TEHRAN (Press Shia Agency) – Iranian foreign minister’s special assistant for political affairs, Hossein Jaberi Ansari, highlighted the country’s leading role in the Syrian peace process and said no county can keep other nations out of the peace talks.

Speaking to reporters in Moscow on Wednesday, Jaberi Ansari reacted to some hostile media reports about Iran’s absence in a recent Syria meeting in Turkey and said, “No country can exclude other countries and Iran’s role in Syria and Astana peace process and the peace in that country is based on reality and heeded by Turkey and other actors.”

He made the remarks after a trilateral meeting with senior experts of Russia and Turkey attended by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

“With all its power and seriousness, Iran has sided with the Syrian government over the past years, and has made efforts for two years to materialize the idea of peace within the framework of Astana negotiations and its other international communications,” the diplomat said.

"There are many meetings around the globe, and this is normal, so holding a meeting anywhere in the world will not change the political and geopolitical realities,” he added.

The remarks came as Syrian forces continue to reclaim much of southern parts of the country and are poised to soon launch an offensive in Idlib, one of the last remaining areas outside of Damascus’ control.

Conflict erupted in Syria back in 2011, when a small group of opposition forces took up arms against Damascus. Soon, however, a mix of international terrorists and paid mercenaries mingled with and then largely sidestepped the armed Syrian opposition groups, effectively turning the Arab country into a battlefield for foreign governments opposed to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

But the Syrian military, with advisory military help from Iran and Russia — and a Russian aerial bombardment campaign — has retaken control of much of the country, and the conflict is generally believed to be winding down.