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Iran paying for US' anti-Iraq war

The head of the emergency committee formed to deal with the Iraq crisis in matters of health, treatment and environmental destruction here on Sunday expressed regret that Iran will have to bear part of the adverse consequences resulting from the US-led war on Iraq, IRNA reported from Tehran.

After a committee meeting focused on environmental issues and international affairs, he told IRNA that Iran is paying a portion of the cost of the US-imposed war.

Minister of Health, Treatment and Medical Education Masoud Pezeshkian said that at the meeting the proper response which organizations and ministries are to take in tackling any air, water and soil pollution caused by Iraq's torched oil wells was discussed.

Black smoke has been seen rising from Iraqi oil wells set ablaze in the ongoing war could have potentially dangerous effects on the people's health. Chemical and biological weapons that may be unleashed in the war could also endanger the environment in Iran, he said.

"Iran will have to pay a heavy price for the possible environmental pollution which could render the entire region infertile," he added.

Referring to the possibility of pollution of regional waters as a consequence of the use of chemical weapons in the ongoing war, he warned that polluted water could endanger the health of the region's living creatures.

"To protect the environment and natural resources in the area, all polluting factors should be identified, appraised and recorded," Pezeshkian suggested.

He underscored the need for coordination among organizations involved in protecting the environment, and invited organizations able to identify, disinfect and document the dangers posed to the inhabitants to convene and draw up a schedule of measures that may be needed to protect the environment from destruction.

"Representatives of pertinent organizations can start by tackling the possible environmental problems facing provincial border areas," he concluded.

Majlis commission to assess possible health impacts of war: MP

The Majlis Commission for Health and Treatment is to hold a special meeting to assess the possible health impacts of the current US war on Iraq, the commission's rapporteur, Fatemeh Khatami, suggested on Sunday.

Participants in the meeting will consider what services the Ministry of Health may be required to render to Iraqi refugees and Iranians living in border regions.

She said Majlis had been asked to call the meeting before the end of the previous Iranian year (March 20), but that no such meeting took place because their schedules were full.

The deputy from Mashhad expressed the hope that the commission will give the matter priority after the holidays.

She said that the US' unilateral war against Iraq is a clear violation of international laws.

"This war will lead to greater insecurity and instability in the region and more economic sanctions against Middle East countries," Khatami concluded.

... Payvand News - 3/23/03 ... --

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