Iran Daily: Supreme Leader Provides Cover for Assad Regime’s Chemical Attacks in Syria

Supreme Leader waves audience of youth in Tehran, March 10, 2018

Iran’s Supreme Leader has tried to provide cover for the Assad regime’s use of chemical weapons in Syria.

In a speech to youth in Tehran on Saturday, Ayatollah Khamenei sought to turn attention to Western countries by highlighting chemical attacks by Iraq on Iranian troops during the Iran-Iraq War of 1980-1988.

Without naming the Assad regime, Khamenei said, “Those who are today attacking a certain group over the accusation of using chemicals, openly gave Saddam such materials for making bombs.”

The Assad regime’s attacks include the use of the nerve agent sarin, killing more than 1,400 people in East and West Ghouta near Damascus in August 2013 and about 90 in Khan Sheikhoun in northwest Syria in April 2017. The regime has not resorted to sarin since Khan Sheikhoun, for which the US retaliated with missile strikes on the airbase from where the attack was launched; however, it has repeatedly used chlorine, including at least seven assaults since January 13 on East Ghouta.

See Syria Daily, March 11: 40+ Civilians Killed as Pro-Assad Forces Try to Isolate East Ghouta Towns

The Iranian regime has never acknowledged the chemical attacks in Syria.

In early September 2013, former President Hashemi Rafsanjani said, “The people have been the target of chemical attacks by their own government and now they must also wait for an attack by foreigners.”

However, the remarks of Rafsanjani — put under pressure for his statements since mass protests following the disputed 2009 Presidential election — were quickly removed from the Iranian media and he was denounced by regime leaders.

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Scott Lucas is Professor of International Politics at the University of Birmingham and editor-in-chief of EA WorldView. He is a specialist in US and British foreign policy and international relations, especially the Middle East and Iran. Formerly he worked as a journalist in the US, writing for newspapers including the Guardian and The Independent and was an essayist for The New Statesman before he founded EA WorldView in November 2008.


  1. Where in his speech does he give “cover for chemical attacks”? What he actually said was that those who want to intervene in Syria because of the alleged use of chemical weapons are the very regimes who supported Saddam Hussein’s use of them against Iran and even blamed the victims rather than the perpetrators. Hence, they have no moral credibility whatsoever.

  2. Tazi Retweeted
    yalla souriya
    ‏ @YallaSouriya
    24m24 minutes ago

    One hour ago, Assad militias targeted Erbi with poisonous gases – East alGhouta #Syria
    When will the free world wake up to the fact that the only thing that will stop the thugs Putin and Assad is force? Russia is as guilty as the Assad gang because they are supporting them.

  3. Ayatollah Jannati resigns as Tehran Friday prayer leader:

    The 91 year old cleric still is head of the Guardians council and chair of the Assembly of Experts. He is currently serving a six year term on the former body, due to end in 2022 when he is expected to retire. The next Assembly of Experts election is in 2024 and he is also expected not to stand for his Tehran province seat.

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