Iran’s Sardasht; first victim of chemical weapons

MNA – 33 years ago on this day, Saddam Hussein’s regime used the chemical weapons made by Western countries against civilians of Sardasht to make Iran the first victim of chemical weapons.

On June 28, 1987, when the Iraqi imposed war against Iran was its peak, Saddam regime’s launched chemical weapons on Sardasht, northwest Iran, which can be categorized as one of the most adverse humanitarian crimes after the First World War.

As a result of this war crime, some 130 out of 12,000 people residing in Sardasht lost their lives while more than 8,000 others suffered injuries. Although 33 years have passed since the attack, people are still suffering from its consequences.

The chemicals, provided by Western states, had a long-term chronic effect, especially on children for years to come. Even today, 33 years after the event, many residents of Sardasht are suffering from the horrid effects of a nerve-agent chemical attack, and struggling for their lives.

Germany, Italy, the UK, the US, the Netherlands, and several other countries provided the Iraqi dictator with the equipment and material to build chemical weapons apparently because they didn’t want Iran to be the winner of the eight-year war.

What adds insult to the injury of those residing in the region is the fact that the international communities, even the United Nations, never condemned this heinous crime against humanity.

This overlooking made Saddam’s regime more arrogant and gave him the nod to continue chemical attacks. The Baathist regime of Iraq used 6,000 chemical bombs in 242 assaults, only a small portion of which was reported in the Western media. Less than a year after the Sardasht attack, the regime committed another crime against humanity when it launched another chemical attack on Halabja in Iraqi Kurdistan, killing some 5,000 people and injuring more than 10,000 others, mostly civilians. One cannot forget the silence of the international community, and particularly the Western countries, regarding these cruelties.

June 28 has been designated as the International Day of Countering the Convention Prohibiting Chemical Weapons (CPCW).

Commemorating the day, Iranian Foreign Ministry tweeted on Saturday that “It’s been 33yrs since chemical attack in Sardasht. We did & will never forget the support & complicity of US/Europe in the horrible attack by Saddam. We did & will never forget the UNSC silence on this heinous crime. We rebuild whatever they destroyed.”

Also, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Saturday described the attack as the culmination of Ba’athist regime’s brutality. He noted that the UN Security Council never condemned this and other chemical attacks of Iraq against Iran despite the fact that UN inspectors had verified the chemical attacks.

Reporting by Mohammad Ali Haqshenas