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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran Press TV

Russia accuses US of blackmail over Syria

Iran Press TV

Sun Sep 22, 2013 6:55PM GMT

Russia accuses the US of trying to blackmail Moscow by threatening to hinder the work of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) on Syria unless Moscow supports a UN Security Council resolution that allows the use of force against the Arab country.

"Our American partners are beginning to blackmail us," Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told Russia's Channel one television.

Lavrov added that "right now Western partners are trying to unceremoniously push through a resolution under (UN) Chapter 7" adding that if they were successful, Washington would "move the (chemical weapons) convention aside to advance individual, personal or geopolitical, state ambitions."

Lavrov said "It is an absolute deviation from what we have agreed on with (US Secretary of State) John Kerry -- to have an OPCW decision first and then to adopt a UN Security Council resolution supporting this decision but not based on Chapter 7."

According to the UN charter, Chapter VII authorizes the use of force with respect to threats to the peace, breaches of the peace, and acts of aggression.

The US accepted a Russia plan to bring Syria's chemical weapons under international control to avert growing US threats of military intervention there. Syria agreed to the Russia-US plan under which it has to destroy its chemical weapons stockpile until mid-2014. As the first phase of the deal, Damascus had until Saturday to submit a full list to OPCW of its chemical weapons and production facilities so they can be secured and destroyed. The OPCW has confirmed that the Syrian government handed over the list.

The US and some of its allies accuse Syria of launching a chemical attack which killed hundreds of people on August 21 near Damascus. Syria and Russia reject the allegation arguing that insurgents carried out the attack.

Lavrov said the US and its allies pursue a "deeply politicized approach" to the crisis in Syria. "They see the Russian-US agreement as a chance for themselves to ... insist on a 'use of force' resolution targeting the regime and defending the opposition," Lavrov said.

He said Western countries are intent on ousting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to show they "order the music" in the Middle East.


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