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Iran rejects backing Geneva pact as precondition for joining Syria talks

ANKARA - Iran rebuffed on Monday a precondition for taking part in Syria peace talks in Geneva this week, saying it could not accept a plan for a Syrian political transition agreed at talks in the Swiss city in 2012, the ISNA news agency reported.

"Setting such a condition to accept the Geneva 1 agreement for attending at the Geneva 2 meeting is rejected and unacceptable," ISNA quoted deputy Foreign Minister Hosein Amirabdollahian as saying.

"Iran will attend the talks without any precondition based on an invitation by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon." Iran is a staunch ally of Syrian President Bashar Assad in his conflict with rebels fighting to overthrow him.

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