Iran army warns US of 'harsh consequences' over Syria

A handout picture released by the Iranian president's official website shows Iran's new President Hassan Rowhani (C) waving after visiting the tomb of the late founder of Islamic Republic Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in the southern suburb of Tehran on August 24, 2013. Iran, the chief regional ally of Damascus, said there is "proof" Syrian rebels used chemical weapons in their conflict with the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.

TEHRAN - A top Iranian military chief warned on Sunday that the US will face "harsh consequences" if it intervenes in ally Syria over claims of chemical attacks, Fars news agency reported.

"If the United States crosses this red line, there will be harsh consequences for the White House," armed forces deputy chief of staff Massoud Jazayeri was quoted as saying.

A year ago US President Barack Obama warned the use of chemical weapons in Syria would cross a "red line" and have "enormous consequences".

On Sunday, his Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel said the US military was ready to take action against Syria.