Iran won’t accept precondition for Syria talks: Official

A senior Iranian official says the Islamic Republic will not accept any preconditions for participation in the upcoming internationally brokered peace talks between Syria’s warring sides.

Director of the Strategic Research Center of the Expediency Council Ali Akbar Velayati said on Monday that accepting the June 2012 Geneva communiqué legitimizes terrorists operating inside Syria.

“Should the invitation extended by [UN Secretary-General] Ban Ki-moon to the Islamic Republic of Iran rest upon accepting the Geneva communiqué, it denotes a precondition and Iran will not agree to it,” he said.

Velayati added, “The very negative aspect of the 2012 Geneva communiqué is that it requires the legitimate Syrian government, which is an official member state of the United Nations and has a very valuable background regarding commitment to international obligations, to sit at the negotiating table with terrorists, some of whom are Syrians and some have come from other countries and have flooded Syria through support by arrogant, colonial and reactionary states.”

Velayati further noted that the Geneva communiqué grants foreign-sponsored terrorists the right to form a transitional government with the Damascus government, which means that at least half of the new Syrian government will include terrorists.

“Interventionist, arrogant and reactionary governments are seeking to topple the official and legitimate Syrian government by any means, and replace it with terrorists,” the senior advisor to Leader of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei pointed out.

The 2012 Geneva communiqué outlines measures for a transition of power in Syria, and its key demand means Syrian President Bashar al-Assad will have to step down.

On Sunday, the UN chief said Iran has been invited to the Geneva II conference. “As I have said repeatedly, I believe strongly that Iran needs to be part of the solution to the Syrian crisis,” he stated.

On November 25, 2013, the United Nations set January 22 as the date for the Syria peace conference. The event 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 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 the country.

According to the United Nations, more than 100,000 people have been killed and millions displaced due to the turmoil that has gripped Syria for nearly three years.

By Press TV


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