TEHRAN (Tasnim) – A former Syrian information minister and political analyst said on Monday that Iran’s nuclear deal with the Sextet strengthens the position of Iran’s friends and allies in the resistance front.
“This agreement carries great consequence for regional developments, as the country’s independent, peaceful nuclear program was recognized by major world powers,” Mahdi Dakhlollah told the Tasnim News Agency.
A second positive aspect of the Geneva deal, according to him, is that it proved that the global crises can be resolved peacefully if they are managed wisely.
“Furthermore, signing the Geneva deal changed the balance of power in the region and confirmed Iran as a regional pro-resistance power, and its role in Middle east developments gets more noticeable,” he said.
Turning to the issue of the upcoming Geneva 2 Conference on Syria in January 2014 and the recent visit of Syrian Prime Minister Wael al-Halqi to Tehran, he said that Iran and Syria have a common stand regarding the upcoming UN-sponsored conference.
“Therefore, Iran must participate in Geneva 2 conference, as it is supposed to pave the way for Syrian-Syrian negotiations — free from foreign interference — and as a supporter of the Syrian nation, Iran’s presence is of great importance in that meeting,” he said.
An informed source in the Iranian foreign ministry said on December 14 that Tehran has received no official invitation to attend the upcoming Geneva II talks on the future of Syria slated for January 22.
The informed source also once more repeated Tehran’s often stated stance that Iran would attend the conference aimed at resolving the crisis in Syria without any preconditions.
Iran has been one of the main supporters of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and has called on warring sides in the Syrian fray to sit together to find a settlement for the crisis that has shown no sign of abating, saying that the future of the country should be decided through diplomacy and ballot boxes.
On November 26, Iran’s foreign minister once again stressed the importance of resolving the crisis in Syria through political means, saying that Tehran will take part in the Geneva 2 conference if invited unconditionally.
“We believe the illusion that there is a military solution to Syria must be abandoned. We have said all along that if Iran is invited, we will participate without any preconditions,” the Iranian minister added.
The so-called Geneva 2 conference is aimed at mapping out a political solution to end nearly three years of fighting that has killed more than 100,000 people and forced millions more from their homes.
The conference would bring representatives from Syria’s government and elements of the opposition to negotiate an end to the fighting that has raged on since March 2011. Yet the opposition is hardly a single group as it consists of numerous factions that often oppose or fight each other.
The Syrian government and the opposition will each send delegations to the meeting, and will hold bilateral talks hosted by UN-Arab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi on January 24 in Geneva.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov who was in Tehran last week insisted that Iran should attend the gathering, and said, “In the Geneva 2 (Conference), all the foreign sides and foreign actors, which can lend a hand, should be present. We believe that Iran’s attendance at Geneva is very important.”
The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has said Iran must be invited to the Geneva conference aimed at ending the ongoing crisis in Syria.
“Iran should be invited to this meeting. I and Joint Special Representative Lakhdar Brahimi had made it clear in the past that Iran should be invited to this meeting,” Ban said.
“I believe that Iran is one of such countries who can play an important role but I have not yet decided. This is a matter for concentrations among the parties concerned.”
The UN says more than 100,000 people have been killed since the unrest began in 2011. More than 2.2 million Syrians have fled to neighboring countries while an estimated 4.25 million have been displaced internally.
The Iran Project is not responsible for the content of quoted articles.