UN under-secretary-general for political affairs says the ongoing crisis in Syria cannot be resolved without the presence of Iran in upcoming negotiations.
“It is hard for me to imagine having a solution in Syria that works if Iran isn’t somehow engaged and involved in this,” Jeffrey Feltman said in an interview on Saturday.
The UN official stressed the necessity of Iran’s participation in the planned Geneva 2 conference on the ongoing crisis in Syria, saying the international community “should be engaged with Iran” on the Arab country.
Feltman said in his recent visit to Tehran, he discussed “with officials there the need to move as quickly as possible toward a political settlement for Syria and a move away from the military logic that has caused so much damage to Syria.”
He praised Iran’s willingness to be involved in finding a political solution for the Syrian crisis, saying “The talks were good; they were constructive and deep. We had enough time to really go into detail about our thinking.”
“The Iranians have stated publicly what they have said privately, which is a deep concern about a terrorist threat inside Syria that they see as posing a danger not only to Syria but potentially a danger to the region and beyond,” he added.
Feltman, a former US diplomat, last came to Tehran in August 2013 and held several meetings with different Iranian officials, including Iran Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.
Syria has been gripped by deadly unrest since 2011. According to reports, the Western powers and their regional allies — especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey — are supporting the militants operating inside Syria.
According to the United Nations, more than 100,000 people have been killed and millions displaced due to the violence.