International attorney

The UK’s Telegraph has reported that Kofi Annan, the UN’s special envoy has traveled to Iran to ask it for help with the fast deteriorating situation in Syria.

Iran is one of Syria’s strongest allies, and former UN chief Annan went there to bolster support for his faltering plan to stop the country’s slide toward civil war.

“Iran, given its special relations with Syria, can be part of the solution,” Annan said during a news conference with Iran’s Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi. “The geopolitical location of Syria is such that any miscalculation and error can have unimaginable consequences.”

The conflict in Syria is among the most explosive of the Arab Spring, in part because of the country’s allegiances to powerful forces including Lebanon’s Hizbollah and Shiite powerhouse Iran. The uprising that began more than a year ago seeks the ouster of authoritarian President Bashar al-Assad.

Annan’s peace plan seems to be quickly losing its appeal with the Syrian government. While it initially agreed to a ceasefire, which is supposed to begin on Thursday morning at 6 a.m., reports from within the country say fighting continues on the ground, with government forces still on the offensive, according to CNN. Cities like Homs continue to be bombed, and troops have not been pulled back. Nine thousand people have died so far, the UN says.

Annan’s decision to involved Iran shows he is not completely confident of his peace plan’s success. Iran’s Shiite government has long been one of Syria’s strongest allies in the region, Time reports. Although Syria is predominantly Sunni Muslim, its ruling family is part of a Shiite sect.

In a letter to the U.N. Security Council, obtained by The Associated Press, Annan said Tuesday that Syria has not pulled troops and heavy military equipment out of cities and towns, and that the regime’s last-minute conditions put the entire ceasefire at risk.

The council strongly backed Annan, with all 15 members – including Syrian allies China and Russia – approving a media statement expressing “deep concern” at the failure by Damascus to withdraw its troops and heavy equipment.