News   /   Politics

US aided Saddam, bars export of medicine for Iranian victims of chemical attacks: Interim FM

Iran's interim Foreign Minister Ali Bagheri Kani addresses a ceremony in Tehran on July 1, 2024, marking the national day of campaigning against chemical and microbiological weapons which coincides with the anniversary of a chemical attack on the Iranian city of Sardasht.

Iran’s interim Foreign Minister Ali Bagheri Kani says the US keeps harming Iranian victims of chemical warfare through sanctions that block the country’s access to essential medicine.

Bagheri Kani made the remarks in a Monday address to a ceremony marking the national day of campaigning against chemical and microbiological weapons. It coincides with the 37th anniversary of a devastating chemical attack on the Iranian city of Sardasht by Western-backed former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.

He said Western countries provided Saddam with full support both on the battlefield and in the diplomatic arena during the imposed eight-year war against Iran in the 1980s.

The West did not allow the UN Security Council to issue even one single resolution or carry out any deterrent act against the Saddam regime, he added.

The top Iranian diplomat emphasized that Saddam’s dictatorial nature was not the only factor that led to the chemical attack on Sardasht.

He explained that the US paralyzed global mechanisms and thwarted any effort in the international organizations to prevent Saddam from conducting the attack.

Bagheri Kani emphasized that the US and its Western allies are now blocking Iran’s access to medicines required by victims of chemical attacks despite the Islamic Republic’s constant efforts over the past four decades to provide them with medical and therapeutic services.

“However, what doubles their (victims of chemical attacks) problems is the imposition of sanctions that prevent them from accessing the equipment and medicines they need,” he said.

On June 28, 1987, the Saddam regime dropped mustard gas bombs on Sardasht, a small city in Iran’s West Azarbaijan Province.

The attack killed at least 119 Iranian civilians and injured another 8,000, leaving some of them permanently disabled.

‘Iran most active country to create world free of chemical weapons’

Bagheri Kani reiterated Iran’s support for the elimination of weapons of mass destruction, saying the Islamic Republic is among the “most effective and active” countries to establish a world free of chemical weapons.

From the very beginning of Saddam’s military aggression to the end of the imposed war, the former Iraqi regime used chemical weapons more than 500 times against Iranian forces and civilians in five border provinces, he noted.

In these inhumane attacks, Bagheri Kani continued, a wide range of toxic chemical products, including mustard and nerve and choking agents, was used against Iranians, some of them used for the first time.

At least 10,000 Iranians were killed and more than 107,000 civilians, including women and children, sustained injuries in these attacks, he pointed out.

According to the documents of Western intelligence agencies and the reports of the United Nations investigation mechanisms about Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction program, Western nationals, companies and governments played a key role in equipping and financing the Iraqi regime’s chemical program, the interim minister said.

These Western countries -- which mainly included Germany, the Netherlands, Britain, France and the United States -- enabled the Iraqi regime to numerously and extensively use chemical weapons against Iranian forces and civilians during the imposed war, he added.

Bagheri Kani emphasized that Iran still insists on pursuing its legitimate, legal and moral demands from all the governments that were directly or indirectly responsible for equipping the Saddam regime.

Iran calls on the Netherlands to hold accountable all those who have cooperated in equipping the Saddam regime’s military program, he stated.

‘Israel crimes in Gaza similar to chemical bombardment’

Elsewhere in his remarks, Bagheri Kani said the ongoing crimes by the Israeli regime against the people of Palestine in the Gaza Strip are similar to chemical bombardment.

“Today, we need decisive action to stop the crimes in Gaza,” the top Iranian diplomat added.

He emphasized that the procrastination and appeasement of the Western countries have emboldened the Israeli regime to kill more Palestinians.

The threat of a nuclear weapon attack and the use of toxic agents such as white phosphorus in Gaza has increased the public demand for confrontation with the Israeli regime, the interim foreign minister said.

“The same countries that supported Saddam to use chemical weapons are the directly complicit in Israel’s crime in Gaza,” he pointed out.

At least 37,900 Palestinians, mostly children and women, have been killed and 87,060 people wounded in the war that Israel began on October 7, 2023, following a retaliatory operation by the Palestinian territory’s resistance movements.

The brutal military onslaught enjoys unreserved military and political support on the part of the Israeli regime’s Western allies, including the United States and France.

Press TV’s website can also be accessed at the following alternate addresses:

Press TV News Roku