Trying to add Iran to the picture in the Syria negotiations has been a long-standing problem for UN Special Envoy Kofi Annan, who had to bar them from previous talks and is now being met with angry condemnations from US officials at the suggestion that, all other avenues exhausted, Iran could play a role in getting both sides to the table.
Annan is pushing the talks to end the growing civil war with a negotiated settlement. The White House, however, reiterated that they only see the talks as a means to demand the immediate ouster of the regime and the installation of the rebels, and see Iran (correctly) as an obstacle.
Iran has indicated that they are open to a settlement that would lead to Assad’s ouster, yesterday calling for a deal to end the fighting and move toward an election by 2014 that would “let the Syrian people decide.” Since the only Arab Spring election the US has been genuinely happy about was the single-candidate vote to install Yemen’s new military ruler, they are understandably that an election might not install the right (pro-US) regime.
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