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Tehran Says Rafsanjani Criticism Of Damascus 'Distorted'

Former Iranian President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani
Tehran is denying that former President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani accused Damascus of using poison gas in Syria's civil war.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham said on September 2 that Rafsanjani's remarks had been "distorted."

The semiofficial Iranian Labor News Agency initially quoted Rafsanjani as saying on September 1 that the Syrian "people have been the target of a chemical attack by their own government and now they must also wait for an attack by foreigners."

But the news agency soon issued a new version, quoting Rafsanjani as saying instead that "on the one hand the people of Syria are the target of a chemical attack, and now they must wait for an attack by foreigners."

Tehran officially maintains that rebels were responsible for the reported poison-gas attacks on the outskirts of Damascus on August 21.

Based on reporting by Reuters and ISNA