Publishe Date: 10:02 PM - 1/20/2014 | Print

Iran to Accept No Precondition for Attending Geneva II Talks on Syria

Politics - Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marziyeh Afkham once again reiterated that Iran’s presence in the long-awaited International Geneva II Peace Conference on Syria will be necessary, but Tehran would not accept any precondition in this regard.

The UN Chief, Ban Ki-moon, sent a letter to Iran on Monday to invite the country to the Geneva II peace conference on Syria. Yet, a few hours later, the US State Department Spokeswoman, Jen Psaki, stated that “if Iran does not fully and publicly accept the Geneva I communiqué, the invitation must be rescinded”.

In response to Psaki's statements, the Iranian foreign ministry spokeswoman reiterated that Tehran would never accept any precondition for its participation in the gathering.

“We will not accept any preconditions for our presence in the Geneva II and we will take part in the conference as per the invitation (extended to Iran) and without any precondition,” Afkham stressed.

She underscored that Iran has always supported political solution to the Syrian crisis, and said, “In our opinion, the Geneva II conference can provide proper conditions for taking effective steps in this framework.”

In relevant remarks earlier today, a deputy chief of staff of the Iranian Armed Forces also dismissed the US demand from Tehran to recognize and act on the basis of the agreement struck by participants in the Geneva I peace conference on Syria, and reiterated that it cannot be the basis for the upcoming Geneva II gathering.

“The previous agreements which are serve the interests of the foreign powers and the region’s reactionary (states) cannot be the basis of future talks; rather the decision that the Syrian people will take for the future of their country will be important,” Deputy Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces for Cultural Affairs and Defense Publicity Brigadier General Massoud Jazzayeri said on Monday.

Meantime, General Jazzayeri underlined that the outcome of the Geneva II conference should be a halt in the support of the US and its regional allies for terrorism in Syria.

“The US and supporters of the terrorist groups, whose subversive plots have failed in Syria, are now trying to compensate for their defeats through political means; therefore, the Syrian government’s representatives should take part in the Geneva II conference with a vigilant and pessimistic view about the opposite party to the negotiation,” General Jazzayeri said.

On Sunday, the UN chief said that the Islamic Republic of Iran has been invited to the Geneva II conference on the crisis in Syria.

The UN chief made the announcement at the UN headquarters in New York.

“As I have said repeatedly, I believe strongly that Iran needs to be part of the solution to the Syrian crisis,” the UN chief said.

Ban added that he had held talks with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif regarding the matter.

On Friday, Zarif once again renewed Iran’s support for a peaceful solution to the Syrian crisis, but reiterated that Tehran will not accept any precondition for its participation in the upcoming Geneva II Conference on Syria. “Iran will not accept any preconditions to attend the Geneva II conference on Syria,” Zarif said in a telephone conversation with Ban Ki-moon.

He stressed that Iran will take part in the Geneva II conference if the country is invited without any precondition.

The Geneva II conference, which will be a follow-up to an earlier one held in June 2012, had been proposed by Moscow and Washington to find a political solution to the crisis in Syria.

The conference is scheduled to be held in Switzerland in two parts. On January 22, the opening session of the event will be in the Swiss city of Montreux and then it will be moved to the UN office in Geneva on January 24.

Syria has been gripped by a deadly crisis since 2011. According to reports, the western powers and their regional allies, especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey, are supporting the militants operating inside Syria.

According to the United Nations, more than 100,000 people have been killed and millions displaced in the foreign-backed militancy.

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