Syrian chemical weapons deal sign of US "rationality" - Iran

The new ambassador from Iran to the United Nations (UN) in Vienna, Reza Najafi (R) is pictured on the first day of the board of governors' meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on September 9, 2013 at the UN headquaters in Vienna.

DUBAI - A deal between Russia and the United States to remove Syria's chemical arsenal was a sign of US "rationality", Iran's speaker of parliament was quoted as saying by Iranian media on Sunday.

US Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov demanded on Saturday that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad account for his secret stockpile within a week and let international inspectors eliminate all the weapons by the middle of next year.

Iran strongly backs Assad against the rebels seeking to oust him, and has said the rebels were responsible for a chemical attack last month outside of Damascus. The United States and its allies say Assad's government is responsible.

Speaker Ali Larijani said in a news conference late on Saturday that any US strike in retaliation for the gas attack would result in a larger conflict in the region and would be against international law, and that US policymakers had realised this.

"We are hopeful that American politicians have some rationality so they avoid extremist behaviour, and the events of the last few days and the decisions that have been taken indicate this rationality," Larijani said, according to the ISNA news agency on Sunday.

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