Iran raps UN delay in gratifying Damascus’ demand for chemical probe

 Deputy Foreign Minister Mohammad-Mehdi Akhondzadeh

Deputy Foreign Minister Mohammad-Mehdi Akhondzadeh

Press TV -(Tue Apr 9, 2013) Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Mohammad-Mehdi Akhondzadeh has criticized the UN for the delay in dispatching a team at the demand of the Syrian government to investigate the use of chemical weapons by the militants in Syria.

“More than three weeks have passed since the Syrian government requested the UN Secretary-General [Ban Ki-moon] to send an investigation team in coordination with the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) but unfortunately the team has not been dispatched yet,” Akhondzadeh said on Monday.
The Iranian official made the remarks in a meeting with Christophe Putraj, the chairman of the third Review Conference of the States Parties of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC).
Akhondzadeh expressed hope that the investigation team would be sent to Syria as soon as possible to identify the perpetrators of the attack and their accomplices.
Damascus earlier said that the foreign-backed militants used chemical weapons against civilians in Khan al-Assal on March 19. Syrian media reported that at least 25 people were killed and over 100 injured in the chemical attack.
On December 17, Syrian Ambassador to the UN Bashar Ja’afari said in letters to the UN Security Council and the UN secretary general that the militants could use chemical weapons against Syrians and try to shift the blame to the government.
Syria has been experiencing unrest since March 2011, and many people, including large numbers of Syrian army and security personnel, have been killed in the violence.
Several international human rights organizations have accused the foreign-sponsored militants of committing war crimes in Syria.

Fars NA -(Tue Apr 9, 2013) Iran Criticizes UN for Delay in Dispatch of Fact Finding Team to Syria

Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal and International Affairs Mohammad Mehdi Akhoundzadeh strongly condemned the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian armed rebels in Aleppo city last month, and criticized the UN’s delayed dispatch of a fact finding team to the Muslim country.
Akhoundzadeh made the remarks in a meeting with the chairman of the 3rd Conference of Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) Ahmet Uzumcu in Berlin on Monday.
Last month, terrorists fired a rocket containing chemical substances in the Khan al-Assal area of rural Aleppo and reports indicated that around 25 people were killed, most of them civilians. Syria immediately asked for an independent investigation into the use of chemical weapons by militants in Aleppo.
“More than three weeks passed now since the Syrian government has asked the UN Secretary General Mr. Ban Ki-moon to dispatch a UN fact finding team in collaboration with OPCW to Syria, but unfortunately, such a team has not been sent there as yet, while it is necessary to avoid any delay in this respect,” Akhoundzadeh said
Iran called on the UN last month to adopt proper measures to prevent terrorists from using chemical weapons against the Syrian people again.
Iranian top diplomat Ali Akbar Salehi urged the United Nations to condemn the use of chemical weapons by the terrorists against the Syrian nation.
In a letter to the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, he condemned the terrorist act of the Syrian rebels in using chemical weapons against the nation, and called on the international body to adopt preventive measures to stop repetition of such accidents.
Later, Ban Ki-moon announced the decision for conducting an independent investigation into the terrorist chemical attack.
“I have decided to conduct a United Nations investigation into the possible use of chemical weapons in Syria,” Ban told reporters in his office on Thursday, adding that “I intend for this investigation to start as soon as practically possible.”
The chemical attack came after a video footage posted on the internet late in January showed that the armed militants in Syria possessed canisters containing chemical substances.
The foreign-sponsored militants had earlier released footage in which rabbits were killed by inhaling poisonous gas.

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