UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon took everyone by surprise today with a last second invitation for Iran to attend the Geneva 2 peace talks on Syria. Russia had been backing an invitation for Iran for months, over US objections.
The announcement was immediately condemned by what few Syrian opposition factions had agreed to attend, and they are now threatening to withdraw from the talks unless Iran is barred.
The US State Department also demanded that the invitation be immediately rescinded, saying Iran could only be allowed to attend if they agreed to regime change before the conference began.
Secretary of State John Kerry had previously ruled out inviting Iran, saying their support for Assad made them a “major actor” in the civil war. Large numbers of other Middle East nations openly backing the rebels have been invited, however.