Iran invited to participate in international talks on Syria’s future

On Friday, the Wall Street Journal reported: “European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini spoke in favor of including Iran. ‘All relevant actors, regionally and internationally should be involved,’ she said. ‘I hope that Iran can be part of this common effort.’ ”

But US Secretary of State John Kerry said: “For the moment Iran is not at the table. And there will come a time perhaps where we will talk to Iran but we are not at the moment at this point of time.”

That was Friday, now it’s Tuesday.

The Associated Press reports: Iran has been invited to participate for the first time in international talks over Syria’s future, U.S. officials said Tuesday, a shift in strategy for the United States and its allies as they seek to halt the four-year civil war and eventually ease President Bashar Assad out of power.

Iran has yet to reply, the officials said.

The next diplomatic round starts Thursday in Vienna, with Secretary of State John Kerry, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and several top European and Arab diplomats attending.

Washington had held out the possibility of Iran joining the discussions in future, but is only now offering Tehran a seat after days of behind-the-scenes negotiation, particularly with its regional rival Saudi Arabia. Russia extended the invitation. [Continue reading…]

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