Source: Mehr News Agency, Tehran
Iran's ambassador to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) has strongly criticized the United States for failing to fulfill its international obligations with regard to the total destruction of chemical weapons.
Ambassador Kazem Gharibabadi made the remarks during a special meeting of the Executive Council of the OPCW on November 23.
The OPCW is the implementing body of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) and has the mandate to ensure the implementation of its provisions, including those for international verification of compliance with it.
Gharibabadi said that the U.S. failure to meet its international commitments with regard to the total abolition of chemical weapons is in flagrant violation of the CWC, so states parties are planned to examine the U.S. non-compliance with the convention at the Sixteenth Session of the Conference of the States Parties to the CWC, which is scheduled to be held from November 28 to December 2 in The Hague.
He also said that April 29, 2012 has been set as the final deadline for the total eradication of all chemical weapons, but the U.S., which is the country that has the largest stockpiles of chemical weapons, has officially announced that it would not meet the 2012 deadline and has set 2021 as its target date.
Commenting on certain Western media outlets' reports that claimed Iran had supplied the Libyan government of Moammar Gaddafi with hundreds of special artillery shells for chemical weapons, he said the Islamic republic has played a major role in disclosing the United States' non-compliance with the CWC, so Washington made some false claims to obscure the realities and overshadow the decision made to examine its non-compliance with the CWC at the upcoming session of the Conference of the States Parties.
About the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC)
The Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on Their Destruction (the 'CWC', or the 'Convention') aims to eliminate an entire category of weapons of mass destruction by prohibiting the development, production, acquisition, stockpiling, retention, transfer or use of chemical weapons by States Parties.
The U.S. decision to retain its stockpiles of chemical weapons after the 2012 deadline is a major threat to peace and security in the world, he said, adding that the U.S. neglect of duty could not be overlooked.
In addition, Gharibabadi pointed to the U.S. dark record of using weapons of mass destruction and flouting international conventions that outlaw the production, stockpiling and use of WMDs and said that Iran and many other states parties are concerned about the threat posed by these weapons to the world's people and are doubtful about the will of the U.S. to totally eradicate its chemical weapons.
According to the article 12 of the CWC, in cases where a state party has been requested by the Executive Council to take measures to redress a situation raising problems with regard to its compliance, and where the state party fails to fulfill the request within the specified time, the conference may, inter alia, upon the recommendation of the Executive Council, restrict or suspend the state party's rights and privileges under the CWC until it undertakes the necessary action to conform with its obligations under the convention.
In cases where serious damage to the object and purpose of the convection may result from activities prohibited under the convention, the conference may recommend collective measures to states parties in conformity with international law.
The conference shall, in cases of particular gravity, bring the issue, including relevant information and conclusions, to the attention of the United Nations General Assembly and the United Nations Security Council.
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