Tehran says terrorists transferring chemical weapons to Idlib

September 5, 2018

TEHRAN – Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi said on Tuesday that there is evidence that terrorists in Syria have transferred chemical weapons to Idlib.

The remarks by Araqchi comes as the Syrian army is set to recapture Idlib from al-Nusra and al-Qaeda terrorists. 

Terrorists in certain cases have used chemical weapons against the civilians whenever the government forces tried to capture their hideouts.

In certain cases whenever the Syrian government has launched attacks to drive out terrorists from their hideouts in cities they have used chemical weapons against the civilians in order to demonize the Damascus government.

“There are evidences that chemical weapons and substances are in the hands of terrorists. Right now intelligence is arriving saying that chemical substances have been moved to Idlib by the terrorists. There is a high possibility for the scenario to be repeated,” he said on Tuesday evening in a televised interview.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif visited Damascus ahead of the summit between Iranian, Russian and Turkish presidents in Tehran on Friday.

The summit is taking place as the Syrian army along with a support by resistance forces are preparing to liberate Idlib, the last stronghold of terrorists in Syria.

“On Monday Mr. Zarif went to Syria and there he reviewed the latest Syrian developments with the president and (other) officials of Syria. They reviewed the latest on-ground situation. And we come with specified plans and ideas that, God willing, will enable us to conclude the fight on terrorism, leading to the political process, and the reconstruction process, and finally the return of the refugees to normal life,” Araqchi explained.

“We are in close cooperation with the government of Russia. Intimate talks and negotiations are going on between us and the government of Russia regarding Syria. And the same exists with Turkey. And I think that we are moving on the right path. The fact on the ground tells us that our path in Astana so far has been the right path and that it will cause the reinstitution of the rule of the Syrian government and army on its entirety of territory, God willing. And we are hopeful that over the coming months we will get to the point where the reconstruction of Syria begins.”

‘If Europe minds it reputation it should pay its costs’

Regarding the situation over the Iran nuclear deal, he said, “What we tell Europeans is this: If your reputation is important to you, if your security is important to you, you should create some situation and support your companies and satisfy them to work with Iran. And what Europeans have so far failed to do is to operationalize their support for their companies; to create ways for their companies to work with Iran while staying exempt from U.S. sanctions.”

“If you [Europeans] think that the JCPOA is a matter of security to Europe, a matter of reputation, a matter of politics, a matter of non-proliferation, if it is the things you say it is, you should pay for it. It is impossible that you ensure security and your companies are not sanctioned. You should come to the stage, pay the price, (and) support your companies. If the U.S. sanctions them you should take on the penalties, and create grounds for your company, for your bank to come work with Iran in tranquility.”

“So far, despite the U.S. exit from the JCPOA, it is in our interest to stay in the JCPOA, else it is a piece of cake to quit the JCPOA, to tear or set it on fire. This was an agreement that was made, and the losing side was the U.S.”

However, Araqchi mentioned, Iran has given European parties to the nuclear deal until November 4 - the start of U.S. sanctions against its vital oil industry - to come up with ways to offset the impact.

Iran has “clearly announced” to European nations that if its “main interests” in the nuclear agreement are not served, “staying in the deal will not benefit us anymore,” he noted.

SP/PA

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