September 11, 2013 - 16:19 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said Wednesday, Sept 11, he hopes that a U.S. promise to pursue diplomacy to remove the threat of chemical weapons in Syria was "serious", according to Reuters.
"I am hopeful that the United States new attitude to Syria is serious and not a game with the media. For weeks they have threatened war against the people of this region for the benefit of the Zionists (Israel)," he said during a public address.
On Tuesday evening U.S. President Barack Obama said he would postpone a vote in Congress on U.S. military action against the Syrian government, which he accuses of firing poison gas munitions into a Damascus suburb controlled by rebels.
According to Secretary of State John Kerry, the chemical agent attack on August 21 killed more than 1,400 people including more than 400 children.
Obama also pledged to explore a Russian plan to remove Syria's chemical arsenal but voiced skepticism about it and urged Americans to support his threat to use military force if needed.
A main regional ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Iran has welcomed the proposal to transfer Syria's chemical weapons stocks and urged all nations to sign the Chemical Weapons Convention treaty that bans their use.
Khamenei earlier accused the United States of using a chemical attack in Syria as a pretext to interfere in the country and warned it would suffer loss from its intervention.
"In the case of Syria, the chemical attack is a pretext and they say they want to get involved because of humanitarian issues. America has made a mistake in Syria and will certainly suffer loss," Khamenei told a meeting of the Assembly of Experts, a state body.
Khamenei also warned that the U.S. intervention in Syria would be “a disaster” for the Middle East. “The region is like a gunpowder store and the future cannot be predicted,” he said. “If [President Barack Obama] gets stuck in this trap, he will certainly leave behind bad memories of his presidency. The intervention of America will be a disaster for the region.”