Iran warns U.S. about intervention in Syria

March 14, 2018

TEHRAN – The Iranian Foreign Ministry on Wednesday slammed the United States for its hostile policies towards the Middle East, saying Washington is not entitled to intervene in Syria.

Washington needs to carefully consider the implications of its policies before adopting any interventionist policies in the region, Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi told a regular news briefing.

There have been reports that the U.S. is considering a large-scale military action against Syria under the pretext that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad uses chemical weapons against its people.

U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said on Monday that Washington was ready to unilaterally “act” against Syria, just as it did last year when it bombed a Syrian government air base.

Qassemi said Washington’s hostile actions against the countries of the region is nothing new, warning the U.S. government against taking any “foolish” decisions with regards to Syria.

“Should America insists on such policies, the nations of the region will react and show that they won’t accept foreign presence in their region,” he insisted.

Qassemi said, unlike the U.S.-led coalition, Iran is present in Syria upon the official request of Damascus to help the country fight terrorism.

He added, “We hope peace returns to Syria through diplomacy.” 

‘Iran backs U.S.-North Korea dialogue despite Washington’s bad faith’

Asked about a possible U.S.-North Korea meeting about Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons, he said Iran will back any efforts toward global peace and stability, however, he said, the U.S. itself has proven to be an “unreliable” country.

On Thursday, U.S. President Donald Trump announced that he would meet with North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un in May. Trump said Kim talked “denuclearization” with South Korean officials and that the country would halt its missile tests in preparation for the meeting. The North Korea’s leader says however that he will not abandon his country’s nuclear weapon program that began in the 1990s, much to the frustration of Washington.

‘Washington has proven it cannot be trusted’ 

If the talks happen, Qassemi said, Iran will welcome it, but it has been proven in practice that one cannot trust Washington’s promises.

‘Iran not surprised by Tillerson’s firing’

On sudden firing of Rex Tillerson by Trump and its impact on the Iran nuclear deal, the spokesman said he was not surprised by such sudden changes in the Trump administration anymore, noting what matters is Washington’s policies toward Iran in practice.

“We have witnessed these frequent developments and it is a matter of their internal affairs,” he maintained.

He went on to say that Tehran will monitor Washington’s policies toward itself and will adopt stances accordingly.

The spokesman refused to comment about a possible link between Tillerson’s dismissal and the U.S.-North Korea talks, reiterating Iran’s support for any peace efforts.

Trump fired Tillerson on Tuesday and replaced him with CIA Director Mike Pompeo.

In December, the secretary of state offered to begin direct talks with Pyongyang without preconditions.

The White House – which insisted North Korea must first accept any negotiations would be about giving up its nuclear arsenal – distanced itself from his remarks.

MH/PA

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