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Iran MPs Urge FM to Pursue CW Victims Rights

Service : Politic
TEHRAN, May 10 (ICANA) – A number of Iranian lawmakers have urged the foreign minister to pursue the rights of Iranian victims of chemical weapons during the 1980s war with Iraq in international courts.
Tuesday, May 10, 2011 12:48:04 PM
Iran MPs Urge FM to Pursue CW Victims Rights

“During the eight-year sacred defense (Iran-Iraq war), more than 240 chemical attacks were carried out on certain parts of the country, including 30 residential areas, leaving tens of thousands martyred or injured,” nine lawmakers wrote in a letter to Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi.

After World War II, the most extensive chemical attacks were carried out against Iran during the imposed war, in breach of the 1925 Geneva Protocol, they added.

The lawmakers said that the city of Sardasht was the main target of Iraq's chemical bombardments during the eight-year war when it was attacked with mustard gas bombs.

Sardasht was the first city in the world in which civilians were attacked by chemical weapons, the lawmakers went on to say, adding that the incident has been recorded in history since it is an instance of the blatant use of chemical weapons against civilians.

The Iranian lawmakers said that the Society of Chemical Weapons Victims Support (SCWVS) three years ago had lodged a complaint with an Iraqi court investigating the crimes of the former Iraqi regime.

They said that the court, however, suspended the case, arguing that the plaintiffs were non-Iraqis and that an investigation would begin once the Iranian Foreign Ministry files a lawsuit.

“Therefore, we call upon you to pursue [the issue] through international courts ... so that the rights of chemical weapons victims are restored” the MPs said.

This comes as a top Iranian envoy said earlier that Tehran continues to seek the prosecution of countries and individuals that supplied chemical arms to Iraq in the 1980s.

Iran has always asked the international community to “bring to justice and punish” the Western countries and companies which were involved in supplying the former Iraqi regime with chemical weapons, Iranian Ambassador to the Netherlands Kazem Gharibabadi said in January, 2011.

The city of Sardasht, northwest of Iran, was attacked with mustard gas bombs by Iraq in 1987 during the Iran-Iraq war twice.

More than 100 people were killed in the attacks but the real toll is much higher as many survivors who were exposed to chemical weapons have been suffering from serious health conditions, including severe respiratory problems and skin disorders ever since.

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