The conference which includes nations from Europe, Russia and China will shortly be meeting to discuss the possibility of a transition government in Syria that would prepare a process of ending the conflict. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon invited Iran to participate in the conference. This has aroused fury in the United States and among many in Europe, and thus the invitation was withdrawn. Let us examine the record:
1. Iran is a major supplier of President Assad and has aided his ability to survive this civil war.
2. Iran is also supplying aid to Hezbollah in Lebanon.
3. Iran is desperately seeking to end sanctions and once again become part of normal international economic activities.
4. It is in the national interests of Iran to see the end of conflict and war which drain their economic resources.
An invitation to Iran allows President Rouhani an opportunity to display that his goals entail ending conflict and restoring peace to the region. First, allow Iran an opportunity to work for peace in Syria, then, it opens possibilities for Iran to take the next step of working with Israel to resolve its differences.
As the great British leader, Winston Churchill, once said: “Jaw, jaw, not war, war!”