The Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran, H.E. Dr Mohammad Javad Zarif, met yesterday with the Director-General of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), Ambassador Ahmet Üzümcü, at OPCW Headquarters in The Hague.
The Director-General briefed the Foreign Minister about the work of the Organisation, including the status of the implementation of the Convention, OPCW initiatives to counter the threat of chemical terrorism from Non State Actors, and provided an update on activities related to the Syrian Arab Republic. The full implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention is crucial to achieving the complete elimination of chemical weapons and preventing their re-emergence. Ambassador Üzümcü underlined that “Iran is an important State Party which has supported the activities of the OPCW in order to achieve the goals of the Chemical Weapons Convention”. He also thanked Iran for hosting the Regional National Authorities meeting recently.
Dr Zarif remarked, “The OPCW is at the forefront of efforts to ensure chemical weapons are never used again, and enjoys the full support of Islamic Republic of Iran.
The Foreign Minster further remarked, “Non State Actors and terrorist groups, in particular ISIS in Syria and Iraq, constitute a threat to the peace and security not only in the Middle East, but globally. We have to work together to appropriately address this issue.” He also emphasised the importance of universality, encouraging all states not yet party to the CWC to accede to it. Dr Zarif then stated, “Iran supports the creation of a Middle East Weapons of Mass Destruction Free Zone, in particular Chemical Weapons.”
The Foreign Minister, accompanied by the Director-General, also visited the monuments to the victims of chemical attacks in Sardasht, Iran and Halabja, Iraq located on the OPCW grounds. The Director-General expressed, “On this solemn anniversary, we re-dedicate ourselves to the task of eliminating the scourge of chemical weapons to ensure that such tragedies never again blight our humanity.”
Foreign Minister Zarif extended his invitation for the Director-General to visit Iran to strengthen cooperation between the OPCW and Iran.