Iran wants to be at Syria talks but rejects conditions

MOSCOW Thu Jan 16, 2014 3:16am EST

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif meets with his Jordanian counterpart Nasser Judeh (not pictured) in Amman, Jordan January 14, 2014. REUTERS/Mohammad Hannon/Pool

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif meets with his Jordanian counterpart Nasser Judeh (not pictured) in Amman, Jordan January 14, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Mohammad Hannon/Pool

Related Topics

Photo

Air strikes in Gaza

Our latest photos from the scene.   Slideshow 

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Iran wants to take part in next week's international peace conference on Syria but will not attend if conditions are set for its participation, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Thursday.

The United States says Iranian delegates should be at the conference in Montreux, Switzerland, only if they are willing to accept an agreement reached at a June 2012 peace conference in Geneva calling for a transitional government body to be established in Damascus "by mutual consent".

Washington interprets that language as requiring President Bashar al-Assad's departure from power but Russia and Iran reject this interpretation.

"If the Islamic Republic of Iran is invited like all other participants in the conference, it will take part in this event," Zarif told a news conference after talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

He added: "We do not accept any pre-conditions for our country's participation."

Lavrov urged U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to invite Iran and Saudi Arabia to the conference starting an January 22, saying the participation of regional powers would help find a political solution to the nearly three-year-old conflict.

(Reporting by Gabriela Baczynska, Writing by Timothy Heritage, Editing by Elizabeth Piper)

FILED UNDER:
We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
Comments (3)
drauckerr wrote:
This is not an international peace conference. This is a strategy meeting for the removal of the current government by foreign powers with a clear political objective.

Jan 16, 2014 4:52am EST  --  Report as abuse
neill999 wrote:
What I want to know is why is Saudi Arabia attending but not Iran?

Sounds like double standards.

Jan 16, 2014 4:38pm EST  --  Report as abuse
neill999 wrote:
What I want to know is why is Saudi Arabia attending but not Iran?

Sounds like double standards.

Jan 16, 2014 4:38pm EST  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.