Iran rejects backing Geneva pact as precondition for joining Syria talks

by Reuters
Monday, 20 January 2014 14:57 GMT

ANKARA, Jan 20 (Reuters) - Iran rebuffed on Monday a precondition for taking part in Syria peace talks in Geneva this week, saying it could not accept a plan for a Syrian political transition agreed at talks in the Swiss city in 2012, the ISNA news agency reported.

"Setting such a condition to accept the Geneva 1 agreement for attending at the Geneva 2 meeting is rejected and unacceptable," ISNA quoted deputy Foreign Minister Hosein Amirabdollahian as saying.

"Iran will attend the talks without any precondition based on an invitation by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon." Iran is a staunch ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in his conflict with rebels fighting to overthrow him. (Writing by Parisa Hafezi; Editing by Mark Heinrich)