Iran to attend talks over Syria

Iran says it will attend the upcoming international talks on Syria’s future this week in Vienna. It will be the first time Tehran – the main regional ally of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad – has attended an international summit over the war.

About a dozen participants are expected, including Russia and Saudi Arabia, which back Assad and his opponents, respectively.

The talks are an expansion of discussions held last week in Vienna between the US, Russia, Turkey and Saudi Arabia that did not reach any substantive conclusion. The core talks are to take place in Vienna on Friday, but diplomats expect some preparatory or bilateral meetings in the Austrian capital from late on Thursday.