06/30/2022 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 06/30/2022 00:32
In the Name of God the Beneficent the Merciful
Message of Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian
June 29, 2022
To mark the anniversary of the chemical bombing of the city of Sardasht
and the National Day of Fight Against Chemical and Biological Weapons
35 years have passed since the horrific chemical bombing of Sardasht by the blood-thirsty Baathist regime. Although during the eight-year imposed war, chemical weapons and bombs were used against Iranian military personnel and civilians more than 300 times in all provinces along the western Iranian border area, the chemical attack of June 1987 against four areas of the City of Sardasht and some nearby villages, depicted the most painful dimension of the crimes of the Saddam regime and its western partners.
To mark this occasion and its designation as the "National Day of Fight Against Chemical and Biological Weapons", I honor the memory of the great martyrs and treasured chemical injured war veterans exposed to chemical weapons and ask God to grant their survivors and families patience and fortitude.
For the first time in the history of mankind, Iranian military personnel and civilian citizens were exposed to large-scale use of chemical agents, including mustard and nerve agents. The technical know-how required to produce chemical weapons, raw chemicals and equipment for manufacturing chemical weapons as well as the financial assistance were provided to the Saddam regime by some western companies and some nationals of western countries, especially the United States, the UK and Germany, years ago, and with the green light of some western governments.
The silence and complicity of world powers and those who call themselves the international community, without a doubt, played the most important role in encouraging the blatant presumption of the Baathist regime in using chemical weapons against the residents of the City of Sardasht, as the first ever residential city to be attacked by chemical weapons.
The large-scale use of chemical weapons against Iran during the imposed war was a key factor at the international level that led to drafting and adoption of the Chemical Weapons Convention and also helped make a norm the full prohibition of chemical weapons. The Islamic Republic of Iran, as the main victim of chemical weapons in the contemporary period, condemns the use of the inhuman weapons at any time, by anyone and under any circumstances.
Iran has unique and invaluable experience in the field of medicine and treatment of those injured with chemicals and is always ready to share its experience with the international community. I want to use this opportunity to offer my heartfelt thanks and appreciation to our country's medical society that, during the years of the imposed war and after that, and also during the coronavirus pandemic, provided significant and invaluable services to the victims of chemical weapons with altruism and their hard work.
The government of the Islamic Republic of Iran has pursued an active policy in the legal and international bodies to follow up on and secure the material and non-material rights of the martyrs in chemical attacks and treasured chemical injured war veterans. The proposal for the establishment of an international aid and support network for victims of chemical weapons, creation of a fund to help the chemical injured and backing legal action against foreign companies and nationals are among the actions Iran has taken. It goes without saying that such measures require follow-up action to bring about results.
Over the past four decades, international efforts to ameliorate the physical and mental agony of the treasured chemical injured war veterans have been put up against different obstacles, some of which are as follows:
• Lack of necessary political will on the part of some governments and shortfalls in the current international legal and criminal system to bring to justice the perpetrators and auxiliaries to chemical attacks that have made it difficult to follow up on the legal path.
• The unilaterally-imposed sanctions by the US that have made it difficult to purchase and supply medicine and medical equipment the chemical injured war veterans desperately need. While the chemical injured war veterans are among the vulnerable groups against Covid-19, the unilaterally-imposed sanctions of the US and complicity of some countries and pharmaceutical companies with them, made them even more susceptible. I use the opportunity here to offer my congratulations and condolences on the martyrdom of some of the chemical injured war veterans, who lost their lives to Covid-19, to the great Iranian nation and their treasured families.
• Lack of anticipation for the creation of a binding and effectual humanitarian mechanism to help the chemical injured within the framework of the Chemical Weapons Convention is yet another problem and obstacle. It is expected that the Organization for Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and member governments follow
the adoption of tangible measures, as the key missions of the organization, including stronger international cooperation and introduction of binding humanitarian mechanisms to help the chemical injured.
• Lack of appropriate international attention to the City of Sardasht as the first residential city subjected to chemical bombing has led to disappointment of the courageous and oppressed people of Sardasht with the international community and the public opinion. It is expected that the international status of the City of Sardasht is recognized and highlighted just as such cities as Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which have been known for the horrific nuclear weapons attacks against them.
Despite the aforementioned problems, obstacles and inconsideration, the foreign ministry, as part of its inherent duties to protect the rights and interests of the nationals of the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran in international bodies, and in compliance with the ratifications of the esteemed Islamic Consultative Assembly, especially the "law mandating the government to follow up on the rights of the war veterans and other victims of chemical warfare against the Islamic Republic of Iran" and the "law on recognition and support for the chemical injured", has spared - and will spare -- no effort to secure the rights of martyrs in chemical attacks and the chemical injured war veterans through relevant legal and international channels.
Undoubtedly, the world learns patience and fortitude from the firm conviction and commitment of the highly-esteemed chemical injured war veterans of the eight-year Sacred Defense and owes the peace and security that has arisen from the ban on use of the anti-human weapons to the patience and fortitude of these people.
In conclusion, I pray God to bestow the highest status to the treasured martyrs of chemical attacks and long life as well as health for the treasured chemical injured war veterans. Also I wish patience and divine rewards for the families and other affiliates of the martyrs of chemical attacks and chemical injured war veterans.
I wish for the quick establishment of justice and true and lasting peace under the auspices of the Global Government of Imam Mahdi.
Hossein Amirabdollahian - Foreign Minister June 29, 2022