Wednesday Oct 23, 201312:51 PM GMT
Iran blasts US, allies over handling Syrian crisis
Iran's Majlis Speaker Ali Larijani has criticized the US and its regional allies for not abiding by the promises they made at the Geneva 1 conference on Syria.


Larijani said on Wednesday that these countries must explain why they opted for a military solution in Syria despite the agreements reached in 2012 Geneva 1 conference on the Syrian crisis.

The Western call for military action against Syria intensified after foreign-backed opposition forces operating in Syria accused the government of President Bashar al-Assad of launching a chemical attack on militant strongholds in the suburbs of Damascus on August 21.

Damascus has vehemently denied the accusations, saying the chemical attack was carried out by the militants themselves as a false-flag operation.

Larijani also questioned why the West, which claims to seek democracy in Syria, is scared of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad running for re-election next year and sets conditions for the participation of Iran in Geneva 2 conference on Syria.

US Secretary of State John Kerry said on Monday that any attempt by the Syrian president to be re-elected would extend the country's civil war.

Kerry, who was speaking to reporters in the French capital Paris after talks with Qatari Foreign Minister Khaled al-Attiyah, also said it was hard to see how Iran could play a constructive role in the upcoming peace talks in Geneva without backing plans for a transitional government in Syria.

“So it's very hard to see how Iran can be constructive in the absence of their willingness to come for the purpose of the negotiation,” Kerry said, adding that “If they accept Geneva 1, and want to be constructive in helping to set up a transitional government, that's a different issue.”

The Majlis speaker said Iran did not participate in Geneva 1 conference but repeatedly announced that the Syrian crisis does not have a “military solution” but that it should be solved through “national dialogue.”

Larijani further said these same countries which are going back on their own word, are now setting conditions for Iran and say Tehran must accept the Geneva 1 agreements if it wants to take part in future talks.

Tehran is not keen on taking part in the Geneva 2 conference, he said.

Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marziyeh Afkham said on Tuesday that Iran will not accept any pre-conditions for participating in the Geneva 2 conference, reiterating that Tehran seeks the resolution of the crisis in Syria through a political approach.

On May 7, Russia and the US agreed in Moscow to convene an international conference on Syria, which will serve as a follow-up to an earlier Geneva meeting held in June 2012.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on October 7 that Moscow and Washington have agreed to push for holding the planned Geneva II conference on the Syria crisis in mid-November.

YH/SL
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