Official Stresses Annihilation of Chemical Weapons in World
TEHRAN (FNA)- Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal and International Affairs Mohsen Baharvand said chemical weapons all over the world should be destroyed, and underlined the need for undiscriminating implementation of Chemical Weapons Non-Proliferation Convention.
Baharvand made the remarks in his meeting with the Director general of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) Fernando Arias on the sidelines of the 25th Chemical Weapons NPT Conference.
He stressed the need for full, effective and undiscriminating implementation of the Chemical Weapons Non-Proliferation Convention and every country’s full commitment to their duties in that respect.
“Iran had been the biggest victim of chemical weapons in the modern history,” the diplomat said, adding, “Three decades after the usage of chemical weapons by Saddam’s regime we are still witness to the suffering of victims in Iran and Iraq, especially when due to the illegal US sanctions they are deprived of access to proper medication.”
Baharvand reiterated that a world free from chemical weapons is not possible without destroying the stockpiles of chemical weapons of all countries who possess them, stressing that the US, as the only possessor of huge amounts of such weapons, must live up to its commitments and obliterate all of them.
In relevant remarks last week, Iran's Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the UN Majid Takht Ravanchi in a statement underlined his country’s demand for annihilation of all Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) in the world, describing it as the only guarantee for not using them.
In a statement read at an informal meeting of the UNSC on April 16, Takht Ravanchi stressed that the only “absolute guarantee” against the use of the WMD is to eliminate them all and to ensure that they will never be developed, a “noble objective” that clearly demonstrates the “inherent value” of non-proliferation and disarmament regimes.
“Nevertheless, the authority of such regimes and the credibility of relevant international institutions have seriously been challenged and undermined in the past decades, ironically in most cases, not by those seeking to develop WMDs but by those who have abused non-proliferation regimes to advance their own interests,” he added.
Iran’s permanent envoy to the UN pointed to some examples that prove the dual approach adopted by the Western member states of the UNSC regarding the WMD and non-proliferation and disarmament regimes.
Takht Ravanchi said the UNSC was “dead silent” when Iraq’s former dictator, Saddam Hussain, killed thousands of Iranian and Iraqi citizens by using chemical weapons during the Iran–Iraq War in the 1980s.
“It was the case when Iraq was invaded by Western countries based on completely false WMD-related claims. The Council is again silent when Syria has been under extreme pressure in recent years because certain powers are abusing the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to advance their illegitimate interests in that country,” he added.
Takht Ravanchi also said Iran, likewise, was put under unprecedented UN sanctions until 2016 just because certain Western powers, under the so-called proliferation concerns, accused Iran of seeking nuclear weapons, while Tehran has repeatedly said that it only pursues a peaceful nuclear program.
Nevertheless, Israel, which has already developed all types of WMDs and refused to join international treaties prohibiting such deadly weapons, is not held accountable by the UNSC since it is shielded by the United States, he further said.
“We also strongly reject all efforts undermining the CWC’s authority and the OPCW’s credibility and call for the balanced, full, and non-discriminatory implementation of the CWC and upholding the authority of the OPCW,” Takht Ravanchi concluded.