Director-General’s Statement Commemorating the 1987 Chemical Weapon Attack on Sardasht, Iran

28 June 2020


Delivered by H.E. Fernando Arias, OPCW Director-General

I am honoured to address this solemn ceremony to remember and pay tribute to the victims of the Sardasht chemical weapon attack. On behalf of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, I convey our deepest sympathies to the people of Sardasht and an assurance of our enduring support.

On this day in 1987, the men, women, and children of Sardasht endured terror, pain, and suffering in a cloud of chemical weapons. Many of them perished. The survivors forever carry the scars of their injuries and the loss of their loved ones. 

Today, we pause to recognise that the horror of that day must never be forgotten.

By honouring and remembering the victims, we also reaffirm our commitment to their legacy.

The global outrage at the attack on Sardasht provided impetus to develop a complete, permanent, verifiable ban on chemical weapons. In 1997, this ban was enshrined in the Chemical Weapons Convention. The Convention commits its 193 States Parties to ensuring that their citizens will never endure the suffering and loss we mourn today.

On this solemn occasion, I call on all countries to renew their commitment to the Convention’s noble aim of achieving a world free of chemical weapons. We owe this to the citizens of Sardasht, to all victims of chemical weapons, and to the generations to come.