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Der Standard - Austria | Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Iran can achieve more in Damascus

After all the fuss over the withdrawal of Tehran's invitation, the Syria conference will do very well without representatives from Iran, the left-liberal daily Der Standard writes: "One source of controversy is that without Iran there can be no solution to the situation in Syria. ... Nevertheless there is a positive side to the fact that Iran, which is more militarily involved in Syria than any other country (Hezbollah is also part of the Iranian force there), is not participating this time. Its presence would simply be too much of a humiliation to the small, uprooted exile opposition that has been obliged to travel to Montreux for the conference against its will. The fact that Assad is giving interviews left, right and centre and reaffirming that he has no idea why he shouldn't run in the next presidential elections is hard enough for them to bear. If the Iranians want to play a constructive role, they can start right away in Damascus."

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