John Kerry

The United States hinted on Sunday January 5 that there may be a role for Iran to play in the Syrian peace talks.

Although Iran is not formally invited to the Geneva 2 talks, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said in a news conference in Jerusalem that Iran may be able to help on the sidelines of those talks.

Kerry explained the U.S. opposes Iran’s formal presence at the talks because of its lack of support for the agreement in the first Geneva talks, which called for the formation of a transitional government “by mutual consent”, a phrase that some of the signatories interpret differently.

Kerry said, however: “Now, could they contribute from the sidelines? Are there ways for them, conceivably, to weigh in? Can their mission that is already in Geneva … be there in order to help the process? It may be that there are ways that could happen.”

He added that this role has to be determined by the United Nations Secretary General.

The Geneva 2 talks are scheduled for January 22. The thaw in relations between the world powers and Iran had led to speculation that Iran would be formally invited to the Geneva 2 talks.