Shameless: Iran Calls for End to 'Terror' in Syria Via Geneva II
The Iranian government's official line on the Syrian civil war - which has raged for almost three years now - may appear slightly odd to some.
News posted Wednesday to Iran's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) English website simply states that President Hassan Rouhani "has little hope in the Geneva II talks in their ability to fight terrorism."
However, the site's Persian news story is far more extensive - and advocates a diplomatic solution to the very same conflict Iran arms.
Iran's Persian news bulletin to the MFA expresses "deep concern" over the presence of terrorist groups in Syria, stressing that all regional and international activities on the Syrian issue must focus intently on addressing "terrorism," which "constitutes a threat against all countries in the region and beyond."
The MFA insists that "terrorist actions against Syrian citizens are crimes against humanity and those responsible for acts of terrorism must take responsibility", and is demanding to stop the shipments of arms and militants into Syria.
But it conveniently ignores the fact that Iran has armed one side of the conflict - Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime forces - since it began in 2011. Iran has provided tactical, financial, and military aid to Assad, reports throughout the conflict have revealed. Former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad even personally sanctioned the dispatch of officers from the Iranian Revolutionary Guards to Syria to actively fight alongside Assad’s troops.
Condemnation of "terrorism" have come thick and fast from the Iranian regime vis-a-vis Syrian rebel groups, which include several Al Qaeda-linked factions such as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) and the Nusra Front - this despite Iran itself openly arming and supporting a wide range terrorist groups, including Hezbollah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad.
The news surfaces just hours after US State Department deputy spokeswoman Marie Harf condemned Assad's forces for "war crimes" against the Syrian people, after viewing horrific images displaying the extent of Assad's own homegrown terrorism on his own citizens.
Iran also slammed the possibility of an international intervention in the conflict, proposing instead that both sides hold talks to end fighting before holding elections for a government "by the people."
The slam against international bodies may be an indirect response to the UN, who rescinded Iran's invitation to the Geneva II talks Tuesday. In the announcement, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon cited inconsistencies between statements slamming a 2012 Geneva deal mandating a transitional government with assurances otherwise by Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.