Iranian advisor: Syria to transfer Chemical Weapons to Russia

TEHRAN (FNA)- Senior Advisor to the Iranian Parliament Speaker Hossein Sheikholeslam welcomed Moscow’s plan for the removal of Syria’s chemical weapons, and said the weapons will be transferred to Russia.

“At present, officials speak of transferring the (Syrian chemical) weapons to Russia and the Russian officials have announced that they will safeguard them,” Sheikholeslam said Saturday.

Asked about the expense of dismantling Syria’s chemical weapons, he underlined that certainly, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) should pay the price since Syria has joined the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC).

Meantime, Sheikholeslam called on the world states to set up a fund and help to the dismantlement of Syria’s chemical weapons.

Other Iranian officials have also welcomed Syria’s decision to join the CWC, and said the move should be followed by disarming Israel of all its Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMDs).

“The Zionist regime (Israel) is still armed with chemical and nuclear weapons, and the action taken by the Syrian government should leave no pretexts for the Zionist regime, and Israel should accept to get disarmed,” Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Thursday.

Zarif, who is currently in New York to participate in the UN’s 68th General Assembly meeting, welcomed Syria’s decision to join the OPCW, expressing pleasure that the move has initiated a step toward ridding the region of WMDs.

He also emphasized that the Syrian decision was a positive accomplishment that averted war, adding that efforts should be made to set the stage for peace in the Arab country.

Iran has information showing that foreign-backed Takfiri and extremist groups in Syria are in possession of chemical weapons, and they must be disarmed as well, said the top Iranian diplomat.

Last Saturday, US Secretary of State John Kerry and his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov reached an agreement on a framework for Syria to verify that it is eliminating all its chemical weapons.

“Currently, the ball is in the court of the other side and they need to take confidence-building measures toward Syrians,” Amir Abdollahian added, calling for measures to stop the flow of foreign militants and terrorists into Syria.

As a first step, Damascus would join the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, Russia’s Kommersant said last week, quoting a Russian diplomatic source.

Then Syria would have to declare the location of the chemical weapons arsenals and where they are made. The third step would be allowing OPCW inspectors into Syria to examine them.

The final step would be deciding, in cooperation with the inspectors, how to destroy the weapons.

By Fars News Agency


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