Sat Apr 8, 2017 09:36AM
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani speaks at the National Summit of the Economy of Resistance and Rural Development in Tehran on April 8, 2017. (Photo by Mehr news agency)
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani speaks at the National Summit of the Economy of Resistance and Rural Development in Tehran on April 8, 2017. (Photo by Mehr news agency)

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has called for the formation of an “impartial” international fact-finding committee to look into a purported chemical attack in Syria’s Idlib Province that left dozens of people dead.

“An international fact-finding mission should be formed to shed light on the issue,” Rouhani said at the National Summit of the Economy of Resistance and Rural Development in Tehran on Thursday.

“Of course, biased sides should not be included in the mission and the US should not lead it, but the issue should rather be investigated by impartial countries to find out where chemical weapons had come from, who had brought them in or whether there were any chemical weapons involved or not,” he added.

Tuesday’s alleged gas attack in the Idlib town of Khan Shaykhun killed at least 86 people.

Anti-Damascus militants and Western countries rushed to blame Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for the Idlib incident, without providing any evidence to support their accusations.

Russia and Syria say the army’s airstrike had targeted a depot where terrorists stockpiled chemical weapons.

Using the Idlib tragedy as a pretext, US President Donald Trump ordered Washington’s warships in the eastern Mediterranean to launch a missile strike against Shayrat Airfield in Syria’s Homs Province on Friday, which Washington alleged was the origin of the alleged chemical attacks.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Rouhani slammed the US for taking unilateral military action against Syria and killing innocents, saying the Americans see themselves as the “world leader” and “world’s gendarme.”

The photo shows a view of the National Summit of the Economy of Resistance and Rural Development in Tehran on April 8, 2017. (Photo by IRNA)

“The man (Trump), who now rules the US, claimed that he wanted to fight terrorists, but with this move, all terrorists in Syria are happy and celebrating,” he added.

The Iranian chief executive further denounced the assault on Shayrat Airfield as “a heinous and outrageous act of aggression” that ran contrary to all international principles, adding that the Americans even bypassed their own Congress and did not ask for its permission.

On a Twitter post on Friday, President Rouhani had censured the attack and said the aggression would boost terrorism in the region and strengthen lawlessness and instability in the world.

The US aggression has drawn widespread condemnations, with Syria accusing Washington of acting as an “accomplice” to terrorist groups operating in the Arab country.

On Friday, the Iranian Foreign Ministry strongly condemned Washington’s missile attack and said the airstrike will only “strengthen the dying terrorist groups and complicate the situation in Syria and the region.”