Foreign Ministry Congratulates OPCW on Nobel Prize

Foreign Ministry Congratulates OPCW on Nobel Prize

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iran which paid the highest price from any chemical attacks in modern history felicitated the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons on winning the Nobel Peace Prize for its efforts to eliminate the Syrian army's stockpiles of poison gas.

Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham in her Monday night message congratulated the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) as well as its staffs and member states on winning the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize.

She stressed that Iran as a victim of chemical weapons has always sought total elimination of such weapons as well as other forms of weapons of mass destruction both in the region and the world.

“The OPCW, despite its young age has been able to achieve unique victories in the past 17 years since establishment,” said Afkham, as she said the organization has 190 members.

Afkham said the organization’s efforts to eliminate world chemical weapon stockpiles including those in the US and Russia has won international trust in getting rid of similar weapons in Syria.

All states party to the Chemical Weapons Convention are automatically members of the OPCW.

The Norwegian Nobel Committee awarded this year’s Nobel Peace Prize to the OPCW, as The Hague-based body is in the spotlight for its mission to oversee the elimination of Syria’s chemical weapons.

Nobel Committee Chairman Thorbjoern Jagland said on Friday that the OPCW was honored “for its extensive efforts to eliminate chemical weapons.”

The OPCW was founded in 1997 to implement the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), which bans the use of chemical weapons and requires their destruction.

Currently, the global spotlight is on the OPCW due to its mission to supervise the destruction of Syria’s chemical arsenal and facilities, which should be accomplished by mid-2014 under the terms of a UN Security Council resolution.

Since 1997, the Hague-based body has managed to eliminate 57,000 tons of chemical arms, the majority leftovers from the Cold War now held by the United States and Russia.

The $1.25-million award will be presented in Oslo on December 10, the anniversary of the death of Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel, the prize founder. The prize went to the European Union last year.


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