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Since this is the 1st time I have the floor, I would like to congratulate you assuming this post and assure you and distinguished delegations the fullest cooperation of my delegation for the success of the Conference.
Mr. President, according to rule 58 of Rules of Procedures I have to exercise the right of reply due to the baseless allegations made by the delegate of the United States against my country.
State Parties are expected to be bound by the rules and procedures and practices envisaged in the Convention. If there is any ambiguity on the compliance, one could follow the route drawn in the Convention. These kinds of comments and allegations by a State party against another State party would definitely put the expected constructive and cooperative atmosphere of the 1st Review Conference in jeopardy.
Bearing in mind the new threat of unilateralism followed by the United States, withdrawing multilateral disarmament treaties, particularly disregarding 10 years of collective work on the Protocol of the Biological Weapons Convention, one could conclude that such allegations against another State party in this august gathering is in the same line of school of thought, weakening this successful treaty.
Mr. President, my delegation would like to recall that the US is the only State party which has enacted national legislation clearly contrary to the Convention. We all have serious concerns that other countries might follow suit. Referring to the OPCW documents one could easily recognize the huge amounts of scheduled chemicals transferred to Israel, a non-State party which possesses chemical weapons, and has active clandestine activities.
The Islamic Republic of Iran is the main victim of chemical weapons. 100.000 Iranian Chemical weapon victims is the humanitarian tragedy of this century. The US and some other industrial countries which equipped and helped Saddam's regime have to be blamed for it.
My country was the most active participant and cooperative during the negotiation and since the CWC entered into force. We have always warmly welcomed the inspectors for routine inspections. I have to recall the fact that due to the lack of reaction by the international community against Iraqi chemical weapons attack during the 8 year imposed war, in the last phase we got the chemical capabilities, but we did not use it, and following the cease fire we did decided to dismantle.
We did destroy the facilities under the supervision of the OPCW inspectors and we got the certificate of the destruction of CWPF.
This is a clear proof of our full commitment and compliance to the Convention. The Islamic Republic of Iran is the main victim of chemical weapons and has always been the most active supporter of the CWC and thus the OPCW.
Finally I advise the US delegation to behave more maturely by helping the Conference to succeed for our common cause, encouraging the outsiders, non State parties to join the CWC, thus enhancing the universality...
Source: OPCW website, at http://www.opcw.org/cwcrevcon/index.html.
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