International

Syrian U.N. Ambassador Says His Is A 'Peaceful Nation'

In a contentious interview with CNN's Christiane Amanpour, the Syrian ambassador to the U.N. defended his country, saying claims that Syria used chemical weapons against its own people were "false and unfounded."

"You can repeat the same mistakes that the previous American administrations did at many times, during [the] Vietnam War or during the Cuban Crisis or the Iraqi War with Colin Powell in the Security Council," Bashar Ja'afari said on Tuesday.

He added: "We haven't declared war to the United States or to any of our neighbors," Ja'afari said. "We are not war mongers. We are not war advocates. We are a peaceful nation, a small nation, and we don't pretend to be equally strong enough to confront the United States military."

Amanpour pressed Ja'afari, saying there is a preponderance of evidence that points at the regime as the source of a chemical weapons attack.

Ja'afari held his ground.

"All what we are saying is that yes, we do have a domestic crisis," he said. "Yes, wrongdoings happened in the past. Yes, injustices took place in Syria in the past. We need to correct this, and we believe in what Obama said in the elections. 'Change: Yes we can.'"

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