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Iranian Speaker Raps US for Unilateral Move against Syria

TEHRAN, Apr. 09, 2017(FNA)- Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani lashed out at the White House for punishing the Syrian army by missile strikes before launching an investigation into the real culprits behind the Tuesday chemical attack in Idlib.

"The US government attacked Syria under the pretext of the chemical weapons use and inflicted damages on the country. The question is which international body has studied the allegations (against the Syrian government)? Can anyone be punished before an investigation and before being convicted," Larijani asked, addressing an open session of the parliament in Tehran on Sunday.

He blasted the US for not waiting for the results of investigations of a fact-finding committee in Syria, and said, "As far as we have studied, the Syrian government neither possessed Sarin gas nor had a reason to take such a measure under the conditions that it had earned much success."

Larijani said that the US administration methods, also used in the past few years, have resulted in nothing but the current terrorist crises in the region.

On Thursday night, the United States launched 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at the Syrian military airfield in al-Shayrat, located about 40 kilometers (25 miles) from the city of Homs. US President Donald Trump said the attack was a response to the alleged chemical weapon use in Syria's Idlib on Tuesday, which Washington blames on the Syrian government.

Russia described the attack as an aggression against a sovereign state. Following the US military action, Russia decided to suspend its memorandum of understanding on air safety over Syria with the United States, according to the Russian Foreign Ministry.

Syrian opposition claimed Tuesday forces loyal to President Bashar Assad had used a chemical gas on people in the Northwestern province, killing nearly 80 and injuring 200. Assad argued his government has no chemical weapons after agreeing to have them destroyed in 2013. He also ruled out having used chemicals against own people.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif lashed out at the US for its airstrikes against a Syrian airbase in Homs province, warning that it sets a precedence for similar acts in future.

"The US missile attack against Syria violated the standards of the international laws and was a dangerous" act which paves the ground for the terrorists to repeat their crimes with the hope of Washington's reaction and help, Zarif said in a meeting with Hungarian Deputy Prime Minister Zsolt Semjen in Tehran on Saturday.

He also condemned the chemical attack against Idlib as highly painful, and said, "Syria had earlier been disarmed by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) but they didn’t disarm the terrorists. The Syrians never had Sarin gas but the terrorists did."

Zarif referred to the recent great victories gained by the Syrian army against the terrorists, and said, "The Syrian government was not in any bad condition to need to use chemical weapons."

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