World

Tehran official: After invitation, Iran mulls joining international talks on Syrian conflict

  • FILE - In this Saturday, Oct. 17, 2015 file photo, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif listens to a question during a press conference with his German counterpart Frank-Walter Steinmeier in Tehran, Iran. Iran says it will attend the upcoming international talks over Syria's future this week in Vienna. State TV quoted Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Marzieh Afkham, on Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2015 as saying Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif will attend the talks. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi, File)

    FILE - In this Saturday, Oct. 17, 2015 file photo, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif listens to a question during a press conference with his German counterpart Frank-Walter Steinmeier in Tehran, Iran. Iran says it will attend the upcoming international talks over Syria's future this week in Vienna. State TV quoted Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Marzieh Afkham, on Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2015 as saying Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif will attend the talks. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this Saturday, Sept. 26, 2015 file photo, US Secretary of State John Kerry, left, meets with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif at United Nations headquarters. Iran sits down with the United States, Russia, Europeans and key Arab states for the first time since the Syrian civil war began to discuss the future of the war-torn country. It will also break ground by bringing President Bashar Assad’s main supporter, Iran, to the same table as its regional rivals, including Turkey and Saudi Arabia, who have been backing many of the insurgent groups. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle, File)

    FILE - In this Saturday, Sept. 26, 2015 file photo, US Secretary of State John Kerry, left, meets with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif at United Nations headquarters. Iran sits down with the United States, Russia, Europeans and key Arab states for the first time since the Syrian civil war began to discuss the future of the war-torn country. It will also break ground by bringing President Bashar Assad’s main supporter, Iran, to the same table as its regional rivals, including Turkey and Saudi Arabia, who have been backing many of the insurgent groups. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this file photo taken on Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2015, Russian President Vladimir Putin, center, shakes hand with Syrian President Bashar Assad as Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, right, looks on in the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia. Iran sits down with the United States, Russia, Europeans and key Arab states for the first time since the Syrian civil war began to discuss the future of the war-torn country. It will also break ground by bringing Assad’s main supporter, Iran, to the same table as its regional rivals, including Turkey and Saudi Arabia, who have been backing many of the insurgent groups.  (Alexei Druzhinin, RIA-Novosti, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP, File)

    FILE - In this file photo taken on Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2015, Russian President Vladimir Putin, center, shakes hand with Syrian President Bashar Assad as Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, right, looks on in the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia. Iran sits down with the United States, Russia, Europeans and key Arab states for the first time since the Syrian civil war began to discuss the future of the war-torn country. It will also break ground by bringing Assad’s main supporter, Iran, to the same table as its regional rivals, including Turkey and Saudi Arabia, who have been backing many of the insurgent groups. (Alexei Druzhinin, RIA-Novosti, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP, File)  (The Associated Press)

Iran is considering joining the international talks on Syria's future, expected later this week in Vienna, after receiving an official invitation for the gathering through Russia's envoy.

Foreign ministry's spokeswoman, Marzieh Afkham, confirmed the invitation and said Wednesday that "Iran is thinking about attending this meeting." Her quotes were carried by the official IRNA news agency.

She says Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, discussed ways to resolve the Syrian crisis both late Tuesday and on Wednesday.

The invitation came after the United States declared itself ready to engage long-time foe Iran if it might help halt Syria's four-year civil war.

Iran is a key ally of Syrian President Bashar Assad and has provided his government with military and political backing for years.