1157 GMT July 15, 2020
He made the remarks addressing a ceremony marking the 33rd anniversary of Sardasht chemical attack by former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein during the Iraq-imposed war on Iran in the 1980s, according to the Foreign Ministry website.
“In the tragedy of Sardasht, we see two manifestations of humanity and savagery at the same time”, Zarif said, adding that the Islamic Republic never violated the human principles in combating oppression and in the face of savagery.
Iran never retaliated against Iraq’s chemical weapons attacks on its troops and civilians, which killed 20,000 Iranians and severely injured 100,000 more.
Many Iranians are still suffering from the effects of chemical weapons used by the former Iraqi dictator, who was backed by the US and Europe during his eight-year war. At the time, repeated uses of chemical weapons by Iraq against Iran were met with the deafening silence of the West.
On June 28 and 29, 1987, Iraqi bombers attacked four crowded parts of Sardasht with chemical bombs and engulfed its residents, women and children, young and old, with fatal chemical gases.
The attacks killed 116 citizens and injured over 5,000.
In his address to the meeting, Zarif said, “Today the United States’ inhumane sanctions have targeted the chemical attacks victims' access to medicines and treatment services.”
American sanctions against Iran have drawn criticism worldwide with human rights organizations admitting that they drastically constrained the Islamic Republic’s ability to pay for humanitarian imports and are threatening the health rights of Iranians.