December 10, 2018

Statement of the Delegation of Iran to the OPCW

On the picture Iranian Foreign Ministry Director General for International Peace and Security, Reza Najafi. Photography by OPW.

Statement of the Delegation of the Islamic Republic of Iran In response to the US Statement

Delivered by the Iranian Foreign Ministry Director General for International Peace and Security, Reza Najafi – November 23, 2018.

“We are not surprised by the new baseless accusations of the United States under the current administration which we categorically reject. As my Minister twitted “if they say Iran perhaps is responsible for the California fires, because we didn’t help rake the forests— just like the Finns do!” you should not be surprised.

But let us look at the facts.

1.   During the 8-year imposed war by Saddam’s regime on Iran, the United Stated as a permanent member of the UN Security Council turned a blind eye to the extensive and brutal use of chemical weapons against Iranian civilians and servicemen, and by so doing, shouldered responsibility for tens of thousands of Iranians who continue to suffer and perish as a result of chemical weapons.

Some of them are present in this Conference. The components of those chemical weapons came from the US and its allies’ companies. There are substantial evidences such as UNSCOM that many American and western companies provided Saddam with the required equipment, materials and technology to develop its chemical weapons program. Given that all of those companies needed to obtain export licenses from their governments, they could not transfer chemical weapons precursors to Saddam without the US government’s blessing. Thus US must be held accountable for complicity of such war crimes.

2.   The reports about the use of chemical weapons by terrorist groups in Syria, are very disturbing. It is evident that those terrorist groups could not procure toxic chemical agents as well as produce and use chemical weapons without the external assistance and support. This situation is very similar to how Saddam’s army could acquire and use chemical weapons in the 1980s.

3.   We should not forget that the United States is the only possessor State Party that has not yet completed the destruction of its chemical weapons stockpile, while it has all of the necessary financial and technical capacities to do so. Furthermore, the US has not withdrawn its reservation on the 1925 Geneva Protocol where it still reserves its rights to use chemical weapons contrary to its obligations under the Convention.

Keeping chemical weapons stockpiles together with its reservation to the Protocol, give rise to the assumption that US would like to maintain its chemical weapons as a so-called strategic reserve forever in full non-compliance with the Convention. US must make an official statement in this Conference to make commitments that it will withdraw its reservation on Geneva Protocol immediately and will never use chemical weapons under any circumstances and also it will complete destruction of all of its remaining stockpiles on time.

4.   The US staunch ally in the Middle East, i.e. Israeli regime has also developed chemical weapons with the help of US which is another case of US non-compliance with the Convention.

5.   The US history in developing WMDs and using these inhumane weapons is very dark. It has developed nuclear weapons and used them in Hiroshima and Nagasaki killing hundreds of thousands of civilians. It has developed chemical weapons and used them in Vietnam War killing more than 400,000 peoples. Contrary to its obligations under the Convention, US did not declare its abandoned chemical weapons in Vietnam and neighbouring countries. A fact that just recently was revealed and shows US non-compliance.

6.   The US is also in non-compliance with its obligations under Article XI of the Convention and by its unilateral sanctions against other States Parties to the Convention not only hampered the economic or technological development of States Parties but also prevented the importation and purchase of goods required for humanitarian needs, such as medicines and medical devices and agricultural commodities. A fact that was recognized by the International Court of Justice in its recent order.

7.   While pretending to have concern regarding non-compliance of the others, the US is in complete non-compliance itself with the UNSC resolution 2231 which it had cosponsored. US also compels the other UN members to violate this resolution and thus the UN Charter too. The US is even punishing its own allies for compliance with the UNSC resolution and now ironically talks about concern over non-compliance with international obligations.

8.   Furthermore, the US has also had a history of lying to the world about existence of WMD program of the others. In February 2003 its then Secretary of State in the UNSC meeting lied to the international community in order to invade Iraq. The result of attack, using all kind of weapons including CNS weapons, was the killing of thousands of peoples, including many civilians. Apparently its army believed the US officials’ lies and searched every inch of Iraq. They found Saddam in a small hole but they could not find a single WMD. They claimed 6 years later that they had found something and destroyed it. If it was true, they are in non-compliance with the Convention because they must have declared it to the OPCW and transferred or destructed it under verification of the OPCW. And if it was not true they told another lie to the world again.

9.   The US is supporting terrorist activities in the Middle East and indeed it is the mother of terrorist groups as it was reconfirmed by its current president during election campaign who clearly declared that previous US administrations were “the founder of ISIS” (Daesh) and the “co-founder” of the other terrorist and extremist groups. It was a bitter confession but it is very true. All of these facts show that the US is not in a position to introduce itself as the guardian of the Convention.

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