|UN official urges Iran to sway Syria government on peace talks||
TEHRAN – A top UN official visiting Iran has urged Tehran to use its influence to persuade the Syrian government to attend planned peace talks with opposition groups in Geneva, the United Nations said on Tuesday, Reuters reported.
Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman visited Tehran from Monday to Wednesday, meeting officials, including Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, to discuss trying to reach a political solution in Syria.
“Mr. Feltman shared the UN position that Iran, given its influence and leadership in the region, has an important role to play and a responsibility in helping to bring the Syrian parties to the negotiating table,” UN spokesman Farhan Haq said.
Russia and the United States have been trying since May to organize an international peace conference to bring an end to two years of violence in Syria in which more than 100,000 people have died. Hopes are fading that the conference can take place any time soon.
Feltman discussed with Iranian officials “the worsening situation on the ground in Syria, including the UN’s grave concerns about the potential use of chemical weapons and how the UN can work together with Iran and other states to end the bloodshed and suffering of the Syrian people,” Haq said.
Western powers are preparing for a possible attack against Syria to punish Assad for claims accusing his government of poison gas attacks against civilians.
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