Iran Welcomes UN’s Peace Plan for Syria

August 21, 2015  

Iran on Thursday welcomed a UN peace plan aimed at ending the four-year war in its ally Syria, saying President Bashar Al-Assad’s regime needed to be directly involved, AFP reports.

“This new plan is seen as a step by regional and international players toward a better understanding of the reality on the ground and on the political level,” foreign ministry spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham was quoted as saying by the Iranian news agency ISNA.

“The people and government of Syria have the key role in this process,” she added.

Iran is Assad’s key regional ally, providing him with financial and military support.

Iran’s former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad personally sanctioned the dispatch of officers from the Iranian Revolutionary Guards to Syria to fight alongside Assad’s troops, though Assad a few months ago denied there were any Iranian troops in Syria.

On Monday the UN Security Council adopted a new push for peace talks in Syria, which was also endorsed by Russia, another key ally of the Damascus regime, and the other 14 member states.

The peace initiative, set to begin in September, would set up four working groups to address safety and protection, counterterrorism, political and legal issues and reconstruction.

The council demanded all sides work for an end to the war by “launching a Syrian-led political process leading to a political transition that meets the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people.”

It also mentions the creation of “an inclusive transitional governing body”.

The adoption came amid a flurry of diplomatic activity by Russia, the United States, Saudi Arabia and Iran to try to advance prospects for ending the war that has left at least 240,000 dead.

The 16-point statement drafted by France had been under negotiation since UN envoy Staffan de Mistura presented his new approach for peace talks to the council last month.

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