US Blocking Iran From Syria Geneva II Talks
UN Arab League envoy on Syria Lakhdar Brahimi revealed further complications in the upcoming Geneva II peace talks on Friday. While the UN supports Iran's participation in the Syrian war negotiations, the US strongly opposes it.
"It's no secret that we in the United Nations welcome the participation of Iran, but our partners in the United States are still not convinced" that "Iran's participation is the right thing to do," said Brahimi to BBC.
US opposition comes due to Iran's open backing of Syrian President Bashar Assad. In November, an Iranian MP boasted of his country's large military presence in Syria fighting for Assad. It has also been revealed that Iran is behind its Lebanese terror proxy Hezbollah's involvement in the Syria war.
While 26 nations have been invited to the talks, there is still no agreement on Iran's participation in the talks set for January 22.
"The Iranian authorities have told us that they'd like to come to Geneva, but if it's not possible, it's not the end of the world - they support this process and they will work with us," remarked Brahimi, hinting at backdoor Iranian involvement.
The opposition forces do not accept Assad's role in Syria's political transition, but there has been division on the issue of Geneva II. Free Syrian Army announced it rejects the talks, while the Syrian National Coalition has said it will attend.
Those stated aspirations came in response to rare criticism by Russia opposing Assad's re-election. Russia has been viewed as strongly supporting Syria and Iran, creating a united front between the three.
Geneva II talks aim to halt the internecine conflict now in its third year, that has left over 100,000 dead and created over 2 million refugees.