U.S Secretary of State John Kerry gestures at a press conference during the Syrian peace talks in Montreux, Switzerland, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014.
U.S Secretary of State John Kerry gestures at a press conference during the Syrian peace talks in Montreux, Switzerland, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014.
News   /   Syrian Crisis

U.S Secretary of State "John Kerry" left the door open for Iran to participate in Syrian peace talks, saying Tehran could make a difference in ending the conflict.

" Iran certainly does have an ability to be helpful and make a difference", Kerry told a news conference at the end of an international conference seeking to resolve the Syrian crisis.

Kerry said "we hope they will decide to be constructive and make a decision to operate in a way going forward that can allow them to do so", adding "there are plenty of ways that that door can be opened in the next weeks or months, and my hope is they will want to join in a constructive solution".

The talks were thrown into disarray before they began when U.N Secretary-General "Ban Ki-moon" invited Iran to join the conference but withdrew the offer after Tehran refused to endorse the principles of an earlier 2012 peace plan.

Iran blamed the United States for the withdrawal of its invitation, but Ban defended his decision to uninvite Iran, saying "I believe that I have taken the right decision even at the last minute" .

Even as government and opposition agreed to continue talks in Geneva under UN supervision, Kerry said the United States would pursue other ways to force change in Syria including increased support for the opposition.

Kerry said "talks take a while. None of us are satisfied with leaving Syria to the kind of horrendous acts that have been engaged in, which is why I have said there will be parallel efforts being made even while the talks are going on, in order to try to find different pressure points and different ways of finding a solution".

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