Iranian FM: Iran has always been against use of chemical weapons

Responding to US President Donald Trump’s claim that Syria’s allies could have helped carry out the recent chemical attack in Douma, Iran’s foreign minister said that his country has always maintained a firm stance against the use of chemical weapons.
Zarif Photo Credit: EPA

While in Brazil on Tuesday, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif dismissed US President Donald Trump’s remark about the possibility that Tehran played a role in the Syrian regime’s alleged chemical attack in Douma.

Zarif told reporters that Tehran has always been against the use of chemical weapons, Iran’s semi-official Tasnim news agency reported Tuesday. In addition, Trump said that the US is likely trying to use the alleged chemical attack as a pretext to interfere in Syria.

At a cabinet meeting on Monday, Trump told reporters that he is “very concerned” about the situation in Syria. “We're talking about humanity. And it can't be allowed to happen. So we'll be looking at that barbaric act and studying what's going on,” he said. “If it's Russia, if it's Syria, if it's Iran, if it's all of them together, we'll figure it out and we'll know the answers quite soon.”

The UN Security Council convened on Monday for an emergency meeting focused on addressing the alleged chemical attack. During the meeting, US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley told the council members that the United States will respond to the attack in the rebel-held town. The special meeting was called by several nations, including the US, Poland, Sweden and the UK, to address the reports about the attack.

Haley stressed that Washington plans to respond to the attack even without the UNSC’s support: “History will record this as the moment when the Security Council either discharged its duty or demonstrated its utter and complete failure to protect the people of Syria. Either way, the United States will respond.”

The US ambassador also pushed for the council to vote in the near future on a draft resolution about a probe into the attack and condemned Russia, one of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s main allies. “The Russian regime, whose hands are also covered in the blood of Syrian children, cannot be shamed by pictures of its victims,” she stated. “Russia could stop this senseless slaughter, if it wanted. But it stands with the Assad regime and supports it without hesitation. What's the point of trying to shame such people? After all, no civilized government would have anything to do with Assad's murderous regime.”

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