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Iran; victim of chemical bombs

Dead bodies are seen after Iraq's gas attack on the Iranian city of Sardasht in 1987 during the rule of former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.

Iraq’s Baath regime executed chemical weapons bombardment against Iran in 1980s with the green light from the US and help of the West.

About a million Iranians were exposed to Iraq’s chemical gases. The crime was so great, that it moved the world into the Chemical Weapons Convention getting approved in 1993. That didn’t become operational till 1997.

Official reports indicate that in 1980, Iraqis purchased over 1000 tons of mustard agents from the West. The US and UK, Germany, Italy and Holland were among countries providing Saddam Hussein’s Ba’thist Iraq with the equipment and material to build chemical weapons.

Iraq made the most of its acquisitions, by launching over 350 large-scale gas attacks along the Iran-Iraq border between 1980 and 1988 on soldiers and civilians alike. And it wasn’t just mustard gas. Iraq also used the nerve agents VX, Tabun and Sarin. This left Iran with over 107,000 victims, 2,600 of whom died at the time. Over 45,000 others were left in permanent need of relief aid provided by Iran's Veterans and War Victims Foundation. But it’s not that simple.

Iraq also employed vomiting agents. This was during its earlier, smaller attacks in 1981. It was in 1983 that it used chemical weapons on the Piranshahr and Haj-Omaran battlefields, and then on the Panjvien battlefield.

It launched its first extensive chemical attack in 1984, using tonnes of mustard gas and nerve agents on Iranian soldiers on the Majnoon Islands battlefields along the southern border.

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