Takht-Ravanchi rails against politicizing OPCW processes against Syria

December 12, 2020 - 17:45

TEHRAN — Majid Takht-Ravanchi, Iran’s ambassador to the United Nations, has voiced concerns over the systematic abuse of the processes of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) against Syria

“It is a source of grave concern that, in the past several years, a group of member states, systematically abusing the processes of this Council and the OPCW, have politicized the consideration of the implementation of the Convention by Syria,” Takht-Ravanchi said.

He made the remarks on Friday, while speaking at the UN Security Council meeting on the situation in the Middle East (West Asia), Syria and chemical weapons.

Referring to Iran as the main victim of the large-scale, most systematic and frequent use of chemical weapons in contemporary history, the diplomat said some Western states, not only assisted former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein in developing chemical weapons but also refrained from taking any action when he extensively used such weapons against Iranian citizens and later against Iraqi citizens.

“Such bitter experiences have taught us that no one should possess such inhumane weapons and the legal regime to prohibit their development and use, must not allow any sort of politicization,” the ambassador remarked.

“Now, we understand and feel, more than any other country, both the horrible nature of these inhumane weapons and the poisonous nature of politicizing the implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention and the work of the OPCW,” he added.

Takht-Ravanchi said Iran condemns, in the strongest possible terms, the use of chemical weapons by anyone, anytime, anywhere and under any circumstances, and also calls for promoting the full, effective, balanced and non-discriminatory implementation of the Convention as well as upholding the integrity, authority and legitimacy of the OPCW.

Pointing to states that politicize the issue of Syria, he said, “They disregard the fact that, in her final report to this Council in 2014, the head of the Joint Mission to Eliminate Chemical Weapons in Syria confirmed that Syria has fulfilled all its commitments and that its entire chemical stockpiles have been destroyed. This was confirmed later by the OPCW, as well.”

“They refer to a technically defective report of the IIT – prepared without on-site investigation or due regard to the chain of custody – and intentionally disregard the progress achieved so far by Syria in implementing its obligations,” he stated.

Takht-Ravanchi said they also overlook Syria’s commitment – reiterated also very recently – to continue to work with the Technical Secretariat to resolve all outstanding issues as soon as possible.

He further voiced regret about the “unproductive” policies of some Western countries that were pursued adamantly during the past several years, saying such acts have resulted only in division within the Council and the OPCW and eroded their legitimacy.

More importantly, the envoy continued, such politically motivated approach continues to endanger the consensual decision-making tradition in the OPCW – the latest example of which is the decision of the recently held 25th Session of the Conference of the States Parties on program and budget of the OPCW for 2021 that was adopted by voting.

“Such unconstructive approach will continue to adversely affect the efforts for the full and effective realization of the very purpose of the CWC, namely the elimination of chemical weapons, which is yet to be realized due to blatant failure by the U.S. as the sole major Possessor State Party,” he said.

Takht-Ravanchi concluded his remarks by saying that the continuation of such policies is not acceptable and must not be allowed anymore, adding, “Therefore, every effort must be made to restore the OPCW’s authority and promote the full and non-discriminatory implementation of the CWC.”

MH/PA

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