Neck of the woods
”The Syrian government and opposition parties will send their representatives to Tehran next week to attend a “National Dialogue” meeting, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Amir Abdollahian announced on Tuesday.
“Syrian government officials as well as representatives of ethnic, political, minority, and opposition groups will attend this meeting,” Amir Abdollahian told FNA Tuesday evening. On Sunday, Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi reiterated the necessity for the peaceful settlement of the crisis in Syria, and called for more talks between the Syrian government and opposition forces.
Salehi’s remarks were made in a meeting with KRG Prime Minister Nechirvan Idris Barzani in Tehran. On Iran’s diplomacy about Syria, Salehi said that the Islamic Republic is in favor of negotiations between the Syrian government and opposition groups to create stability in the Middle Eastern country. Hundreds of people, including members of the security forces, have been killed, when some protest rallies turned into armed clashes. The government blames outlaws, saboteurs, and armed terrorist groups for the deaths, stressing that the unrest is being orchestrated from abroad. In October 2011, calm was eventually restored in the Arab state after President Assad started a reform initiative in the country, but Israel, the US and its Arab allies are seeking hard to bring the country into chaos through any possible means. Tel Aviv, Washington and some Arab capitals have been staging various plots in the hope of increasing unrests in Syria……………………”
Also sprach Iran’s Fars News Agency.
My first reaction on reading this was a resounding WTF? Only it was not just the acronym I uttered. An Arab League-West-Syria conference has just ended in Doha (Qatar). Now the Iranians are holding their own meeting on Syria. It is not clear who are the Syrians who will attend, but I suspect this group will never gain power in post-Assad Syria, nor will it compete for power. They can’t be too opposed to the current regime, otherwise they wouldn’t be invited to Tehran. Just a hunch. It would be like the Qataris inviting the Ba’ath Party or Hezbollah to “their” Doha meeting, or like the Saudis sponsoring a conference for the Bahrain government and calling it the opposition. You figure that last one out: it is a teaser, like those SAT questions.