Zarif to UK: No country has right to take action against others

April 15, 2018

TEHRAN – Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told his British counterpart Boris Johnson on Sunday that “no country has the right to obstinately take punitive actions against others outside international regulations.”

The strong criticism against attack on Syria by Zarif came after British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson telephoned him to explain about Britain’s participation in the U.S.-led attack on Syria.

Zarif called attack on Syria by the U.S., Britain and France “obstinate”, “illegal” and “unilateral”. 

The U.S., Britain and France jointly carried out attacks on Syria on Saturday. The attack took place one week after a suspected chemical weapons attack in the Syrian town of Douma near Damascus. Western countries claimed the Syrian government was responsible for the attack. Syria rejected by the claim.

Zarif condemned the Western countries’ double standards in regard to use of chemical weapons by pointing to support to Saddam Hussein by France, the U.S. and Britain during the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq War when the Iraqi dictator gassed Iranians.

Zarif said Iran is strongly against use of chemical weapons but launching attacks before investigation of the issue by international organizations is “questionable”.

The two attacks against Syria under the pretext of chemical attacks took place exactly when the Syrian army had the “upper hand” against terrorist and put them on the “verge of defeat”.
 
Zarif told Johnson that since the issue of Syria’s chemical weapons disarmament was raised in 2013 “we announced that the armed terrorist groups had chemical weapons but it went unnoticed”.

In a phone conversation with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Saturday, President Hassan Rouhani said that the U.S. and its European allies are responsible for consequences of attacks on Syria.

He described the U.S.-led attacks as a “practical action” to boost terrorism in the region.

“While the terrorists face defeats in Syria, this action by the three countries means support for the defeated terrorist groups,” Rouhani pointed out.

Noting that no foreign country can decide about the future of Syria, Rouhani said that it is the Syrians who should decide about their country.

NA/PA
 

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