A senior Iranian cleric has warned the US to avoid taking military action against Syria, calling for a peaceful solution to end the â€œmiserableâ€ condition in the crisis-hit country.
â€œThe Americans want to launch a strike to show off some power while they know intervention in Syriaâ€™s affairs would cost them dearly,â€ Tehran interim Friday Prayers Leader Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati said.
An August 21 chemical attack in Syria, which the militants in the country claimed was carried out by the Syrian government, prompted an intense rhetoric of war against Syria by the US, which had earlier set the use of chemical arms in Syria as a red line it would not tolerate.
Damascus vehemently rejected the accusation that it had been behind the chemical attack.
Ayatollah Jannati further noted, â€œWisdom dictates that the issue of Syria be resolved through political meetings and dialog, and that the Americans not subject themselves to more disgrace and popular discontent, and avoid causing more pain to the people of Syria.â€
Syria has nodded to a deal reached by Russia and the United States to hand over its chemical weapons.
The move seems to have dampened the US war rhetoric with President Barack Obama asking the Congress to delay a vote on authorizing military action against Syria in order to give the Russian proposal a chance to play out.
Ayatollah Jannati regretted the â€œmiserableâ€ humanitarian situation in Syria, condemning the ongoing militancy fueled by the â€œblood-thirstyâ€ al-Qaeda terrorists in the country.
The UN says more than 100,000 people have been killed and millions displaced in the deadly unrest that has gripped Syria since March 2011. Western powers and their regional allies, especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey, are said to be supporting the militants operating inside Syria.
A recent study by IHS Janeâ€™s, a British defense consultancy, revealed that some 10,000 militants in Syria, among them many foreign nationals, are fighting for groups affiliated with al-Qaeda such as the al-Nusra Front.
Meanwhile, the United Nations issued a report, completed by its investigators on September 17, confirming that the sarin gas was used in the August attack, which allegedly killed hundreds of people. The UN teamâ€™s mandate did not include naming the perpetrators of the attack.