TEHRAN (Tasnim) – The defense minister of Iran expressed the country’s readiness to share its experiences in demining activities and programs with other countries and international organizations.
Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Ashtiani issued a statement on the occasion of the International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action, observed on April 4 every year.
“I proudly announce today that despite the increasing sanctions, the Islamic Republic of Iran has cleared a large part of the mine-contaminated lands across the country and has also obtained the know-how to manufacture demining equipment in the efforts to carry its humanitarian responsibilities with reliance on its domestic capabilities,” the defense minister said.
Describing Iran’s demining experiences and advances in mine action as an asset to human society, the general expressed the Islamic Republic’s readiness to cooperate with other countries and international organizations in the clearance of landmines and explosive ordnance.
Iran has been ranked in some reports as the world’s second most mine-polluted country.
Landmine and unexploded ordnance contamination in west and southwest of Iran results from the Iraqi imposed war in the 1980s. Iraq’s army, under Saddam Hussain, is believed to have planted some 16 million landmines in Iran during the war, polluting an area of over 42,000 square kilometers.
Iran, however, has made great headways in clearing the minefields by developing special equipment and training expert teams.