Tehran: American action in Syria would bring ‘severe consequences’

Revolutionary Guards commander warns US against crossing "redline"; Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman states only dialogue will bring resolution.

August 26, 2013 03:30
2 minute read.
A US Navy destroyer launches a cruise missile in the Mediterranean Sea [file]

US destroyer launches cruise missile 370. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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Iran on Sunday warned the United States against crossing the “redline” on Syria, saying it would have “severe consequences.”

“America knows the limitation of the redline of the Syrian front, and any crossing of Syria’s redline will have severe consequences for the White House,” said Massoud Jazayeri, deputy chief of staff of Iran’s armed forces, reacting to statements by Western officials regarding the possibility of military intervention in Syria, the Fars news agency reported.

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Iran’s Revolutionary Guards commander warned enemies on Sunday against any threatening moves.

“The IRGC... will definitely pursue and monitor threatening moves with sharp eyes,” said Maj.- Gen. Muhammad Ali Jafari, Iran’s Tasnim News Agency reported.

US intervention would plunge it “deeper into a quagmire of troubles in the Middle East,” said Hadi Shoushtari, a member of parliament’s national security and foreign policy commission.

This followed a statement on Saturday by Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Araqchi that military intervention is not permitted in Syria.

“The problem in Syria can only be resolved through dialogue and finding a peaceful solution. And there is currently no international permission on initiating a military offensive against Syria,” he said, the Iranian Mehr News Agency reported.

Seeming to imply that US intervention could embroil it in another long and bloody war in the Islamic world, Araqchi added, “We hope there would be enough wisdom in the White House to not engage in such a risky battlefield.”

Meanwhile, Syrian authorities warned the United States against any military action over a suspected chemical weapons attack in Syria’s civil war, saying this would “inflame the Middle East.”

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Syrian President Bashar Assad’s government has accused the insurgents of firing the chemical weapons “as a last resort” to try to provoke foreign intervention on their side.

Syrian Information Minister Omran Zoabi said that any US-led military action would be “no picnic.”

“US military intervention will create a very serious fallout and a ball of fire that will inflame the Middle East,” Zoabi told the Syrian state news agency SANA.

Syria has agreed to allow UN inspectors access to sites in suburbs of Damascus where alleged chemical attacks occurred last week, the Syria Foreign Ministry said in a statement broadcast on state television.

“The Syrian government and the United Nations agreed on a common understanding... to allow the United Nations to investigate allegations of chemical weapons use in the Damascus suburbs on August 22, 2013,” the statement said, giving the wrong date for the mass poisoning, which took place on August 21.

Many hundreds of people were poisoned to death on Wednesday before dawn in what appears to have been the world’s worst chemical weapons attack since Saddam Hussein’s forces gassed thousands of Iraqi Kurdish villagers in 1988.

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al- Moualem met UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Angela Kane – who was in Damascus to negotiate access – on Sunday morning, it said.

Moualem “stressed Syria’s readiness to cooperate with a team of investigators to uncover false allegations by terrorist groups that Syrian troops used chemical weapons in [Damascus].”

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