Iran tells UN it can solve Syria crisis


Javad Zarif iran fmIran has told the UN it is prepared to find a “peaceful resolution” to the crisis in ally Syria, as the threat of a US strike looms, state media said Monday.

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif relayed the message to Secretary Ban Ki-moon during a phone conversation late Sunday, state broadcaster IRIB said on its website.

“While rejecting the use of force in resolving the crisis in Syria, (Zarif) asserted that Iran is ready to find a peaceful resolution,” it said.

Iran has strongly backed the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in its struggle against an uprising-turned-civil war since March 2011 that has claimed more than 110,000 lives.

Tehran, which denies accusations of arming the Assad regime, has tried to encourage Syrian opposition groups tolerated by Damascus to engage in negotiations with the government.

US President Barack Obama is pushing for congressional approval of a punitive strike on Syria over allegations the regime used chemical weapons against civilians on 21 August, killing hundreds.

Iran has condemned the use of chemical weapons but has backed claims from Damascus that the rebels may have carried out the attacks.

Senior officials and military commanders have warned in recent days that a US strike on Syria could destabilize the region but stopped short from threatening retaliation in support of Assad.

IRIB quoted Zarif as telling Ban that “military intervention in Syria has damaging and widespread consequences, control of which will be very difficult.”.

Zarif on Sunday warned the White House that Congress was not authorized to green-light American military strikes which he said would be in violation of international law.