Iran’s ambassador to the United Nations called on the OPCW to conduct an impartial, professional, credible, and objective investigation into Syria’s file, stressing that the political approach towards the Arab country has been a failed strategy.
Addressing a session of the UN Security Council on “The situation in the Middle East: (Syria – Chemical)”, held in New York on March 6, Saeed Iravani warned that politicization of Syria’s chemical file would jeopardize the process aimed at resolving outstanding issues.
The Iranian envoy also underscored that any investigation must be impartial, professional, credible, objective, and fully comply with the Chemical Weapons Convention’s requirements and procedures.
The UNSC holds monthly meetings on Syria’s chemical case but certain countries are not keen on attending such meetings. Russia and China did not make speeches during the Monday meeting on the case.
What follows is the text of Iravani’s speech:
As the main victim of chemical weapons, the Islamic Republic of Iran strongly condemns the use of chemical weapons by anyone, anywhere, and under any circumstances.
Like other weapons of mass destruction, the use of chemical weapons constitutes a crime against humanity and a flagrant breach of international law. This is the reason why our people will never forget how the Western countries supported the Saddam regime in the most systematic use of chemical weapons against Iranians.
The Syrian Arab Republic has fulfilled its obligations under the Convention and continues to cooperate with the OPCW.
Furthermore, the Syrian government regularly submits monthly reports to the OPCW Director-General, with the most recent being submitted on 17 February 2023 detailing activities on its territory related to the destruction of chemical weapons and their production facilities. It has also received the reduced team of the Declaration Assessment Team (DAT) from January 7 to January 22, 2023.
However, we are deeply concerned about the exploitation and politicization of the Convention and the OPCW, which has caused division among member states and weakened the credibility and legitimacy of the disarmament machinery.
The IIT report of January 27th, like previous reports, was based on unauthorized sources and lacked required legal conclusions while disregarding observations from the Syrian government. These faults must be addressed responsibly to ensure the integrity of OPCW reports.
We support constructive dialogue between Syria and the OPCW at the highest level, with a specific time frame to resolve outstanding issues and finally close the file.
The political approach towards the Syrian file has been a failed strategy, jeopardizing the process aimed at resolving outstanding issues. Additionally, applying double standards will only distract from the technical nature of the discussions at hand.
Any investigation must be impartial, professional, credible, objective, and fully comply with the Convention’s requirements and procedures.
And finally, Mr. President, continuing to convene monthly meetings on the Syrian chemical file, despite no new developments, where some members repeat previous claims against the Syrian Arab Republic, is counterproductive that wastes UN resources and the Security Council’s time.