Iran seeks punishment for those who aided Iraq's chemical weapons program

Iran's foreign minister recently issued a call to punish western companies that aided the chemical weapons program of former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.

Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi made the remarks in a speech at the high-Level meeting of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons held at the United Nations headquarters in New York City, according to

"Indeed, the use of chemical warfare agents is a clear manifestation of war crime and crime of genocide, Salehi said, reports. "While Saddam, as the major perpetrator of such crimes, was properly punished, there remains the punishment of those who contributed to the development of Saddam's chemical weapons program, in particular almost 455 companies, mostly from western countries which, according to the well-documented evidence, their involvement has been proved."

Salehi said Iran has been the primary victim of chemical weapons in contemporary history, suffering nearly 600 attacks with chemical agents during its eight year war with Iraq. He said the victims of these attacks, including civilians, still suffer from long-term complications.

"In our view, mere existence of chemical weapons threatens international peace and security and undermines the integrity and credibility of the convention," Salehi said, reports. "Therefore, total destruction of all chemical weapons stockpiles continues to remain the key objective of the CWC [Chemical Weapons Convention]."