United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has withdrawn his invitation to Iran to participate in the forthcoming Geneva II conference aimed at achieving a political solution to the Syrian crisis. Iranian state run media reported that the UNSG was forced to so under pressure from the United States. UN spokesman said Ban is “deeply disappointed” at Iran’s statements rejecting the June 2012 Geneva communiqué….Given that it has chosen to remain outside that basic understanding, he has decided that the one-day (January 24) Montreux gathering will proceed without Iran’s participation.” The Syrian opposition threatened to boycott the conference if Iran, Bashar al-Assad’s main sponsor, took part. Iran’s provides Assad with money, arms, men (IRGC Quds force) and tactics including the use of “barrel of death”. FM Javad Zarif, who is in Turkmenistan, said in response that Mr. Ban Ki-moon had called me several times last week and I clarified to him that Iran would never accept any precondition for our participation in the conference. We regret that he withdrew his invitation due to pressured that were being applied and this behavior is inappropriate for the Secretary General.