UNITED NATIONS, April 16. /TASS/. West’s evidence of chemical attacks in Syria is as authentic as proofs of Saddam Hussein’s alleged possession of biological weapons 20 years ago, Russia’s Permanent Representative to the UN Vassily Nebenzia said on Friday.
During an informal Arria-formula meeting of the UN Security Council on Friday, Nebenzia demonstrated a February 2003 photo of then-State Secretary Colin Powell showing to the Security Council a test tube with unknown substance to illustrate claims about the alleged threat of bio toxins of Iraqi origin.
"That day, the US Secretary of State was very eloquent in describing the horrifying crimes of Iraqi 'regime' and its alleged continued violation of non-proliferation obligations. He insisted that Baghdad broke every single rule, accumulating stockpiles of chemical and bio weapons as well as pursuing a nuclear bomb," the Russian envoy said during the meeting, headlined 'Protecting Developing Nations Against Political Pressure: Upholding the Integrity of International Non-Proliferation Regimes.'
" I hope there is no need to tell you that even those who were directly involved in the set-up have subsequently acknowledged that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, and the thing Colin Powell is holding in this photo is a deliberate fake," the Russian diplomat continued.
"These recollections of the past bring about a bitter deja-vu feeling. Just like 20 years ago, today our Western colleagues invest every effort to convince the world that "Assad’s regime" is to be blamed for all deadly sins, including in the area of non-proliferation," he went on.
"Western delegations are now promoting, as you will see in their statements today, a fresh report of the illegitimate Investigation and Identification Team on alleged use of chemical weapons by Syria in Saraqib, which is just as genuine as the substance in Colin Powell’s test glass. Shall we all fall into this trap again to regret it in 20 years?" Nebenzia said.
On Monday, the Investigation and Identification Team (IIT) of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) presented its second report, stating that Syrian Air Force planes dropped a chlorine-laden bomb on the militant-held town of Saraqib in the Idlib governorate in February 2018.
The first report, published on April 8, 2020, assigned the responsibility to the Syrian authorities for three incidents with alleged use of sarin and chlorine in the town of Ltamenah, Homs Province, in March 2017.