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News number: 9203180510

13:15 | 2013-06-09

Foriegn Policy

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Presence in Geneva Meeting Not to Influence Iran's Role as Regional Heavyweight

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian Ambassador to Damascus Mohammad Reza Rao'uf Sheibani stressed Tehran's influential role in the region, and said Iran's presence or absence in the Geneva II conference on Syria will not affect the country's crucially important role in the region.

"No matter Iran does or doesn't participate in the Geneva II conference, it plays the main influential role in the regional developments and they (the western states) have no way out but to consider Iran's view and stance and the regional people's interests otherwise their plans will fail," Rao'uf Sheibani told FNA on Saturday.

He said that two years of western negligence towards Iran's key role in the region has resulted in the failure of their policies and inflicted more damage and loss on the regional people.

Rao'uf Sheibani said the Geneva II conference is already a victory for the Syrian government because its slogan and focus is on the political settlement of the crisis and arrangement of talks between the Syrian government and the dissidents.

The Russians and Americans agreed during US Secretary of State John Kerry's visit to Moscow to set up a conference of international players to end the crisis in Syria. Moscow wants to involve all the nations which took part in the Geneva conference on Syria last summer, and says without Iran's participation the conference cannot succeed.

Late in May, Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov underlined that Iran should take part in the upcoming Geneva II Conference.

"This issue is not related to the Syrians alone, as there are a number of foreign players involved at that crisis as well, and therefore, Iran's presence at that conference is of key importance for us," Lavrov said.

"In my talks with the US and French foreign ministers John Kerry and Lauran Fabio aimed at solving the ambiguities about the combination of participating countries at Geneva II International Conference on Syria I gained their approval on need for revising their former decision," he added.

Also in May, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Seyed Abbas Araqchi announced that Tehran is likely to take part in the Geneva II Conference on Syria if the co-hosts, the US and Russia, invite it to the international gathering.

"If the Geneva II Conference is held and if Iran is invited, we will study our presence with a positive view," Araqchi said at the time.