TEHRAN, Young Journalists Club (YJC) - In a meeting with Director-General of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) Ahmet Üzümcü in Tehran on Sunday, Zarif added that Iran was itself a victim of chemical weapons by executed Iraqi dictator, Saddam Hussein, during the Iraqi imposed war.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran has always emphasized that no group has the right to use chemical weapons in armed conflicts,” Iran's top diplomat said, adding, “However, the Daesh terrorist group has used chemical weapons in its war against the Syrian government.”
Zarif expressed Iran’s readiness to cooperate with the OPCW's investigation into a chemical attack in the northwestern Syrian province of Idlib in April.
Dozens of people were killed in the chemical attack in the Syrian town of Khan Shaykhun in Idlib on April 4.
The United States and its allies were quick to accuse the Syrian government forces of carrying out the attack. The Syrian army; however, said that “it has never used them (chemical weapons), anytime, anywhere, and will not do so in the future.”
Üzümcü, for his part, said Iran and the OPCW had a long history of cooperation and hailed Tehran’s readiness to help the organization probe the deadly chemical attack in Syria.
He pointed to the 30th anniversary of a deadly chemical attack by Saddam on the Iranian city of Sardasht and said the OPCW issued a statement on the anniversary of the event each year.
Sardasht was the third populated city in the world, after Japan's Hiroshima and Nagasaki, to be deliberately targeted with weapons of mass destruction.
It was also the first city in the world to be attacked with poisonous gas.
The actual death toll is far greater than announced. Nearly 5,000 residents of the city, which had a population of 20,000 at the time of the attack, are still suffering from serious respiratory and skin ailments and disorders.