Feb 23, 2021 13:51 UTC
  • FM slams foreign meddling, arms sales in region

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has slammed Western countries for their unjustified presence and intervention in West Asia and for selling weapons to regional regimes.

According to Press TV, speaking at a conference in Tehran on Iran’s legal and international claims related to the eight-year Iraqi war on Iran during the 1980s, Zarif said United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolution 598 (1987) includes an important Article on regional security that was added to the document at the request of the Islamic Republic.

“We should tell those who accuse us of misbehaving in the region that you are the ones who have created misery in our region…You are the ones who came to this region and are committing murder and causing destruction” in West Asia, he said.

“Why should the region need 100 billion dollars in weapons sales a year? 25 percent of the world’s arms trade takes place in our region, and everyone is involved. Now, France wants to try to use the gap that may have been created between Saudi Arabia and the United States to sell more weapons to Saudi Arabia, and this has become a concern for regional security. Who do you think you are fooling?” Zarif added.

Iraq’s 1980s war on Iran was an act of aggression

Elsewhere in his remarks, the top diplomat said the 1980-88 war that Iraq imposed on Iran amounted to an act of aggression, during which the regime of former Iraqi dictator Saddam committed war crimes against the Iranian nation.

There is no doubt that Saddam’s invasion of Iran violated the peremptory norms of international law, Zarif said, adding, “A widespread military attack on the Islamic Republic of Iran, a country that had just entered the stage of building the state [following] the Revolution…, is both a criminal and aggressive act. It has aggressive intentions and no justification.”

He also denounced Iraq’s failure to register Iranian captives, its use of chemical weapons and large-scale bombardment of residential areas.

“Therefore, an act of aggression took place with the aim of expansionism, not repelling a problem. It was carried out under special regional and international conditions to gain concessions, thus it is considered an act of aggression by any definition. It witnessed a widespread resort to measures that are condemned in all international regulations and are even known as war crimes,” he said.

Zarif further referred to UNSC Resolution 479, which was adopted on September 28, 1980.

He said the resolution is “a permanent stain of shame” in the history of the Security Council as it failed to call for a retreat at a time when Iraq had occupied more than 2,000 square kilometers of Iranian soil.

“Iraq was a major supporter of human rights resolutions against Iran, just as today the murderous and child-killing regime of Saudi Arabia is a main supporter of human rights resolutions against Iran,” he said.