Iranian leader acknowledges deaths from chemical attacks
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Saturday for the first time that chemical weapons killed people in ally Syria and he called for the international community to prevent their use.
Rouhani stopped short of saying who he thought had used the arms, but Iran's Foreign Ministry said evidence pointed to the rebels fighting Syrian President Bashar Assad.
Tehran has accused Syrian rebels of being behind what it called suspected chemical attacks.
Rouhani did not mention the international furor around Syrian opposition reports that government forces killed as many as 1,000 civilians with gas in Damascus on Wednesday.
“Many of the innocent people of Syria have been injured and martyred by chemical agents, and this is unfortunate,” the recently elected Rouhani was quoted as saying by the ISNA news agency.
“We completely and strongly condemn the use of chemical weapons, because the Islamic Republic of Iran is itself a victim of chemical weapons,” he said, according to the agency.
Iranians were subjected to chemical weapons attacks by Iraqi forces during the Iran-Iraq war from 1980 to 1988.
“The Islamic Republic gives notice to the international community to use all its might to prevent the use of these weapons anywhere in the world, especially in Syria,” Mehr news agency quoted Rouhani as saying.
Abbas Araqchi, Iran's foreign ministry spokesman, said Iran believes rebels were behind the attack. Tehran officials have been in touch with authorities from Syria and other countries to find out what happened.
“There is evidence that this action was carried out by terrorist groups,” ISNA quoted Araqchi as saying. “The concurrence of the use of these weapons with the presence of United Nations inspectors is itself an indication that there are hands at work to accuse the Syrian government of using these weapons and help the conflict and crisis to continue.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- North Korea proposes joint probe over hacking attack against Sony
- No movement yet on Afghan cabinet
- In Mideast, refugee babies left stateless
- Pakistan school: Devastation where 148 were slain
- Female bishop a first for Church of England
- Cezanne likely to attract bidders
- How are migrants sneaking into the EU? Through Hungary
- Clashes delay rescue of Yazidis off Mt. Sinjar
- Korean-American aid worker charged in China
- Pakistan resumes executions in response to Taliban school massacre
- Palestinian who attacks Israeli family with acid at West Bank intersection then shot