0246 GMT July 16, 2018
Iran’s foreign minister in a telephone conversation with his British counterpart condemned the “arbitrary, illegal and unilateral” move by the US, Britain and France to attack Syria under the pretext of a suspected chemical attack in the Arab country.
Mohammad Javad Zarif said that no country has the right to unilaterally enforce punitive measures against other countries without observing the international regulations, the Foreign Ministry’s official website reported.
The top Iranian diplomat questioned the launching of the attack before arrival of inspectors of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) tasked with conducting a fact-finding mission into the suspected chemical attack in Douma, the largest town in the Eastern Ghouta region near Syria's capital Damascus, on April 7.
Zarif told Boris Johnson that the two attacks on Syria under the pretext of using chemical weapons by Damascus, were launched exactly at the time when the Syrian Army had significantly advanced against the terrorist groups which were on the verge of defeat.
In the early hours of Saturday, the three Western states launched a barrage of missile attacks against Syria in response to what they claimed to be a chemical attack in the terrorist-held town of Douma. Syria said it had intercepted most of the missiles.
The fresh strikes by the US marked the second time that President Donald Trump has authorized attacks on Syria.
He ordered a missile strike against Shayrat Airbase in Syria’s Homs Province on April 7, 2017. Trump claimed back then that the airfield had been the origin of a suspected sarin gas attack on the town of Khan Shaykhun in Syria’s Idlib Province on April 4, 2017.
This is while Syria turned over its entire chemical stockpile under a deal negotiated by Russia and the United States back in 2013.
Zarif once again expressed the Islamic Republic's opposition to the use of any type of chemical weapons.
He criticized the West's dual approaches to the use of chemical weapons and said the regime of the former Iraqi dictator, Saddam Hussein, had carried out chemical attacks against Iran during the Iraqi-imposed war with the support of Washington, London and Paris.