Iran's Syria Peace Plan Outlined

Iran's Syria Peace Plan Outlined Iran's Syria Peace Plan Outlined

Iran's peace plan to defuse the crisis in Syria is expected to be implemented in the coming days after consultations with Russian officials.

Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Amir Abdollahian made the announcement on Wednesday in an interview with state television, Fars News Agency reported.

Tehran's initiative, endorsed by Russia, was submitted to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad by Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif during a visit to Damascus on August 12.

Asked about the key features of the plan, Amir Abdollahian said, "Concentrating on people's role, avoiding a power vacuum, fighting terrorism in addition to assisting refugees and dispatching humanitarian aids to war-torn areas are among the most prominent issues which have been taken into account."

According to the senior diplomat, the main outcome of the Iranian initiative is that the Syrians will be able to decide their destiny; furthermore, based on the agreements to be concluded, the Arab country will experience calm after long periods of deadly conflict.

He stressed that Iran's plan is in line with the UN Security Council's measure adopted last month to establish peace in Syria, expressing hope that regular consultations with Ban Ki-moon, secretary-general of the United Nations, and his special envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura could pave the way for implementing the plan through political means.

Rejecting any shift in Iran's position regarding the ongoing developments in Syria, the deputy minister reiterated that any "realistic" political solution for Syria ought to ensure people's key role and reinforce the campaign against extremism.

"Based on the peace plan, the opposing groups which believe in political approaches will have a chance to contribute to [building] Syria's political future, the result of which will be eradication of terrorism in this state," Amir Abdollahian noted, stressing that Iran attaches importance to Assad's role in preserving national sovereignty.

  Truce Efforts

Referring to consultations between Iran and Turkey to secure a truce in Al-Zabadani, Syria, as well as other ceasefire agreements all over the region, he noted, "One of the strategic plans is to arrange [brief] regional truces to [clear the way] for a permanent ceasefire."

Highlighting the ceasefire in Homs, western Syria enforced a year and a half ago, he said, "Securing ceasefires in different regions in Syria including Homs, Foue and Kafaria is high on the agenda of Tehran, the UN and the Syrian government."

Commenting on Russia's military presence in Syria, the diplomat said, "It seems as if our Russian friends have come to the conclusion that the US-led coalition's efforts to fight terrorism in Syria have borne no fruit, which explains why they have decided to increase their presence in Syria."

Assessing Russia's measures to eradicate extremism in the region as "constructive" and "positive", Amir Abdollahian said that Russia and Syria already have signed defense cooperation agreements; moreover, the Russians have decided to be more active in the anti-terror fight in Syria within the framework of the UNSC resolution.