The Iranian foreign minister said world’s inaction for the 1987 chemical bombing of Iran’s city of Sardasht by the Iraqi Army paved the way for repetition of similar horrible tragedies, this time by terrorist groups against civilians in Syria and Iraq.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran, as the chief victim of chemical arms, while reiterating its condemnation of use of weapons of mass destruction anywhere, by anyone and under any circumstances, also strongly denounces double-standard policies … and politicization of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and certain countries’ exploitation of technical issues in the OPCW,” Mohammad Javad Zarif wrote in a message on Thursday, marking the anniversary of the 1987 chemical bombing of Sardasht by the Iraqi Army under former dictator Saddam Hussein.
Zarif condemned US and Israel for preventing the realization of a Middle East free of weapons of mass destruction, calling for international action for elimination of Israel’s nuclear, biological and chemical stockpiles.
The Iranian top diplomat further deplored the US for refusing to fulfil its commitments under the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC).
“The Islamic Republic of Iran, as an active member of the OPCW, along with other member states, calls on the US to … completely and irreversibly destroy its chemical weapons under international supervision.”
Zarif added that the US and Israel, by preventing the creation of a Middle East free of weapons of mass destruction, are to blame for the continued threat of WMDs that has cast an “ominous shadow” on the region.
Tel Aviv and Washington must be condemned by the international community for this, he said, calling for coordinated global pressure to ensure the destruction of Israel’s nuclear, biological and chemical weapons.
Located in Iran’s northwestern province of West Azarbaijan, Sardasht was the third city in the world after Japan’s Hiroshima and Nagasaki to become a target of WMDs.
On June 28 and 29, 1987, Iraqi bombers attacked four crowded parts of Sardasht with chemical bombs and engulfed its residents, women and children, young and old, with fatal chemical gases.
The attacks killed 116 citizens and injured over 5,000.
The top Iranian diplomat further stated that terrorist groups such as Daesh, which are still active in the region, are equipped with poisonous material and chemical arms and have used such internationally-banned weapons during their campaign of violence in Syria and Iraq.
Since 2011, when a foreign-backed crisis broke out in Syria, numerous reports have emerged of chemical attacks across the Arab country.
The US, along with its Western allies, usually rushes to blame the Syrian government for such alleged chemical attacks before the launch of any OPCW investigation.
Damascus, which saw its entire chemical arsenal destroyed in 2013 under the supervision of the OPCW and the UN, has sharply rejected any use of chemical arms, describing such attacks as false-flag operations by the terrorists operating in the country as the West's proxies.
IRNA, Tasnim News Agency contributed to this story.