Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Iran says US, Israel blocking elimination of chemical weapons

The United States and Israel are the main obstacles to the total elimination of chemical weapons worldwide, Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations Zahra Ershadi says.

Iran reiterates its “long-standing and principled position in strongly condemning the use of chemical weapons by anyone, anywhere and under any circumstances”, Ershadi stated before the United Nations Security Council meeting on “The situation in the Middle East: (Syria – Chemical)” on Wednesday.

“Another obstacle in this regard is the lack of Convention’s universality,” the ambassador added.

Below is the full text of Ershadi’s remarks:

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful.

Madam President,

Happy New Year to all. I would like to begin by congratulating you for presiding over the Security Council this month. We wish success for the Council’s new members.

We reiterate our long-standing and principled position in strongly condemning the use of chemical weapons by anyone, anywhere and under any circumstances.

The only absolute guarantee that chemical weapons would not be used again is the total destruction and elimination of all chemical weapons worldwide as well as taking all necessary measures to ensure that such weapons will not be produced and used in the future.

This indeed is the prime objective of the Chemical Weapons Convention which can be realized only through its full, balanced, effective and non-discriminatory implementation as well as its universality.

It is a source of serious concern that as a result of non-compliance by the U.S. as the only remaining possessor State Party with its obligations regarding the final extended deadline for the destruction of chemical weapons, this objective has yet to be materialized.

Another obstacle in this regard is the lack of Convention’s universality. To achieve this noble objective, the Israeli regime must be compelled to join the Convention without any precondition or further delay.

We once again warn about the serious impacts of the politicization of the implementation of the Convention on its authority and credibility, and therefore call for depoliticization of the work of the OPCW. State Parties must avoid exploiting the Organization to further politically motivated national objectives.

In this context, while significant efforts have been made by the Syrian Government in implementing its obligations under the Convention, including the complete destruction, in the least possible time and under severe conditions, of all its 27 chemical weapons production facilities as verified by the OPCW, holding of monthly meetings of the Council to consider the Syrian file has no justification. Instead of contributing to the objectives of the Convention, such meetings undermine the Convention’s authority and the OPCW’s credibility.

Moreover, it further deepens the trust and confidence deficit of the Security Council.

We welcome the submission by Syria of its 97th monthly report on its activities related to the destruction of chemical weapons and their production facilities, and note the recent finalization of a six-month extension of the Tripartite Agreement between the United Nations Office for Project Services, the OPCW and the Syrian Arab Republic.

The Islamic Republic of Iran once again calls for ensuring the independent, impartial and professional work of the OPCW.

I thank you, Madam President.

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