Kofi Annan is only game in town for Syria and everyone else
One fact stands out: “Syria, where Assad's Shi'ite-rooted Alawite minority dominates a Sunni Muslim majority, has become an arena for a sectarian-tinged regional contest between Shi'ite Iran and Sunni Arab rivals aligned with the West and led by Saudi Arabia.”
Iran is exerting influence here and the Saudis and others can push pack.
“"I have received (Syrian) government assurances they will respect the ceasefire," he said, adding: "I believe Iran can be part of the solution."
Salehi said Syrians should be able to have free elections contested by political parties, but reiterated Iran's opposition to any outside interference in Syria's affairs and made clear the Islamic Republic wanted Assad to stay in charge.
"The opportunity must be given to the Syrian government to make changes under the leadership of Bashar al-Assad," he said.
Iran has unstintingly backed Syria, the only Arab nation to back Iran in its 1980-88 war with Iraq and the conduit for Iranian arms to Lebanon's Shi'ite Muslim Hezbollah movement.
Syria, where Assad's Shi'ite-rooted Alawite minority dominates a Sunni Muslim majority, has become an arena for a sectarian-tinged regional contest between Shi'ite Iran and Sunni Arab rivals aligned with the West and led by Saudi Arabia.
Despite its public acceptance of Assad's narrative that he faces foreign-inspired "terrorist" subversion, Tehran has also reached out to his opponents, according to an adviser to Iran's parliamentary speaker quoted by local media on Tuesday.
"It has recently made contacts with the Syrian opposition, which shows Iran's influential role in resolving issues," the Tehran Times quoted Hossein Sheikholeslam as saying.
For now, no end to Syria's agony is in sight.
The British-based Observatory said on Tuesday more than 800 civilians had been killed since Annan announced on March 27 that he had obtained Assad's agreement to the peace plan.
"More time means more blood," said the opposition Syrian National Council's spokeswoman Basma Kodmani. "It is urgent to end the regime's repression and the regime itself."
Assad's forces have killed more than 9,000 people in the past year, according to a U.N. estimate. Damascus says rebels have killed more than 2,600 soldiers and security personnel.”