Damascus (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The UN has invited Iran to the Peace Conference on Syria in Geneva on January 22 . It was confirmed last night by the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki -moon, who stressed the potential positive role of Tehran in the future transition in Syria. The decision, however, has been challenged by the anti-Assad opposition that threatens a boycott of the conference, as well as by the United States : they have set support for points set out in Geneva in 2012 as a condition for participation. If Iran were to accept more than 40 countries will be present at the peace conference on Syria: invitations were extended to Australia , Bahrain, Belgium , Greece, Luxembourg , Mexico, Netherlands , South Korea and the Vatican.
In recent days, Ban Ki-moon and the Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif had a series of discussions, after the latter's visit to Damascus. The UN Secretary General has pointed out "that he had reached an agreement with Zarif , who agreed as conditioned on Iran's explicit and public support for the full implementation of the Geneva communique including the establishment of a transitional governing body by mutual consent with full executive authorities." However, for the United States and other Western partners Ban 's assurances are not enough. Jen Psaki , an official of the U.S. State Department noted that Iran "publicly accept the Geneva communiqué, the invitation must be rescinded".
Begun in the wake of the spring of 2011 , the civil war in Syria has so far caused over 120 thousand dead and 2.3 million refugees and 6.4 million internally displaced people. In recent weeks, the struggle between Assad and the rebels has also added the internal conflict between secular militias and jihadists against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant , which in a few days has claimed more than 1,200 lives.