On January 19th, Jen Psaki, US State Department Spokesperson said, “the United States views the UN Secretary General’s invitation to Iran to attend the upcoming Geneva conference 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.”
Iran has never publicly acknowledged that they are on board with the Geneva communique, nor have they agreed with the plan to create a transitional governing body in Syria.
Like Russia, Iran has a significant conflict of interest in coming to the table to negotiate a deal that would include a transitional governing body. Syria is the link between Iran and Hezbollah in Lebanon (via Iraq of course which Iran has well in hand). Losing the Syria link would cause a hardship for Iran in their terrorist support network.
Referring to regional stability, Ms. Psaki said, “The State Department remains deeply concerned about Iran’s contributions to the Assad regime’s brutal campaign against its own people, which has contributed to the growth of extremism and instability in the region. If Iran does not fully and publicly accept the Geneva communique, the invitation must be rescinded.”
This certainly is a necessary requirement, however, the Syrian National Coalition (SNC) has expressed an additional requirement that also is very viable.
The SNC demands that Iran pull all of their Revolutionary Guard out of Syria before they can participate in Geneva-2. It is perfectly reasonable that a foreign government should not be at the table when they have military personnel in Syria killing people on behalf of the Assad regime.
If Iran cannot show that they are actively pulling their troops back from Syria, they should not be allowed at the table regardless of what words might be said regarding their support of the Geneva communique.
Actions speak louder than words.