Kofi Annan
International peace envoy Kofi Annan. —File Photo by AP

UNITED NATIONS: UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan said Thursday he wanted Iran to be involved in any “solution” to the Syria conflict but the United States immediately objected.

“Iran, as an important country in the region, I hope will be part of the solution,” Annan told reporters as he discussed the countries that could take part in a new international Contact Group on Syria.

But US ambassador Susan Rice said, “Iran is part of the problem in Syria at the present.”

“There is no question that it is actively engaged in supporting the government in perpetrating the violence on the ground,” Rice told reporters.

“We think Iran has not demonstrated, to date, a readiness to contribute constructively to a peaceful political solution.” Annan said discussions are at an “early stage” on bringing key world and regional powers into a contact group on the worsening Syria crisis.

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