WMD Threat Demands Effective Int’l Response

WMD Threat Demands Effective Int’l Response  WMD Threat Demands Effective Int’l Response

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says "hegemonic powers" are repeating mistakes of the past by arming terrorist groups with chemical weapons, stressing that lack of effective international response will have catastrophic outcomes similar to the 1987 bombing of Sardasht.  

In a message released on Monday on the 29th anniversary of massacre of civilians in Iran's northwestern city of Sardasht in poison gas attacks by the Iraqi army under former Ba'athist dictator Saddam Hussein.

"Today, we are witness a replay of past mistakes by the hegemonic powers and the arming of terrorist groups, including Daesh (aka IS, ISIS and ISIL) with poisonous material and chemical weapons amid the internal developments of Syria and Iraq," he warned, according to Tasnim News Agency. He did not name any country.

Zarif said the international community's failure to respond and demonstrate strong commitment to deal with the threat could lead to more disasters like the one in Sardasht during the 1980-88 Iraqi-imposed war.

  Upholding Principles

He reiterated that Iran's principle was and is to condemn any use of weapons of mass destruction by any side at under any circumstances.

"The Islamic Republic of Iran calls for the elimination of such weapons from the arsenals of countries."

The minister highlighted Iran's active role in the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, and urged member states to honor their commitments to the convention on the prohibition of the development, production, stockpiling and use of chemical weapons.

The city of Sardasht in the northwestern province of West Azarbaijan was the third city in the world after Japan's Hiroshima and Nagasaki which became the target of a major attack using WMDs. In June 28 and 29, 1987, Iraqi bombers attacked four crowded areas of the city with poison gas that cut short the lives of innocent men, women and children.

The deadly raids killed 116 people and injured over 5,000.

Now 29 years after the attacks, reports suggest that areas across the border in Iraq are under chemical attacks by the IS terrorist group.

Last year, the mediaeval militia reportedly used mustard gas several times against Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga forces in the Mosul dam area, and against civilians in the northern Syrian town of Marea.