Iran: US Sanctions Prevent Chemical Bombs Victims’ Access to Medicine
TEHRAN (FNA)- Iran blamed the US sanctions for difficult access of the Iranian victims of chemical attacks to medicine and medical equipment.
The US oppressive sanctions have made it extremely difficult to provide medicine and medical equipment needed by chemical war veterans, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian said in a message on Wednesday on the anniversary of the 1987 chemical attack by the former regime of Saddam Hussein on the Iranian city of Sardasht.
“Thirty-five years have passed since the horrific chemical bombardment of the city of Sardasht by brutal Ba'athist regime. Although more than 300 chemical weapons and bombs were used against Iranian soldiers and civilians during the eight years of Iraqi imposed war against Iran (1980-1988) in all provinces located at the western border of Iran, July 1987 chemical attack carried out by Iraqi Ba’athist regime on four parts of Sardasht and some surrounding villages were the most tragic event that displayed the severity of the crimes of Saddam Hussein's regime and its Western partners,” he added.
For the first time in human history, Iranian soldiers and civilians were exposed to the widespread use of chemical agents including mustard and nerve gases. The technical know-how required for the production of chemical weapons, raw materials, chemical weapons production equipment and financial aid had been provided to Saddam's regime for years by some companies and citizens of Western countries, specially the United States, Britain and Germany, with the green light of some Western countries, Amir Abdollahian emphasized.
Silence and complicity of the world powers and those who call themselves “international community” undoubtedly played a major role in the Ba'athist regime's brazen audacity in using chemical weapons against people of Sardasht, the first city to be chemically invaded, he added.
Government of Islamic Republic of Iran has pursued an active policy in legal and international forums to pursue and realize the spiritual and material rights of martyrs and dear chemical warfare victims, the top diplomat said, adding that proposing the establishment of an international network to help and support victims of chemical weapons, establishment of a fund to help chemical victims, and support lawsuits lodged against companies and foreign nationals are of the salient measures taken by Iranian government in this respect. Obviously, these measures require incessant follow ups to achieve results.
Amir Abdollahian said that the lack of proper international attention to the city of Sardasht as the first residential city, which was chemically bombarded, caused despair and hopelessness among the brave and courageous people of Sardasht. Hence, international community is expected to address the situation of Sardasht in the same way as the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which became famous for their horrific nuclear weapons attacks.
Sardasht is a city in Northwestern Iran. According to the 2006 census, its population was 37,000. It lies in the West Azarbaijan province. It was the first city in which civilians were attacked with chemical weapons by former Iraqi dictator, Saddam Hussein during the imposed Iraqi war on Iran.
The population of Sardasht is Kurdish. The city is also known for the many villages around it and their reliability on the city's market.
On June 28, 1987, Iraqi aircraft dropped what Iranian authorities believed to be mustard gas bombs on Sardasht, in two separate bombing runs on four residential areas.
Sardasht was the first town in the world to be gassed. Out of a population of 20,000, 25% are still suffering severe illnesses from the attacks.
Tens of thousands of Iranians were killed and wounded by chemical weapons during the 1980-1988 Iraqi imposed war on Iran. Around 100,000 Iranians are still living with the effects, which include long-term respiratory problems, eye and skin problems as well as immune system disorders, psychological disorders, genetic disorders, and probably cancers.