TEHRAN (Press Shia) – Iran’s envoy to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) proposed that procedures of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) be used to settle a row between Russia and the UK over the poisoning of former double agent Sergei Skripal.

Addressing the 57th meeting of the OPCW Executive Council in The Hague, Alireza Jahangiri stressed the need for a negotiated solution to the dispute between Russia and the West over the poisoning of Skripal and his daughter in southern England.

Skripal, 66, and his daughter Yulia, 33, were found unconscious on a bench outside a shopping center in Salisbury on March 4, after they were poisoned with what London says was a Russia-made nerve agent.

What follows is the full text of the Iranian ambassador’s comments at the meeting:

Mr. Chairperson,

Mr. Director-General,

Excellencies,

Distinguished Delegates,

The Islamic Republic of Iran condemns in the strongest possible terms the use of chemical weapons by anyone, anywhere, any time, and under any circumstances and those responsible for such an act as well as their supporters must be held accountable.

We do believe that this Organization is empowered to deal with any allegations of use of chemical weapons through a robust verification regime. In this connection, both Articles IX and XIV request the Member States to consider any matter through the existing mechanism in the Convention. Therefore, we are of the view that the defined procedure in the Convention could apply to the “Skirpal case” too. The Islamic Republic of Iran as an active State Party to the Convention believes that politicization of any issue in the context of the CWC is not in favor of States Parties and endangers the credibility of the OPCW. There is no doubt that the fact will emerge in future and the ambiguity will fade away.

Mr. Chairperson,

It is highly expected that the States Parties in any suspicious case which deserves to be considered by the OPCW, present their concrete documents to assist the Organization on its work in making the case clear. It is obvious that following of this approach will certainly help us to avoid prejudgment and accusation towards other States Parties.

I would like to add my voice to other delegations who have associated themselves with the draft decision presented by delegations of the People’s Republic of China and Russian Federation.

Mr. Chairperson;

Last but not least, while naming some member states as the victims of chemical weapons, my delegation is deeply disappointed to face with some statements in which the deletion of the name of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the main victim of contemporary use of chemical weapons, has deliberately or inadvertently occurred in their statements. Twenty years after the entry into force of the Convention, I should say that the Islamic Republic of Iran has not been only the victim of the use of chemical weapons, but also the victim of world silence.

In closing, Mr. Chairperson, may I request that this statement to be circulated as an official statement of the Fifty-Seventh Meeting of the Executive Council and be posted on both the external and public website.

Thank You.