Iran's foreign minister will participate in an international summit in Vienna to discuss the conflict in Syria this week.
Iran's ISNA news agency reported on October 28 that Mohammad Javad Zarif will participate in the talks, which will begin with a meeting of the United States, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey on October 29 and will be expanded to include Iran on the following day.
Zarif and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov spoke by telephone on October 28 to discuss the conflict in Syria and plans for the upcoming international talks.
The United States on October 27 said Iran should be invited to the Vienna talks and that "it is important for us that key partners are in these discussions." Iran could be such a partner, "but they are not now," State Department spokesman John Kirby said.
The Iranian state news agency, IRNA, wrote in an editorial on October 28 that Washington's statement is the "first sign of reason" in U.S. policy on Syria.
A spokesman for Syrian forces fighting against President Bashar al-Assad said the same day that Iranian participation in the Vienna talks could make it more difficult to reach a political solution to the crisis.
"Iran's presence will complicate the Vienna talks because it will come with a project to preserve Assad," Syrian National Coalition Vice President Hisham Marwa told Al-Arabiya television.
Based on reporting by AFP, Reuters, and Interfax
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