Zarif says Iran opposes use of chemical arms under any condition

July 2, 2017 - 20:48

TEHRAN – Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Sunday voiced the Islamic Republic’s strong opposition to use of chemical weapons, saying its use is “totally “unacceptable under any condition and at any time.”

Zarif made the remarks in a meeting in Tehran with Ahmet Üzümcü, the director general of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).

He noted that Iran itself is a victim of chemical weapons. 

Former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein gassed Iranian civilians and security forces during his war against Iran in 1980s, he said.

“Based on our main principles, we always reiterate our opposition to any use of chemical weapons,” the foreign minister insisted.

Iran has always stressed that no group is allowed to use chemical weapons in any armed conflict across the globe, he added.

“It is regrettable that the Daesh terrorist group (ISIS) has used chemical weapons in its war against the Syrian government,” Zarif said.

The foreign minister also expressed Tehran’s readiness to cooperate with the OPCW in investigations into use of chemical weapon agents in Syria’s Khan Sheikhoun.

For his part, the OPCW chief lauded the Islamic Republic for its record of cooperation with the organization, and thanked Zarif for offering help to probe into the Khan Sheikhoun attack.

The chemical attack on Khan Sheikhoun in Idlib province on 4 April 2017 claimed the lives of dozens of people, including women and children.

Üzümcü also pointed to the fact that his visit to Iran coincided with the 30th anniversary of the Saddam regime’s chemical attack on the city of Sardasht in northwestern Iran. 

He added that as the head of the OPCW, he has annually issued a statement on the incident.

MH/PA

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