In a flurry of tweets, President Hassan Rouhani took a firm stand against use of chemical weapons in Syria. Damascus is Tehran’s closest ally in the region. But chemical weapons are a particularly sensitive issue in Iran because of repeated use by Iraq during the 1980-1988 war. During the war, Rouhani served as a Supreme Defense Council member and chief of Iran’s air defenses, which gave him first-hand exposure to the issue of chemical weapons. The following tweets are from August 27.
Rouhani then cautioned against jumping to conclusions regarding Syria's alleged use of chemical weapons. He argued that military intervention without U.N. approval would be a "blatant violation" of international law. The following tweets are from August 28 and 29.
Rouhani also tweeted on the broader Syrian crisis after the first reports of nerve gas usage surfaced on August 21. He encouraged outside powers to help facilitate dialogue between the regime and the opposition instead of arming the rebels