An Iranian senior cleric and member of the Assembly of Experts, Ahmad Khatami, has predicted that without Iran at the table, the Geneva 2 talks are bound to fail.

IRNA reports that Khatami claimed the U.S. was responsible for excluding Iran from the Geneva 2 talks regarding peace efforts to end the Syrian conflict. He added that this shows the U.S. is persisting in its enmity against Iran.

Ahmad Khatami went on to say: “Whether they like it or not, Iran has extreme influence in Syria as well as other Islamic countries.”

The Geneva 2 talks are scheduled for January 22, 2014. Iran is not on the list of countries included in the talks by the UN. Some reports indicate that the U.S. opposed Iran's inclusion, alleging Iran gives military assistance to the Syrian government.