Iran backs global investigation into alleged chemical attack in Syria

Syrian children receive treatment in the town of Maaret al-Noman following a suspected chemical weapons attack in Khan Sheikhun a nearby rebel-held town in Syria's northwestern Idlib province

Syrian children receive treatment in the town of Maaret al-Noman following a suspected chemical weapons attack in Khan Sheikhun a nearby rebel-held town in Syria's northwestern Idlib province

Syria believes that the peace processes at Astana and Geneva have been undermined by the current administration of US President Donald Trump.

According to Iranian state IRNA news, Javad Zarif condemned using chemical weapons in general and said that, in the meantime, using this excuse for unilateral and illegal attacks on Syria is also condemned and this matter should be dealt impartially so that the truth becomes known.

"Right now we're not getting along with Russian Federation at all", Trump said flatly during a White House news conference on Wednesday (Thursday NZ Time). It was stark evidence that the president is moving ever further from his campaign promises to establish better ties with Moscow. After all, Putin and Trump are buddies.

Before travelling to Moscow for talks with his Russian and Syrian counterparts, Zarif criticised Washington's unilateral move and reiterated his call for an impartial worldwide investigation into the attack, Efe news reported. Thus he avoided attack by the USA and its allies.

"Things will work out fine between the U.S. and Russia", Trump tweeted.

It would always be better if the response came from the global community, but as long as Russia, Assad's benefactor and protector, continues to block any direct action at the United Nations Security Council, it falls to the U.S.to take the lead. Trump said it was "certainly possible" though "probably unlikely".

"We noticed that when the Trump administration came to power, the United States role in the Astana and the Geneva process has been reduced to the very minimum", FM Walid al-Moallem said. Syria has denied any responsibility for the assault which killed at least 87 people, many of them children.

Russia's top diplomat said Moscow will not "shield anyone" responsible for the attack.

In some ways, Russia's veto isn't surprising. Assad avoided such retaliation only by capitulating to the demand that he destroy his large chemical weapon arsenal. But Tillerson repeated the administration's new belief that "the reign of the Assad family is coming to an end".

Beyond Syria, Russia's alleged meddling in the USA presidential election also hovered over what was the first face-to-face encounter between Putin and any Trump administration Cabinet member.

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Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Moallem said the meeting sent a "strong message" to Washington.

"We have not seen a single fact, or even a hint of facts", he said.

Still, Tillerson sought to stress the positives from his meetings.

The superpowers may have also discussed, or, agreed on paving the way for new negotiations on Syria. Russian Federation has never publicly acknowledged any such attacks by Assad's forces and has tried for the past 18 months to help him expand his authority in Syria.

The civil war is separate from the US-led effort against the Islamic State group in the north of the country. "We want an honest investigation".

Tillerson was greeted frostily in the Russian capital as Lavrov began their meeting Wednesday by demanding to know America's "real intentions".

Lavrov said the USA strike on the Syrian base has undermined peace efforts in Syria and reflected Washington's focus on ousting Syrian President Bashar Assad's government. "It is necessary to prevent such actions in the future".

Trump and others have indeed threatened similar action.

He added he would only allow an investigation into the attack "when we make sure that unbiased countries will participate in this delegation in order to make sure that they won't use it for politicised purposes".

Lavrov protested that Russian Federation is the victim of "very slanderous attacks", and added, "I have to say once again.no one has shown us a single fact".

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