Uzumcu hails Iran as influential OPCW member

TEHRAN (FNA)- Director-General of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons Ahmet Uzumcu described Iran as an active and effective member of the OPCW.

Uzumcu made the remarks in a meeting with Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for International and Legal Affairs Seyed Abbas Araqchi on the sidelines of the 18th Session of the Conference of the States Parties (CSP) to the Chemical Weapons Convention which opened in The Hague on Monday. Iranian Ambassador to OPCW Kazzem Qaribabadi was also present in the meeting.

Uzumcu pointed to Iran’s continued cooperation with the OPCW, and appreciated the Islamic Republic for its positive and constructive approach towards the Chemical Weapons Convention.

Araqchi departed Tehran for The Hague to attend the 18th Session of the Conference of the States Parties (CSP) to the Chemical Weapons Convention which is held on December 2-6.

The deputy foreign minister is due to address the CSP meeting as the representative of Iran which is the current rotating president of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM).

Araqchi also inaugurated an exhibition organized in support of the chemical weapons victims on the sidelines of his presence in the conference.

He is also scheduled to meet Dutch Foreign Minister Frans Timmermans and a number of high-ranking Dutch legislators in the Netherlands.

Iran as a member of the executive council of the OPCW and also as a victim of those weapons has always had powerful presence in the CSP sessions.

Iran has always stressed the urgent need for the dismantlement of the Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMDs), including chemical weapons, as it has been a victim of such weapons.

Tens of thousands of Iranians were killed and wounded by chemical weapons during the 1980-1988 Iraqi imposed war on Iran. Around 100,000 Iranians are still living with the effects, which include long-term respiratory problems, eye and skin problems as well as immune system disorders, psychological disorders, genetic disorders, and probably cancers.

Sardasht is a city in Northwestern Iran. According to the 2006 census, its population was 37,000. It lies in the West Azarbaijan province. It was the first city in which civilians where attacked with chemical weapons by former Iraqi dictator, Saddam Hussein during the imposed Iraqi war on Iran.

The population of Sardasht is Kurdish. Sardasht is also known for the many villages around it and their reliability on the city’s market.

On June 28, 1987, Iraqi aircraft dropped what Iranian authorities believed to be mustard gas bombs on Sardasht, in two separate bombing runs on four residential areas.

Sardasht was the first town in the world to be gassed. Out of a population of 20,000, 25% are still suffering severe illnesses from the attacks.

By Fars News Agency 


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