Iran’s Majlis Speaker Ali Larijani says the US decision to strike Syria is a preplanned measure, stressing that Washington has been gearing up for military action against Damascus for some time.
Larijani said Thursday that the US is using deception to make a case for striking Syria and added, “The issue of [military] action against Syria is not an issue which the US has devised in recent days.”
“UN-Arab League Special Envoy on Syria Lakhdar Brahimi has also acknowledged that the US has been preparing to take action against Syria for more than four months, but the Europeans opposed it,” he added.
Syria has been gripped by deadly unrest since 2011. According to the United Nations, more than 100,000 people have been killed and a total of 7.8 million displaced due to the violence.
The war rhetoric against Syria intensified after foreign-backed opposition forces accused President Bashar al-Assad’s government of having launched a chemical attack on militant strongholds in the suburbs of Damascus last week.
However, Damascus has categorically rejected the claim, and announced that the chemical attack had actually been carried out by the militants themselves as a black operation.
Iran, among a number of other countries, has warned against the consequences of military action against Syria, saying that the fallout from a military strike would engulf the entire region.
Regarding Iran’s peaceful atomic work, Larijani said that Western countries and on top of them the US seek to hinder Tehran’s nuclear energy program in a bid to restrict the Islamic Republic’s power and influence in the region and across the world.
Iran, however, has stood up to the West’s acquisitiveness and always asserted its inalienable rights, the top parliamentarian underlined.
The United States, Israel and some of their allies have repeatedly accused Iran of pursuing non-civilian objectives in its nuclear energy program.
Iran refutes the allegation and argues that as a signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency, it is entitled to develop nuclear technology for civilian purposes.