Amman, Jan. 5: US secretary of state John Kerry suggested today that Iran might play a role at the peace talks on Syria that are scheduled to take place this month.
It was the first time that a senior American official had indicated that Iranian diplomats might participate in the session, which is to convene in Switzerland on January 22.
But Kerry also made clear that there would be limits on Iran’s role if Tehran did not formally accept that the goal of the conference would be to work out arrangements for a transitional authority that would govern Syria if President Bashar al-Assad could be persuaded to give up power.
“Now, could they contribute from the sidelines? Are there ways for them conceivably to weigh in?” Kerry said, referring to the Iranians. “Can their mission that is already in Geneva be there in order to help the process? It may be that that could happen, but that has to be determined by the secretary general,” he added, referring to Ban Ki-moon of the UN. “It has to be determined by Iranian intentions themselves.”
Kerry made the comments in Jerusalem before he headed to Jordan to consult with King Abdullah on the West Asia peace talks.