News / Middle East

    UN Official Urges Iran to Sway Syria Government on Peace Talks

    Image shows a U.N. vehicle leaving the Four Seasons Hotel in Damascus, Syria, Aug. 27, 2013.
    Image shows a U.N. vehicle leaving the Four Seasons Hotel in Damascus, Syria, Aug. 27, 2013.
    Reuters
    A top U.N. official visiting Iran has urged it to use its influence to persuade the Syrian government to attend planned peace talks with opposition groups in Geneva, the United Nations said on Tuesday.

    Undersecretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman has spent the past two days in Tehran meeting officials, including Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, to discuss trying to reach a political solution in Syria.

    “Mr. Feltman shared the U.N. position that Iran, given its influence and leadership in the region, has an important role to play and a responsibility in helping to bring the Syrian parties to the negotiating table,” said U.N. spokesman Farhan Haq.

    The Syrian conflict has split the Middle East along sectarian lines. Shi'ite Muslim Iran has supported Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his Alawite minority against mainly Sunni rebels, some of them Islamists, who have backing from Gulf Arab states.

    Russia and the United States have been trying since May to organize an international peace conference to bring an end to two years of violence in Syria in which more than 100,000 people have died. Hopes are fading that the conference can take place any time soon.

    FILE - U.N. Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey D. Feltman, June 27, 2013.FILE - U.N. Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey D. Feltman, June 27, 2013.
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    FILE - U.N. Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey D. Feltman, June 27, 2013.
    FILE - U.N. Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey D. Feltman, June 27, 2013.
    Feltman discussed with Iranian officials “the worsening situation on the ground in Syria, including the U.N.'s grave concerns about the potential use of chemical weapons and how the U.N. can work together with Iran and other states to end the bloodshed and suffering of the Syrian people,” said Haq.

    Western powers are preparing for a possible attack against Syria to punish Assad for alleged poison gas attacks against civilians.

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    by: Godwin from: Nigeria
    August 28, 2013 12:46 PM
    It is possible to have Iran do something positive in Syria. Under a "moderate" cleric Hassan Rouhani, the world may be in haste to see a repeat of King Darius' type of leadership in Persia that freed the Israelites from Babylonian captivity and returned them to the Promised Land, the land now in contention in the Middle East being touted to be Palestinian land. Don't know why VOA shies away from showing the artifact that holds a 2600years history to its credit.

    Well the message is that Iran can do good. A change of name from Persia to Iran might not mean a change of attitude toward what is good. If in the ancient history Iran saw that good be done, why not today? And why not? Iran can truly mediate in Syria to get Assad give his people peace. The only thing that may have changed in Iran/Persia could be that during the reign of king Darius around 570BC, Iran was a true democracy not a religious oligarchy.

    Will the position of Iran as an islamist state permit it to see things in the right perspective? Iranian people also are crying out for subjugation, so how is Iran going to do anything better in Syria than it has done in its own country? If anything, Iran's glory was in the past; its present and future is fraught with ambiguity whether anything better than authoritarianism can exist in Iran and Iranian dictum of politics, in Iran, Syria or elsewhere.

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