US official says 'difficult to imagine' Iran take part in Syria peace talks

A senior US official said onFriday that it was "difficult to imagine" Iran attending Syrianpeace talks next month as it had not endorsed the June 2012communique calling for a transitional government and wasproviding military support to Damascus.

The official said talks would continue with mediator LakhdarBrahimi and other states on Iran's participation in the peacetalks, but there were many ways for Tehran to take part and thiswas only the beginning of the process.

"Iran in this instance is the only country that has put itsown military people into the fight on the ground, that is aunique position," the senior US official said.

"I would hope that Iran would think about withdrawing itsfighters and its support and allowing the Syrian opposition andthe regime to in fact construct a transitional government withfull executive powers by mutual consent, as Lakhdar Brahimisaid, a new Syria."