Iranian MPs meet al-Assad, denounce possible US strike
TEHRAN - Agence France-PresseIranian MPs held talks Aug. 31 in Syria with President Bashar al-Assad and denounced any possible Western attack on that country over chemical weapons allegations, the head of the delegation said.
Meanwhile, the head of Iran's powerful Revolutionary Guards warned that a US strike would trigger "reactions beyond" Syria and would bolster extremism.
"As representatives of the Islamic Republic of Iran we declare our hostility for any attack or war against Syria," IRNA news agency quoted Allaeddine Boroujerdi, chairman of parliament's influential foreign policy committee, as saying.
U.S. President Barack Obama on Aug. 30 said he was weighing "limited, narrow" action against Syria after U.S. intelligence reports said President Bashar al-Assad's regime had gassed to death hundreds of women and children.
Boroujerdi said Iran informed the United States that rebels fighting to topple al-Assad have chemical weapons.
"Unfortunately the United States did not heed our warning," he said after heading a three-member delegation that met al-Assad.
Boroujerdi said Iran condemns the use of chemical weapons "by terrorist groups against the Syrian population." Iran, Damascus's main regional ally, has issued stern warnings against any U.S.-led military action targeting Syria, with the latest on Aug. 31 by the head of the elite Revolutionary Guards.
Commander Mohammad Ali Jafari warned that a US strike would trigger "reactions beyond" Syria and would bolster extremism.
"The fact that the Americans believe that military intervention will be limited to within Syrian borders is an illusion; it will provoke reactions beyond that country," Jafari was quoted as saying by ISNA news agency.
"Just as US interventions in the Islamic world have bolstered extremism, so will an aggression on Syria reinforce extremism and, as in Iraq and Afghanistan, its results will be pain, massacre and the exodus of the innocent population," he added.
Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has said a strike on Syria would be a "disaster" for the region.