Rafsanjani Slams West's War Rhetoric against Syria
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Chairman of Iran’s Expediency Council Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani condemned the US and its allies for threatening Syria with military strike, saying the excuse underlying their rhetoric has to be proven yet.
“Unfortunately, people of Syria who are entangled in civil war and a series of calamities and unprecedented displacement for nearly two years, are also now facing foreign threats under pretexts of chemical weapons use that are not yet proven,” Ayatollah Rafsanjani said here in Tehran on Saturday.
He further stated that the use of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) such as chemical weapons by any government or group is condemned.
“We condemn use of such weapons and consider it as (religiously) forbidden,” the former Iranian president stated.
In recent days the US has been trying to ramp up support for its plan for military intervention in Syria, as it accuses the government of President Bashar al-Assad of using chemical weapons against rebels in the suburbs of capital Damascus on August 21, a charge Syria has strongly denied.
But so far US President barack Obama does not seem to have made any progress in convincing the international community and his own people to support use of force against Syria.
Obama has not sought authorization from the United Nations Security Council, as he knows Russia would certainly block such a motion. And among its allies, only France has said it would use force, albeit only after Washington strikes.
On the home front, Obama faces a divided Congress and a skeptical, war-weary public.
The latest opinion poll shows public opposition to involvement in the Syrian conflict is growing, with six out of 10 Americans against missile strikes.
According to a Washington Post count, only 23 senators have been willing to go on record in favor of military force, while 17 are against. It will likely take 60 of the Senate's 100 members to advance the measure to the House of Representatives.
In the House, where 218 votes will be required to pass the resolution, only 25 members are on record in support of military action so far, according to the Post, with 106 opposed.