Iran Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has expressed regret that the United States ignored the Islamic Republic's warning on the access by militant groups fighting in Syria to dangerous chemical weapons.
"We have indications and we have shared those indications in the past with the United States and with others ... [that] extremely dangerous chemical weapons were being smuggled into Syria to armed groups that are fighting the Syrian people and the Syrian government," Zarif told Press TV in an interview.
The Iranian minister noted that "unfortunately" the US did not give any response to Iran's warning.
"We alerted them. We told them that this was taking place and we are still telling them that this is a continuing nightmare; chemical weapons in the hands of non-state actors, particularly extremist non-state actors is a threat to everybody. It recognizes no borders and it will become a menace for the entire region," Zarif stated.
Elsewhere in his interview, the Iranian foreign minister said the use of force against Syria is against international law, urging the United States to stop its warmongering policy against the Arab state.
"The use of chemical weapons is a crime. We believe that it is a crime against humanity and we also believe that the use of force, [and] the threat of use of force, is also a criminal offense in international law," Zarif said.
He warned US President Barack Obama that a number of groups and people inside the United States and others from outside the country want to push the president, who might be reluctant to start a war, into a trap, "which he had unfortunately laid down for himself."
They seek to get the US president involved in a war in order to address the "hypothetical issue" of the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government, the top Iranian diplomat added.
"I said a hypothetical issue because there was and still is no proof that the use of chemical weapons was perpetrated by the government [of Syria]," Zarif stated.
The minister added that as a victim of chemical weapons, Iran condemns the use of such weapons "regardless of the victims or culprits."
"We believe that nobody has the right to take the law into their own hands; that is, the United States does not have any legal claim to act at the same time as a prosecutor, a judge and, unfortunately, the executor in dealing with issues," Zarif said.
Commenting on Iran's nuclear energy program, Zarif said Iran is ready for serious talks with the world, but negotiations are not open-ended and they must be "result-oriented," based on "good faith," "equal footing," and "mutual respect."
Zarif hailed the recent decision by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani for putting the Foreign Ministry in charge of future nuclear talks, saying the ministry has the "ability, machinery and the manpower" to deal with the issue.
Underlining that Tehran is pursuing a win-win game in nuclear negotiations, Zarif said the political environment of the world has become so intertwined that no country can pursue its interests at the expense of others.
Zarif urged both sides of the negotiations to work for the same objectives, saying that the first objective that both sides share is that the "Iran nuclear program must remain exclusively peaceful."
"It's in Iran's national security interest that ... the entire world ... know that we do not want nuclear weapons, [and] that nuclear weapons have no place in Iran's security doctrine," he added.
The Iranian official stated that the West must accept that it cannot deprive Iran of its right to peaceful nuclear program, and the only way that it can assure the program will remain peaceful "is to allow this program to take place" under the supervision of an international organization such as International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
Stressing that pressure in negotiations will achieve nothing, Zarif said the US must show good faith if it wants to hold any talks with Iran and it cannot call for a diplomatic solution to the issue, while mounting pressure on Iran at the same time.
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