to countries supplying weapons to anti-Assad rebels.

Bashar Ja’afari, Syrian ambassador to the UN, said: that “without putting an end to the funding and arming of the armed groups in Syria, it will be very difficult to see the plan of Mr. Kofi Annan succeeding on the spot.”

Annan’s peace plan was approved by the UN Security Council and accepted by Syria in March. It called for an immediate ceasefire and withdrawal of heavy weapons from populated areas by the Syrian government. But the April 12 ceasefire agreement has failed to take hold.