TEHRAN (Tasnim) – The West’s refusal to invite Iran to the upcoming Geneva 2 peace conference on Syria emanates from illogical political reasons, a prominent Iranian legislator said, and asserted Tehran’s influential role in the regional equations.
Speaking to the Tasnim News Agency on Monday, Member of the Iranian Parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission Mohammad Saleh Jokar predicted that the Geneva 2 peace conference on Syria would fail to yield result without Iran, saying the opposition to Tehran’s participation in the event was “politically-tainted.”
“Their (westerners’) refusal to invite Iran has certainly had illogical political reasons, but we do not care about this issue and will keep supporting Syria’s nation and legitimate government,” he explained.
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.
Jokar further added that the US and its allies have made a great mistake by ignoring Iran in the upcoming conference, saying that it would be folly to turn a blind eye to “Iran’s influence in the regional equations.”
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.
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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