TEHRAN, Jan. 22 (MNA) – Iran Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham says the Islamic Republic had never requested to attend the forthcoming international conference on the Syria crisis.

“Iran has never applied for participation in the Geneva II conference on Syria. This has been our long-held position, and we have unequivocally declared this stance ever since talks about convening of the Geneva II conference got underway,” she said at her weekly press briefing in Tehran on Tuesday.

Afkham added that Iranian officials had clearly expressed this position in contacts and telephone conversations with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and UN-Arab League Special Envoy for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi over the past few days.

She noted that Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and the country’s Ambassador to the United Nations Mohammad Khazaei had stated that Iran will not accept any preconditions for presence in the Syria talks.

“There has never been a word about Iran’s commitment [to this event], and the withdrawal of Iran’s invitation [by UN chief] is regrettable. The fact that the UN chief has come under pressure to withdraw his offer to Iran is deplorable. He could have explained the real reasons for withdrawing the invitation,” the senior Iranian official added.

She said the Islamic Republic of Iran has long stressed the need for a political solution to the Syrian crisis both at regional and international levels, emphasizing that Tehran has been a front runner in terms of proposing peaceful solutions for the Syria crisis.

Afkham also stated that Syrian-Syrian talks, non-interference by foreigners in Syria’s affairs, and leaving the fate of Syria to its people are among the most important positions that Iran supports.

Press TV

News Code 101736

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