THE HAGUE, Netherlands—9 September 2022—The Director-General of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), Ambassador Fernando Arias, met yesterday with the Deputy Foreign Minister of the Islamic Republic of Iran for Legal and International Affairs, H.E. Dr Reza Najafi.
The Director-General briefed the Deputy Foreign Minister on the OPCW’s progress in implementing the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), the Organisation’s efforts to counter the threat of chemical terrorism, and strengthening international cooperation to promote the peaceful uses of chemistry. Ambassador Arias also provided an update on the project to build the new OPCW Centre for Chemistry and Technology.
The Deputy Minister stated: “The objectives of the CWC will not be achieved without its universal membership and total destruction of all types of chemical weapons. These still need to be fulfilled. It is a legal and moral obligation upon all of us to ensure that the horrible event which made the Islamic Republic of Iran the main victim of chemical weapons will not be repeated anywhere or to any nation at any time in future. Unfortunately, imposition of unilateral sanctions has exacerbated the health and medication of the victims of chemical weapons in Iran. We commend Director-General’s efforts to find a way to meet their urgent medical needs and also request him to continue his good offices in this regard.”
The Director-General underscored: “I welcome the engagement with the Iranian Government to discuss areas of collaboration to eliminate the use, threat, and re-emergence of chemical weapons. Joint action by all States Parties is crucial to achieve OPCW’s mandate to safeguard and advance the global norm against chemical weapons.”
Iran has been an active member of the OPCW since the Chemical Weapons Convention entered into force in 1997. Iran is a member of the Executive Council, the OPCW’s executive organ, which is charged with promoting the effective implementation of and compliance with the Chemical Weapons Convention as well as supervising the activities of the Organisation’s Technical Secretariat.
As the implementing body for the Chemical Weapons Convention, the OPCW, with its 193 Member States, oversees the global endeavour to permanently eliminate chemical weapons. Since the Convention’s entry into force in 1997, it is the most successful disarmament treaty eliminating an entire class of weapons of mass destruction.
Over 99% of all declared chemical weapon stockpiles have been destroyed under OPCW verification. For its extensive efforts in eliminating chemical weapons, the OPCW received the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize.