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Inviting Iran to Syrian talks implies US failure in Middle East

The invitation of Tehran to Syrian negotiations can be interpreted as a US Middle East policy failure, experts told Sputnik.

MOSCOW (Sputnik), Yulia Shamporova, Anastasia Levchenko – Earlier this week, US State Department spokesman John Kirby said that Iran would receive an invitation to participate in upcoming talks to end the four-year Syrian civil war.

On Thursday, Russian, Saudi, Turkish and US top diplomats are set to discuss in Vienna the ongoing Syrian civil war. Iran along with Egypt and Lebanon is expected to attend broader negotiations on Friday.

“US recognizes its massive failures in the Middle East, and US has no choice but to include Iran in negotiations <…> US has no willing partners to engage in Syria — or even in the Middle East for that matter,” Somar Wijayadasa, a former delegate of UNESCO to the UN General Assembly, told Sputnik.

“It was accepted as a fait accompli <…> US should take its hands off Syrian operations — as it is an unreliable and untrustworthy partner who would undermine Russia’s genuine interest to find a resolution in Syria.”

The former UNESCO official said that US operations in Syria could jeopardize Russia’s efforts to end the Syrian civil war.

“US has miserably failed after spending 4 billion dollars, training and arming Syrians to fight against Assad,” he stated.

Pepe Escobar, analyst on Middle Eastern issues and contributor to Asia Times, suggests that Iran should have participated in Syrian talks from the very beginning.

“Iran should have been at the negotiating table from the start. Iranian commanders/advisers are a key component on the ground in the fight against ISIS/ISIL/Daesh. And Iran is fully committed to prevent a caliphate victory in Syria,” Escobar claimed.

“If the Obama administration really wants a settlement in Syria — and that remains a major “if” — Iran must be part of it. Obama may be thinking of adding to his legacy — the nuclear deal with Iran — by reaping some of the glory in case there is some semblance of peace in Syria… We should not forget there are two different coalitions fighting against “terror” in Syria, and their objectives certainly do not coincide,” Escobar asserted.

Syria has been in a state of civil war since 2011, with troops loyal to Assad fighting on multiple fronts against opposition factions and extremist groups, including the Islamic State.

Since the beginning of the Syrian civil war, the United States and its allies, including France, have supported opposition factions they consider to be “moderate,” calling for Assad’s resignation. Russia and Iran recognize Assad as the legitimate Syrian authority.

Russia has been conducting precision airstrikes on IS positions in Syria at the request of President Bashar Assad since September 30, which have resulted in a militant retreat and the loss of much of their weaponry and equipment, according to the Russian General Staff.
By Sputnik News