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Iran says Syria to let UN inspectors visit purported chemical sites - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Chemical materials and gas masks are pictured in a warehouse at the front line of clashes between opposition fighters and government forces, during a guided tour by the Syrian Army in the Damascus suburb of Jobar on August 24, 2013. (REUTERS/Khaled al-Hariri)

Chemical materials and gas masks are pictured in a warehouse at the front line of clashes between opposition fighters and government forces, during a guided tour by the Syrian Army in the Damascus suburb of Jobar on August 24, 2013. (REUTERS/Khaled al-Hariri)

Dubai, Reuters—Iran’s foreign minister said the Syrian government had told Tehran it would allow UN inspectors to visit areas reportedly affected by chemical weapons, Iran’s Press TV reported on Sunday.

The Syrian opposition has accused government forces of killing well over 1,000 civilians with poison gas in Damascus suburbs on Wednesday—an accusation dismissed by the government.

World powers have urged Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad to allow UN chemical weapons inspectors already in Damascus to examine the sites.

“We are in close contact with the Syrian government and they have reassured us that they had never used such inhumane weapons and would have the fullest cooperation with the UN experts to visit the areas affected,” Mohammad Javad Zarif told Italian foreign minister Emma Bonino in a telephone conversation on Saturday, according to Press TV.

Iran is Syria’s closest ally and is supporting Assad against opposition forces seeking to overthrow him. The Syrian government has accused rebels of launching the chemical attacks to provoke an international reaction, an account backed by Iran and Russia, another ally.

“The international community must show a serious reaction to the use of chemical weapons by the terrorists in Syria and condemn this move,” Zarif said, according to the English-language Press TV report.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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