UN Special Envoy for Syria Steffan de Mistura has revealed that the UN will make a major new push for peace talks in Syria starting in May, with a series of separate consultations with Syrian factions as well as international parties planned to kickstart the effort.
While the UN has been trying to get talks going for years now in the Syrian War, the latest round will notably include involvement from Iran, and UN officials indicated Iran is intended to be invited.
That’s not sitting well with the US, which is said to still object to any Iranian involvement in the negotiations. In the past, the US has held up its already tepid support for peace talks as at stake if Iran is involved, though it’s unclear if that’s the case this time around.
As one of President Assad’s closest allies, Iran’s involvement will likely enhance Syria’s governmental involvement in the talks. That’s not been the real problem, however, as the rebel combatants in the civil war, particularly groups like ISIS and al-Qaeda, have neither participated or indeed even been invited to peace talks, and as the primary factions in the war, there’s no way a peace deal could be reached without them.