Kofi Annan, the UN-Arab League joint special envoy on Syria, has said that Iran should be part of the solution to the Syrian crisis and should be involved in efforts to improve the situation in the Arab country.

Annan told reporters in Geneva on Friday that he is working to convene a so-called “contact group” meeting on Syria in Geneva on June 30, AP reported.

The United States has vehemently opposed the involvement of Iran, which Russia has demanded.

Annan said that the composition of the meeting is one of the sticking points that may not be resolved until next week.

I have made it quite clear that I believe Iran should be part of the solution,” the former UN secretary general added, noting, “If we continue the way we are going and competing with each other, it could lead to destructive competition and everyone will pay the price.”

Annan said that it was “time for countries of influence to raise the level of pressure on the parties on the ground.”

However, he had no specific proposals for changing his six-point peace plan, which he said Syria had not yet implemented but still might support in the future.

Annan’s plan calls for a UN-supervised ceasefire by all parties, the withdrawal of soldiers and heavy weapons from cities, and the delivery of humanitarian assistance.

The longer we wait, the darker Syria’s future becomes,” Annan said. “The humanitarian situation continues to deteriorate… We cannot just step back and do nothing.”

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Thursday it is necessary that Iran participate in the international conference on the Syrian crisis.

Lavrov said that the conference should include all the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, Syria’s neighbors (Iraq, Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon), as well as key players in the region (Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Iran) and international organizations (League of Arab States, European Union), Ria Novosti reported.

Source: Tehran Times