Iran Excluded From UN Peace Talks

United Nations Excludes Iran

In recent news, the officials of the UN seem to be Indian givers as they have now taken back an invitation that they issued to Iran, excluding them from the UN peace talks. In an effort to end an almost three-year civil war in Syria, the UN will meet with other countries starting on Wednesday, but due to conflicts Iranian officials will not be in attendance. Many are now wondering if this action will help or hurt the struggle for peace in Syria.

It is clear to the UN and to many other countries that Iran has supported the Syrian government and the rule of President Assad. But as the UN works to overthrow the current Syrian government and hold elections for a better ruler, controversy has been raised over whether the exclusion of Iran could help or harm the effort. Many argue that Iran’s support of the Syrian government makes its input key to achieving peace in Syria. But other countries would disagree.

Once an invitation was extended to officials in Iran to attend the Syria peace talks hosted mainly by the UN, the U.S. and Russia, countries began pushing for Iran’s exclusion. Many officials from the countries in attendance, including members of the Syrian Opposition Coalition, urged the UN to withdraw the invitation to Iran. The countries who opposed attendance from Iran threatened to withdraw from the peace talks unless Iran did not attend. Some say this move now makes achieving peace in Syria more unlikely.

But the UN and the U.S. stand by their decision, stating that they have legitimate reasons for barring Iran’s attendance in the peace talks. While their input may or may not be helpful the simple fact is that Iran has not been successful in following the plans already set to achieve peace. About 18 months ago, meetings took place in which the countries in attendance created a plan known as Geneva I, which would start plans for peace in Syria. Now as the plans are supposed to officially come to an end at the peace talks on Wednesday, the UN will start negotiations with Syria in implementing the plan Geneva II.

In order for Iran to not be excluded from the UN peace talks, the UN insisted that Iranian officials accept Geneva I in its entirety. Though, in fact, officials of Iran have stated that they do not accept the plans for Geneva I at all. This statement is reportedly what forced the hands of the UN and the U.S. in withdrawing the invitation extended to Iran.

An administration official made a public statement regarding the issue, saying, “We’ve made our position quite clear on the Geneva II conference, which is that it is for countries that are firmly and clearly and publicly committed to implementing Geneva I… and until Iran meets that criterion, we don’t think it has a role to play at Geneva II.”

Even though the invitation to Iran was withdrawn, there is still opposition from Syria. Due to the massive amount of deaths during the civil war, and the extensive rebellion involved in the country, many are still pessimistic about whether the meetings held by the UN will achieve peace for Syria after all.

The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has still announced plans to continue with the meetings to establish order in Syria. After the initial meetings on Wednesday, the Syria peace talks are supposed to move to Geneva to begin face-to-face discussions between Iran and Syria, a meeting which still might exclude Iran.

By Crystal Boulware

The Wall Street Journal
BBC News

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