(Sputnik) – Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has stated that some countries have been turning blind’s eye to facts of production and use of chemical weapons in Syria, Iraq.
The minister went on saying that militants in the Middle East had learned how to make chemical weapons, thus the risk of the chemical terrorism spreading outside the region.
“The growing threat of ‘chemical’ terrorism in the Middle East, in particular, Iraq and Syria, is a serious concern. Militants not only use toxic chemicals, but also have their own technologies and production capabilities for the manufacture of full-fledged chemical warfare agents, have established multiple channels of access to their precursors,” Lavrov said at a UN Security Council meeting on non-proliferation of nuclear weapons.
Lavrov stated that Russia considers the extension of the moratorium on any nuclear explosions, along with the completion of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) ratification the issues of utmost importance.
“The situation around the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty is an important issue. Being a committed supporter of this treaty, we urge all the countries which have the influence on its enforcement to complete its signing and ratification, as it has been repeatedly promised by some countries… It is also extremely important to ensure the extension of the moratorium on any nuclear explosions,” Lavrov said at a UN Security Council session.
The minister went on by saying that some Western countries were turning a blind eye to the facts of the chemical weapons use by terrorists, choosing to blame Damascus instead.
Thus, according to Lavrov, Moscow suggests introducing a new mechanism to investigate incidents of chemical arms use in Syria.
“We confirm our proposal to form a new mechanism to investigate the use of chemical weapons in Syria [basing] on the principles, which fully comply with the norms of the Convention on the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons,” Lavrov stated.
The Minister noted that recently Russia has witnessed persistent attempts to “manipulate the activities of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and the joint investigative mechanism that has concluded its work”, calling it “regrettable”.
Iran Nuclear Deal
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has commented on the recent developments around the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), also known as the Iran nuclear deal.
“Joining efforts to ensure the stable implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action on the resolution of the Iranian nuclear program is among the primary specific steps to preserve the regime of nuclear non-proliferation at this stage,” Lavrov said.
The diplomat mentioned the recent US refusal to re-ratify the deal, by saying that the failure JCPOA would be an alarm trigger for the whole framework of the international security, including the nuclear issue on the Korean peninsula.
On January 12, US President Donald Trump announced he would suspend sanctions on Iran for another 120 days to remain in the deal, thus allowing the United States and Europe to fix alleged “significant flaws” in it.
Despite the EU’s repeated support of the deal, voiced on different levels, the US president also called on Brussels to participate in the correction of the agreement, noting that the last chance had come for making the changes. In addition, Trump called Iran the main sponsor of terrorism and announced his intention to legislatively fix tough sanctions for the development and testing of ballistic missiles by Iran.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), monitoring Tehran’s implementation of the deal, has repeatedly confirmed its compliance with the terms of the long-cherished multilateral agreement, signed in 2015 between the European Union, Iran and P5+1 countries (China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States, plus Germany).
The deal has been in effect since January 2016, stipulating the gradual lifting of the economic and diplomatic sanctions imposed on Iran by the Western countries in exchange for Tehran ending its nuclear program.