Published 3 September 2013
A video posted on the website Bolaghnews.com shows a speech by former Iranian President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani in which, according to RFE/RL's translation, he states that the Syrian government used chemical weapons on its own people. The speech apparently took place in Savadkooh, in Mazandaran Province, Iran, on August 31. Rafsanjani remarks were first quoted verbatim by the semiofficial Iranian Labor News Agency on September 1. The news agency later amended its report to remove Rafsanjani blaming Damascus. Iran's Foreign Ministry claimed on September 2 that the original quote had been "distorted."