Tehran, Damascus Stress Necessity to Create WMD-Free Mideast
Iranian and Syrian officials in a meeting in Tehran underscored the necessity for annihilation of all Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMDs) in the Middle-East region.
During the meeting on Wednesday, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal and International Affairs Abbas Araqchi and his Syrian counterpart Faisal Mekdad discussed the latest international developments, and underlined the need for a Middle-East free of weapons of mass destruction.
He called for mutual cooperation in the Hague-based Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and continued consultations between diplomatic delegations of Iran and Syria in New York, the Hague and Geneva to bring closer their positions at international organizations.
Iran has always stressed the urgent need to the dismantlement of the 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.
In September, Iran’s Residing Representative at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Reza Najafi reiterated the necessity for the immediate dismantlement of all kinds of the WMDs in the region, specially the Zionist regime’s chemical and nuclear arsenals.
Israel is believed to be the sole possessor of nuclear arms in the Middle-East with over 200 ready-to-launch warheads in its stockpile.