White House Outraged at UN Call to Include Iran in Syria Talks

Iran Would Ruin Demands for Assad's Ouster

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.

Which infuriated the White House, which issued a statement saying that Iran could never be allowed to play any role in Syria’s talks, and made it pretty clear exactly why they feel that way.

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.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.