Iran Foreign Minister to discuss new peace plan on visit to Syria

Friday 07/08/2015
To Iran today, priority is fighting ISIS

TEHRAN - Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif will visit Syria on Wednesday and discuss a "new plan" by the Islamic republic to help resolve the conflict there, his spokeswoman said.

Iran is President Bashar al-Assad's main regional ally, providing him with both financial and military support.

It will be Zarif's first visit to Damascus since Tehran signed a nuclear deal with world powers on July 14, and comes as part of a regional tour.

During his visit, he will raise "Iran's new plan to help solve the Syrian issue", Marzieh Afkham said.

On Tuesday he was beginning a regional tour in Lebanon, after a previously scheduled trip to Turkey was postponed.

The Syria crisis is a cause of dispute between Iran and Turkey, with Tehran accusing Ankara of letting weapons and rebels through its border with Syria.

"Zarif's second regional tour starts today (Tuesday) with a visit to Beirut to touch on bilateral issues, regional events, and the terrorism and extremism crisis," Afkham told state news agency IRNA.

Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said last week that Tehran would submit a new Syria peace plan to the United Nations.

Afkham said the plan was based on "respect for the Syrian people's legitimate right to reforms and to decide their own future".

It also rejected "using terrorism for political ends" as well as "foreign interference in the Syrian government's independent policies".