Zarif: Tehran Accepted No Condition in Syria Talks to Attend Vienna

Zarif: Tehran Accepted No Condition in Syria Talks to Attend Vienna
Thu Oct 29, 2015 21:37:31

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif underlined that Iran has been invited to attend the Vienna conference without accepting any conditions in Syria Talks.

"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 on Thursday.

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

Zarif pointed to his upcoming bilateral meetings with his foreign counterparts on the sidelines of the multilateral talks in Vienna, and said that he would meet his US counterpart, "but I will talk only about the nuclear issue with (US Secretary of State John) Kerry (in Vienna)".

The Iranian foreign minister said that he will also hold talks with EU Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini about the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), regional issues, Arak (heavy water reactor) and other preliminary steps needed for the implementation of the JCPOA.

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

This is the first time that Iran has been invited to take 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primarily received an invitation to take part in the second Geneva conference, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon later rescinded the invitation under pressure from the United States, Saudi Arabia, and the foreign-backed Syrian opposition.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.

She said Zarif and his deputies will talks part in the peace talks.

"Deputy Foreign Ministers Hossein Amir Abdollahian, Seyed Abbas Araqchi and Majid Takht Ravanchi will accompany Foreign Minister on this trip," Afkham said.

It comes after Washington reversed its opposition to Tehran's participation in talks to end the Syrian civil war.

US officials said on Tuesday that the move was a “genuine multilateral invitation,” implying they had overcome Saudi Arabian opposition to Iran attending the talks.

Mogherini will also take part in the meeting, an EU spokeswoman said during a Wednesday news conference; FNA reported.

S/SH

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