TEHRAN, June 30 (MNA) -- Expediency Council Chairman Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani said here on Wednesday that the accusations made by the United States and other big powers about Iran's peaceful nuclear activities have no basis in fact.

Addressing a seminar held to assess the disastrous consequences of the use of chemicals weapons and other weapons of mass destruction (WMD), Rafsanjani said the issues raised by the big powers about Iran's nuclear program are stifling the country's efforts to acquire needed scientific and technical expertise.


"Iran is itself a victim of chemical weapons. Those who accuse us of trying to acquire weapons of mass destruction are themselves guilty of the offense and are just looking for a scapegoat," he noted.


He added that the enemies of the Islamic Revolution and those who cannot accept the success of the Islamic Republic are only using the nuclear issue to tarnish the image of the country.


He criticized the destructive arms race between the U.S. and the other big powers, saying, "Undoubtedly, chemical weapons and other weapons of mass destruction, as with modern industrial and technical innovations, have their origin in the West."


The EC chairman also lashed out at the world powers and human rights organizations for their "deathly silence" about the use of chemical weapons by the former Baath regime of Saddam Hussein against Iranians, stressing the need to expose the double standards of those who claim to be defenders of human rights.


"The world powers gave the green light to the enemies of the Islamic fighters and encouraged Saddam's regime in its crimes against us," Rafsanjani said, adding that it was the big powers that armed Saddam with dangerous weapons, thus facilitating his crimes.


He also said that all the research conducted so far on how to cope or deal with the consequences of chemical weapons has proven inadequate and called on researchers to conduct more scientific studies on this vital subject.


He mentioned a project in which Iranian scientists are to study the consequences of chemical weapons and disseminate their findings in order to help victims of weapons of mass destruction.


He also said that participants in seminars on the use of WMD must also take the legal and political aspects of the issue into consideration in their research.






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