Foreign Ministry Qasemi remarks a day after deadly use of chemical weapons in the Syrian city of Idlib. Noting that this catastrophic incident was not the first of its kind in Syria, the spokesman warned against adopting double-standard approaches and making hasty judgments. Despite chemical disarmament of the Syrian government with the full cooperation of the government and under the supervision of a joint representative from the UN and OPCW, failure to pay due attention to disarmament of terrorist groups remains to be an obstacle on the way of Syrian chemical disarmament, the spokesman said, noting that Iran has always voiced concern about the consequences of this issue. He said that one of the aims behind the attack was to hamper diplomatic efforts in Astana to find a settlement to Syria crisis which had led to a ceasefire in the war-hit country. Iran, as the main victim of usage of chemical weapons, sympathizes and condoles with the families of the victims, Qasemi said, voicing Tehran’s readiness to accept those injured for receiving medical treatment.
Russia’s Defense Ministry affirmed that Russian experts have found evidence that terrorists have been using chemical weapons in their regular attacks in Aleppo, adding that the UN’s watchdog hasn’t sent any specialists to the besieged city despite requests. Russian Defense Ministry’s spokesperson, Igor Kanashenkov, said in a statement that the evidence was found in Aleppo’s Area 1070 by officers from the Russian Radiological, Chemical and Biological Defense troops’ scientific center. Konashenkov stated that the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), which is dedicated to monitoring the use of chemical weapons, hasn’t yet sent any experts to the area, despite repeated calls from Moscow to do so. Since September of this year, the Russian General Staff has been warning that terrorist groups might use chemical weapons against civilians and the army in Aleppo, but the blame would be pinned on Damascus to further undermine the crumbling peace process in the war-torn country.