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"The new situation means in fact that any pretext for the United States and certain countries to engage in military action against Syria has been removed," Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said.
His was the first reaction from Tehran -- a key ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad -- to the ambitious deal, struck between US Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Geneva.
"We can even talk of a success by the front of the resistance (against Israel)" -- Iran, Syria, Lebanon's Hezbollah and the Palestinian group Hamas, Amir-Abdollahian said.
I welcome the agreement reached today between the US Secretary of State John Kerry and the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on the elimination of Syrian chemical weapons.
This is an important step towards the goal of ensuring the swift, secure and verifiable elimination of Syria's stocks of chemical weapons. Full and unreserved Syrian compliance is now key.
The international community has a responsibility to make sure that the long-standing norm and practice against the use of chemical weapons is maintained, and violators are held accountable.
The agreement should give further momentum to a political solution to end the horrendous bloodshed in Syria.
The Secretary-General, in his capacity of the depositary of the 1992 Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction, has today received the formal instrument of accession to the Convention by the Syrian Arab Republic.
Pursuant to the Convention, any State may accede to the Convention at any time. The Convention will enter into force for the Syrian Arab Republic on the 30th day following the date of deposit of this instrument of accession, namely on 14 October 2013.
The Secretary-General welcomes the accession of the Syrian Arab Republic to this Convention.
Here's the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on the Russia-US agreement:
The Secretary-General welcomes the news that Russian Federation Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry have reached an understanding regarding the safeguarding and destruction of Syria's chemical weapons stockpiles. The Secretary-General looks forward to learning more of this framework agreement and pledges the support of the United Nations in its implementation. The Secretary-General expresses his fervent hope that the agreement will, first, prevent any future use of chemical weapons in Syria and, second, help pave the path for a political solution to stop the appalling suffering inflicted on the Syrian people.
President Obama 'welcomes' the US-Russia deal on Syria's chemical weapons reached Saturday, AFP reports:
In a statement, Obama said that if the regime of President Bashar al-Assad does not live up to the deal Washington reached with Syria's ally Russia, "the United States remains prepared to act."
"While we have made important progress, much more work remains to be done," Obama said.
"The United States will continue working with Russia, the United Kingdom, France, the United Nations and others to ensure that this process is verifiable, and that there are consequences should the Assad regime not comply with the framework agreed today. And, if diplomacy fails, the United States remains prepared to act," the president added.
Source: Kafr Batna Coordination Committee via Storyful
The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) said on Friday that Syria's deputy foreign minister, Faisal Mekdad, had contacted it with a request for technical assistance.
Syria became a full member of the global anti-chemical weapons treaty on Thursday, the country's UN envoy said, a move that the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad had promised as part of a Russian plan to avoid US strikes.
"It will say that there was a chemical massacre... There will certainly be indications" of the origins of the attack, Fabius told French radio Thursday.
The inspectors left Syria on August 31 after collecting samples as part of their probe into a August 21 chemical weapons attack in a suburb of the Syrian capital.
"Only the regime had the (chemical weapons) stocks, the (firing) vectors and the interest in doing it, so we can draw a conclusion from that," Fabius said.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (L), and U.N. Special Representative Lakhdar Brahimi (C) listen to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (R) make a statement to the press after a meeting discussing the ongoing problems in Syria at the United Nations offices in Geneva September 13, 2013. (Reuters/Larry Downing)
Syria's opposition National Coalition has said it was “deeply skeptical” about the government's decision to join a chemical weapons ban and urged a tough UN resolution to enforce the measure.
Its Friday statement came a day after Damascus filed documents at the United Nations seeking to join the international convention banning chemical weapons.
“The Syrian Coalition is deeply sceptical about the Assad regime's signing of the Chemical Weapons Convention on Thursday,” the umbrella group said in a statement.
The group said any UN Security Council resolution should “enforce compliance through clearly defined timelines and consequences.”
“It is vital the threat of force stays on the table. For a UNSC resolution to be anything other than a get-out-of-jail-free card for the regime, it must be enforceable under Chapter 7,” allowing military action, the statement said.
Source: UN via Storyful
Syrian U.N. Ambassador Bashar Ja'afari shows a document to reporters at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, September 12, 2013. Syria became a full member of the global anti-chemical weapons treaty on Thursday, Ja'afari said, a move that the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad had promised as part of a deal to avoid U.S. air strikes. (Reuters/Brendan McDermid)
The Secretary-General has today received a letter from the Government of Syria, informing him that President Al-Assad has signed the legislative decree providing for the accession of Syria to the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction of 1992. In their letter, the Syrian authorities have expressed their commitment to observe the obligations entailed by the Convention even before its entry into force for Syria.The Secretary-General welcomes this development, noting that, as depository of the Convention, he has long called for universal accession to the Chemical Weapons Convention. Given recent events, he hopes that the current talks in Geneva will lead to speedy agreement on a way forward which will be endorsed and assisted by the international community.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry gestures next to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov (R) as they speak to the media before their meeting to discuss the ongoing crisis in Syria, in Geneva September 12, 2013. Syria applied on Thursday to sign up to the global ban on chemical weapons, a major first step in a Russian-backed plan that would see it abandon its arsenal of poison gas to avert U.S. military strikes. (Reuters/Larry Downing)
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov (R) and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry hold a news conference before meetings to discuss the ongoing crisis in Syria, in Geneva September 12, 2013. Syria applied on Thursday to sign up to the global ban on chemical weapons, a major first step in a Russian-backed plan that would see it abandon its arsenal of poison gas to avert U.S. military strikes. (Reuters/Ruben Sprich)