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Attack on Syria illegal, blatant support for terrorism: Rouhani



Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has denounced recent airstrikes by the United States, Britain and France against Syria, saying such attacks run counter to the principles of international law and are considered a blatant support for terrorism.

“At a time that terrorists are suffering a defeat in Syria on a daily basis, such aggressive act certainly means support for these defeated groups,” Rouhani said in a telephone conversation with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Saturday.

The US, Britain and France launched airstrikes against multiple places in Syria early Saturday following US President Donald Trump’s order despite international warnings against further escalation of the situation in the Arab country and across the Middle East.

The US-led military coalition has accused the Syrian government of having allegedly attacked the militant-held town of Douma in the Eastern Ghouta region on April 7 and claimed that the Saturday air strikes had been aimed at deterring Syria’s further use of chemical weapons.

The Iranian president further emphasized that the airstrikes were not “a blatant act of aggression against the Syrian soil” only but a military offensive against the stability of the entire region.

He added that the three countries’ act of aggression against the Syrian government and nation was a practical move to strengthen terrorism in the region and emphasized that undermining a country’s national sovereignty was tantamount to creating regional instability.

Rouhani vowed that the Islamic Republic would continue to stand by the Syrian government and nation and urged respect for the Arab country’s territorial integrity.

“Iran will continue its activity in all international circles, particularly in cooperation with Russia and Turkey, to help achieve peace and stability in the region and in Syria,” the Iranian chief executive pointed out.

He once again expressed Iran’s opposition to any move aimed at changing Syria’s geographical borders, saying, “As we have repeatedly emphasized, the presence of any foreign forces in Syria without its government’s permission is against international regulations and is a violation of Syria’s territory.”

Rouhani said no foreign power can make decisions about the future of Syria, adding, “The country’s people are the main decision-makers and the Islamic Republic of Iran will stand by the Syrian government and nation.”

Assad, for his part, said the missile attacks would have no impact on the Syrian government and people, adding that they would continue to counter terrorists.

The Syrian president added that London, Paris and Washington carried out the airstrikes after they failed to achieve their goals through political means and emphasized that the strikes brought them no military achievements.

The Russian military said Saturday that the US, Britain and France fired 103 cruise missiles, including Tomahawk, at Syria but that Syrian air defense systems managed to intercept 71 of them.

“All together, 103 cruise missiles were deployed. Seventy-one cruise missiles were intercepted,” senior military officer Sergei Rudskoi said at a briefing in Moscow.

US-led military attack on Syria aims to support terrorists: Zarif

Meanwhile, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said the “unilateral” military aggression against Syria before the launch of an investigation into last week’s alleged chemical attack near Damascus clearly showed that the US was making up excuses to disturb the peace process in the region and support terrorists.

In a phone call with Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem on Saturday, Zarif condemned the “criminal and illegal” attacks and hailed resistance of the Arab country’s people.

Iran ready to send medical aid to Syria

Iran’s Health Minister Hassan Qazizadeh Hashemi expressed the country’s readiness to dispatch medical aid to Syria if needed.

In a letter to his Syrian counterpart Nizar Yazigi, the Iranian health minister also slammed the criminal act by Washington, Paris and London to carry out the military attack against Syria.

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