Iran urges immediate UN probe of chemical weapons use in Syria
Press TV -(Thu Apr 11, 2013) Iran has called for the immediate dispatching of a UN team at the demand of the Syrian government to probe the use of chemical weapons by the foreign-backed militants in Syria.
Addressing the Third Review Conference of the States Parties of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) at the Hague, Iran’s Permanent Representative to the Executive Council of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) Kazem Gharibabadi urged an “independent, impartial, and transparent” investigation into a chemical attack by the militants in Syria in March.
Stressing the threat of chemical weapons to international peace and security, Gharibabadi called on the countries armed with chemical weapons, in particular the US, to show full commitment to their obligations under the CWC to eliminate such weapons.
The Iranian envoy underlined the significance of the Convention and its role in maintaining international peace and security and said the fact that Israel is not a signatory to the Convention has caused instability and raised security concerns in the Middle East.
Gharibabadi called on all countries as well as the CWC to take effective measures to pressure the Israeli regime into joining the Convention and fulfilling its obligations to eliminate its chemical arsenals.
Damascus said earlier that the foreign-backed militants had used chemical weapons against civilians in Khan al-Assal near the major city of Aleppo on March 19. Some 25 people were killed and over 100 others 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.
The Third Review Conference of the States Parties of CWC opened on April 8 and will run until April 19.
Fars NA -(Thu Apr 11, 2013) Iranian Envoy Criticizes UN for Delay in Dispatch of Fact Finding Team to Syria
An Iranian official 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.
The remarks were made by Iran’s Envoy to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) Kazzem Qaribabadi in Hague, the Netherlands, on Wednesday.
“An independent, impartial, and transparent investigation team should probe a chemical attack by the militants in Syria in March,” Qaribabadi said, criticizing the UN for delay in dispatch of fact finding team to Syria.
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.
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.