OPCW Director-General Pays Homage to Victims of Chemical Weapons and Calls for Protecting Global Norm Against Chemical Weapons during Visit to Iran

Tuesday, 04 July 2017

The Director-General of the OPCW during a meeting with Iran’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, H.E. Dr Javad Zarif

THE HAGUE, Netherlands — 4 July 2017 — The Director-General of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), Ambassador Ahmet Üzümcü reinforced the need to take every necessary action to protect and strengthen the global norm against chemical weapons during his visit to Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran from 2 to 3 July. 

During the visit, the Director-General held a number of meetings with senior officials from the Government of Islamic Republic of Iran. The Director-General met with Iran’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, H.E. Dr Javad Zarif, on 2 July, where the discussion focused on the progress and challenges related to the implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention, including OPCW activities regarding Syria. He also met with Deputy Minister for Legal and International Affairs, Dr Seyed Abbas Aragchi; and Deputy Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council of Iran, Mr. Ameer Saeed Iravani.

The Director-General spoke about the milestone represented by the 20th anniversary of the Convention and the founding of the OPCW in his closing remarks for the Sixth Regional Training Course on Assistance and Protection against Chemical Weapons for Asian States Parties co-organised by the Government of Iran and the OPCW. He emphasised that “improving our ability to prepare for and respond to chemical weapons attacks must be matched with greater collaboration and a recommitment to the international norm against chemical weapons”. 

Ambassador Üzümcü while referring to the 30th anniversary of the chemical weapons attack in Sardasht and recent uses in Syria reaffirmed the commitment “to exclude completely the possibility of the use of chemical weapons” enshrined in the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) in his remarks to the Institute for Political and International Studies at the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on July 3. 

He called attention to incidents in Syria where this resolve continues to be “defiantly challenged” and further underscored: “No religion or culture rationalises such brutality. The Organisation not only has the mandate but an absolute responsibility to do everything within its capacity to confront this situation. Giving up the effort to uncover the truth will be an affront to the victims of chemical weapons everywhere.”

The Director-General also visited the Tehran Peace Museum where he met with victims of chemical weapons and listened to their painful recollections and learned about what survivors have done to try to rebuild their lives. 


The Islamic Republic of Iran joined the Chemical Weapons Convention in 1997.

Iran actively engages in OPCW projects in the areas of capacity-building; assistance and protection; and national implementation and development. It also participates in training courses for medical professionals for the treatment of chemical casualties.

The training course is jointly organised by the Technical Secretariat and the Government of Iran and serves as a final course to complete the basic training programme for this region. This course is designed to train first responders – with priority given to Police officers – on emergency response to chemical incidents and the participants are expected to attend the advanced course, which will be held in Seoul, South Korea in September 2017. The training brings together representatives from States parties in the region and around the world and serves as a forum for enhancing capacity to respond to chemical weapons incidents while providing the opportunity to discuss practical challenges in building an effective response system.

As the implementing body for the Chemical Weapons Convention, the OPCW oversees the global endeavour to permanently and verifiably eliminate chemical weapons. Since the Convention’s entry into force in 1997 – and with its 192 States Parties – it is the most successful disarmament treaty eliminating an entire class of weapons of mass destruction. 

To date, nearly 95 per cent of all chemical weapon stockpiles declared by possessor States have been destroyed under OPCW verification. For its extensive efforts in eliminating chemical weapons, the OPCW received the 2013 Nobel Prize for Peace.

More Information

Media Inquiries

OPCW Public Affairs
Johan de Wittlaan 32, 2517 JR
The Hague, The Netherlands
+ 31 70 416 32 42

Follow OPCW on:  

Categories: Asia, Director-General

For further information, please contact OPCW Public Affairs. +31 (0) 70 416 3242, public.affairs@opcw.org | ORGANISATION FOR THE PROHIBITION OF CHEMICAL WEAPONS, Johan de Wittlaan 32, 2517 JR The Hague, The Netherlands

Follow OPCW on Facebook and Twitter.

More news

First Responders from Asia Enhance Skills to Manage Chemical Emergencies

THE HAGUE, Netherlands – 19 June 2018 – First Responders from Asia increased their skills in handling emergencies involving chemical weapons and toxic industrial chemicals (TICs) during the 13th  edition of the ...19 June 2018Full story

First Responders Train to Handle Live Chemical Warfare Agents

THE HAGUE, Netherlands — 19 June 2018 — Fifteen first responders from across the globe learned how to handle live warfare agents during a training held in Zemianske Kostol’any, Slovakia, from 4 to 14 June. During the training –...19 June 2018Full story

OPCW Confirms Use of Sarin and Chlorine in Ltamenah, Syria, on 24 and 25 March 2017

THE HAGUE, Netherlands —13 June 2018—The Fact-Finding Mission (FFM) of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), confirmed in a report released today that sarin was very likely used as a chemical weapon in...13 June 2018Full story

H.E. Mr Sibusisiwe Mngomezulu (Eswatini)

H.E. Mr Sibusisiwe Mngomezulu, Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of Eswatini to the OPCW, presented his credentials to the Director-General on 11 June 2018.11 June 2018Full story

OPCW Holds Conference on Countering Chemical Terrorism

THE HAGUE, Netherlands — 7 June 2018 — Over 200 governmental experts, academics and industry representatives have gathered today for a two-day Conference on Countering Chemical Terrorism, convened by the Organisation for the...07 June 2018Full story

Laboratory Chemists Learn Best Practices to Support Chemical Transfer Controls

THE HAGUE, Netherlands – 7 June 2018 – Chemistry professionals expanded their knowledge about analytical methods employed by customs laboratories to support national border controls of scheduled chemicals, at a course by the...06 June 2018Full story

OPCW to Convene Special Session of Conference of the States Parties

THE HAGUE, Netherlands —5 June 2018— The Executive Council of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) met yesterday to address a request for convening a special session of the Conference of the States...05 June 2018Full story

Latin American and Caribbean First Responders Get Trained in Handling Chemical Emergencies

THE HAGUE, Netherlands — 31 May 2018 — Twenty-four first responders improved their skills in managing chemical emergencies at the advanced course for countries from Latin America and the Caribbean, held in Buenos Aires,...31 May 2018Full story

H.E. Mr Abdel Sattar Issa (Lebanon)

H.E. Mr Abdel Sattar Issa, Permanent Representative of the Lebanese Republic to the OPCW, presented his credentials to the Director-General on 30 May 2018.30 May 2018Full story

Chemical Weapons Convention Embodies Universal Values, Asserts OPCW Director-General During Visit to Italy

THE HAGUE, Netherlands – 29 May 2018 – The Director-General of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), Ambassador Ahmet Üzümcü, delivered a keynote speech at the University of Rome Tor Vergata on 28 May...29 May 2018Full story

Displaying 1 to 10 of 1918
<< First < Previous 1-10 11-20 21-30 31-40 41-50 51-60 61-70 Next > Last >>