Iran accuses rebels of carrying out chemical attack near Damascus

Hours after Iran's president acknowledged that chemical weapons were used in an attack near Damascus this past week, Iran's foreign ministry accused opponents of Syria's ruler, Bashar Assad, of perpetrating the deed.

Abbas Araqchi, Iran's foreign ministry spokesman, said Iranbelieved the rebels were behind the attack, and that Iran was intouch with Syria and other countries to find out what happened.

"There is evidence that this action was carried out byterrorist groups," ISNA quoted Araqchi as saying. "Theconcurrence of the use of these weapons with the presence ofUnited Nations inspectors is itself an indication that there arehands at work to accuse the Syrian government of using theseweapons and help the conflict and crisis to continue."

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