Friday, January 24, 2014

U.S. and Iran Offer Clashing Accounts of the Civil War in Syria --- DAVOS, Switzerland — Secretary of State John Kerry and President Hassan Rouhani of Iran offered clashing accounts on Thursday of the civil war in Syria, and the role that Tehran is playing in the conflict. -- The contrasting assessments illustrated the chasm that still separates the United States and Iran on Middle East issues even as they have agreed on a temporary accord to freeze much of Iran’s nuclear program. --- In an interview here with the news agency Al Arabiya, Mr. Kerry said that it was time for Iran to match its words about the need for a peaceful solution to the war in Syria with deeds. If Iran wants to play a stabilizing role in Syria, Mr. Kerry suggested, it should stop sending paramilitary forces there and rein in its proxies who are fighting with President Bashar al-Assad’s forces against the rebels. -- “All of us should work to push terrorists out of Syria,” Mr. Rouhani said in an address to the World Economic Forum in this Alpine village. Though he described the insurgents who had taken up arms against the Syrian president as “ruthless killers,” Mr. Rouhani made no mention of the arms or personnel Iran had sent to Syria or of Hezbollah’s role. - More, NYTimes, at:


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