Iran "suspicious" of timing of war crimes photos ahead of Geneva II

Photo: Iran "suspicious" of timing of war crimes photos ahead of Geneva II / Arabic region

Iran has blasted Monday's revelation of photos documenting potential war crimes in Syria, calling it anti-government propaganda.

Marzieh Afkham, a Foreign Ministry spokesperson, said the timing of the report and photos published by Anadolu Agency (AA) late on Monday, is "suspicious, aiming to undermine the profile of Syrian government."

Speaking to Anadolu Agency in exclusive, Afkham responded to the question whether the photos revealing the evidence of the systematic torture by the Syrian regime against detainees, would lead to any change of attitude on the Iranian side regarding the civil war in Syria.

Afkham said that she had not seen the photos, but they are "propaganda against the Syrian regime, as it came to fore just before the Geneva peace talks on Syria."

"As for the authenticity of the photos, they may want to create an atmosphere against the Syrian government with the same issue that has been raised many times before. The timing also naturally makes us think that it is a propaganda," she said, adding that the "perpatrators of the alleged murders were those fighting on the opposite side, contrary to the claims."

She claimed that previous accusations of a similar nature had all proved to be false. "Several US analysts concluded that the claims over the Syrian government using chemical weapons on its own people deflected the truth. The claim was actually put forth by the US government itself so as to establish the ground for a military intervention in Syria."

"Some foreign countries do not hesitate to spread such groundless claims in order to easily implement their own policies. Our Syria policy aims at finding a solution via dialogue and politics, not allowing for any foreign intervention, and paying respect to the right of the Syrian people to determine their own future."

Iranian spokeswoman concluded that the latest claims were related to the Geneva II Conference, "aiming to influence the peace talks."

The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon withdrew Iran's invitation to this week's peace talks in Switzerland, shortly after Iran announced it would not accept preconditions for participation.

The Geneva II conference, which is scheduled to convene Wednesday, aims to end the ongoing and escalating violence in Syria.

More than 100,000 people have been killed in the three-year conflict in Syria, and more than two million Syrians have become refugees in the neighboring countries including Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq, according to the UN.

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