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Investigating chemical weapons use in Iraq may require UNSC resolution — Russian diplomat

October 30, 2015, 13:48 UTC+3 MIRNY
The Iraqi government addressed OPCW with a request to facilitate investigations of instances of chemical weapons use on the Iraqi territory
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© EPA/PHILIPP SCHULZE

MIRNY, October 30. /TASS/. Investigating instances of chemical weapons use in Iraq may require a UN Security Council resolution, Russia’s envoy to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and Ambassador to the Netherlands Alexander Shulgin told TASS on Friday.

"It will probably require a UN Security Council resolution. The Iraqi government addressed OPCW with a request to facilitate investigations of instances of chemical weapons use on the Iraqi territory," Shulgin said.

"We are concerned about the fact that non-state actors, terrorists possess hazardous chemicals," the ambassador noted. "It would be desirable that the mandate of the joint investigative mission is expanded to Iraq," he added.

"It is important now to concentrate on establishing instances of chemical weapons use in Iraq," the diplomat stressed.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said earlier today that Moscow is discussing with Baghdad the issue of investigating use of chemical weapons in Iraq.

"Terrorist are really trying to obtain chemical weapons. There were cases when terrorist groups used poisoning substances, first of all, in the Middle East, in Iraq, in Syria against government forces, in particular, in Syria against civilians. This requires appropriate reaction from the international community, relevant investigations," Ryabkov said.

"We want the mandate of joint mechanism on investigation, recently set up for such work in Syria, to be expanded to Iraq," Ryabkov noted. "We are discussing this issue with Baghdad, with all our international partners. The reaction is not always constructive. We will work to form and strengthen the understanding of necessity and urgency of relevant efforts," he added.

At the start of October, Iraqi Kurdistan’s ministry on peshmerga (self-defense forces) affairs reported that the Islamic State group banned in Russia used chemical weapons against units of Iraqi Kurds. Proof was obtained during blood testing of attacked fighters. Extremists used mortar shells containing mustard gas (yperite).

Director at Russian Foreign Ministry’s Department for non-proliferation and arms control Mikhail Ulyanov told TASS on Thursday that IS uses blister agents of its own production. "According to data, IS group gained access to technologies of chemical weapons production, relevant documents, production facilities. Several instances were already registered of IS’ use of chemical weapons on the territory of Syria and Iraq," Ulyanov said.

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