Saturday Aug 31, 201302:32 AM GMT
Iran's FM expresses concern about strike on Syria
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has warned of grave consequences of any military intervention in Syria in the wake of a recent deadly chemical weapons attack near Damascus.

During separate telephone conversations with his Austrian and Portuguese counterparts, Michael Spindelegger and Rui Manuel Parente Chancerelle de Machete, on Friday, Zarif strongly condemned the use of chemical weapons, criticized attempts by certain parties to launch a new war in the Middle East, and voiced concern over the repercussions of any military action against Syria.

The Iranian foreign minister also stressed the need for the international law as well as efforts by the United Nations and the international community to work out a political solution to the Syrian crisis.

Earlier in the day, Zarif discussed the latest developments in Syria with UN-Arab League Special Envoy on Syria Lakhdar Brahimi, and expressed concern about any new “act of adventurism” in the region.

On Wednesday afternoon, the top Iranian diplomat discussed Syria with the foreign ministers of France, Italy, Spain, Greece, Switzerland, Belgium, Algeria, the Republic of Azerbaijan, Jordan, and Kuwait.

The Iranian minister also called on UN inspectors to continue their investigation into the gas attack near the Syrian capital, which killed hundreds.

On August 21, the militants operating inside Syria and the foreign-backed Syrian opposition claimed that 1,300 people had been killed in a government chemical attack on militant strongholds in the Damascus suburbs of Ain Tarma, Zamalka and Jobar.

A number of Western countries, including the United States, France, and Britain, were quick to adopt war rhetoric against Syria, despite the fact that Damascus categorically rejected the baseless claim.

Speculation has been running high in recent days that a military strike may be carried out against Syria. The US says it has planned to conduct surgical cruise-missile strikes, which could rely on four US destroyers in the Mediterranean. The plan, however, seems to be awaiting US President Barack Obama’s approval.

Iran, Russia and China, among other countries, have warned against foreign military intervention in Syria, which has been gripped by deadly unrest since 2011.

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