Iran

Iran congratulates OPCW for 2013 Nobel Peace Prize

329391_Marzieh-Afkham

Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman has congratulated the director-general, staff and member states of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) for winning the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize.

“The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons achieved unique successes in implementing chemical weapons disarmament over the past 17 years and in a short period of time since its establishment,” Marzieh Afkham said on Monday.

She added that 190 countries have joined the organization which is considered a “very big success” in comparison to other conventions and international organizations.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran as a victim of the use of chemical weapons have always called for the full dismantling of chemical weapons and other weapons of mass destruction in the region and across the world,” the Iranian spokesperson stated.

Afkham hailed the OPCW’s efforts to eliminate stockpiles of chemical weapons of world countries including the US and Russia, saying such bids increased international confidence with the organization to eliminate chemical weapons in Syria.

The Norwegian Nobel Committee awarded this year’s Nobel Peace Prize to the OPCW, as The Hague-based body is in the spotlight for its mission to oversee the elimination of Syria’s chemical weapons.

Nobel Committee Chairman Thorbjoern Jagland said on Friday that the OPCW was honored “for its extensive efforts to eliminate chemical weapons.”

The OPCW was founded in 1997 to implement the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), which bans the use of chemical weapons and requires their destruction.

Currently, the global spotlight is on the OPCW due to its mission to supervise the destruction of Syria’s chemical arsenal and facilities, which should be accomplished by mid-2014 under the terms of a UN Security Council resolution.

Since 1997, the Hague-based body has managed to eliminate 57,000 tons of chemical arms, the majority leftovers from the Cold War now held by the United States and Russia.

The $1.25-million award will be presented in Oslo on December 10, the anniversary of the death of Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel, the prize founder. The prize went to the European Union last year.

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