13:33 GMT21 February 2020
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    Iranian President Hassan Rouhani believes that Tehran’s continued cooperation with Turkey may help prevent an escalation of tensions in Syria.

    The Iranian head of state denounced last Saturday’s US, British and French missile strikes on Syria.

    "It is a very ugly precedent in international relations that some powerful and bullying countries attack another country whenever they like," Rouhani said during a telephone linkup with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Press TV reported.

    President Rouhani slammed the Western powers' selective approach to the use of chemical weapons and said that the Islamic Republic has always condemned the use of such weapons by any country.

    "When nothing has been proven and inspectors of the Organization for Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) have not announced the results of their research and investigations, no country or countries must be allowed to carry out a military action," he emphasized.

    Rouhani added that fighting terrorism, ending the war in Syria and establishing security in the region topped the agenda of the recent meeting of the Iranian, Russian and Turkish presidents in Ankara.

    READ MORE: Russian Military Finds Chemical Weapons Warehouse in Syrian Douma — Reports

    In a telephone conversation with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin on Monday, President Rouhani said the US-led missile attack on Syria had revealed Washington’s concern about the terrorists being “dislodged from an important region like Eastern Ghouta."

    On April 14, the US, Britain and France launched 103 cruise and air-to-surface missiles at government facilities in Syria, in response to the April 7 alleged chemical attack in the Damascus suburb of Douma.

    The airstrikes came even before the results of an ongoing investigation into the case by experts from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons were announced.

    Most of the missiles were intercepted by Syrian air defenses.

    Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has denounced the missile strikes as an act of aggression against a sovereign country as neither Russian experts nor local residents in Douma have confirmed that any chemical attack had actually taken place there.

    Moscow and Damascus have dismissed reports of a chlorine bomb allegedly being dropped on Douma, with the Russian Foreign Ministry describing them as an attempt to help the terrorists and justify possible military intervention in Syria from abroad.

    On Friday, a day before the missile strikes, campaigners from the Stop the War Coalition (STWC) staged a protest outside the residence of the UK Prime Minister Theresa May, urging her to refrain from joining in any US-led strikes in Syria.

    The protesters presented a letter signed by a number of politicians, celebrities, academics and trade unionists saying that "further military intervention, as proposed by Trump, May, or Macron, is not the solution."

    The leader of the opposition Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, went on record stressing the parliament should have the chance to debate and make its decision on Britain's participation in the missile strikes on Syria.

    READ MORE: US Senator Unsure Whether Syria's Assad Waged Chemical Attack Against Civilians


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