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Iran deputy FM to participate in upcoming Syria talks: Report

13 November 2015 18:28


Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Amir-Abdollahian will reportedly participate in a new round of international talks about the ongoing crisis in Syria.

Amir-Abdollahian will represent Iran in the fresh round of Syria talks which is scheduled to open in the Austrian capital, Vienna, on Saturday, the Islamic Republic News Agency, IRNA, reported on Friday.

On October 30, foreign ministers of 17 countries, including Iran, the US and Saudi Arabia, attended a day-long meeting in the Austrian capital on the Syrian crisis. Envoys from the United Nations and the European Union were also present at the meeting.

At the end of the talks, the participants agreed on respecting Syria’s national unity and sovereignty as well as eradicating the terrorist groups operating in the Arab country.

However, they remained at loggerheads over the role that President Bashar al-Assad would play in Syria’s political process. While some countries, such as the US and its regional allies, want the removal of the Syrian leader as part of a solution to the issue, others, including Iran and Russia, say only the Syrian nation can have a say on the matter.

It was the first time that the Islamic Republic attended the talks after it was denied participation in the previous two rounds – both of which ended inconclusively – under pressure from the US and its allies.

Earlier this week, Amir-Abdollahian had said that Iran’s participation in the Saturday negotiations was not certain, adding that the United States should provide “answers regarding some unilateral actions taken by some of the sides” participating in the talks, which have come “without consulting others.”

He said that Tehran would not tolerate actions that violate the agreements reached in the Vienna I meeting.

Iran’s red lines in Syria talks

Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Sadeq Hossein Jaberi Ansari said on Thursday that Iran will definitely attend the Vienna talks “not as a spectator and onlooker but as a serious participant.”

“Our basic red line in this process is that no foreign player has the right of trusteeship over the Syrian nation. Foreign players can only accelerate the political process,” Ansari said.

He added that foreign sides should only help the Syrian people make the final decision about their country’s future.

The Iranian spokesperson emphasized that no other country should be allowed to decide on the future of Syria “on behalf of the Syrian nation.”

The foreign-backed militancy in Syria, which flared in March 2011, has so far claimed the lives of over 250,000 people and displaced millions.

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