Source: Tehran Times
TEHRAN - Iran has welcomed Russia's proposal for Syria to place its stockpile of chemical weapons under international control, the Iranian Foreign Ministry announced on Tuesday. "We find this initiative to be within the framework of putting a halt to militarism in the region," Foreign Ministry spokesperson Marzieh Afkham told reporters at a press conference in Tehran.
Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesperson Marzieh Afkham
Afkham emphasized that Tehran is opposed to the use of chemical weapons and Iran is working for the eradication of all weapons of mass destruction in the region.
However, any action on the stockpile of chemical weapons should ensure they are not accessible to the Syrian rebels, she added.
"There are concerns regarding the possession of an arsenal of weapons of mass destruction by the terrorists," Afkham said. "We think that any kind of initiative should actually cover terrorists."
Iran has painful experiences of extremism, terrorism, and occupation and is now concerned about the stability and security of the entire region, she stated.
She also urged all regional countries to make efforts to prevent the Syrian crisis from becoming more exacerbated and spinning out of control.
Elsewhere in her remarks, Afkham said that the Islamic Republic is making efforts to prevent an attack on Syria and to resolve the issue through diplomatic channels.
The Russians announced their proposal on Monday after U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, speaking in London, said the only way to halt an attack would be for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to relinquish his arsenal of chemical weapons.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov quickly called for Assad's government to do just that, and the Syrian foreign minister, who was in Moscow on a visit, agreed.
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