Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister Mohammad-Mehdi Akhondzadeh has criticized the UN for the delay in dispatching a team at the demand of the Syrian government to investigate the use of chemical weapons by the militants in Syria.
“More than three weeks have passed since the Syrian government requested the UN Secretary-General [Ban Ki-moon] to send an investigation team in coordination with the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) but unfortunately the team has not been dispatched yet,” Akhondzadeh said on Monday.
The Iranian official made the remarks in a meeting with Christophe Putraj, the chairman of the third Review Conference of the States Parties of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC).
Akhondzadeh expressed hope that the investigation team would be sent to Syria as soon as possible to identify the perpetrators of the attack and their accomplices.
Damascus earlier said that the foreign-backed militants used chemical weapons against civilians in Khan al-Assal on March 19. Syrian media reported that at least 25 people were killed and over 100 injured in the chemical attack.
On December 17, Syrian Ambassador to the UN Bashar Ja’afari said in letters to the UN Security Council and the UN secretary general that the militants could use chemical weapons against Syrians and try to shift the blame to the government.
Syria has been experiencing unrest since March 2011, and many people, including large numbers of Syrian army and security personnel, have been killed in the violence.
Several international human rights organizations have accused the foreign-sponsored militants of committing war crimes in Syria.