Sardasht, Halabja tragedies repeating in region

TEHRAN, Jun. 28 (MNA) – Coinciding with the 29th anniversary of the chemical bombardment of Sardasht, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif wrote a message on Monday expressing deep sympathy with the victims’ families and urging the international community to prevent the repetition of such catastrophic events.

"Today we are witnessing the same mistakes of the past by the hegemonic powers who are equipping terrorist groups such as ISIL with toxic materials and chemical weapons against the regional countries,” Zarif said in his message.

If the international community does not deal with the issue with a serious sense of responsibility, we will be witnessing a repeat of tragedies like Sardasht and Halabja in the future, FM Zarif noted.

As a systematic policy, he stated, the Islamic Republic of Iran condemns any activity related to weapons of mass destruction, including chemical weapons, and their use by anyone and under any circumstances.

Offering his condolences to the chemically injured people and families of the victims, Zarif noted that the anniversary of Sardasht chemical attack is an opportunity to remind the international community's responsibility towards the chemically injured people.

He urged the international community to take legal and moral responsibility to compensate for the insignificant part of damages to the victims and their families.

Noting that Sardasht chemical attack should become a symbolic event for taking collective actions against war crimes and the use of the Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMDs), Zarif said “nineteen years after the execution of Chemical Weapons Convention Implementation Act of 1998, the time has come to annihilate all chemical weapons possessed by the member states and prevent reproduction of these types of arms.”

The Islamic Republic of Iran, as an active member of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, will pursue the rights of all chemically injured people and families of the victims in the international bodies, he added.

The city of Sardasht in West Azerbaijan province is the third city in the world after Japan’s Hiroshima and Nagasaki which became the target of Weapons of Mass Destruction in June 28 and 29, 1987.

At that time Iraqi bombers attacked 4 crowded parts of Sardasht with chemical bombs and engulfed its residents, women and children, young and old, with fatal chemical gases leaving many dead and thousands injured.

Unfortunately international community kept silent toward the tragedy and even did not blame the Iraqi regime for the event. The survivors with their burned, blistered skins and eyes had to relate the doleful account of their relatives and friends to the next generations. Thousands of the survivors are still suffering from their chronic pains.

LR/IRN82128298

News Code 117684

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