Iran urges Syria dialogue

2012-08-09 23:01

Tehran - Iran on Thursday appealed to Syria's government and armed opposition to open peace talks as it hosted a hastily arranged international conference on the conflict in its key Arab ally.

Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi told diplomats from Russia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Cuba, Venezuela and other nations that Tehran was prepared to also host such a dialogue, state television reported.

Iran opposes "any foreign interference and military intervention in resolving the Syrian crisis" and supports UN efforts to end the bloodshed, he said.

There was no indication Iran was modifying its strong support of Syrian President Bashar Assad, whose forces have been locked in an escalating war with rebels since an uprising against his rule started in March 2011.

A top aide to Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Saeed Jalili, on Tuesday told Assad in Damascus that Tehran would not permit its alliance with Assad's regime to be broken.

Diplomatic vacuum

"Iran will never allow the resistance axis - of which Syria is an essential pillar - to break," said Jalili.

The Tehran conference convened diplomatic representatives, mostly ambassadors, from 29 countries, including Iran, but none from Western states or Turkey or Arab countries in the Gulf that Iran accuses of arming Syria's rebels.

Syria's government itself was not represented, nor was Syria's opposition.

The meeting took place in the diplomatic vacuum left by Kofi Annan's 2 August announcement that he was resigning as the UN-Arab League envoy on the crisis because of lack of UN Security Council support.

The US and Russia, in particular, differ on how to tackle the Syrian conflict, stalling any UN action. Moscow and Beijing have vetoed three attempts within the Council to sanction Assad's regime, earning US opprobrium.

A frustrated Annan said the "continuous finger-pointing and name-calling" in the Council undermined his mission.

Iran announced the Tehran conference on Monday and said it was inviting only governments with a "realistic position" on Syria, implying those that shared its stance, mirroring that of Russia.

A senior foreign ministry official had said the meeting would be at foreign ministers level, but only three foreign officials of that rank turned up, from Iraq, Pakistan and Zimbabwe. Ambassadors filled most of the table.

According to Salehi, those represented were: Afghanistan, Algeria, Armenia, Benin, Belarus, China, Cuba, Ecuador, Georgia, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Maldives, Mauritania, Nicaragua, Oman, Pakistan, Russia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Tajikistan, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Venezuela and Zimbabwe.

Tehran was attempting to revive parts of Annan's plan, notably: Implementing a ceasefire, sending humanitarian aid and laying the groundwork for national dialogue, he said.

Iran has already sent humanitarian aid, the foreign minister said, to make up for international sanctions on Damascus that were "not in the interests of the Syrian people but have added to their suffering".

  • fred.fraser.12 - 2012-08-10 01:22

    The Iranian regime knows what's coming: the fall of Assad, then the the vibrant desires from Iranians for truer government will burst over, and this regime too will be gone.

      Gcodi Mahomed - 2012-08-10 04:51

      let me guess,you are hoping for military intervention ,where hundreds of thousands of people will die,your mentality is that of 3 year old

      ghengis.khan.585 - 2012-08-10 10:23

      Reaper, have you ever even spoken to a person from Iran? If you had you would know that they are in fact very happy with their government and very proud of their country. But like you admitted this plot to overthrow Assad is part of a deeper ploy to control the entire region.

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-08-10 16:14

      Not only do you "guess" wrong, Gcodi, you then label me on your wrong "guess" which is really a false judgement. Who's the three-year-old then? What are you doing to end the wholesale slaughter of innocent Muslims by unelected dictators and Jihadists in your midst? Anything?

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-08-10 16:15

      Ghengis, you are so out of touch it's not even funny. Not only that, you're actually supporting the killing, maiming, detention, torture and rape of fellow Muslims by unelected dictators and Jihadists, and you don't know it.

  • AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-08-10 05:46

    Gcodi, Even a 3 year old knows, that one CANNOT negotiate with a dictator, and that a regime that oppresses their own people, and is an exporter of terrorism, is hardly a suitable host. A 13 year old will know, that the ONLY solution to this civil war, is the departure of these assad terrorists. The main problem for the illegitimate Syrian regime is, that the Syrian people have lost their FEAR. Without FEAR, any dictatorship is doomed !!!

  • larry.lachman.54 - 2012-08-10 06:56

    I am sure that the inclusion of Zimbabwe in these deliberations will show the world what a farce it is.

  • luyolo.mhlauli.9 - 2012-08-10 09:13

    Anyone can negotiate with anyone for the sake of peace in their land.

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-08-10 16:27

      As long as there is willingness on both sides. When tens of thousands of people take to the streets, unarmed, chanting for free and fair elections, greater freedom and basic human rights, a great leader seizes the opportunity to be a positive part of evolving human consciousness and sets this in motion. Dark leaders use the people's own military against them, in an attempt to control and dominate them and hold onto power. Unfortunately the latter is what Assad has done. And no-one throughout human history has EVER succeeded in doing so. NO-ONE. Tyrants and dictators far more powerful than Assad have tried. The essential reason: this is a physical universe of time, space and FREEWILL. The latter is God-given, hard-wired into us. It cannot be taken away. By anyone. Many have tried. All have failed. Assad will too.

  • anwar.rassool - 2012-08-10 09:42

    Iran opposes "any foreign interference and military intervention in resolving the Syrian crisis" That's exactly what they want because they send in support for Assad to murder and rape innocent Syrians (men, women and children) Its a known fact here in the region amongst the people but the media will never tell you this. Assad and Iranian counterparts will soon fall by Gods will

      ghengis.khan.585 - 2012-08-10 10:25

      You have no idea what you are talking about

      anwar.rassool - 2012-08-10 10:31

      Ghengis .. stop following the mainstream media. If you choose to keep your eyes closed to you will never wake up!!!

      ghengis.khan.585 - 2012-08-10 10:49

      I don't follow mainstream media that is why i have an objective view on the propaganda that is being spread. It is the mainstream media that is portraying these bunch of terrorists that fail to conform to International UN resolutions, and that take up arms against their government, killing innocent people, as freedom fighters. It is mainstream media that portrays Iran as the axis of evil when in fact they have not been to war in hundreds of years (besides the war with Iraq in which Iraq invaded Iran) So, it seems it is you who has your eyes closed.

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-08-10 16:30

      Hear hear!! Although I would have far preferred had he made the choices great leaders make and been part of transforming Syria peacefully.

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-08-10 16:30

      Unfortunately Ghengis is upside-down and doesn't know it.

      anwar.rassool - 2012-08-10 17:11

      I live here.. do you? I know whats going on because I speak to people that are involved on the ground. people that are fighting daily. This war is not Political. Its religious my friend. Shia are fighting against Sunni Muslims and Iran supports Assad beacause he is Minority Shia in a majority Sunni populated country. they are not Just kiiiing Syrians.. any Sunni people are being killed by Shia's. If you really want to know the truth. Mainstream media conveys false news , but that doesnot mean your own opinion is right because you so rightfully disregard the media's view.

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