Geneva (AsiaNews / Agencies ) - Iran will not participate in the peace conference on Syria which will begin tomorrow at Montreoux (Geneva) . Yesterday, Martin Nesirky , spokesman for UN Secretary General Ban Ki -Moonsaid that the United Nations has withdrawn the invitation sent to Tehran on January 19 because the Islamic Republic has not subscribed to the points of the previous meeting on Syria held in Geneva in June 2012. "We are deeply disappointed ," Nesirky said , referring to a written statement in which Iran says it will only take part in Geneva without any preconditions.
In an interview today with Irna (Islamic Republic News Agency ) , Hossein Amirabdollahian , Iran's deputy minister for relations with the Arab world and Africa, points the finger at Washington which he accuses of "exerting pressure to force Iran to accept the points of the 2012 conference - says Amirabdollahian - to which Iran was not invited".
On January 19 Ban Ki -moon invited Iran to attend Geneva together with other 40 countries, sparking criticism from the anti -Assad bloc and Saudi Arabia, who accuse Tehran of supporting the Assad regime with money, men and weapons. Yesterday evening, the Syrian National Council , a body that brings together some of the members of the internal opposition in exile announced its exit from the opposition block pointing out that it will not participate in any talks as long as the regime remains in power.
Today, some former members of the Syrian regime issued a survey funded by Qatar - supporter and financier of the rebels - in which they declare that Assad is responsible for more than 11 thousand executions of prisoners since the beginning of the uprising.
The Greek-Melkite Catholic Patriarchate was attacked in Haret Al Zeitoun and a Latin parish in Bab Touma. Dozens of shells fell in a few hours. AsiaNews source deny rumors of Christian victims circulated in these hours. On January 21st, a new round of UN talks begins in Geneva.