Spokeswoman Dismisses US Idea on Iran's Role in Syria Conference

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – The Iranian foreign ministry lashed out at the US secretary of state for his recent remarks on Iran’s possible role on the sidelines of the upcoming Geneva 2 conference on Syria, saying Tehran only accepts proposals that uphold the country's dignity.

Spokeswoman Dismisses US Idea on Iran's Role in Syria Conference

“Tehran only accepts proposals that would comply with the Islamic Republic of Iran's honor,” Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marziyeh Afkham said on Monday, reacting to the US Secretary of State John Kerry’s comments on how Tehran should attend at the upcoming peace conference on Syria.

Kerry had announced on Sunday that Iran could be helpful even on the sidelines of a second round of Geneva talks on Syria.

The top US diplomat made clear that it would be difficult to see how Tehran could be a "ministerial partner" in the upcoming negotiations because it did not participate in the first round of talks.

However, Kerry said Iran can play a constructive role on the sidelines even if it was not a formal participant.

In reply, Afkham once again voiced Iran’s preparedness to contribute to the Geneva 2 conference, but underlined that Iran accepts proposals which respect the country’s honor.

“Since the start of the Syrian crisis, Iran has announced its basic stance based upon the necessity for exercising a political solution,” the spokeswoman underlined.

“Any solution (to the Syrian crisis) should uphold the Syrian people’s rights to determine their destiny, and be based upon Syrian-Syrian dialogue,” she added.

The much delayed Geneva 2 conference on Syria is set to be held on January 22.

The conference would bring representatives from Syria's government and elements of the opposition to negotiate an end to the fighting that has raged on since March 2011.

Geneva 2 is the second sequel of Geneva 1 conference held in June 2012 in which international parties laid out a peace plan for Syria that calls for a transitional governing body. It left open the question of whether Syrian President Bashar al-Assad must leave power.

The final communiqué issued on 30 June 2012, following the meeting of the so-called Action Group for Syria called for an immediate cessation of violence and the establishment of a transitional government that could include officials serving under President Bashar al-Assad and members of the opposition.

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