A three-member parliamentary delegation left Tehran on Saturday to meet with embattled Syrian President Bashar Assad in Damascus, the Iranian media reported. This came a day after US President Barack Obama warned that he was considering a limited military response to the reported chemical weapons attack on civilians outside Damascus on August 21, which the US says killed 1,429 people and was perpetrated by the regime.
Syria has denied using such weapons, pointing the finger at the “terrorist” Syrian rebels instead.
“During the visit, the latest developments in Syria and solutions to the current situation in the country will be discussed,” Iran’s Press TV quoted Mansour Haqiqatpour, who sits on the National Security and Foreign Policy Committee of Iran’s Parliament, as saying.
Parliamentary official Hossein Cheikholislam was quoted by AFP as saying that ”the purpose of this visit is to examine the situation in Syria, condemn the use of chemical weapons by terrorist groups, and insist on the need to find a political solution to the Syria crisis.”
Hossein Naqavi Hosseini, a spokesman for the committee, said the delegation would travel to Syria even if a military attack is launched against it.
Hosseini said the aim of the visit is to voice support for the Syrian president amid talks of Western military intervention, and with US Secretary of State John Kerry labeling him “a thug and a murderer.”
The delegation will also reportedly pay a visit to Lebanon to visit senior officials there.
Iran has been a staunch ally of the Assad regime throughout the deadly civil war in Syria which has already claimed the lives of more than 100,000 people.
On Wednesday, the commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards warned that an American attack on Syria will result in the destruction of Israel and have severe repercussions for the US and its allies.
A possible war in Syria “will result in the imminent destruction of the Zionist regime of Israel,” General Mohammad Ali Jafari said late Wednesday, according to a report Thursday in the state-sponsored Iranian Tasnim News Agency.
The American “proxy war scenario” in Syria has failed, so Washington and the West have resorted to a “direct military threat,” which, if carried out, will have “severe consequences,” he added.
“If the US attacks, the Zionists will burn,” the chief of staff of the Iranian armed forces, General Hassan Firouzabadi, also threatened Wednesday.
He added that Israel would be the “sole beneficiary” of military escalation in Syria, which would have “far-reaching, grave consequences.”