Spokeswoman: Zarif will attend Syria talks in Vienna

Iran has said that Foreign Minister Zarif will go to Vienna for the talks on the future of Syria.

Tehran has said that Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif will take part in the Vienna talks on Syria on Friday.

Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham said Wednesday that Zarif will be accompanied by his deputies Hossein Amir-Abdollahian and Abbas Araghchi in the daylong talks, according to Fars News Agency.

She further said that Iran’s delegation will meet with the Russian and EU envoys on the sidelines of the talks in the Austrian capital to discuss issues of mutual interest and regional questions, adding that the Iranian and US delegations are likely to hold a meeting to coordinate nuclear issues and the way the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) is to be implemented.

Earlier Afkham said that Foreign Minister Zarif and his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov talked on the phone on Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning about regional questions, Syria in particular, and added that the next round of Syria talks in Vienna took center stage in the two top diplomats’ phone calls.

The Associated Press on Tuesday quoted US officials as saying that Iran has been invited to the next round of Syria talks. According to AP, the next round of talks over Syria will bring together US Secretary of State John Kerry, Russia Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and a number of senior European and Arab diplomats in Vienna, Austria.

Earlier Washington had said that Iran was likely to be present in the talks, but the Syrian opposition and US allies, especially Saudi Arabia, had showed objection to Iran’s presence.