US officials have confirmed that Iran is invited to participate in the next round of Syria transition talks, scheduled to begin in Vienna on Thursday. Russia delivered the invitation, and while Iran hasn’t formally responded, they presumably will take part.
There is some speculation that Iran’s Ayatollah Ali Khamenei ruling out further talks with the US makes them less likely to attend this meeting, however Iran is a close ally of the Syrian government and will be one of the few such allies allowed at the table, along with Russia, virtually obliging their involvement.
So far there are not full details on this round of talks, including a full list of invitees. Reportedly several Arab and European nations will be taking part, so apparently the US backed off its previous opposition to Western European nations being involved in the process.
Saudi Arabia is said to have been the primary opposition to Iranian involvement in the talks, though rebel factions are also none too happy. It’s unclear the extent to which the rebels are going to be involved however, or indeed if they or Syria’s government will play any direct role in these talks.
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