U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon withdrew a last-minute invitation to Iran to attend peace talks on Syria on Monday after the Syrian opposition threatened to boycott this week’s conference if President Bashar al-Assad’s main sponsor took part.
Ending nearly 24 hours of confusion that dismayed diplomats who have spent months cajoling Assad’s opponents to negotiate, Ban’s spokesman said Iran was no longer welcome at the initial day of talks at Montreux, Switzerland on Wednesday.
The opposition immediately withdrew its threat to stay away from the conference known as Geneva-2. But the uproar over Iran, which has provided Assad with money, arms and men, underlined the difficulties of negotiating an end to a bloody, three-year civil war that has divided the Middle East and world powers. . .