Tehran, Apr 11 (AFP) Russia’s special envoy on Syria Alexander Lavrentiev visited Iran today for an unannounced meeting, Iranian state media reported, with both sides criticising Western reactions to an alleged chemical attack.

Western countries have accused Syria of launching a chemical attack in the rebel-held town of Douma near Damascus on Saturday that killed more than 40 people.

“If there is a claim about the use of chemical weapons, we want this issue to be legally investigated,” Hossein Jaberi Ansari, a senior aide in Iran’s foreign ministry, said after the meeting according to state news agency IRNA.

Syria and its allies Russia and Iran deny the attack and have called for an investigation by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.

Lavrentiev reportedly held extensive discussions on the situation in Syria with Ali Shamkhani, secretary of Iran’s Supreme Council on National Security, and other officials.

Ansari said Western powers were using the alleged chemical attack as “an excuse” to undermine the Syrian regime’s recent success on the ground.

“Any time there is an important victory in confronting terrorists in political and field developments, we face a coordinated game and tactic from terrorist groups and foreign players,” said Ansari. (AFP) AQS AQS

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This is published unedited from the PTI feed.