US-Led Attacks on Syria to Promote Terrorism: Iranian Envoy
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iran’s permanent representative to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) condemned recent US-led missile attacks on Syria and said the “chaos-provoking behavior” would promote terrorism and lead to more use of chemical weapons by terrorists.
“Such a military action will definitely undermine further the pillars of peace and security in the world, bring about more instability and unrest across the globe and promote extremism and terrorism and hence more use of chemical weapons by terrorists in Syria,” Alireza Jahangiri said, addressing the 58th Executive Council Meeting on Syria in The Hague on Monday.
The full text of Jahangiri’s speech is as follows:
In the Name of God
14 April 2018 was a sad day for the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) since some States Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention attacked another Member State on the pretext of the use of chemical weapons, which has not yet been verified by this august Organization. The Islamic Republic of Iran categorically condemns the missile strikes against the Syrian Arab Republic.
It is highly urgent that all State Parties fulfill their historical responsibility vis-à-vis such international chaos-provoking behavior and strongly condemn this arbitrary and unilateral move against the territorial integrity and national sovereignty of an independent State, which is a member of the United Nations and this Organization. Such military action will definitely undermine further the pillars of peace and security in the world, bring about more instability and unrest across the globe and promote extremism and terrorism and hence more use of chemical weapons by terrorists in Syria.
Such a barbaric act amounts to a flagrant breach of international law and the UN Charter. It is quite odd that some countries such as Canada and Australia who allegedly show loyalty to peace, supports the unlawful use of force instead of inviting others to the table of political negotiations as suggested by some EU members and others.
The aggression against Syria without any substantiated evidence that Syria has used chemical weapons and by utilizing unverified and fabricated open sources in favor of terrorist groups is an act of crime and those who were engaged in this crime should be held accountable and brought to justice.
Surprisingly, the perpetrators of such an illegal attack played the role of FFM and in less than hours from thousands of miles away, found that chemical weapons have been used in the Syria Arab republic and who has used it. We are of the view that this approach has seriously jeopardized the credibility of the OPCW as the only competent authority to verify the use of chemical weapons.
The OPCW is at stake now and some delegations take hostage of this technical forum for their political intents. The Technical Secretariat is under constant pressure of these States. Calling for this extraordinary meeting without having a document or a report from the FFM or convening a briefing session in advance and diverting the Organization to rely on information from open sources and off-site samplings are clear examples of this political pressure.
Disappointedly, these States Parties, including some EU member States, Canada and Australia, on purpose or not, remain silent against heinous chemical attack by terrorist groups, in particular AL-Nusra Front and so-called ISIS and Jaysh al-Islam, in Um-Hush and all other regions in Syria, while questioning Syrian worthwhile actions to dismantle its chemical weapons program and ignoring its significant progress in a very short period of time and despite facing dire situation and neglecting Syrian prominent cooperation with the Technical Secretariat under the Convention.
Despite all these unfortunate facts which have exacerbated the situation for the existing mechanisms of the OPCW, we do still acknowledge the important role of the Director-General and the Technical Secretariat, in particular Fact-Finding Mission in Syria, in establishing the truth regarding the alleged use of chemical weapons in Douma on 7 April 2018.
The Islamic Republic of Iran is of the view that the findings of the FFM should rely on verifiable and independent sources and refrain from ambiguity and vagueness. In this due, the Inspection Team, itself, must visit the site of the incident and its report must devise a satisfactory way of unraveling any predicament in the investigation. Otherwise, all material evidences find its way to the FFM via "third parties" which manifests a lack of compliance with the basic chain-of-custody principle for safeguarding evidence.
In closing, Mr. Chairperson, may I request that this statement to be circulated as an official document of the Fifty-Eighth Meeting of the Executive Council and be posted on both the external and public website.