Tehran, Sep 10: Iran has welcomed Russia’s proposal to Syria to put its chemical stockpile under international control in order to avoid “militarism in the region”.
“Iran considers this initiative within the framework of stopping militarism in the region,” Mehr news agency quoted Iran’s foreign ministry spokeswoman Marziyeh Afkham as saying Tuesday.
The proposal, which has been welcomed by Damascus, was made during a meeting between Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and his Syrian counterpart Walid Muallem in Moscow Monday.
The Russian initiative came shortly after US Secretary of State John Kerry told reporters in London that the only way for Syria to avert US military action is to hand over its entire stockpile of chemical weapons within a week.
The Iranian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said: “We are opposed to using chemical weapons and want the region cleared from chemical weapons.”
The Iranian official also expressed concern over the possession of chemical weapons by terrorist groups in Syria and said: “Any initiative (regarding chemical weapons) must also include the (entire) spectrum of terrorists.”
Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif had said Monday that “ample intelligence” indicates that Takfiri – Muslims accusing fellow Muslims of apostasy – and extremist groups in Syria are in possession of chemical arms.