According to reports, Russian foreign denied that Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov had accused Washington of arming Syrian rebels, saying his comments during a visit to Iran had been misquoted.
“It was a translation error in Farsi,” the official said, handing out a Russian version of the comments which had Lavrov saying that the United States was delivering arms “in the region.”
Lavrov earlier accused the United States of supplying weapons to Syria’s rebels, a day after U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made the accusation on the helicopters.
Lavrov was reported saying in Iran that Russia was supplying “anti-air defense systems” to Damascus in a deal that “in no way violates international laws.”
“That contrasts with what the United States is doing with the opposition, which is providing arms to the Syrian opposition which are being used against the Syrian government,” he said, in remarks translated from Russian into Farsi by an official interpreter.
Other media, including Iran’s official IRNA news agency, published the same accusation, in what appeared to be the first time Moscow had directly pointed the finger at Washington.
But in Moscow, the Russian foreign ministry later said Lavrov’s statement was mistranslated and that the minister had only said Washington was supplying arms “in the region.”
“We do not supply to Syria or anywhere else things that are used to fight peaceful civilians,” he said.