TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iran’s police chief said Russia’s initiative to bring Syria’s chemical weapons under international control allowed US President Obama to save face, by removing the need to take military action, and opened a way for his retreat.
“The Russian initiative saved Obama and was a way for Obama’s retreat,” Iran’s Police Chief Brigadier General Esmayeel Ahamdi Moqaddam said today.
US President Barack Obama had threatened the use of force in response to an August 21 chemical weapons attack in Syria that US officials say killed more than 1000 people. Washington has blamed Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government for the attack, while Russia and Syria say it was the work of rebel forces.
Having failed to win widespread support for intervention in Syria abroad and at home, Obama opted to work on a diplomatic solution with Russia, a key Syrian ally, which had proposed putting Syria’s chemical weapons stockpile under control of the international community for its eventual decommissioning.
“In regard to the war against Syria, the US failed to come to an agreement with the public opinion and (its) own officials,” Moqaddam said.
To strike Syria, Obama faced a war-weary public and a skeptical Congress, opposed to an open-ended new entanglement in the Middle East.
Obama was supposed to strike Syria,then changed his mind and went to Congress, and later decided to go along with the Russian proposal to put Syria’s chemical weapons under international supervision.
On Saturday, American and Russian top diplomats in Geneva reached an agreement aimed at setting a timetable for destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons and averting a proposed US military strike against the Arab country.
The accord called for Syria to account for his chemical arsenal within a week and let international inspectors eliminate it all by the middle of 2014.
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