When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

Iranian officials have spent plenty of time recently in Geneva to negotiate a deal with the West on its nuclear program. The next pressing question is whether Iran will be back in the Swiss city for the so-called Geneva 2 conference to discuss ways to try to end to Syria's civil war.

Officials in Tehran stated Monday that they'd accepted the invitation to attend that had been extended by the UN Secretary-General. But doubts still linger in many Western capitals whether Iran should participate at the conference, given its support for the regime of President Bashar al-Asad whose three-year war against opponents has provoked thousands of civilian deaths.

Indeed, the Iranian Foreign Ministry has rejected several preconditions for attending. Western states want Iran to support a regime transition in Syria, while Reuters cited Syrian opponents as saying they would not attend if Iran did.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham said Iran was "one of the first countries" to propose "dialogue and peaceful means" to help end the civil war, but "we had said before...we would not accept any precondition to our presence" at Geneva 2, the semi-official ISNA agency reported.

An editorial Monday in the reformist daily Arman said that war in Syria was symptomatic of the spread of "Salafist" terrorism across the Middle East that it says is aided by Saudi Arabia, Turkey and several conservative Middle Eastern states. Commentator Ali Khorram wrote that these states must "wake up" from the delusion that Al-Qaeda or similar groups would do their foreign-policy bidding. Iran, he wrote, must begin "some kind of coordination and cooperation" with Turkey and "the West" to "save Iraq, Syria and other unstable Arab states from the terrorists' control."

Parliamentary Speaker Ali Larijani echoed the idea, describing the "policies of world powers in Iraq and Afghanistan and their response to the Syrian crisis" as having "paved the way for the spread of extremist movements" in the region, the official IRNA agency reported.

You've reached your monthly limit of free articles.
To read the full article, please subscribe.
Get unlimited access. Support Worldcrunch's unique mission:
  • Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.
  • Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries
  • $2.90/month or $19.90/year. No hidden charges. Cancel anytime.
Already a subscriber? Log in

When the world gets closer, we help you see farther

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter!
Geopolitics

The Xi-Putin Alliance Is Dead, Long Live The Xi-Putin Alliance

The façade of unity between Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin was lifted in Uzbekistan last week. But where exactly does the Chinese head of state stand on the Russian invasion of Ukraine? Beijing is still establishing its place in the world, and it remains in contradiction to the West

China's President Xi Jinping, Uzbekistan's President Shavkat Mirziyoyev and Russia's President Vladimir Putin during the 22nd Summit of the SCO

Gregor Schwung

-Analysis-

Xi Jinping is not out of practice. The Chinese President's public demeanor on his first foreign trip since January 2020 was as confident as ever. When meeting Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, he promptly removed his mask and stood inches away from the Russian president, smiling affably.

Stay up-to-date with the latest on the Russia-Ukraine war, with our exclusive international coverage.

Sign up to our free daily newsletter.

What looked routine to the outside world was a diplomatic tightrope walk that the Chinese leader felt compelled to perform. It was the first face-to-face meeting between the two leaders since February, when they proclaimed a "friendship without borders" at the Winter Olympics in Beijing. Shortly thereafter, Putin launched his campaign against Ukraine – and the world wondered whether Putin had used his Olympic visit to obtain Xi's approval for his invasion.

Keep reading...Show less

When the world gets closer, we help you see farther

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter!
You've reached your monthly limit of free articles.
To read the full article, please subscribe.
Get unlimited access. Support Worldcrunch's unique mission:
  • Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.
  • Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries
  • $2.90/month or $19.90/year. No hidden charges. Cancel anytime.
Already a subscriber? Log in
Writing contest - My pandemic story
THE LATEST
FOCUS
TRENDING TOPICS

Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

Watch VideoShow less
MOST READ