Iranian officials warned the United States and its allies Tuesday that any military intervention in Syria would provoke a retaliatory attack on Israel, according to reports.
Momentum has been growing for a Western military strike on Syria amid claims President Bashar Assad’s forces used chemical weapons in an attack that, according to reports, killed hundreds of people last week near Damascus. A United Nations inspection team on Wednesday was investigating the attack.
The United Nation’s special envoy to Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, said Wednesday evidence shows some kind of chemical “substance” was used in the attack. However, Brahimi emphasized that any military strike must be approved by the U.N. Security Council.
Iran, a loyal ally of the Syrian government, is in a tight spot on the issue. Iranian officials, including Iran’s new President Hassan Rouhani, have condemned the use of chemical weapons by any country.
Although officials have not acknowledged that Assad used poison gas against his own people, Iran’s new Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Tuesday said Iran had pressed the Syrian government to assist the U.N. weapons inspectors who are in the country investigating the attack.