Iranian victims of chemical weapons attacks during the Iran-Iraq war have travelled to The Hague to share their story at a conference of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), Press TV reports.
“I have been suffering from this pain for 20 years, I’m a living proof of what these weapons do, but I want to be an example so others don’t have to suffer,” an Iranian victim said in an interview with the Press TV correspondent on Tuesday.
“The reality is I have lots of problems, I may look OK, but I’m very ill every second with every breath that I struggle to take… I have come here to say no child has gone through what I have been through,” said another Iranian victim, who was exposed to chemical weapons when he was a child.
Meanwhile, Iranian NGOs at the conference say Iranian victims are coming under more pressure today, as the US-engineered sanctions against Iran over the country’s nuclear energy program make it very hard for them to obtain their required medicines.
“We were victimized once by chemical weapons and now we are also being victimized by sanctions, it’s very sad to know that some of these people who are victimized by chemical warfare agents are now dying because of lack of access to their vital medicine as a result of the imposed sanctions by western countries,” said Shahriar Khateri from the Chemical Weapons Victims Support NGO.
Former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein frequently used chemical weapons against Iran during the 1980-1988 war.
Nearly 100,000 Iranians were affected by nerve and mustard gases during the imposed war, and around one in 10 died before receiving any treatment. About five to six thousand are still receiving medical treatment.
The former Iraqi dictator used nerve agent for the first time in history. He also used mustard gas for the first time against a civilian population during the war with Iran.