Author`s name Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey

Experienced politicians think Iran can contribute to peace in Syria

United Nations, (Prensa Latina) Experienced politicians that comprise The Elders (counselors) defended the participation of Iran in seeking a political solution to the Syrian conflict, said on Thursday (30) the group founded by Nelson Mandela.

After a three-day visit to Tehran, the team leader, former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, said on its history and capacity for regional influence, that Iran can play an important role for the end of hostilities, according to a statement to which Prensa Latina had access.

"We think Iran should be part of the solution to the crisis in Syria," said the Ghanaian politician, who was accompanied by former representatives of Finland and Mexico Ahtisaari and Ernesto Zedillo, respectively, and South African Archbishop recognized with the Nobel Peace Prize, Desmond Tutu.

According to Annan, during discussions with local officials, including the president, Hassan Rouhani, and the Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, there were shared concerns about the situation in the Arab nation, where for nearly three years extremists and mercenaries armed and financed from abroad have tried to overthrow the government headed by Bashar al-Assad.

Iran was deleted at the last minute by the General Secretary of United Nations Ban Ki -moon, from the invitation list to the Geneva International Conference II, in a scenario marked by the rejection by Teheran of conditions and the campaigns of the United States, its allies and the Syrian opposition to avoid their presence in the process.

In Iran, the delegation of The Elders group also addressed the nuclear issue and the recent agreement with the five permanent members of the Security Council (United States, Russia, China, France and the UK) plus Germany to a plan of mutual commitments that does not lead to doubts.

It is important, where the parties shall endeavor to advance and avoid suffering to the Iranian people and more regional tensions, Ahtisaari said on related compliance of steps in the nuclear program for peaceful purposes and the suspension of sanctions imposed by the West initiative.

According to Annan, dialogue with Iranian leaders and other personalities was frank, and included, in addition, issues such as the international growth of extremist violence and human rights. The Elders is a group of influential politicians, founded in 2007 by the recently deceased icon Nelson Mandela to put the experience of its members on the side of world peace.

Besides the four above-mentioned, in this group are integrated the former Algerian foreign minister and mediator in the Syrian crisis, Lakhdar Brahimi, former presidents Jimmy Carter (United States) , Mary Robinson (Ireland) and Fernando Henrique Cardoso (Brazil), the former Norwegian Prime Minister Gro Harlem Brundtland, activist Ela Bhatt (India) and Hina Jilani (Pakistan), and widow of Mandela, Graca Machel.

Translated by Olga Santos

from the Portuguese version