The Iran drama: Are the usual suspects to blame for Geneva 2 invitation tactics, or is there more behind the Syrian peace talk story?
Why should Iran spoil Geneva II?
The goal was to prevent holding the Geneva II conference by any means possible, thus blocking any plan to replace Syrian President Bashar Al Assad and keeping the Syrian opposition besieged in Istanbul beyond the Syrian borders.
This is why the Russians, the Iranians and the Assad regime conspired and took different steps to sabotage the conference. The Russians applied great pressure to allow Iran the ability to participate in the conference and therefore bolster the supporting force for the Syrian delegation at Geneva II.
The Russians, from the very beginning, sought a conference with preconditions. It rejected the previous Geneva communiqué which sought the formation of a transitional authority that will combine both the opposition and members of the regime, minus President Assad.
The Russians wanted to eliminate this communiqué because it also called for a complete withdraw of foreign forces from Syria; including members of the Iranian revolutionary guards, Iraqi fighters and Lebanese Hezbollah forces. Everyone agrees on banishing foreign jihadi groups like the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
For Iran and Assad, it's better to sabotage the conference or not hold it at all.
U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon has been involved in the ongoing chaos surrounding the upcoming conference and was recently tricked by the Iranians. The Islamic republic told him they accept the previous decisions made at the Geneva I conference. As a result, Ban invited the country to the conference, shocking the Syrian opposition and many other countries.
All concerned countries know that the Iranian and the Syrian regimes do not keep their verbal promises and statements. Countries are now demanding Iran to send its formal acceptance of the decisions and recommendations of the Geneva I conference so it becomes eligible for attending the second conference.
The Syrian regime and its allies were hoping that the Syrian National Council would not attend the conference as a result of the recent disputes among its members. The Russians attempted to introduce some groups they said are also opposed to Assad. These are in fact fake opposition groups invented by Assad himself.
This attempt failed and the only representative of the Syrian people will be the opposition and of course the Assad regime’s delegation that distinguished itself with prominent figures such as Walid Al Muallem, his deputy Faisal Moqdad and U.N. envoy Bashar Al Jaafari.
The chaos that struck the Geneva conference was not a coincidence but a result of intentional attempts to prevent holding it and bury a previous agreement to get rid of Assad. The alternative was to hold the conference without the opposition's delegation and without any commitment by the Iranian, Russian and Syrian regimes.
Without agreeing on adopting the decisions of the Geneva I conference, the second conference will be the end of transition plan in Syria. This will prolong the regime's rule and the struggle of the Syrian people. The bloodshed and misery will continue.
By Abdulrahman Al Rashed
- U.N. chief on Geneva II: Syrian govt, opposition invited
- Invitations still pending for Syria peace conference, regime blames opposition for delay
- Who's who at Geneva II: The lowdown on the Syrian conference everyone's talking about
- The story behind Affleck's award-winning Iranian drama
- KSA: Iran "not eligible" to attend Syria Geneva II talks