Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marziyeh Afkham voiced Tehran’s steadfast opposition to the acquisition and possession of nuclear arms, and urged dismantlement of all Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) in the world.
“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 underlined on Monday.
She also hailed the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (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.
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.
Supreme Leader of Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei in his address to the inauguration ceremony of 16th Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) summit in Tehran late in August condemned the efforts made by a few world powers to monopolize the civilian nuclear technology, while they are the only ones which have made use of the nuclear weapons.
The Leader noted the world powers’ misuse of the nuclear weapons, and called for denuclearization, underlining that nuclear weapons cannot “guarantee the security of any world country”.
“Nuclear weapons can neither guarantee anyone’s security nor strengthen the power of any world state, rather they are a threat to both of these,” Ayatollah Khamenei said.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran condemns use of nuclear and chemical weapons and the like as an unforgivable sin, and we have raised the slogan of a ‘Middle-East Free from Nuclear Weapons’ and we are committed to it,” the Leader reiterated.
“But, this does not mean ignoring the right to the peaceful nuclear energy and nuclear fuel production. According to the international rules, use of the civilian nuclear technology is the right of all the world countries. Everyone should be entitled to make use of this safe energy for various vital purposes for their country and nation and should not depend on others for putting this right into effect,” he said.
He further blasted the western powers for using nuclear weapons. “A few western countries which possess nuclear weapons themselves and have embarked on this illegal action (possession of the nuclear weapons), intend to keep monopolizing the ability to produce nuclear fuel,” he said.
“A stealthy move has started to bring production and sales of nuclear fuel to centers under international titles, but actually under the claws of a few western countries to keep it there forever,” the leader warned.
“The bitter sarcasm of our time is that the US administration, which has the most and most lethal nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction and is the only one which has committed utilizing them, wants today to raise and bear the flag of opposition to nuclear proliferation,” he continued.
“They and their western partners have equipped the usurper Zionist regime with nuclear weapons and posed a big threat to this sensitive region, while this very deceitful collection (of countries) do not stand the peaceful use of the nuclear energy for independent nations and use all their possibilities to clash with the production of nuclear fuel for radiomedicines and other peaceful humanitarian uses,” the Leader said.
He said Iran’s enemies “know well that they are lying about the Islamic Republic” of Iran’s nuclear intentions.
To prove the untruthful nature of the US and its allies, the Leader said those who possess nuclear weapons and threaten other nations with these weapons in the 21st century would never feel embarrassed to utter lies about other countries.
“I emphasize that the Islamic Republic of Iran never intends access to the nuclear weapons, but meantime, it will not ignore its right to access the civilian nuclear technology.”
“Our country’s motto is nuclear technology for all, and nuclear weapons for no one,” he stressed, and added, “We will insist on both these statements and we know that breaking the monopoly of a few western countries on the nuclear energy production within the framework of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) would be beneficial to all independent countries, including the NAM member states.”