Iran urges sides to cooperate on Salisbury attack

MNA – Iran’s representative to the UN chemical watchdog, Alireza Jahangiri, called on Russia and UK to settle disputes over the Salisbury nerve agent attack through cooperation and constructive talks.

Iranian Ambassador to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) Alireza Jahangiri read out a joint statement during an extraordinary meeting of the OPCW Executive Council, on behalf of Russia, China, Pakistan, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, Azerbaijan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

The Iranian envoy called on the two sides involved in the dispute over the last month’s poisoning of a former Russian spy in southwest England to settle the issue through cooperation and constructive talks in a bid to move out of an impasse.

“Politicizing any issues within the framework of the Chemical Weapons Convention will benefit none of the Member States, and will threaten the credibility of the OPCW,” Jahangiri stressed.

Jahangiri further criticized the participating sides at the meeting for not having said anything about Iran as a main victim of chemical weapons as well as a victim of international silence.

During the tense meeting held on Wed. in The Hague, the British representatives slammed Russia’s proposal for contributing to an OPCW investigation into the Salisbury poisoning, accusing Russia of being responsible for the attack.

The Russian authorities, for their parts, said that UK and France have refused to answer the questions of Russian embassy in London and have barred the consulate’s access to Russian nationals. Russia also announced its readiness to cooperate with the OPCW probe.

Russia lost a vote at the meeting by 15-6 with 17 OPCW member states abstaining. The country gained support from China, Azerbaijan, Sudan, Algeria and Iran.

The meeting wrapped up without any conclusion due to Iran and Russia’s objection to the draft proposal by the Western side.