Jun 28, 2019, 1:27 PM
News Code: 83373256
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Iran urges destroying US chemical arsenal for WMD free world

Mahabad, June 28, IRNA – Tehran believes that a world free of mass destruction weapons is only viable through destroying the arsenal of the US, Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Friday.

In a message on the anniversary of the chemical attack against the western Iranian city Sardasht (June 29), the foreign minister said, "Iran, once more, emphasizes its principal policy of condemnation of using chemical weapons anywhere, anytime and under any circumstances."

Iran also believes that a main step toward having a world free of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) is "to completely destroy the chemical weapons arsenal of the US as the only owner of such weapons in the world".

Criticizing the US for "being addicted to using inhumane tool of economic sanctions and terrorism" against Iran, Zarif said that the move has made the access of the victims of the chemical attack to the required medication much more difficult.

The former regime of Iraq, backed by some Western countries, particularly the US, attacked various parts of Iran by chemical weapons during the eight-year war (1980-1988) against Iran.

The regime of Saddam was provided with the chemical weapons by Western countries, mainly Germany, France, the UK and the US.

The Iranian foreign minister said the US sanctions are imposed on Iran in violation of the international humanitarian law, and the spirit of non-proliferation conventions, and called on the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to find an immediate solution for removing obstacles on the way to supplying the medications needed by the patients.

"The intentional negligence and ignorance of the international community and the member-states of the chemical weapons convention in the face of such harassing moves by the US, like their silence thirty-one years ago on the savage attack of the Baath dictator, backed by the US, against the defenseless civilians in Sardasht is deeply regrettable," he said in the message.

Then European states, over the eight-year war, either kept silent in the face of the chemical attacks or turned down Iran's frequent request for deployment of experts for field investigations. The declassified documents in the US, however, show that Washington was aware of the chemical weapons use by Saddam regime since the onset of the war, and it had backed the usage of the chemical weapons over the years.

Zarif also said that not holding accountable the perpetrators of the chemical attacks along with their accomplices and supporters has given way to the extremist groups in the Middle East region to commit similar crimes.

Recounting some related achievements and measures on the treatment of the chemical attacks victims taken by Iran at the international level, he affirmed that Tehran will spare no effort in restoring the rights of the injured people through legal and international channels.

In 1988, Iran presented the UN the full information on the chemical attacks committed by the Iraqi Baath regime since January 1981 till March 1988; a report with striking data: more than 56,700 people lost their lives in the attacks.

Zarif's message was read out by Iran's Foreign Ministry's Spokesman Abbas Mousavi at a commemoration ceremony in Sardasht.

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