Kofi Annan Asks Iran for Help With Syria

UN envoy says he still thinks ceasefire will somehow work

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Apr 11, 2012 8:13 AM CDT

(Newser) – Kofi Annan isn't panicking just because the Syrian regime blew off yesterday's ceasefire deadline. Annan says Bashar al-Assad's regime has assured him that it will respect the ceasefire plan and end hostilities tomorrow morning, the BBC reports. "If everyone respects it, I think by six in the morning of Thursday, we shall see improved conditions on the ground," Annan told journalists in Tehran. Annan is visiting Iran to try to win its support for the peace plan, the New York Times reports.

Iran's foreign minister, speaking alongside Annan, reiterated Tehran's support for Assad, but said that "the opportunity must be given to the Syrian government to make changes." Annan's original plan called for the regime to withdraw its forces and stop heavy weapon fire yesterday, and for both sides to cease fire entirely tomorrow. Annan says the regime wants assurances that the rebels will honor the ceasefire. He also urged against arming the rebels, which he said would be "disastrous."

UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan speaks during a joint news conference with Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi, unseen, in Tehran, Iran, April 11, 2012.
UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan speaks during a joint news conference with Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi, unseen, in Tehran, Iran, April 11, 2012.   (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)
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