September 24, 2023

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‘US bans impede chemical weapons victims in Iran to obtain medications’

TEHRAN- Reza Najafi, Iran’s deputy foreign minister for legal and international affairs, stressed on Monday that Iran has been the largest victim of chemical weapons in modern history and emphasized that Western sanctions have prevented victims of such weapons from accessing basic medications and medical supplies.

The comments were delivered during the fifth session of the Review Conference of the States Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention in The Hague, Netherlands. 

In reference to the significance of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and a global treaty on the prohibition of chemical weapons, Najafi said, “Iran, as the largest victim of chemical weapons in contemporary history, regards any sanctions against independent members of this organization by some member states as against international law and the Chemical Weapons Convention.”

The diplomat further emphasized the illegality and inhumanity of the Western sanctions placed on Iran and demanded that they be lifted immediately.

He went on to add, “Once because these governments sent materials to and shared the technology to produce chemical weapons with the former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein’s regime during the imposed war against Iran, and once again due to the sanctions imposed by these governments.”

Referring to the Israeli regime’s weapons of mass destruction, Najafi described the illegal entity as the main threat to the region’s peace and security, and urged the international community to put pressure on the regime to join the Chemical Weapons Convention “without any preconditions or delays.”

The U.S. is the only signatory to the Chemical Weapons Convention that still maintains its arsenal, and the Iranian deputy foreign minister called for its destruction “within a set deadline” and rejected any justifications for further postponing the issue.

The Iraqi army constantly used chemical weapons against Iranian soldiers and civilians during the imposed war on Iran in the 1980s, killing tens of thousands and causing many more to suffer for years.

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