As Washington mounts pressure on Tehran, Iranian foreign minister said his country would live through any challenges, recalling a deadly 1980s chemical attack by Iraq and saying it “won’t forget” West helped arm Saddam Hussein.
“We persevered then, and will now,” Mohammad Javad Zarif wrote on Saturday. His tweet comes on the 32nd anniversary of a chemical assault by the forces of the then Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein on the northwestern Iranian town of Sardasht during the war between both countries.
On June 28, 1987, Iraqi forces targeted 4 crowded parts of Sardasht with bombs believed to be filled with mustard gas. According to Iranian estimates, the attack killed dozens and injured thousands more. The mostly Kurdish city became the third one after Japan’s Hiroshima and Nagasaki to become the target of Weapons of Mass Destruction.
Out of its population of some 20,000, 25 percent are said to still suffer from severe illnesses as a result of mustard gas exposure. Some of them were left permanently disabled.
“We’ll never forget that Western world supported & armed Saddam… Security Council never condemned his gassing of our people,” Zarif said in his tweet.
On June 28, we commemorate the horrific chemical attack on our civilians in Sardasht, Iran.
We’ll never forget that Western world supported & armed Saddam–even with chemical weapons.
Security Council never condemned his gassing of our people.
We persevered then, and will now pic.twitter.com/RLN9dW682T
— Javad Zarif (@JZarif) June 29, 2019
Moving to the present day, Zarif said that “the US administration’s addiction to the use of inhumane […] sanctions and economic terrorism has created numerous problems for our country’s victims of chemical attacks in accessing the medicine and medical equipment they need.”
Tensions between Washington and Tehran have been only gaining momentum sincle last year, culminating on June 21 when US President Donald Trump ordered airstrikes on targets in Iran. This came as a response to the downing of a US surveillance drone which Iran claimed violated its airspace.
The strikes were called off at the last minute, but the US President has since threatened Iran with “obliteration” and imposed new economic sanctions on the Mid-Eastern country. Iran said it will not cave in to pressure, warning Washington of crossing “a red line.”
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