PHOTO: Delegations at 1st international conference on Syria in Vienna, October 30, 2015
Iran says it may not attend Saturday’s second set of international talks on Syria’s crisis.
Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian said on Wednesday that Tehran has not yet decided about participation in the ministerial-level meeting, pulling back an earlier statement that Iran was willing to attend.
Amir-Abdollahian told al-Mayadeen TV in Beirut that the US should provide “answers regarding some unilateral actions taken by some of the sides” participating in the talks, which have come “without consulting others”.
The Minister did not specify those “unilateral actions”, but Iran clashed with Saudi Arabia at the first international conference in Vienna on October 30. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and Saudi counterpart Adel al-Jubeir argued to the point of shouting over “terrorism”, with Zarif declaring that Saudi Arabia was responsible for almost all of the hijackers on 9-11.
Saudi Arabia, the US, and European powers put forth a proposal for an 18-month transition with President Assad leaving power after no more than a year. Russia and Iran favor Presidential and Parliamentary elections in which Assad and his inner circle may be allowed to stand.
Iran attended the first meeting on October 30 after the US lifted a long-standing objection to any Iranian involvement and urged others, including the Saudis, to accept Tehran’s presence.
On Wednesday, President Rouhani tried to move the Syrian issue away from Assad’s future, telling French media, “It’s not about a person. It’s about a nation; it’s about the Syrian nation. It’s about security and stability for Syria.”
Meanwhile, the Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council, Admiral Ali Shamkhani, declared that the Saudi regime has to “stop acting mischievously” against the Islamic Republic.
Shamkhani accused the Saudi security services of funding “terrorists” who were recently detained in southwestern Iran.