Jul 10 - UN envoy Kofi Annan says Iran has role to play in ending Syrian crisis. Lindsey Parietti reports.
UN envoy Kofi Annan meets officials in Tehran to discuss ending ongoing violence in Syria. Iran is one of embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's few remaining allies. Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi defended Syrians' rights to freedom and democracy, but also defended the Syrian government, saying it has taken steps to fulfil people's demands. (SOUNDBITE) (Farsi with English translation provided by Press TV) IRANIAN FOREIGN MINISTER ALI AKBAR SALEHI, SAYING: "Unfortunately, the unwise interference and intervention of others has caused the situation in Syria to remain critical." Annan said the Iranian government has cooperated with his mission. (SOUNDBITE) (English) INTERNATIONAL MEDIATOR KOFI ANNAN, SAYING: "And I think the minister has made it clear that if we do not make a real effort to resolve this issue peacefully and it were to get out of hand and spread to the region, it can lead to consequences that none of us could imagine. So let's work together to bring peace and stability to Syria." Following international talks in Geneva last month, Annan said world leaders are against further armament of opposition forces and that both sides must lay down weapons. Lindsey Parietti, Reuters