Iranian Ambassador to Japan Warns Against Western Intervention in Syria

Friday, August 30, 2013

By Mayako Shibata

Tokyo- (PanOrient News) Iranian Ambassador to Japan Dr. Reza Nazar Ahari has sent a strong warning that a US-led Western military intervention in Syria before the UN investigation on the use of chemical weapons is completed will only result in further 'disaster' within that country.

"Iran is against any unilateral foreign action to be taken on Syria. And military intervention itself cannot be a solution to the conflict. The Middle East region has so many components and issues. Under such circumstance, military intervention will not help at all," said ambassador Ahari at a lecture held on August 29th in Tokyo organized by the Sasakawa Middle East Islam Fund.

Replying to a question raised during the lecture, he explained that Iran was aware of the fact that some sort of government reform should have been implemented in Syria from the beginning of the outbreak of the civil war, regardless of its close ties with the Assad administration. But Iran always questioned if a foreign intervention was the way to bring about changes to the country. "Government reform should be brought through negotiation and talks," he said.

However, he also stated that Iran does not tolerate the use of chemical weapons at all as Iran was the first victim of chemical attacks during the Eight-Year War with Iraq. " The West should wait until the UN inspection team comes up with concrete evidence that proves the government actually used chemical weapons. The international community needs to have a smoking gun before using any force against Syria," he said putting great emphasis on how the Syrian Conflict should be resolved through negotiation but not through military intervention.

Regarding Iran's controversial nuclear development issue, Ambassador Ahari pointed out that Iran has always respected the international protocols. "We ratified the NPT and have accepted the IAEA's investigation of our facility so many times to prove that our nuclear power development is only focused on peaceful use, and we want to prove that to the world. We are ready. If it is so difficult for the US-led West to believe that, the US itself should send an inspection envoy to see our facility with its own eyes."

Then, he suggested that Japan could use its relationship with the US to play a mediation role to ease the tension between the US and Iran regarding the nuclear issues. "Realistically speaking, Japan is a close friend to the US. If Japan can somehow contribute to prove our nuclear facility's safety and its focus on peaceful use, it may carry out certain credibility with the US as well as the other Western countries who have criticized Iran for its nuclear development program," he said.

Iran has just welcomed a new President Dr. Hassan Rouhani and Dr. Nazer Ahari stated that the new government in Tehran is willing to settle on a 'final position' with a concrete time frame to resolve the nuclear issues by seeking to build mutual trust with the international community.

Dr. Nazer Ahari was appointed as the ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Tokyo in 2012. Before then, he also served as the ambassador to Finland and the Republic of Estonia from 2006 to 2009.

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