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UN withdraws Iran invitation to Syria talks

Jordanian Foreign Minister President United Nations Security Council Nasser Judeh  right listens U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moduring meeting United Nations

Jordanian Foreign Minister and President of the United Nations Security Council Nasser Judeh , right, listens to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon during a meeting of the United Nations Security Council at U.N. headquarters, Monday, Jan. 20, 2014. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

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UNITED NATIONS — The U.N. secretary-general has withdrawn his invitation to Iran to join this week’s Syria peace talks, saying he is “deeply disappointed” by Iran’s statements Monday.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The withdrawn invitation came shortly after Iran’s U.N. ambassador declared the Islamic Republic wouldn’t join the Syria talks if required to accept 2012 Geneva roadmap.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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