September 30, 2013
A small but far reaching clause in the chemical watchdog’s decision
on Syria that urges all non-signatories of the Chemical Weapons
Convention to join the treaty was actually proposed by Iran – and
supported by the US – Russian FM Sergey Lavrov revealed.
Recalling the tense round of negotiations surrounding the issue of
Syria’s chemical weapons, the Russian foreign minister said that it was
Iran that “offered a very sound addition.” The insider revelation
into the diplomatic process of avoiding yet another armed conflict in
the Middle East was shared by Sergey Lavrov in an interview with
The Iranian proposal reflects Russia’s long standing belief that the
Middle East should be free of weapons of mass destruction. The clause,
submitted by Tehran was included in the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) decision on Friday ahead of the UNSC vote on a new Syrian resolution.
“It is very important that in the Hague, when there was a vote on
the decision on the role of the OPCW in implementing the program of
chemical weapons destruction in Syria, a special clause was inserted
urging all countries which have not yet done so to sign the convention,” Lavrov said.
“I will reveal a little secret: this clause was introduced by Iran
and supported by the United States. Iran in the past century, has twice
suffered from chemical weapons. I think Iran offered a very sound
addition,” the Russian foreign minister said.
Lavrov added that back in Geneva, it was Russia which suggested that
such a clause be included in the draft resolution submitted to the UN
Security Council with the aim of establishing within the Middle East a
zone free from all weapons of mass destruction and their means of