Russian DFM says the US opposes Iran's role in Syria

‘US illogically opposes Iran role in Syria’

Sat, 21 Dec 2013 16:35:57 GMT

Russia Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov says the US opposition to Iran’s participation in the upcoming international conference on Syria is illogical.

Gatilov made the remarks on Friday following a tripartite meeting in Geneva with the US and the UN-Arab League Special Representative for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi.

“We are certain that Iran participation is important in implementing agreements that we will reach within the framework of internal Syrian dialogue,” he added.

Gatilov said Moscow believes that Iran’s involvement in the Geneva II talks would create the necessary political atmosphere to implement peace agreements.

UN-Arab League peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi told media on Friday that Iran’s participation in the Syria peace conference, scheduled for January 22 in the Swiss city of Montreux, near Geneva, had not yet been decided upon due to US opposition.

“The US is still not convinced Iran’s participation would be the right thing to do,” said Brahimi, adding, however, that “Iran is not off the list for the moment.”

Gatilov noted that Russia has pointed out to Americans that virtually all courtiers, including European states and Turkey, besides the UN are in favor of Iran’s participation.

The Syrian opposition has also opposed Iran’s participation in the peace conference.

On December 16, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said the Islamic Republic would take part in the Syria peace conference if it is invited to the event without any preconditions.

Syria has been gripped by deadly unrest since 2011.

Reports indicate that Western powers and their regional allies — especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey — are supporting the militants operating inside the country.

According to the United Nations, more than 100,000 people have been killed and millions displaced in the violence.

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