Jan. 20 - Samantha Power, the U.S. Ambassador to the UN, says Iran has yet to demonstrate its willingness to subscribe to the Geneva Communiqué, the minimum requirement for participation in the Syria peace process. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power, says Iran has yet to demonstrate its willingness to subscribe to the Geneva Communiqué, intended to establish a transitional governing body for Syria. "We welcome the coalition's courageous decision this past weekend to participate in the talks," said Power. "The purpose of which is implementation of the Geneva Action Group Communiqué. That document calls for the establishment based on mutual consent, of a transitional governing body with full executive authority including over military and security entities. As of this morning, Iran still has yet to demonstrate its willingness to explicitly and publicly subscribe to the full implementation of the Geneva Communiqué. That is a minimum requirement for participation in this peace process." An unexpected last-minute UN invitation for Iran to a peace conference on Syria threw the talks into doubt on Monday, with Washington demanding Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon withdraw his offer and the Syrian opposition threatening to pull out. Iran is the main foreign backer of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and its presence has been one of the most contentious issues looming over the first talks expected to be attended by both Assad's government and opponents. The talks are set to start on Wednesday in Switzerland but diplomats said the entire conference was now in jeopardy.