Ban Ki-moon withdraws Iran's invite to Syria talks

United Nations Secretary-General Ban meets Iran's President Rohani during the U.N. General Assembly in New York
View photos
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (R) greets Iran's President Hassan Rohani during the U.N. General Assembly at U.N. Headquarters in New York in this file photo taken September 26, 2013. Ban Ki-moon said on Sunday he had invited Iran to participate in Syria peace talks on January 22 in Montreux, Switzerland and that Tehran had pledged to play a "positive and constructive role" if it was asked to participate. REUTERS/Eric Thayer/Files (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS)

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Monday withdrew an offer for Iran to attend Syria peace negotiations after Tehran declared it does not support the June 2012 political transition deal that is the basis for the talks.

"He (Ban) continues to urge Iran to join the global consensus behind the Geneva communiqué," Ban's spokesman Martin Nesirky said. "Given that it has chosen to remain outside that basic understanding, (Ban) has decided that the one-day Montreux gathering will proceed without Iran's participation."

Ban said earlier that Iran's public statement that it did not support the 2012 Geneva deal calling for a transitional government for Syria was "not consistent" with assurances he had been given by Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.

(Reporting by Michelle Nichols and Louis Charbonneau)