Iran rejects US condition for attending Syria talks
Press TV -(Tue Oct 8, 2013) Iran Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham has slammed the US move to set condition for Iran’s participation in the upcoming Geneva II conference on the Syria crisis.
“If our participation is in the interest of achieving a solution, it will be unacceptable to set conditions for inviting the Islamic Republic of Iran, and we accept no conditions,” Afkham said on Tuesday.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran has always considered achievement of political understanding on the basis of dialogue and agreement among the Syrian parties as the sole solution for the catastrophic crisis in Syria, and is prepared to facilitate the process,” she added.
Afkham warned that exclusion of Iran from the political process in Syria will “deprive the negotiations of Tehran’s constructive role.”
On Monday, US State Department Deputy Spokeswoman Marie Harf said the US would agree to Iran’s participation in Geneva II talks if Tehran approved the Geneva Communiqué.
The Geneva Communiqué, approved in 2012, is aimed at providing an outline for ending the crisis in Syria.
On Monday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Moscow and Washington have agreed to push for holding the planned Geneva II conference on the Syria crisis in mid-November.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has expressed readiness to take part in the Geneva II conference, stressing that he will not negotiate with terrorists.
Syria’s foreign-backed opposition coalition remains divided over taking part in the second round of Geneva talks. They have repeatedly expressed reluctance to take part in the conference unless Assad steps down.
Syria has been gripped by deadly turmoil since 2011. According to the United Nations, more than 100,000 people have been killed and millions displaced in the violence.
Reports indicate that the Western powers and their regional allies — especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey — are supporting the militants operating inside the country.