SUMMARY: In an interview on English-language outlet Press TV on Wednesday night, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif set out the Government’s line on the Syrian crisis, maintaining blame on the US for trying to turn the “hypothetical use” of chemical weapons by the Assad regime into a war.
Zarif declared that a “number of groups inside the US and some interests outside wanted to trap President Obama, a trap he laid for himself, by getting him involved” in a military conflict.
The Foreign Minister continued that the US has “no right to be judge, jury, and executioner, especially in light of its own record….The US is living in the 19th century, when the use of force was the prerogative of states. It is not [any longer]“.
Zarif also tried to limit any report by UN inspectors of the sites of the August 21 chemical weapons attacks near Damascus, saying that “it didn’t have the mandate, unfortunately, to determine responsibility”.
Instead, he shifted the issue to trying to “a region free from weapons of mass destruction”.
And who was really causing the problems in Syria? The Foreign Minister answered, “Extremists and takfiris [Muslim heretics] from outside”. He repeated that Iran had passed information to the US since last year that insurgents were bringing chemical weapons into Syria.
FM Zarif: “Nuclear Talks Should Be Time-Bound and Based on Mutual Respect”
In his televised interview on Wednesday night, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif repeated President Rouhani’s call for nuclear talks in the near-future with the 5+1 Powers (US, Britain, France, Germany, China, and Russia).
Zarif said the talks should be “based on mutual respect” and that they must be “time-bound”, rather than dragging out indefinitely. He insisted that “nuclear weapons have no place” in Iran’s plans and strategy.
The Foreign Minister claimed this provocative lesson, “You cannot try have security at the expense of the insecurity of others. If that was achievable, 9-11 would not have happened.”
Revolutionary Guards: Iraqi Group Will Hit Saudi Oil Facilities if US Attacks Syria
Fars News, the outlet of the Revolutionary Guards, has maintained the threat that Saudi Arabia will be attacked if the US carries out military intervention in Syria.
The website says that the leader of the Iraqi group Jaysh Al-Mukhtar, Sheikh Wathiq Al-Battat, has vowed to target Saudi oil installations and ports, “We will cut the West’s economic artery in Saudi Arabia….The Saudi Royal family is trying to stir instability and insecurity in some countries by interfering in their internal affairs.”
Last week, Fars reported that al-Battat had promised to target Washington’s interests in Iraq and the Persian Gulf with “23,000″ suicide bombers if the US attacked Syria.
The reports sit uneasily with Iran’s denial that it has planned revenge attacks in Iraq if the US carries out airstrikes in response to the Assad regime’s chemical weapons attacks.
By EA WorldView
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