Deputy chief of staff: US needs Iran to deal with regional issues

TEHRAN (FNA)- Deputy Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Brigadier General Massoud Jazzayeri underlined that the US is desperately stuck in the quagmire of problems it has created in the region and has been left with no other option but to cooperate with Iran in the region.

“The US knows that under the current conditions today, the Islamic Republic of Iran is an influential power in regional equations and it cannot ignore Iran and expect the problems to be settled,” Jazzayeri said on Saturday.

He underlined that the US tendency to cooperate with Iran on the regional issues is the result of Washington’s desperateness in resolving the problems that it has created in the region.

His remarks came after Iran was for the first time invited to take part in the Syria talks in Vienna. Iran underlined that it had not accepted any conditions for taking part in the talks.

Iran was not invited to the first Geneva conference, and while the country primarily received an invitation to take part in the second Geneva conference, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon later rescinded the invitation under pressure from the United States, Saudi Arabia, and the foreign-backed Syrian opposition.

On Wednesday, Tehran confirmed that it would take part in the Syria peace talks in Austria on Friday.

“We have reviewed the invitation, and it was decided that the foreign minister would attend the talks,” Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marziyeh Afkham said.

Top diplomats from Iran, Russia, the United States, France, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Iraq, Egypt and Turkey convened in Vienna on Friday to discuss the Syrian crisis.

Following the talks on Friday, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif strongly rejected allegations that Iran had accepted a time plan for the stepping down of the Syrian President.

Zarif said he had told his US counterpart John Kerry that Iran was opposed to specification of a timetable for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to leave power, and added, “We don’t confirm such issues and don’t allow certain people to misuse this meeting to release false news.”

Also, on Thursday, the Iranian top diplomat underlined that Tehran had been invited to attend the Vienna conference without accepting any conditions.

“There has been no prerequisite for Iran’s presence in the Vienna conference; if it were so we would never take part in the meeting,” Zarif told reporters upon arrival in Vienna.

He said that those who had partnered in efforts to resolve the Syrian crisis had come to the conclusion that there would be no rational solution to the Syrian crisis in the absence of Iran.

By Fars News Agency