Tehran renews call for total abolition of chemical weapons

February 26, 2011 - 0:0

TEHRAN – Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi reiterates Tehran’s call for a total abolition of chemical weapons throughout the world, criticizing certain world powers for not fulfilling their commitments in this regard.

The call came as Salehi held talks with Ahmet Uzumcu, director of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), in Tehran on Thursday.
Highlighting the important role that the OPCW can play in chemical weapons disarmament and eradication of chemical weapon stockpiles around the world, Salehi said Iran is ready to expand its cooperation with the organization.
Salehi added that Iran is committed to the international conventions including the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC).
The fact that the Islamic republic did not take reciprocal action when Saddam Hussein’s Baathist regime used chemical weapons against Iran in the 1980s proves this assertion, the foreign minister noted.
The OPCW chief congratulated Salehi on his appointment as foreign minister. He called Iran an important and active country in pushing ahead the goals of the Chemical Weapons Convention, saying Iran has made great efforts to help the OPCW achieve its objectives.
Uzumcu said the organization can use the experiences of Iran, as a victim of chemical weapons, in dealing with problems caused by the chemical warfare and treating people injured by chemical weapons.
The OPCW, based in Hague, is the implementing body of the Chemical Weapons Convention and has the mandate to ensure the implementation of its provisions, including those for international verification of compliance with it.
On Thursday Uzumcu visited two hospitals in Tehran, seeing a number of inpatients with problems caused by chemical weapons.
“The situation of these patients upset me and these scenes are a great lesson for the international community to try and prevent the repetition of such disasters,” he told reporters after the visit.
He also announced that two-third of chemical weapon stockpiles have been eradicated and expressed hope that the goal of total abolition of chemical weapons would be realized in the near future.