Iran's ex-president: Syrian government launched gas attack
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Iran's ex-president: Syrian government launched gas attack

Tehrān : Iran | Sep 01, 2013 at 2:20 PM PDT
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Iran's ex-president: Syria government launched gas attack against Syrians

Iran's former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani said that the Syrian government carried out chemical weapons attacks against its own people, Reuters reported.

"The people have been the target of a chemical attack by their own government and now they must also wait for an attack by foreigners," Rafsanjani said, according to the Iranian Labor News Agency (ILNA).

"Right now America, the Western world along with some of the Arab countries are nearly issuing a clarion call for war in Syria - may God have mercy on the people of Syria," he said.

"The people of Syria have seen much damage in these two years, the prisons are overflowing and they've converted stadiums into prisons, more than 100,000 people killed and millions displaced show the plight of Syria more than ever before," he added.

The comments were unexpected by the former president, whose country has enjoyed a long time special relationship with the Syrian regime.

So far, there has been no official comments from the Iranian and the Syrian governments regarding these statements, which, of course, differ from Iran's official position towards the Syrian crisis. Iran has supported the Syrian regime financially and politically since the beginning of the revolution against the Syrian regime.

Additionally, Iran has acknowledged in 2012 that its Revolutionary Guard force has top-ranking officers in Damascus providing advice.

An Iranian parliamentary delegation, led by Chairman of the Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Committee Alaeddin Boroujerdi, met with the Syrian President Bashar al- Assad in Damascus Sunday, Press TV, an English-language media arm of the Iranian government, reported.

According to the report, the visit aims to show support by the Iranian regime and people for the Syrian government amid threats of a military strike against Damascus by the US and some of its allies.

During the meeting, Assad told the delegation that Syria was capable of confronting any external aggression and that threats of a US strike, would not discourage the country from a fight against what it described as "terrorism.”

"The American threats of launching an attack against Syria will not discourage Syria away from its principles ... or its fight against terrorism supported by some regional and Western countries, first and foremost the United States of America." Assad said in response to statements of US President Barack Obama at a White House press conference on Syria where he said, "I will seek authorization for the use of force from the American people's representatives in Congress,"

In the same context, Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad, said on Sunday that Obama's speech showed hesitation and confusion.

"It is clear there was a sense of hesitation and disappointment in what was said by President Barack Obama yesterday. And it is also clear there was a sense of confusion as well," he told reporters in Damascus.

On the other hand, Syria's leading opposition bloc said Sunday, that they were disappointed with Obama's decision, meanwhile, they called on the US Congress to approve military action against Assad and said any intervention should be accompanied with more arms for the rebels.

"Dictatorships like Iran and North Korea are watching closely to see how the free world responds to the Assad regime's use of chemical weapons against the Syrian people," the Syrian opposition coalition said in a statement issued in Istanbul.

"If the free world fails to respond to such an outrageous breach of international norms, dictators around the world will be encouraged in their efforts to follow the example set by Assad," it said.

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Iran’s ex-president says Syria government launched gas attack
Lebanese and Syrian civilians take part in a candlelight vigil in solidarity with Syrian civilians killed by a gas attack in the suburbs of Damascus, in front of the offices of the UN headquarters in Beirut August 21, 2013.Reuters
saleh1966 is based in Gaza, Ġazzah, Palestine, and is an Anchor on Allvoices.
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