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Iran slams chemical attack in Syria, urges disarmament of terrorist groups

Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi

Iran has strongly condemned the use of chemical weapons in Syria, underling the need for disarming terrorists operating in the Arab country.

“We strongly condemn any use of chemical weapons, irrespective of who used them or their victims,” Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi said on Wednesday.

Dozens of people were killed in a chemical attack in the Syrian town of Khan Shaykhun in the northwestern province of Idlib on Tuesday.

The United States and its allies were quick to accuse Syrian government forces of carrying out the attack. The Syrian army said, however, that “it has never used them (chemical weapons), anytime, anywhere, and will not do so in the future.”

The Iranian official said that the catastrophe was not the first of its kind in Syria, warning that dealing with the tragedy based on double standards, rash judgment and propaganda purposes and using it as a tool to level accusations against others and reinforce the political demands of certain sides would prevent addressing the root causes of such disasters.

Qassemi said the Syrian government had voluntarily dismantled its stockpile of chemical weapons under the supervision of the UN and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), stressing that it was now time for disarming terrorist groups in the Arab country.

“Considering the transfer, stockpile and use of chemical weapons by terrorist groups in Syria, the Islamic Republic of Iran has always believed that despite the disarmament of the Syrian government through its full cooperation and under the supervision of a joint representative of the UN and the OPCW, ignoring the need for the chemical disarmament of terrorist groups has been a major flaw in the country's chemical disarmament process,” the Iranian official said.

Qassemi said that the attack was aimed at disrupting the nationwide ceasefire in Syria, stressing that the failure of the global community in fighting terrorism was among the reasons behind such incidents.

He also expressed Iran’s readiness to treat the Syrian victims of the attack.     

The Syrian government turned over its entire chemical stockpile under a deal negotiated by Russia and the United States back in 2013.

The Syrian stockpile of chemical weapons was surrendered in a joint mission comprising representatives of the UN and the OPCW in 2014.

Iran’s call for disarming terrorist groups in Syria comes as the Daesh Takfiri terror group has launched several chemical attacks in Syria over the past years.

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