Friday, October 30, 2015

U.S. Says Ready to Cooperate With Iran to Resolve Syria Crisis
Tehran Times

A top American diplomat says the U.S. is ready to cooperate with Iran to resolve the conflict in Syria.

“To resolve the Syrian crisis, Washington is ready to cooperate with every nation, including Tehran and Damascus,” U.S. State Department Persian language spokesperson Alan Eyre, who serves also as member of the U.S. nuclear negotiator team with Iran, told Trend on Friday.

The foreign ministers of Iran, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, the U.S., and Russia participated in a summit in Vienna on Friday to seek ways to resolve the Syria crisis.

A day before this summit, Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said that there has not been any change in Iran’s policy on the Syria issue.

On whether the U.S. is willing to expand relations with Iran to resolve crises in Syria, Yemen, Iraq and other parts of the Middle East, and even problems between Washington and Tehran, Eyre said, “As it was announced recently, Iran has been officially invited to attend a meeting in Vienna on Oct. 30, aimed to discuss the Syrian crisis. Prior to that, Secretary of State John Kerry had said: “It’s important for us that key partners are in these discussions... They [Iran] could be a key partner, but they are not now”.

Tehran has always expressed support for the government of the Syrian President Bashar Assad. The Islamic Republic views the Syrian government as its main strategic ally in the region and as part of an “axis of resistance” against Israel.

Western countries accuse Iran of running military operations in Syria, but Tehran denies the accusations. Iranian officials have repeatedly stressed that they only render military consultations to the Syrian forces.

While Washington has opposed Iran’s support of Assad and Lebanon’s Hezbollah in Syria, it has said Iran needs to be included in the talks on Syria’s future.

The U.S. and its partners say Assad can participate in a political transition, but would have to leave power at the end of the process if Syria is to ever move on from a war that has killed at least 250,000 people and forced more than 11 million from their homes.

Eyre said, “As the White House announced the U.S. believes that multilateral negotiations will be fruitful and effective only if all the parties participate. To resolve the Syrian crisis, Washington is ready to cooperate with every nation, including Tehran and Damascus. As they say, step by step. God willing, with the participation of all the related countries, the exacerbated situation in Syria would be mended”. 

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