August 01 – 2016 – By Scott Lucas – eaworldview – Iran’s regime has hosted the UN envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, amid the dormant political process and intense fighting, bombing, and sieges across the country, especially in the northwest.
No details were given of the encounter. Instead, Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Jaberi Ansari put out Tehran’s standard statement,
The Islamic Republic of Iran will support any solution which is approved by the Syrian government, nation and political groups….The Islamic Republic of Iran’s strategy since the onset of the crisis in Syria up to the present time has been to underscore a political solution as the main strategy to end the crisis in Syria.
Without naming any countries — but possibly referring to Turkey, whom Iran wants to detach from support of the Syrian opposition — Jaberi Ansari said “some key players in the crisis have shifted their policies” to open up possibilities for a diplomatic resolution.
The Minister supported de Mistura’s call for a renewal of talks.
Since the breakdown of indirect discussions between the Assad regime and the opposition in April, the UN envoy has repeated promised an imminent resumption, only to push back the prospective date.
“We are determined to actually look for a proper date in August for relaunching the intra-Syrian talks in Geneva,” de Mistura said on Sunday.
However, any prospect of discussions is distant. President Assad has ruled out any transitional governing authority, the centerpiece of international proposals since 2012. Instead, the regime — enabled by Russia and assisted by Iranian troops, Hezbollah fighters, and foreign militias — has continued bombing and sieges, and has been encouraged by recent success in cutting off opposition-held parts of Aleppo city.
The opposition-rebel High Negotiations Committee has refused to concede its demands for Assad’s departure from power, and rebel factions counter-attacked near Aleppo on Sunday.