On Sunday, the United States was up in arms over the United Nation's invitation to Iran to attend Syrian peace talks in Switzerland on January 22. Now it appears that that invitation has been revoked following protests from the U.S. and a threat from Syrian rebels to boycott the proceedings.
Reports say that Secretary of State John Kerry personally lobbied Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon to rescind the invitation, threatening to not participate if Iran was in attendance.
The UN had originally called for Iran's attendance, since they are the main backers of the current regime of Bashar al-Assad, but in reversing course, they said that the adversarial nation had not agreed to the terms of the conference:
He [Ban] continues to urge Iran to join the global consensus behind the Geneva Communiqué. Given that it has chosen to remain outside that basic understanding, he has decided that the one-day Montreux gathering will proceed without Iran’s participation.
That 2012 communiqué stated that the goal of the talks was to lay the groundwork to transition power away from Assad, but on Monday, Iran gave no indication that they had agreed to those terms.
The conference, known as Geneva II, will begin in Montreux on Wednesday with a series of preliminary statements. On Friday, the talks will move to Geneva, where representatives for the Syrian opposition and Assad will have direct negotiations for the first time since the conflict began.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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