Iran rejects US precondition for participating in Syria peace conference

US conditions include support of a transitional Syrian government.

By REUTERS
October 9, 2013 10:32
2 minute read.
Iran's President Hassan Rouhani

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani. (photo credit: Reuters)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

DUBAI, Oct 9 (Reuters) - Iran rejects any conditions for taking part in a long-delayed peace conference on Syria, Iranian media reported, in effect dismissing a US suggestion that Tehran back a call for a transitional government in Damascus.

The United States accuses Iran of supporting the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad in a civil war that has run for more than two years, killed more than 100,000 people and eluded all efforts at a peaceful settlement.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


The US State Department said on Monday Washington would be more open to Iran taking part in a "Geneva 2" conference seeking an end to the war if Iran publicly supported a 2012 statement calling for a transitional authority to rule Syria.

But Iran rejected any conditions being placed on it to participate in diplomatic efforts on Syria, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham said on Tuesday evening.

"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, according to the state-run Press TV.

A June 2012 "Geneva Communique" sought to chart a path to a diplomatic resolution of the conflict, and was agreed to by major powers such as the United States and Russia, Gulf states, and Syria's neighbors Iraq and Turkey - but not Iran, which was not invited to those talks.

The agreement called for a transitional governing authority but left open the question of whether Assad must leave power.



The agreement said such a transitional government must be chosen by the Damascus government and the opposition by mutual consent, which the United States says in effect rules out Assad staying in power.

On Monday, a State Department spokeswoman suggested the United States might be better disposed to Iran's taking part in a Geneva 2 conference if Tehran were to embrace the original Geneva Communique.

Afkham said excluding Iran from the talks would "deprive the negotiations of Tehran's constructive role."

The United States and Iran have recently started something of a diplomatic rapprochement, with U.S. President Barack Obama speaking by telephone with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Sept. 27, the highest level contact since 1979.

The two sides, along with Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia, are sending delegations to Geneva for separate talks on Oct. 15-16 to try to address a dispute over Iran's nuclear program.

The United States and its allies suspect Iran is using its civilian nuclear program as a cover to develop atomic weapons. Iran denies this, saying its program is for peaceful purposes.

Related Content

Bushehr nuclear Iranian
August 5, 2014
Iran and the bomb: The future of negotiations

By YONAH JEREMY BOB