TEHRAN (Tasnim) – A senior Iranian lawmaker predicted that the upcoming Geneva 2 peace conference on Syria would fail to yield result without Iran, saying that Tehran plays an influential role in resolving the regional problems.
“Due to its regional influence, Iran’s absence in the Geneva 2 Conference would leave the (upcoming) conference fruitless, the same as the Geneva 1 (conference),” Esmail Kowsari, member of the Iranian parliament’s national security and foreign policy commission, told the Tasnim News Agency on Sunday.
“The Islamic Republic does not insist on being present at the Geneva 2, but experience shows that the regional problems would not be resolved without Iran’s participation,” he added.
According to UN-Arab League Special Representative for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi, about 30 countries, including Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Brazil, Egypt, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, would be invited to the day-long conference on January 22 in the Swiss city of Montreux.
Brahimi told media on Friday that Iran’s participation at the Syria peace conference had not been decided upon yet due to the US opposition.
“The US is still not convinced Iran’s participation would be the right thing to do,” said Brahimi at a news conference after a day of meetings with the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Syria’s neighbors Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq.
“Iran is not off the list for the moment,” he added.
In the meantime, Syrian Prime Minister Wael al-Halqi has stressed the necessity of Iran’s participation in the upcoming gathering.
“We urge Iran to be present at the meeting, because it is a key player … Iran’s presence would be beneficial in resolving the Syria’s issue,” al-Halqi said on Saturday.
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.
The Syrian opposition has also opposed Iran’s participation in the long-awaited peace conference.
Geneva 2 is the second sequel of Geneva 1 conference held in June 2012 in which international parties laid out a peace plan for Syria that calls for a transitional governing body. It left open the question of whether Syrian President Bashar al-Assad must leave power.
Iran says it is the Syrian people who must decide who should rule them, in a free and fair election, and not the world powers.
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