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Vienna Talks, a Solution to Syria Crisis?

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Abdolreza Ghofrani
Former Senior Diplomat and International Analyst

Representatives of Iran, Saudi Arabia, United States, Germany, Britain, France, Italy, Turkey, Russia, China, Egypt, Lebanon, Iraq, EU and UN gathered Friday 30 October 2015 in Vienna to talk on Syria crisis. This meeting has been the broadest peace talks since the bloody conflicts erupted in Syria three years ago. The visible feature of this one day conference, that made it different from the previous ones, was the presence of Iran. United States had directly invited Iran to take part in this gathering and Iran accepted the invitation sending Foreign Minister Zarif to Vienna for this significant episode.

The reason of extending invitation by US to Iran is no hard to understand. For this, there are two points that deserve attention:

First, unfortunately, Washington, as usual, belatedly did seize the realities of the region. Calling Iran the harbor of terrorism and forcing United Nations Security Council to adopt resolutions based on these void charges, United States is most responsible for the existing catastrophic situation in the region. Being forced by Israelis backed hardliner groups United States did take immature policies and unmeasured actions and it sounds that the developments are now even out of control of Washington.

Moreover it is now crystal clear that the realties were pretty differing and the United States has been cheated out by Israelis.Taking adventurous and dangerous policies over the past couple of years, Saudi Arabia too has deteriorated the situation in this sensitive region and the crisis has now gained terrifying dimensions. Together with Israelis, Saudis have fanned the flames of the region. Now mostly everyone knows that Saudis and Israelis are those who should be considered the harbor of terrorists. A group of devilish murderers named ISIS, being the upshot of the inauspicious union of Israel, Saudi Arabia and Turkey, is nothing but the consequences of US policies. Over the past recent years US has not only been cheated out by Israel but Saudi Arabia too. Nevertheless, now that US have seized the realities, there is optimism that through a collective measure all countries having stakes in the crisis could work out the situation.

Second, although it may be a little late, now the United States has found out that the critical role of Iran in the M.E. and its rapid developments cannot be ignored. Hopefully, with the existing conditions and taking realistic approaches by all countries involved in this crisis, it is possible that dimensions of the crisis can be subdued and relative stability restored to this critical region. United States certainly is aware that, though Syria is not a neighbor of Iran, Tehran considers ISIS a danger to its security because now, these inhuman groups have deployed in Iraq and are only a few hundred miles away from Iranian borders.

Naturally Iran cannot be indifferent to the endangered security and stability in the areas next to her borders, and have no choice but take actions to uproot these murderous and brutal groups and certainly this could be done effectively with the cooperation of all concerned countries. But United States and its allies should also pay attention to some other significant facts. Nearly fifteen years ago Iran did have a vital role in restoring peace in her Easter neighbor Afghanistan and the assistance of Iran for establishment of a central national government in that country is an undeniable fact. Iran Foreign Minister, Dr. Mohammad Javad Zarif (then Iranian envoy to United Nations) made good offices in convincing the coalition of forces and groups in north of that country to come to terms with the central government. Nobody can deny his vital and constructive role therein. Just a few weeks later, however, when after all groups in Afghanistan agreed upon a central government of integrity, instead of appreciating Iran for its good will and great attempts in doing this great job, US President immaturely and irrationally called Iran the "axis of evil". This is something that government and the people of Iran can hardly forget. As for Syria, pursuing her policy, Iran calls for the territorial integrity and independence of that country and is quite fond of restoring peace and stability to Syria and the whole region and will not lose any attempts to fulfill that objective; since Iranian government strongly believes in the vitality and the necessity of peace of this crisis- stricken region. However the United States should beware this time around not to be cheated out by Israelis and their ally Saudis. Because the most dangerous and adventurous goal of those countries is nothing but creating tension and chaos. Nevertheless all those countries responsible for fueling tensions in the region should bear in mind that the flames will catch themselves too. So given its past costly blunders, it is for the United States to take lessons from the past, and if it has the serious political will to make the best of Vienna talks, Washington should not repeat the same mistakes in Syria. Another important point is about future Syrian government. In fact it is for the people of Syria to decide for themselves. Iran's intention is, uprightly, to cooperate most to uproot the ominous ISIS and restore peace to Syria and then it is the people of that country to decide for their future and their government.

Lastly, Vienna talks were a good beginning as well as opportunity for US administration, or in better words, it is a test for the verification of her policy and its allies in the region. The ball is now in their court. So it is for Washington that without being cheated out by others and with a realistic approach, deal with this challenging dilemma of Syria.

Otherwise, they have to face the dangerous consequences of the repetition of their past blunders that undoubtedly will also be far too problematic for the countries of the region as well.

More By Abdolreza Ghofrani:

*Distinctiveness of 70th UN General Assembly: http://www.iranreview.org/content/Documents/Distinctiveness-of-70th-UN-General-Assembly.htm

*Why Does Saudi Arabia Avoid Negotiations?: http://www.iranreview.org/content/Documents/Why-Does-Saudi-Arabia-Avoid-Negotiations-.htm

*The Repetition of Old Sarcastic Story of Three Islands: http://www.iranreview.org/content/Documents/The-Repetition-of-Old-Sarcastic-Story-of-Three-Islands.htm

*Photo Credit: Fararu

*These views represent those of the author and are not necessarily Iran Review's viewpoints.

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