The attempt by the Obama Administration to bring the international community together for a war on Syria is not going well. First the UN refused to support the action, then the British Parliament balked, and now Russia and Iran are starting to heat up the rhetoric used to oppose the war.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has outright called Secretary of State John Kerry a liar over his testimony to Congress on chemical attacks in Syria.
Putin called Obama Secretary of State John Kerry a liar over Kerry’s testimony this week before Congress. The apparent question is al Qaeda influence on the Syrian rebels, an issue Kerry has downplayed.
Speaking to his human rights council on Wednesday, Putin said: “This was very unpleasant and surprising for me. We talk to them (the Americans) and we assume they are decent people, but he is lying and he knows that he is lying. This is sad.”
Meanwhile the Iranians, who are aligned with the Assad regime, are issuing warnings to the Obama Administration and Congress. The highest authority in Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, says America will ‘suffer loss’ if it wages war on Syria.
Iran’s most powerful authority, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said on Thursday the United States was using a chemical attack in Syria’s civil war as a pretext to interfere in the country and warned it would suffer loss from any intervention. “In the case of Syria, the chemical attack is a pretext… The Americans try to play with words and pretend that they’ve become involved in this case for humanitarian aims,” Khamenei told a meeting of the Assembly of Experts, a state body.
“I believe the Americans are making mistakes in Syria and they have felt the impact and will certainly suffer loss,” he said in the speech, whose text was published on his official website.
Maybe Secretary Kerry was right to bring up World War I, not for the chemical weapons prohibition which the the US itself broke, but that entangling alliances and unforeseen consequences of myopic military action could jeopardize the entire world.
Then again, maybe some people want a war with Iran and see the Syrian strikes as a good way to get it.
Update: US intelligence reports appear to side with Putin’s analysis of Syrian rebels.