The situation on the international political scene that arose from the preparations for the peace talks concerning Syria, held in Switzerland, might provoke a grin on the faces of our international relations-savvy readers. Ban Ki-Moon’s withdrawal of Iran’s invitation to the conference seems to be a necessary disappointment after a bold move by the Secretary General to actually try to include the country in the talks.
As soon as the unusual invitation was announced just a couple of days ago, US officials, including Secretary of State John Kerry, started openly questioning the Secretary General’s decision. The main point of contention, apart from the fact that the conference might become dominated by tensions between Middle Eastern countries, was that Iran has not accepted the Geneva communiqué, the mandate for the conference. However, Ban Ki-Moon was assured that Iran showed him during their communications that it embraced the rules and the mindset of the talks.
Still, other countries also wanted to make their voices heard: the Syrian opposition tweeted that it will refuse to attend the talks unless Ban Ki-Moon cancels the invitation of Iran. Saudi Arabia was unhappy about the idea of seeing the Iranian delegation in Switzerland, unlike Russia which might have gained some support on Syria through Iran’s attendance.
It is now obvious that the trust the Secretary General placed in Iran was premature, and even the harshest political cynics must admit that this twenty four hour controversy added some spice to the talks that started in Switzerland this Wednesday.