TEHRAN, Oct. 13 (MNA) – The West has started treating the possible participation of Iran in the Geneva II international conference on Syria more realistically, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

"The reasons, strangely justified, against the participation of Iran have been recently reevaluated and replaced by a more realistic approach. Possibly, the appearance of promising prospects for the talks on the Iranian nuclear problem contributes to this," Lavrov said at a press conference following talks with his Kuwaiti counterpart on Friday, According to Voice of Russia.
 
"Lately we hear more and more realistic statements from our western partners, who were opposed to the participation of Iran [in the Geneva II international conference] until recently and they referred to the fact that the Geneva II should be dedicated to the Geneva communique of 2012 and they further state that Iran has not supported the 2012 document," Lavrov said.
 
"This reason has never stood up to any criticism, just because many countries of the region, whose participation in the conference has never been questioned by our western colleagues, not only do not support, despite issuing perfunctory statements, the Geneva II in spirit, but also work surreptitiously to disrupt this event," Lavrov said. 
 
"Given these circumstances, the participation of Iran in the Geneva conference is, of course, an essential factor as is the participation of the countries that exert influence on the various Syrian groups," the Russian minister said.
 
Gunmen taught to handle chemical arms in Afghanistan
 
Meanwhile, the Russian Minister said that there are reports that some third countries are training Syrian rebels to use chemical weapons in Afghanistan. 
 
Lavrov told a press briefing on Friday that "third party" countries might have used Afghan territory in order to teach Syrian gunmen how to handle chemical weapons in their confrontation with the Syrian authorities.
 
"Reports suggesting that third party countries illegally used territories beyond Kabul's control for training gunmen to fight the Syrian government, in particular, how to handle chemical weapons, were posted a long time ago," Lavrov said.
 
The use of chemical weapons in August near Damascus triggered a serious international crisis. The US threatened to use military force against the government of President Bashar Assad, which it blamed for the attack. 
 
The tension was defused after a Russian-brokered deal to destroy Syria’s chemical weapons arsenal.
 
Damascus insists that the August incident and several previous cases of alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria were provocations by opposition forces. Russia shares this view.  
 
Earlier Russian diplomatic sources said the August sarin gas attack was a special operation of Saudi Arabian intelligence conducted with the help of a radical Islamist militant group operating near Damascus. 
 
The group called Liwa Al-Islam is headed by the son of a Saudi cleric.
 
MNA
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News Code 100062

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