Iran calls for prosecution of U.S., German firms at OPCW meeting

November 29, 2022 - 22:14

TEHRAN - The German and American corporations that provided raw materials to Saddam Hussein’s regime to build chemical weapons and use them against Iranian civilians and armed forces in the 1980s must be brought to justice, a senior Iranian diplomat asserted on Monday.

Reza Najafi, the deputy foreign minister for legal and international affairs, made the demands during the 27th Conference of States Parties (CSP-27) of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in The Hague.

The chemical arms had been first used during World War I. After four decades Iran became the second victim of such bombs. 

“As the greatest victim of chemical weapons in modern history, Iran neither pardons nor forgets the perpetrators and sponsors of Iraq's chemical attacks” against Iran, the deputy foreign minister remarked. 

Najafi also said harsh unilateral restrictions put on Iran in violation of human rights, which have prevented chemically injured Iranian war veterans to gain access to the necessary equipment and medications, have to be lifted promptly.

“The greatest threat to regional and global peace and security comes from the Zionist regime in Israel, which is in control of numerous forms of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs). It is the reason why efforts to construct a Middle East (West Asia) zone free of WMDs have failed,” the diplomat pointed out.

He urged the conference's participants to take action to achieve the convention's universality and create a world free of chemical weapons.

Nasser Kanaani, the spokesperson for Iran's foreign ministry, appeared at a news conference on Monday carrying a chemical mask to highlight Berlin's provision of chemical weapons to the ousted Iraqi dictator and its backing for him during his war against Iran in the 1980s.

Kanaani also said Iran will not cooperate with the so-called fact-finding committee established under the German-sponsored UN Human Rights Council resolution to look into claims of human rights abuses during the recent riots in Iran. Kanaani also said Tehran has already established a national fact-finding committee to investigate the unrest in the country. 

Hossein Amir Abdollahian, the Foreign Minister of Iran, has originally confirmed that Germany was the principal source of chemical weapons used against the Iranians by the former Iraqi dictator.

"Now, they are exploiting HR systems to commit further HR crimes, all in the name of a fake ‘solidarity’ with Iranians,” Amir Abdollahian tweeted.

Ali Bahadori Jahromi, the government spokesman, has also said Germany’s claims of support for human rights in Iran are politically motivated.

Germany's misdeeds against the Iranian people through political propaganda will not be absolved, he tweeted.

“A state that once helped Saddam gas Iranian men, women, and children in an Iranian city and once supported the imposition of unlawful sanctions on the Iranian country, today claims to protect human rights on political grounds,” he tweeted.

Sardasht, an Iranian Kurdish city in West Azarbaijan, was the first city in the world that was attacked with chemical weapons. The citizens were gassed on June 28, 1987. In two separate bombing runs on four residential areas, around 130 people were killed immediately and 8,000 injured. 

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