Iran Backs Syria-OPCW Interaction

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Expressing Iran’s full support for constructive dialogue between Syria and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), an Iranian diplomat at the UN called for an impartial, professional, and credible investigation into chemical weapons incidents.

“We fully support constructive dialogue between Syria and the OPCW, setting a specific timeframe to address any remaining issues and bring the file to a final and conclusive closure,” the first counselor of Iran to the United Nations, Sattar Ahmadi, said in an address to the United Nations Security Council meeting on “The Situation in the Middle East: (Syria – Chemical)”, held in New York on August 8.

What follows is the text of his speech:

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

Madam. President,

We welcome the presence of Mr. Adedeji Ebo, Deputy to the High Representative for Disarmament Affairs at today’s briefing.

As a country that has experienced the horrors of chemical weapons firsthand, Iran strongly condemns the use of chemical weapons at anytime, anywhere, by anyone, and under any circumstances. The use of such weapons is a flagrant violation of international law, constituting a crime against humanity and posing a serious threat to global peace and security.

Madam. President,

The Syrian Arab Republic remains steadfast in its commitment to fulfilling its obligations under the Chemical Weapons Convention. In alignment with this commitment, the Syrian government has continued its constructive cooperation with OPCW.

Syria has been providing monthly reports on the details of the activities carried out to dismantle chemical weapons and their production facilities, the most recent being the 116th for the month of July. Furthermore, the Secretariat reports acknowledge that all 27 declared chemical weapons production facilities (CWPFs) in Syria have been successfully eliminated. This validates Syria’s commitment to maintaining and fulfilling its obligations under the Convention.

We fully support constructive dialogue between Syria and the OPCW, setting a specific timeframe to address any remaining issues and bring the file to a final and conclusive closure. Such an approach will ensure transparency, accountability, and a satisfactory resolution to all outstanding matters related to chemical weapons in Syria. In this context, we applaud Syria’s determination to convene a high-level meeting between the Syrian Foreign Minister and the Director General of OPCW.

Madam. President,

To ensure a successful outcome, any investigation into chemical weapons incidents must be conducted with utmost impartiality, professionalism, credibility, and objectivity, strictly adhering to the Convention’s requirements and procedures.

The integrity and credibility of the OPCW as the most competent international authority rest on its ability to remain neutral and objective, guided solely by scientific and technical considerations. This principled approach is essential to effectively deterring the use of chemical weapons and advancing the objectives of the Convention.

As such, we emphasize the full, effective, and non-discriminatory implementation of the Convention. All member states must fully adhere to the obligations outlined in the Convention to foster a safer world, free from the threat of chemical weapons.

Madam. President,

The repetition of statements made during today’s meeting underscores the concern that holding regular and monthly sessions on this matter might be inefficient, given the lack of progress and significant developments.

Such an approach could potentially waste valuable UN resources and the precious time of the Security Council. The report presented by the UN representative for disarmament affairs did not offer any new insights into the current situation.

Because of this, some Council members have already put forth the suggestion that discussing this topic once a quarter, instead of monthly, could suffice. Iran supports this proposal, aiming to streamline the Council’s efforts and focus on matters that truly demand immediate attention.

Thank you.

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