Iran's defense minister says despite Western countries’ propaganda, Syrian forces have never used chemical weapons against terrorists, who are using weapons of mass destruction in their war against Damascus.
Addressing a ceremony held to mark the 30th anniversary of a chemical attack against the Iranian city of Sardasht, Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan said during the past few days, 3,000-4,000 sorties have been conducted over the region by countries like the UK and Italy, who have announced that the Syrian government is planning to use chemical weapons in its future operations.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran announces that the Syrian government is not after using chemical weapons and this claim (that the Syrian government has used chemical weapons) by some individuals who regard themselves as the rulers of the world is questionable,” he added.
Dozens of people were killed in a chemical attack in the Syrian town of Khan Shaykhun in Syria's northwestern province of Idlib on April 4.
The United States and its allies were quick to accuse the Syrian government forces of carrying out the attack. The Syrian army; however, said that “it has never used them (chemical weapons), anytime, anywhere, and will not do so in the future.”
Pointing to the US support for terror groups in the Middle East, the Iranian defense minister said the world is concerned that terrorists have combined terrorism and war with weapons of mass destruction.
He added that Takfiris are using weapons of mass destruction; however, some countries are cooperating with these terrorists instead of countering them.
The Iranian minister criticized some countries for claiming that they were countering terrorists at a time that terror groups were provided with financial support.
The Islamic Republic is a victim of terrorism and chemical weapons, Dehqan said, adding, “We have always expressed our objection to producing, stockpiling and use of weapons of mass destruction.”
He emphasized that during the Iraqi imposed war on Iran in the 1980s, the Islamic Republic never used weapons of mass destruction and Iran's stance in this regard was unchanging.
Dehqan said 111 civilians lost their lives and more than 8,000 people were injured in the chemical attack on the Iranian city of Sardasht on June 28, 1987 by Iraq during the rule of the executed Iraqi dictator, Saddam Hussein.
Sardasht was the third populated city in the world, after Japan's Hiroshima and Nagasaki, to be deliberately targeted with weapons of mass destruction. It was also the first city in the world to be attacked with poisonous gas.
The Iranian defense minister further expressed concern over the ongoing situation in the region and warned that acts of terror would result in “terrible consequences” for the international community.
Dehqan added, “Weapons of mass destruction have never brought about security, but are used for killing and creating human catastrophe.”