US playing with fire in Syria, warns senior Iranian official
A senior Iranian official has rejected US claims that Syria may be preparing for a chemical attack, warning that Washington is playing with fire in the Arab country.
“Undoubtedly, the US’ unwise and adventurous behaviors in Syria are clear examples of playing with fire,” Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani said on Wednesday.
He described the US claims about Syria’s potential chemical attack as “delusional,” saying such allegations are fabricated to undermine the Syrian army’s gains against terrorists.
“Raising new delusional claims against Syria is the continuation of a US scenario to cover up the terrorist front’s back-to-back failures and to counter the Syrian army’s decisive advances,” he added.
Shamkhani’s remarks came after Pentagon spokesman Capt Jeff Davis claimed on Tuesday that activity had been spotted at the Syrian army’s Shayrat airfield in Homs province, which was hit by American missiles in April.
Shamkhani underlined the need for an investigation by the Organization for Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) into the US claims, saying, “If the US is sincere in its claims, it should provide OPCW inspectors with related information so that the claims can be impartially verified with cooperation from the Syrian government.”
Referring to the US attacks on Shayrat airfield in April under the pretext that Damascus had used chemical weapons, the Iranian official said following the incident, Iran and Russia called for an international fact-finding mission in Syria to probe into the issue, but the US prevented the move, fearing its false claims against Syria would be revealed.
Separately, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi (pictured below) also warned that any unilateral move by the US under false pretexts would further inflame insecurity in the region and bolster terrorists.
“Raising such baseless claims and embarking on measures that will have no result but the strengthening of terrorist groups and further complicating the fight against them seem highly questionable and suspicious at a time when the Syrian government has been fighting… terrorist groups tooth and nail and has been paying a heavy price for that for more than six years,” Qassemi said.
He called on the international community to take appropriate measures to prevent any unilateral moves in the war-torn country.
Russia has also dismissed the warning by the US that the Syrian government is making “preparations” for a new chemical attack, saying such allegations are unacceptable.
“Such threats to Syria’s legitimate leaders are unacceptable,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Tuesday.