Iran calls for U.S., Russia to destroy chemical weapons

The Iranian envoy to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons recently urged the organization to consider punitive actions against the United States and Russia for their failures to live up to the Chemical Weapons Convention.

Kazzem Gharibabadi, speaking at the 66th meeting of the OPCW Executive Council in the Hague, the Netherlands, chided the two countries for their inability to fully dismantle and destroy their remaining stockpiles by the convention’s agreed upon date, according to the Iranian news agency

"Given the fact that the U.S. and Russia as major owners of chemical weapons have officially declared that they cannot eradicate their chemical weapons within the specified deadline (April 29, 2012), this organization should inform the UN Security Council and the General Assembly of their case,” Gharibabadi said, reports.

The Iranian envoy urged Russia and the United States to live up to their obligations and dismantle their weapons of mass destruction. Iran says it is sensitive to the issue of chemical weapons because of its recent history.

Iran saw thousands of its citizens exposed to chemical weapons during the eight year Iran-Iraq war and estimates that at least 100,000 might still be living with the after-effects of long-term respiratory problems, immune disorders, genetic disorders and cancer.