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Published: Tuesday January 21, 2014 MYT 4:55:02 AM
Updated: Tuesday January 21, 2014 MYT 4:55:46 AM

Iran says won't join Syria talks if required to accept 2012 deal

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - Iran's U.N. ambassador on Monday issued Tehran's most unambiguous statement so far on Iranian participation in this week's peace talks on Syria, saying that Iran will definitely not take part if it is required to accept a June 2012 deal agreed in Geneva.

"If the participation of Iran is conditioned to accept Geneva I communiqué, Iran will not participate in Geneva II conference," Iran's U.N. Ambassador Mohammad Khazaee said in a statement after U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon suggested he was reconsidering his invitation to Iran to attend the talks.

The Geneva I communiqué, agreed in June 2012, called for a political transition in Syria that would replace the current government and end the Syrian civil war, which has been raging for nearly three years.

Ban earlier said he was disappointed that Iran had made statements repudiating Geneva I after telling him it could accept the June 2012 deal.

(Reporting by Louis Charbonneau)

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