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UN withdraws Iran invitation to Syria talks

By Cara Anna

Associated Press

Published: Monday, Jan. 20 2014 2:45 p.m. MST

Jordanian Foreign Minister and President of the United Nations Security Council Nasser Judeh, right, has a conversation with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon as the Security Council meeting began at U.N. headquarters, Monday, Jan. 20, 2014. Ban says "intensive and urgent discussions are under way" around his invitation for Iran to join this week's peace talks on Syria.

Craig Ruttle, Associated Press

UNITED NATIONS — The U.N. secretary-general has withdrawn his invitation to Iran to join this week's Syria peace talks, saying he is "deeply disappointed" by Iran's statements Monday.

A spokesman for Ban Ki-moon announced the withdrawal less than 24 hours after Ban surprised the U.S. and others by saying he had invited Syria's closest regional ally.

The withdrawn invitation came shortly after Iran's U.N. ambassador declared the Islamic Republic wouldn't join the Syria talks if required to accept 2012 Geneva roadmap.

A spokesman for Ban, Martin Nesirky, says senior Iranian officials had assured Ban that Iran understood the terms of his invitation.

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