Mr Hammond’s welcome realism

The Guardian reports, ‘The UK foreign secretary, Philip Hammond, has said that “a new phase” has been entered in the search for a resolution to the Syrian conflict with the thawing of relations between the west and Iran paving the way for possible talks. Hammond spoke on Monday after meeting the Iranian president, Hassan Rouhani, on the second day of a two-day trip to Iran, during which he opened the UK embassy after a four-year closure. He said Iran and Britain were keen to use the conclusion of an agreement on the former’s nuclear programme in July as an opportunity to discuss Syria and other regional issues. He said: “Up to now, we’ve been having a discussion among ourselves in the west, without the two most important and influential players in Syria – Iran and Russia – being in the room. That may be very gratifying to us, but it is not going to get us to a political solution. If we’re going to get to a political solution, we need to have the Iranians and Russians in the process as well.” click here.