- The Washington Times - Monday, January 20, 2014

Iran accepted an invitation on Monday to attend peace talks to end conflict in Syria later this week, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The United States, Russia and other countries will meet in Switzerland on Wednesday to begin negotiations on how to end almost three years of violent conflict in Syria.

United Nation’s Secretary General Ban Ki Moon announced Sunday that he invited Iran, which has been a supporter of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, to be part of the talks, the article said.

Iran has not stated whether it would support a situation that removed Mr. al-Assad from power, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The invitation prompted backlash from the opposition group, the Syrian National Coalition, which threatened to pull out of the talks unless Iran was uninvited, the article said. The U.S. also took issue with the invitation, saying that Iran should publicly support removing Mr. al-Assad from his seat before being allowed to attend the talks.