As the second round of talks in Geneva between the Syrian government and the exiled opposition has scored no progress, hopes for an immediate political breakthrough to Syria's three-year-old conflict have dimmed.
Iraq's firebrand Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr on Sunday announced that he is leaving political life and closed his offices in order to stop the "evil acts" by some people under the name of his Sadr family.
The second round negotiations of the Geneva II international conference on Syria concluded on Saturday noon without achieving tangible results, said UN-Arab League Special Envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi.
When world powers start talks with Iran next week on a final agreement on their nuclear dispute, the main question for the West will be how to ensure Tehran gives up enough atomic activity to ensure it cannot build a bomb any time soon.
International mediator Lakhdar Brahimi held a meeting with US Under Secretary of State Wendy Sherman and Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov to try to salvage faltering peace talks between the opposition and Syrian government.