Facilitators of Saddam’s chemical weapons program should be prosecuted: Mottaki

October 23, 2007 - 0:0

TEHRAN - All those who facilitated Saddam Hussein’s chemical weapons program should be put on trial, and this would surely help prevent a recurrence of such disasters, Iranian Foreign Minister Manuchehr Mottaki said here on Monday.

It was only many years after Saddam’s “chemical attacks on Sardasht and Halabja that the world realized it had to find a serious solution to save humanity from such inhumane weapons,” Mottaki said at the opening ceremony of the international seminar on the repercussions of the use of chemical weapons against Iran, which is being held in Tehran from October 22 to 23 to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the chemical attack on the city of Sardasht in western Iran.
Two decades after those criminal acts, individuals injured by chemical weapons are still suffering from physical and psychological trauma, Mottaki noted.
Yet, despite its bitter experience, the Islamic Republic has always called for the complete eradication of chemical weapons, he added.
In addition to the fact that he followed U.S. policies when committing his crimes against humanity, Saddam also received assistance from certain Western companies, which provided him with dangerous chemicals, the foreign minister stated.
All those who directly or indirectly cooperated in the crimes should be held accountable, he added.
Since the end of World War I, the Middle East is the only region that has experienced extensive use of such weapons, he said.
The Zionist regime has stockpiled an enormous amount of weapons of mass destruction, including chemical, nuclear, and biological weapons, and since it is not a signatory to the Chemical Weapons Convention or the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, it is regarded as a major threat to regional and international peace and security, he added.
The Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), which entered into force on April 29, 1997, is an arms control agreement which outlaws the production, stockpiling, and use of chemical weapons.
Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Committee Chairman Alaeddin Borujerdi also addressed the conference and called for unbiased implementation of the CWC.
As the greatest victim of chemical weapons, the Islamic Republic of Iran expects the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and member states to take effective steps to alleviate the pain of the victims of chemical weapons, he stated.
In this case, the responsibility of those countries whose nationals assisted Saddam in his chemical weapons program is heavier, he added.
Borujerdi also criticized the United States for maintaining a chemical weapons stockpile despite the fact that it is a CWC signatory.
Although the United States has the means to fulfill its CWC commitments, it has delayed the destruction of its chemical weapons, which raises serious concerns and threatens world peace, he observed