UN buckles under US pressure on Iran over Syria

Developing Just Leadership

Crescent International

Rabi' al-Awwal 20, 1435 2014-01-21

Daily News Analysis

by Crescent International

The UN has once again exposed itself as a body totally subservient to the US. While UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon knows that without Iran's participation in the Geneva-II conference, there cannot be a peaceful political resolution to the Syrian conflict, the Americans are not interested in peace, only in regime change. This appears increasingly unlikely.

New York, Crescent-online
Tuesday January 21, 2014, 14:49 EST

Less than 12 hours after Iran was invited by the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to participate in the Geneva II conference due to start tomorrow, he withdrew the invitation under US pressure. The fractured opposition groups had threatened to boycott the conference if Iran participated.

The US said Iran must accept the terms of Geneva-I that were agreed in June 2012. Tehran responded by saying it did not participate in Geneva-I and had no input in its deliberations although the US spin on Geneva-I is totally false.

It does not call for President Bashar al-Asad to step down, as the US is now trying to spin. It merely calls for a mutually agreed solution for a transitional government.

The jet-setting Syrian opposition, for all it is worth, wants Asad’s head offered on a plate so that they can ride triumphantly into Damascus. That, however, is not close to even a pipe-dream.

Even the international players have realized that they can no longer dictate to Asad or force him to resign. The UN flip-flop reflects the confusion that grips the entire charade leading to Geneva tomorrow. It also reflects the mind-boggling hypocrisy of the US over Syria.

It is not interested in a peaceful resolution to the conflict. Having failed in the military attempt through the terrorist outfits that have been backed by the Saudis and Qataris, the US has now adopted a new tactic. This, too, will fail because the rebels are at each other’s throats and the Syrian army is making steady progress against them.

If Syrian government forces can win on the battlefield, why should they surrender these gains on the negotiating table?

As participants were heading to Geneva, the BBC reported that an overwhelming majority of Syrian refugees were in favour of a political solution. Further, that 87 percent of them were totally opposed to al-Qaeda and other terrorist outfits wreaking havoc in their country. This would be music to Asad’s ears although the BBC had no intention of providing him any comfort when in the same bulletin it alleged that there were reports from “credible” sources that detainees in Syrian prisons were being tortured.

This is the kind of propaganda the BBC specializes in. Who or what are these credible sources? The BBC would not divulge. The timing of the report is also highly suspicious.

Leading up to Geneva, Asad said it should focus on confronting the threat from terrorism. Also, he let it be known that he would be a candidate in the forthcoming presidential elections.

We can fairly surmise that based on present ground realities, Geneva-II will not produce a political solution. That would be a pity because the people of Syria deserve a break from the mayhem for which they are not responsible at all.

Also, without Iran’s participation, there cannot be a solution. It is an opportunity that the UN and the US have missed.

Geneva-II will produce a lot of hot air but little else. When you have windbags like the Saudis pontificating about the rights of the Syrian people while they keep their own people under the boot, this can hardly make for a successful conference.

END

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