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“So I think that’s very key, that when that moment comes, there’s actually some forward momentum built into the talks,” Mr. Nasr said.

Mr. Salehi underlined Iran‘s role as “an important regional player” and told the conference, “We are the golden key to the region.”

Iran is a key ally of embattled Syrian President Bashar Assad. On the sidelines of the Munich meeting, the minister met the top Syrian opposition leader, Moaz al-Khatib.

Mr. Salehi welcomed Mr. al-Khatib’s statements over the past week that he would be willing to sit down with representatives of Mr. Assad’s regime as “a good step forward.”

But amid international calls for Mr. Assad to go, he insisted that “we do not need prescriptions from outside.”

Iran has talked to the opposition; we are not categorizing the opposition; we are ready to talk to all opposition,” Mr. Salehi said.

“We are ready to be part of the solution,” he insisted. “The sooner that we resolve the issue, the better it is.”

• Associated Press writer Don Melvin contributed to this article from Brussels.