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Iran's Khamenei: US attack on Syria to spell 'disaster'

Aug. 28, 2013 7:55 P.M. (Updated: Aug. 29, 2013 1:57 P.M.)
TEHRAN (AFP) -- Any military intervention by the United States against Tehran's ally Syria will spell "disaster" for the region, Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warned on Wednesday.

"The US intervention will be a disaster for the region," Khamenei, the Islamic republic's most powerful authority, told a meeting with the cabinet of President Hassan Rowhani, state television reported.

"The region is like a gunpowder depot. (Its) future cannot be predicted" in case of a military strike against Syria, he added.

Iran, the chief regional ally of President Bashar Assad's regime, has been very vocal in recent days against Western military intervention in Syria after suspected chemical weapons attacks on the outskirts of Damascus last week.

Damascus and rebels fighting it have accused each other of carrying out the attacks, which are said to have killed hundreds of people.

US Vice President Joe Biden said Tuesday there is "no doubt" the Syrian regime is responsible for the use of chemical weapons.

His remarks came after Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said the US military was already prepared to act if President Barack Obama gave the order, although White House aides said no final decision had been taken.

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