UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has withdrawn an invitation for Iran to attend the Geneva 2 peace talks on Syria.
It comes as Iran, a prominent supporter of Bashar al-Assad’s regime, refused to back the notion of a transitional government in the country.
Martin Nesirky, a spokesperson for Ban Ki-moon, made the announcement to rescind Iran’s invitation.
“The Secretary-General is deeply disappointed by Iranian public statements today that are not at all consistent with that stated commitment,” he told the press. “He continues to urge Iran to join the global consensus behind the Geneva 1 Communiqué. he has decided that the one-day Montreux gathering will proceed without Iran’s participation.”
The Syrian National Coalition (SNC) opposition group then swiftly confirmed its intention of attending the Geneva summit.
“Iran has not satisfied the minimum requirement for this invitation and we thank the secretary-general for also accepting the letter that was sent by the head of the National Coalition, Mr. Ahmed al-Jerba in this regard,” spokesperson for the party, Anas Abda, announced.
Syria has been Iran’s main ally in the Arab world for over three decades. Iranian endorsement of a transitional government would suggest its support of the Assad regime was weakening.
But some, such as political analyst Paul Morcos, believe Iran should attend the talks.
“The Syrian crisis cannot be settled without the interference of all the players and Iran is a major player in this crisis whether we love it or not. This is a fact,” he affirmed.
Around 150,000 people have been killed since conflict began in Syria, while four million have been displaced creating a huge strain on neighbouring countries.