Iranian Deputy FM Set to Attend CWC Annual Conference
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal and International Affairs Seyed Abbas Araqchi left Tehran on Sunday for the Dutch city of The Hague to attend the 18th session of the Conference of the States Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC).
Araqchi is planned to give a speech in the forthcoming event as representative of the Islamic Republic, which also holds the presidency of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM).
The conference, known as CSP-18, will be held from December 2-6 at the World Forum Convention Center (WFCC) in The Hague.
In his visit to the Netherlands, Araqchi is also scheduled to inaugurate an exhibition to advocate the victims of the chemical weapons.
Moreover, he will reportedly hold a meeting with the Dutch foreign minister.
Iran is one of the biggest victims of chemical weapons, and indeed the only victim of the use of weapons of mass destruction in recent history, according to Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.
During the eight-year Iraqi imposed war on the Islamic Republic in the 1980s, more than 1,000,000 Iranians were exposed to chemical agents of different types by Iraq’s former dictator Saddam Hussein.
Between 10,000 and 20,000 people were killed and 100,000 of those who survived have developed acute symptoms, often chronic.
From 1983, Saddam Hussein repeatedly attacked Iran with mustard gas, sarin and tabun to reverse the fortunes of his failed invasion of Iran three years earlier.
And according to an exclusive report by Foreign Policy in late August, in 1988, during the waning days of Iraq's war against Iran, the United States learned through satellite imagery that Iran was about to gain a major strategic advantage by exploiting a hole in Iraqi defenses. It said US intelligence officials conveyed the location of the Iranian troops to Iraq, fully aware that Saddam's military would attack with chemical weapons, including sarin, a lethal nerve agent.
Frims from western countries -- including Germany, France, Italy, Spain, the US and Austria -- and some other countries provided the slain Iraqi dictator with chemical precursors, equipment and know-how to produce chemical weapons which he used against the Iranian armed forces and civilians during the war (1980-1988).
Saddam also used such deadly weapons in 1988 in the Al-Anfal Campaign against his civilian Kurdish population and during a popular uprising in the south in 1991.