Iran Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says any military action in the Middle East region is condemned no matter the pretext.
“We condemn the use of chemical weapons and reject any military action in the region, regardless of the pretext, and regard political strategies and dialog among different sides as the best solution to regional crises,” Zarif stated on Sunday. The top Iranian diplomat, who is on his first official visit to Iraq, made the remarks in a meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. He highlighted the silence of certain powers on the use of chemical weapons by former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein during the eight-year war with Iran and criticized them for their current double standards. The Iraqi premier, for his part, said a military strike against Syria would pose a threat to the entire Middle East region and called for joint efforts by Iran and Iraq to resolve the Syria crisis via dialog and diplomatic measures. The war rhetoric against Syria intensified after foreign-backed opposition forces accused the government of President Bashar al-Assad of launching chemical attack on militant strongholds in the suburbs of Damascus on August 21. Damascus has denied the accusation, saying the attack was carried out by the militants themselves as a false-flag operation. The Iranian Foreign Minister arrived in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, on Sunday to hold talks with senior Iraqi officials on regional and bilateral issues. Ahead of his meeting with Maliki, Zarif also held talks with his Iraqi counterpart, Hoshyar Zebari, and Vice President Khazir al-Khazaei.