Zarif, UN Chief Stress Peaceful Settlement of Syria Crisis
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon underlined the need for a political solution as the only way to settle the prolonged crisis in Syria.
Military intervention in Syria would have harmful and widespread consequences, the Iranian minister told Ban Ki-moon in a telephone conversation on Sunday evening.
Zarif also denounced the use of chemical weapons in Syria, and expressed Tehran’s readiness to help find a peaceful resolution to the civil war that has engulfed the country since 2011.
Ban, like the Iranian diplomat, placed the emphasis on a political approach to settlement of the lingering crisis in that country.
Over the last few weeks, Iran has intensified its diplomatic efforts to find an immediate way out of the crisis in Syria, insisting that any military action against Damascus can only aggravate the situation.
The war rhetoric against Syria grew after foreign-backed opposition forces accused President Bashar al-Assad’s government of having launched a chemical attack on militant strongholds in the suburbs of Damascus on August 21, a line that has been used by some western countries as the pretext for a possible military action against Syria.
Russia, Syria's main international backer, says the US does not have any evidence to show the Syrian government carried out the chemical attack, and beleives the attack was staged by rebels to provoke intervention in the more than two-year-old civil war.
Also Iran's parlaiment Speaker Ali Larijani dared US officials on Sunday to present the documents they say could implicate the Syrian government in the attack in the UN Security Council.
US President Barack Obama who pushed for military action against Syria, put off an attack on Saturday as he wants Congress to vote on the issue first. This comes as opinion polls have shown strong opposition to a strike among war-weary American public, and after UK Parliament rejected a government motion supporting the principle of military intervention in Syria.