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The message of representative of chemical warfare survivors on the occasion of International Day of Peace


The message of representative of chemical warfare survivors on the occasion of International Day of Peace (21st September 2016)
By Dr. Rasoul Khezri, the representative of Sardasht in Islamic Parliament of Iran


In the name of God, the beneficent, the merciful

Ladies and gentlemen, distinguished guests, hello.

I also have a special hello to the victims of war and survivors of chemical weapons. On the verge of the “Week of Holly Defense”, I pay tribute to the martyrs of Iran-Iraq war as well.

We are here to commemorate 21st of September, the International Day of Peace and today, we are even more happy that this event is held by the assistance of victims of chemical weapons who are now the leaders and messengers of peace.

Today, I’m here to represent the people of Sardasht, which on 28th of June 1987 became the first city in the world which was bombarded by chemical weapons.

After the use of weapons of mass destruction in Hiroshima and Nagasaki during the WWII, the efforts to control and prohibit the weapons of mass destruction began and the empathy for the victims and assisting them became a new value. However, the efforts of the peace activists around the world for 40 years in order to control and then prevent the use of such weapons was not enough. At this side of the world, Saddam Hossein’s regime equipped his arsenals of weapons of mass destruction freely. This was even supported technologically and later these weapons were used against soldiers and civilians numerous times.

After Sardasht bombardment, many of the victims were transferred to other countries for treatment. But the world had no reaction to this cruelty and this silence paved the way for Saddam Hossein’s other crimes in attacking Halabjah, Marivan and tens of other residential areas in Iran and Iraqi Kurdistan.
Next year is the 30th anniversary of Sardasht attack. The perpetrators of this crime have never been tried and not many around the world have showed real sympathy to the survivors and victims. Now, the people of Sardasht, more than being worried about this open wound, are concerned about the repetition of such atrocities in other parts of the world. The flames of extremism and hatred that has brought huge discomfort to the world is one of the legacies of those past days; A discomfort that not many have risen to find real solutions for.

But Sardasht is not silent any more. With its messengers of peace who are survivors of chemical weapons, Sardahst has started a new life as the City of Peace. Its people have found their way and their mission is to promote a culture of peace.

These survivors of chemical attacks have the current situation of the world in mind. They are humanity’s cultural reserve and don’t belong to Iran’s geographic borders. They do their best to show the people around the world the disastrous effects of the use of weapons of mass destruction. In their opinion, returning to the virtues such as empathy and justice and inviting all the people around the world to them is the only way to achieve this goal. The attempts to ensure a sustainable peace through dialogue, awareness raising and education, civil activities, international networking and finding the common grounds have deep roots in the culture of survivors.

The survivors of chemical weapons have knowingly passed the hatred and they believe that their commitment is to preserve the sparkles of hope in people’s hearts and to build a future in the light of friendship and peace.