US lost pretext for launching war on Syria: Iranian official

Deputy Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Amir Abdollahian

Press TV -(Sat Sep 14, 2013) An Iranian deputy Foreign Minister says the US no longer has a pretext to attack on Syria given a recent agreement reached between Washington and Moscow on a plan to destroy Syria’s chemical weapons.

“Given the new circumstance in Syria, the US and certain sides … have lost of the pretext for military action against the country,” Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said Saturday. 
“Currently, the ball is in the court of the other side and they need to take confidence-building measures toward Syrians,” he added, calling for measures to stop the flow of foreign militants and terrorists into Syria. 
On Saturday, US Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov reached an agreement on a framework for Syria to verify it is eliminating all its chemical weapons. 
They also agreed to immediately press for UN penalties if Damascus fails to comply. 
Under the agreement, the government of President Bashar al-Assad must destroy its stockpile of chemical weapons by mid-2014. 
On September 9, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Al-Muallem said Damascus welcomed a proposal made by Russia to put its chemical weapons stockpile under international control. 
The Russia plan was aimed at averting a US military strike in retaliation for an alleged chemical weapons attack last month in the suburbs of Damascus which the White House blames on the Syrian government. 
This comes as Syrian Ambassador to the UN Bashar al-Jaafari said on Thursday that his country became a full member of the international treaty prohibiting the use of chemical weapons. 
On the same day, the United Nations also confirmed that it has received documents from Syria on joining the Chemical Weapons Convention.

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