Iran calls for destruction of US chemical weapons arsenal

TEHRAN, Jun. 28 (MNA) – Iran believes that a world free of weapons of mass destruction is only viable through the destruction of the US arsenal, Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Friday.

In a message on the anniversary of the chemical bombing of the western Iranian city Sardasht in 1987, the Iranian foreign minister said, "Iran, once more, emphasizes its principal policy of condemning the use of chemical weapons anywhere, anytime and under any circumstances."

The 1987 chemical bombing of Sardasht by former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein during the Iraqi-imposed war on Iran left over 100 people dead and thousands of others severely injured.

Zarif went on to add that Iran believes that the main step toward having a world free of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) is "to completely destroy the chemical weapons arsenal of the US as the only owner of such weapons in the world."

Criticizing the US for "being addicted to using inhumane tools of economic sanctions and terrorism" against Iran, Zarif said that the US sanctions have made the access of the Iranian victims of the chemical attack to the required medication much more difficult.

The Iranian foreign minister said the US sanctions are imposed on Iran in violation of the international humanitarian law, and the spirit of non-proliferation conventions, and called on the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to find an immediate solution for removing obstacles on the way to supplying the medications needed by the patients.

"The intentional negligence and ignorance of the international community and the member states of the chemical weapons convention in the face of such moves by the US is deeply regrettable, much like their silence thirty-one years ago toward the savage attack of the Baath dictator, backed by the US, against the defenseless civilians in Sardasht," he added.

Zarif also said that failure to hold accountable the perpetrators of the chemical attacks along with their accomplices and supporters has given way to the extremist groups in the Middle East region to commit similar crimes.

Recounting some related achievements and measures on the treatment of the chemical attacks victims taken by Iran at the international level, he affirmed that Tehran will spare no effort in restoring the rights of the injured through legal and international channels.

MA/4652839

News Code 146973

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