(QHA) - U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon withdrew a last-minute invitation to Iran to attend peace talks on Syria on Monday after the Syrian opposition threatened to boycott this week's conference if President Bashar al-Assad's main sponsor took part, Reuters reports.
Ending nearly 24 hours of confusion that dismayed diplomats who have spent months cajoling Assad's opponents to negotiate, Ban's spokesman said Iran was no longer welcome at the initial day of talks at Montreux, Switzerland on Wednesday.
Syria's opposition National Coalition had said it would not take part if Iran did, threatening to wreck painstaking months of diplomatic effort in bringing representatives of the two sides to the table. It welcomed Ban's change of heart.
"We appreciate the United Nations and Ban Ki-moon's understanding of our position. We think they have taken the right decision," Monzer Akbik, chief of staff of the coalition's president, told.