Saturday, May 30, 2015Saturday, May 30, 2015

Iran could help on sidelines of Syria peace talks: Kerry

Published on Jan 5, 2014 5:47 PM

JERUSALEM (REUTERS) - The United States on Sunday appeared for the first time to hold out the possibility that Iran might play a role on the sidelines of a Syria peace conference even if Teheran is not formally invited.

Washington, and Syrian opposition groups, have long had reservations about the participation of Iran, which they accuse of supporting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad with manpower and arms during the near three-year uprising against his rule.

Despite the improvement in US-Iranian relations this year with a landmark nuclear deal struck in November, ties are strained by many issues, including the Syrian civil war in which at least 100,000 people have been killed and millions uprooted.

At a news conference in Jerusalem, Kerry reiterated US opposition to Iran being a formal member of the so-called "Geneva 2" talks scheduled for Jan 22 in Switzerland because it does not support a 2012 international agreement on Syria.

Enjoy 2 weeks of unlimited digital access to The Straits Times. Get your free access now!