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Ambassador,s statement in the Executive Council of OPCW

Statement by

H.E. Ambassador Dr. Alireza JAHANGIRI

Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the OPCW

 at the Eighty-Eighth Session of the Executive Council

10 – 13 July, 2018




Madam Chairperson,

Mr Director-General,


Distinguished delegates,


I thank you Her Excellency and welcome you back to chair the 88th Session of the Executive Council. I wish you success in leading the current task and assure you of full cooperation of my delegation.

I would like also to express my gratitude to the Director-General, Ambassador Ahmet Üzümcü for his informative report delivered in this Session. I express my appreciation for the dedicated efforts made by Ambassador Sheikh Mohammad Belal of Bangladesh as the former Chairperson of the Executive Council.

The Islamic Republic of Iran fully associates itself with the statement delivered by Her Excellency Ambassador Haifa Aissami Madah, distinguished Permanent Representative of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to the OPCW on behalf of the NAM CWC States Parties and China.


Madam Chairperson,

The existence of weapons of mass destruction continues to pose a threat to international peace and security. My delegation remains seriously concerned that the destruction of chemical weapons stockpiles has not been completed to date and the object and purpose of the Convention have not yet been realized. We urge the only remaining possessor State Party to take every necessary measure to complete destruction of its chemical arsenals as soon as possible.  


The universality is essential to achieve the object and purpose of the Convention and to enhance the security of States Parties. It is crystal clear that standing for a long period in the era of near-universality, offering chemical trade benefits to the non-Parties to the Cronvention, procrastination in putting enough pressure upon the outsiders and incomplete destruction of stockpiles will never ensure us to attain a world without chemical weapons. To achieve that goal the States Parties and the Technical Secretariat should intensify their efforts to find practical mechanisms to convince the non-Parties to accede to the Convention without delay.  


Madam Chairperson,

Confronted with critical situations in a war-torn territory, the Syrian Arab Republic has taken a positive and commendable step to complete the destruction of its chemical weapons and facilities. It is worth mentioning that Syria has never hesitated to provide the Technical Secretariat and the OPCW Inspectors with all necessary information and access to the selected areas upon their request. Despite the fact that Syria as a State Party to the Convention is in urgent need of technical assistance to improve its national capacity building in order to address its remaining commitments to rid the country of the damages of the use of chemical weapons by the terrorist groups, some States Parties that are responsible for politicization of this Organization regretfully try to obfuscate and stigmatize the constructive cooperation of Syria. We commend the high-level consultation between the Syrian National Authority and the Technical Secretariat to end all outstanding issues.


It is important that the Fact-Finding Mission (FFM) act strictly in accordance with the high standards of the Chemical Weapons Convention and present verified, unquestionable results of investigations that re-create a real picture of the facts. We are convinced that further work on the Syrian case should be of a technical nature, carried out on a pragmatic and depoliticised basis. We note with severe concern that recent reports of the FFM on the use of toxic chemicals as a weapon in Syria in which the main finding is the likely use of chemicals” would not be enough to precise and accurate establishment of use of chemical weapons.

With regard to the latest report on Douma, the report is entitled as interim and we hope that in the final version, all of its weaknesses and contradictory statements be rectified, as the report states that inspection was not conducted immediately after the alleged incident and there are questions regarding some evidences that have been gathered in neighbouring country. There are some other observations regarding the report that can be discussed under the relevant agenda item.


On Article VII, my delegation believes that well-organised efforts with adequate resources for full implementation of the provisions of this Article can be reached through a tailor-made approach taking into account the priorities of States Parties.

We have reviewed the non-paper on Article VII which is not resulted from the facilitations discussion. In our view it needs to be reformatted and revised.


Article X is an integral part of the security assurances inherited in the Chemical Weapons Convention which has a dynamic nature and enables the Organization to adjust itself to new challenges in case of use or threat of use of chemical weapons against States Parties. Use of chemical weapons by terrorist groups in Syria is one of the recent challenges that give a new dimension to the urgency of the implementation of this Article. The Technical Secretariat is requested to continue organizing capacity-building activities aimed at the development and improvement of national protection capabilities to respond to chemical attack and other incidents involving toxic chemicals.


We are pleased to inform the States Parties that the 10th course on the medical aspects of assistance and protection against chemical weapons will be held in Tehran from 1 to 5 October 2018. The course which is organized jointly by the Islamic Republic of Iran and Technical Secretariat offers an opportunity to share the Islamic Republic of Iran’s experience and advantage of treatment of the victims of chemical weapons achieved during the 8-year war in which the Iraq of Saddam used chemical weapons against the Iranian military and civilian. The Islamic Republic of Iran welcomes the States Parties to participate in this course.



Madam Chairperson,

The States Parties are committed to promote the economic and technological development through international exchange of chemicals, equipment and scientific, and technical information on the basis of Article XI. We should bear in mind that taking unilateral coercive measures in particular imposing discriminatory restrictions on the trade and exchange of technology, materials, and equipment as well as import and export control regimes among States Parties are against the letter and spirit of the Convention. Measures taken by the States Parties or the Technical Secretariat in combating terrorist groups and non-State actors should not have a diverse effect on promotion of international and bilateral cooperation among the States Parties in the fields not prohibited by the Convention. We note that holding annual review and evaluation workshops on full implementation of Article XI could assist the States Parties to discover and develop different ways of cooperation and capacity-building to realize the above-mentioned purposes. However, it is not satisfactory that the activities and discussions related to this Article are, deliberately or inadvertently, intertwined with various irrelevant issues that have caused the full implementation of the Article and its main goals partly inaccessible or complicated.

It should be noted that the Draft Recommendations of the OEWG on Future Priorities of the OPCW despite much efforts of the facilitators needs seriously to be revised and rewritten to become a balanced and consensus-based text and within the framework of the Convention. In the meantime, I wish a successful inclusive and consensus-driven discussion in the second cycle of the meetings of the OEWG for the Preparation of the Fourth Review Conference.


Composition of Technical Secretariat should be based on equitable geographical distribution among and inside regional groups in a balanced manner. Furthermore, the recruitment of the staff of the Technical Secretariat deserves to be in coordination with the States Parties to the Convention.


Madam Chairperson,

The Fourth Special Session of the Conference of States Parties marks an awful experience in the history of this Organization. The Decision C-SS-4/DEC.3 dated 27 June 2018 that has been adopted by voting of less than half of the Member States with the assistance of the vote-bank of western group and its allies has, in contravention of the Convention, entrusted the Director General and the Technical Secretariat with extra powers that equals amendment of the Convention; a result that should have been achieved through Article 15 of the Convention and deliberately excluded during the negotiations to codify the CWC. The Decision is against the inclusive competence of the Technical Secretariat and Director General as enshrined in the CWC. This unfortunate development not only was an example of the politicization and polarization in the work of the OPCW but also creates an unfortunate precedent and leads this Organization towards a dangerous destiny. The Director General and the Technical Secretariat are not deserved to suffer the consequences of assuming the responsibilities of a judge. This Decision as a part of soft law, is not legally binding and the result of voting (only 82 out of 193 States Parties) against remarkable objection of some States Parties indicates that it doesn’t have a solid base and will not be supported properly. Therefore the future prospect can be seen very challenging. The States Parties should urgently take necessary measures, at the earliest, to prevent the Director General and the Secretariat to take on this inappropriate duty.


In conclusion, Madam Chairperson, I request that this statement be circulated as an official document of this session and posted on the OPCW’s public website.


Thank You




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