Iran's Victims of Chemical Weapons Outnumber Hiroshima and Nagasaki N-Attacks Casualties
Friday, May 17, 2013
Few People Know Iran War Veterans Who Are Victims of Chemical Weapons Outnumber Hiroshima and Nagasaki Nuclear Attacks Casualties
Tehran’s Peace Museum hosted a special ceremony on Tuesday, May 14, 2013, in which the book entitled, “A Journey Recounted by Coughs,” was unveiled. This piece of writing is, in fact, the narrative report of a journey which took the author, Hamid Hesam, and a group of Iranian war veterans injured by chemical weapons during the eight-year war with Iraq (1980-88), to the Japanese city of Hiroshima in the summer of 1991.
At the beginning of the ceremony, Shahriyar Khateri, an official at the Society for Chemical Weapons Victims Support (SCWVS), addressed the audience. He said, “In this book, Hesam has been able to depict the wrong done to victims of chemical weapons in Iran and victims of nuclear bombs in Japan while removing the distance which previously existed between them. It is true that the chemical warfare launched by Iraq against Iran has been marginalized in books of history by being mentioned only in footnotes, we must try to bring the truth into the main text by writing more of such books.”
“I believe that the kind of connection and closeness that we see between the victims of chemical weapons in Iran and victims of nuclear weapons in Japan is some sort of miracle and I don’t know about any other similar connection anywhere else in the world. In terms of quality, this move is made purely of human emotions, belongs to people, is not for propaganda, and is therefore sure to become lasting,” he added.
The official then pointed to the book noting that the book – which is actually the author’s travelogue – presents a mixture of joy and sorrow and “you can hear the sound of the exhausted breathing of war veterans injured by chemical weapons between its lines.”
“I believe that this book is quite suitable for people who remember war veterans and exactly explains what good they are in our time,” he noted.
Elsewhere in the ceremony, Ali Jalali, a war veteran injured by chemical weapons who had accompanied Hamid Hesam in his last year trip, took to the podium, saying, “During few trips we have made to other countries, we have tried to make the oppressed sound of our chemical-weapon injured war veterans be heard by the rest of the world through addressing meetings in which representatives of more than 120 countries were present. The final result of all these experiences and sufferings will be published in a book which will be an atlas of war veterans wounded by chemical weapons.”
The next speaker was Hamid Hesam, the author of the book. Hesam started his speech by saying that every moment of a war veteran injured by chemical weapons can be made into a book “if there is the will and the ability to do so.” He added, “When I started to accompany my injured friends in this trip, I did not think about writing anything at first. However, two issues always kept my mind occupied. The first issue was an event which is known to the world as nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki [cities in Japan], with the second issue being chemical bombardment of Iranian cities during the Sacred Defense [the eight-year war with Iraq] whose dimensions have not been properly revealed even to our combatants. The similarity between these two issues made me write this book.”
“Some 67 years following the end of the nuclear war in Hiroshima, the world has owned up to its mistake and all textbooks written for schoolchildren across the world, including in Iran, have pointed to this issue. Of course, I believe that in our time the prey and the predator have changed places because the grandchild of Harry Truman, a former US president, was on top of the list of the guests who were invited to the ceremony commemorating victims of Japan's nuclear war. However, few people in the world are aware that the number of Iranian war veterans who were injured by chemical weapons during the Sacred Defense is higher than total people who died in nuclear attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. This is a great lesson that we have not been able to explain and shed light on all the aspects of this human calamity,” Hesam said.
He concluded, “In this book, I have tried to record the vociferous breaths of these war veterans who are victims of chemical weapons. Today, all people and organizations are duty-bound to make the world hear their voice.”
Source: Mehrnews Agency
Translated By: Iran Review.Org
Link for Further Reading: Blisters and Sanctions