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.
    x
    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.

    You May Like

    Native Americans Ask: What About Our Water Supply?

    They say they have been facing a dangerous water contaminant for decades - uranium – but the problem has received far less attention than water contamination by lead in Flint, Michigan

    Pakistan's President Urges Nation Not to Celebrate Valentine's Day

    Mamnoon Hussain criticizes Valentine's Day, which falls on Sunday this year, as a Western import that threatens to undermine the Islamic values of Pakistan

    Mother of IS Supporter: Son Was Peaceful, 'Role Model'

    Somali-American Abdirizak Mohamed Warsame pleaded guilty Thursday to charges of conspiring to provide material support to Islamic State militants

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    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.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortagei
    X
    February 12, 2016 7:31 PM
    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortage

    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Gateway to Mecca: Historical Old Jeddah

    Local leader Sami Nawar's family has been in the Old City of Jeddah for hundreds of years and takes us on a tour of this ancient route to Mecca, also believed to be the final resting place of Adam's wife, Eve.
    Video

    Video New Technology Aims to Bring Election Transparency to Uganda

    A team of recent graduates from Uganda’s Makerere University has created a mobile application designed to help monitor elections and expose possible rigging. The developers say the app, called E-Poll, will make Uganda's democratic process fairer. From Kampala, VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video Russia Bristles at NATO Expansion in E. Europe

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is meeting Friday with the head of NATO after the Western military alliance and the United States announced plans for the biggest military build-up in Europe since the Cold War. Russia has called NATO's moves a threat to stability in Europe. But NATO says the troop rotations and equipment are aimed at reassuring allies concerned about Russia as VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.