Iran urges immediate UN probe of chemical weapons use in Syria

Iran has called for the immediate dispatching of a UN team at the demand of the Syrian government to probe the use of chemical weapons by the foreign-backed militants in Syria.

Addressing the Third Review Conference of the States Parties of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) at the Hague, Iran’s Permanent Representative to the Executive Council of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) Kazem Gharibabadi urged an “independent, impartial, and transparent” investigation into a chemical attack by the militants in Syria in March.

Stressing the threat of chemical weapons to international peace and security, Gharibabadi called on the countries armed with chemical weapons, in particular the US, to show full commitment to their obligations under the CWC to eliminate such weapons.

The Iranian envoy underlined the significance of the Convention and its role in maintaining international peace and security and said the fact that Israel is not a signatory to the Convention has caused instability and raised security concerns in the Middle East.

Gharibabadi called on all countries as well as the CWC to take effective measures to pressure the Israeli regime into joining the Convention and fulfilling its obligations to eliminate its chemical arsenals.

Damascus said earlier that the foreign-backed militants had used chemical weapons against civilians in Khan al-Assal near the major city of Aleppo on March 19. Some 25 people were killed and over 100 others injured in the chemical attack.

On December 17, Syrian Ambassador to the UN Bashar Ja’afari said in letters to the UN Security Council and the UN secretary general that the militants could use chemical weapons against Syrians and try to shift the blame to the government.

Syria has been experiencing unrest since March 2011, and many people, including large numbers of Syrian army and security personnel, have been killed in the violence.

Several international human rights organizations have accused the foreign-sponsored militants of committing war crimes in Syria.

The Third Review Conference of the States Parties of CWC opened on April 8 and will run until April 19.

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