UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Monday reiterated that a Jan. 22 international peace conference on Syria would seek to establish a transitional government in the war-ravaged nation and he left open the question of the attendance of Iran.
"We have a clear goal," Ban told reporters. "The full implementation of the Geneva Communique of 30 June 2012, including the establishment, based on mutual consent, of a transitional governing body with full executive powers, including over military and security entities."
Ban said nothing about the list of invitees and took no questions from reporters. The United States and European governments have said Iran could only attend the so-called "Geneva 2" talks if it embraces the outcome of the June 2012 conference in Geneva, which called for a transitional government to replace Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's cabinet.