State Dept. wary of Iran role in Syria conference

10:41 PM, Jan 19, 2014   |    comments
In this picture released by an official website of the office of the Iranian supreme leader, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, right, attends a graduation ceremony of army cadets, while he is accompanied by the Revolutionary Guard commander Mohammad Ali Jafari, center, Senior Advisor to Supreme Leader in Military Affairs, Yahya Rahim Safavi, second left, and Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan, in Tehran, Iran, Saturday, Oct. 5 2013. Iran's top leader says some aspects of Hassan Rouhani's trip
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WASHINGTON (AP) - The State Department says it remains "deeply concerned" about Iran's support of Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime, even after the United Nations invited Iran's foreign minister to attend a Syrian peace conference this week.

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki says Iran must agree to principles established in an earlier peace conference. Those include the establishment of a transitional governing body in Syria.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says Iran has agreed to endorse the principles in the so-called "Geneva communique."

Psaki says the U.N. invitation "must be rescinded" if Iran does not fully and publicly accept the Geneva communique.

The foreign ministers meeting Wednesday in Montreux precedes talks scheduled to begin Friday between Assad's delegation and Syrian opposition groups at the U.N. headquarters in Geneva.

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