The Iraqi attack on Sardasht, in the Iranian province of West Azerbaijan, on June 28, 1987, led to the deaths of 30 people, including 109 civilians. Over 4,500 people were injured in the attack.
Former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein (C) flanked by his two late sons Uday (L) and Qusay on December 13, 1996
(photo credit: REUTERS/STRINGER MD/CRB)
The ongoing war of words between the United States and Iran continued on Twitter on Saturday night when the Iranian Foreign Ministry tweeted a message to commemorate 33 years since the chemical bombing of Sardasht during the Iran-Iraq War.
The Twitter account of Iran’s Foreign Ministry wrote, “It’s been 33yrs since chemical attack in Sardasht. We did & will never forget the support & complicity of US/Europe in the horrible attack by Saddam. We did & will never forget the UNSC silence on this heinous crime. We rebuild whatever they destroyed.”
They completed their message with the hashtag #AmericanHumanRightsWeek – an Iranian creation intended to highlight US human rights abuses.
On Saturday, Iranian Foreign Minister Javid Zarif attended a parliamentary congress entitled, “Honoring the War Veterans and Martyrs of Chemical Weapons and Honoring the Victims of American Human Rights,” Iran’s Mehr News Agency reported.
“It is a great honor for me to be here and deliver a speech on the anniversary of chemical bombardment of the Iranian city of Sardasht,” Zarif said at the event, according to Mehr.
“On this day, which is reminiscent of crimes against Sardasht and bombardment of this city, we face two aspects of human dignity. One aspect of it is the human dimension that went down in the history and showed that we do not violate human qualities in the face of oppression and savagery and also do not retaliate that which is against humanity.”
The Iraqi attack on Sardasht, located in the Iranian province of West Azerbaijan, on June 28, 1987, led to the deaths of 130 people, including 109 civilians. Over 4,500 people were injured in the attack.
Iraq dropped sulfur mustard gas bombs on residential areas in the city, and estimates state that around 25% or Sardasht’s then-population of 12,000 are still suffering from the effects of the attack.
In April 2004, the US government was found by the Tehran Public Court to be liable for the attacks, through its previous support for the government of Saddam Hussein, then leader of Iraq. The US government was ordered to pay $600 million compensation to the victims by Iran, news agency Payvand reported at the time.
The Iraqi armed forces used chemical weapons against both combatants and non-combatants in the Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988) and the US was heavily supportive at the time of Saddam Hussein, who was viewed as a more stable partner to combat the new Islamic regime that had overthrown the Shah and taken power in Iran the previous February.