US accusation on Iran about violating CWC is suspicious: Fitzpatrick

TEHRAN, Nov. 27 (MNA) – Mark Fitzpatrick, director of International Institute for Strategic Studies, says that the timing of the US accusation on Iran about “violating the CWC is suspicious.”

“It appears to be politically motivated as part of the campaign of “maximum pressure” on Iran,” Fitzpatrick told the Tehran Times in an exclusive interview.

Following is the full text of the interview:

The US ambassador claimed at the recent meeting of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) that Iran has not reported to the organization about its chemical gas production facilities and has violated this convention. The United States has never before accused Iran of violating the Chemical Weapons Convention. This claim also appears to be a political claim for Iran's maximum pressure. What is your opinion?

The US has valid concerns about Iran’s lack of transparency with regard to reporting potential dual-use facilities and the origin of Libya’s weapons. But the timing of the accusation about violating the CWC is suspicious. It appears to be politically motivated as part of the campaign of “maximum pressure” on Iran.

Will the United States be able to win other countries' approval of their claim to Iran and asking Iran to investigate these claims? (Of course, we know that the supporters are not members of this organization, and Russia can also veto such a request at the organization)

Given the timing of the allegations, I do not expect that many countries will join the US in asking for an investigation, which in any case Russia would veto.

Newly, Western countries adopted a resolution approved by the organization and opposed by Russia and China according to which is responsibility for identifying chemical weapons agents assigned to this organization. Due to the opposition of Russia and China, how do you assess the future of this mechanism?

The OPCW will remain an important player, but its authorities should be strengthened. In opposing the resolution, Russia and China are playing a cynical game.

The United States as the sole holder of chemical weapons reserves has so far for excuse technical problems has refused to destroy its chemical weapons reserves, which is the most important duty and priority of the convention countries. Why does USA not destroy its chemical weapons? Why USA while not destroying its chemical weapons, accuses countries such as Iran that have always had a clear position in opposition to weapons of mass destruction, including chemical weapons and have fulfilled their obligations?

Although it is regrettable, there are legitimate technical reasons for the delay in destroying the stockpile. They must be destroyed in a safe and careful manner. And there is absolutely no reason to think that these stockpiles pose any threat. It may be hypocritical for the US to accuse Iran of CWC violations when the US has not yet fulfilled its obligation to destroy the stockpile. On the other hand, given Iran’s complicity in the chemical weapons use by its ally Assad, it is also hypocritical of Iran to cast aspirations.

Interview by: Javad Heirannia

MNA/TT

News Code 139963

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