Sorry, Iran, you're not invited to the party after all. After a bizarre, last-minute invitation from U.N. General Secretary Ban Ki-moon for Iran to join Syria peace talks Wednesday, Ban has been forced to withdraw the invite. Iran is a longtime ally of Syria, and hardly an obvious choice to join a conference designed to figure out how to stop Syria's civil war using international measures. Which is why Ban's invitation to Iran Sunday came as such a surprise to America, not to mention the 40-something other countries scheduled to attend the Switzerland talks.
Within 24 hours of the invite, Iran refused to co-operate with the terms of the talks, and Ban had to withdraw the invite. Ban's spokesman said that Iranian officials had assured Ban that they'd be happy to comply with the terms, and join forces with much of the rest of the world in stopping Syria's bloody civil war. The talks have extra significance after thousands of photographs of deceased and tortured Syrian detainees surfaced Monday, and a group of analysts say that Bashar al-Assad's regime has slaughtered roughly 11,000 detainees.
Even Syria's leading opposition group will be joining the talks on Friday, when the Syrian government and its longtime opponents will finally be trying to work out a solution face-to-face. The talks are centered around "the formation of a transitional government for Syria that would pave the way for democratic elections," as per the 2012 Geneva agreement, and Iran refused to co-operate with those stated terms.
Countries were only invited to the peace talks after approval from Russia and America, but the two countries had been at an impasse over whether to invite Iran.