US Military On Same Side As al-Qaeda, Daesh in Yemen, Syria: Zarif

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has censured the recent US airstrikes against Syria, saying the United States is fighting on the same side as al-Qaeda and Daesh terrorist groups in Yemen and Syria.

“As the only recent victim of mass use of chemical weapons (by [former Iraqi dictator] Saddam [Hossein] in the ’80s, Iran condemns use of all WMD (weapons of mass destruction) by anyone against anyone,” Zarif said in a post on his Twitter account on Friday.

He emphasized that Washington helped Saddam in its chemical weapons attack against Iran, but the US has twice in the current millennium used “bogus” chemical weapons allegations to use military force, including in the 2003 invasion of Iraq and the current strikes against Syria.

The top Iranian diplomat added that it is high time to stop “hype and cover-ups.”

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 the 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.”

US warships deployed to the Mediterranean carried out an airstrike on an army airbase near Homs by firing some 60 Tomahawk missiles at the Shayrat airfield southeast of Homs early Friday.

US military attack cover for supporting terrorists

Meanwhile, during the weekly Friday Prayers in Tehran, a senior Iranian cleric said the US carried out the military attack on Syria as a cover to support terrorists.

Addressing Western powers, particularly the US, Ayatollah Mohammad Emami Kashani said, “You have founded and nurtured terrorists and Israel and are now falsely claiming the Syrian government has used chemical weapons.” 

Syria has no chemical weapons: Iran MP

Furthermore, a senior Iranian lawmaker said the Syrian government has relinquished all its chemical weapons stockpiles and is not in possession of no such arms, stressing that Iran and Russia would not keep silent on the “unwise” US strikes in Syria.

“Such an unwise move by the US will undoubtedly have serious consequences because countries such as Russia and Iran will not remain silent in the face of such measures which are at odds with the interests of the region,” Chairman of the Iranian Parliament’s Committee on National Security and Foreign Policy Alaeddin Boroujerdi said on Friday.

He pointed to the Syrian army’s “superior position” in the fight against terrorists and its liberation of the northwestern city of Aleppo and some other areas, saying, “A country which is winning the war, will not conduct such an act (carry out a chemical attack).”

The Iranian legislator added that the US and its regional and European allies’ claim of the Syrian government’s use of chemical weapons was only a pretext to cover up their failures in Syria over the past six years.

US strikes on Syria aim to boost terrorism: Shamkhani

Meanwhile, the secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) said the US “criminal” attack against Syria was a violation of international regulations and a clear indication of Washington’s fixed policy of using terrorism as a means to achieve its own political objectives in the crisis-hit Arab country.

“Undoubtedly, such measures will further complicate political and security equations in Syria and [lead to the] creation of dangerous and unpredictable precedent,” Ali Shamkhani said.

The moves would, however, “fail to have any impact on the  motivation of the Syrian government and nation in their resolute fight against terrorism backed by the Western-Zionist-Arab front,” he added.

He emphasized that Iran is closely and carefully monitoring developments in Syria and would strongly and resolutely continue down the path of combating terrorism through close consultation with its partners and regardless of the suspicious conduct by some Western countries and their regional allies.

The SNSC secretary also said the Islamic Republic has repeatedly stressed the importance of collective and international efforts to stop the flow of weapons of mass destruction to terrorists.

Shamkhani said there is no ground and justification for the Syrian government to use chemical weapons and called for the formation of an independent fact-finding group to determine the motives and reasons for the chemical weapons attack in the town of Khan Sheikhun in Idlib province earlier this week.