The OPCW Director-General, Ambassador Ahmet Üzümcü, visited the Islamic Republic of Iran on 24 February 2011 and met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, H.E. Dr. Ali Akbar Salehi.
In his meeting with Foreign Minister Salehi, the Director-General emphasized the important role that Iran has played in the implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) and in the work of the OPCW since its inception in 1997. Minister Salehi and the Director-General further exchanged views on the current issues confronting States Parties in the context of the Convention and discussed the contribution that Iran could make to the continued successful fulfillment of the core mandate of the Convention, which is to eliminate an entire category of weapons of mass destruction and to ensure that the use of chemistry is only for peaceful purposes.
Director-General Üzümcü also participated in a working lunch with the Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal and International Issues, H.E. Mr. Mohammad Mahdi Akhoundzadeh. The discussions with Deputy Foreign Minister Akhoundzadeh, focussed on the practical issues related to Iran's implementation of the CWC. It was emphasised that since entry into force the Technical Secretariat has successfully conducted 34 inspections of Iranian chemical industrial sites. The Director-General also reaffirmed to the Deputy Minister the willingness of the Technical Secretariat to work with Iranian institutions and to the opportunity for other States Parties to draw on their expertise in the treatment of victims of chemical weapons.
The Director-General visited the International Medical Center for Training and Treatment against Chemical Weapons (the Baghyatallah Center), as well as the Sasan Hospital's section for the rehabilitation of victims of chemical weapons. During the visit the Director-General was briefed on the extensive programmes that have been developed in Iran for the treatment and rehabilitation of Iranian citizens who were exposed to chemical weapons during the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s. He also had the opportunity to meet with some of the victims who are receiving treatment at the Baghyatallah and Sasan hospitals.