Shirin Ebadi calls on Iran to join Ottawa Convention
Iran should be encouraged to sign the Ottawa Convention banning the use, trade and production of landmines, Iranian Nobel Peace Prize Shirin Ebadi said Tuesday. The convention bans member states from using or producing landmines. Iran ranks second among the world's most heavily mined countries.
Some four million hectares of Iranian territory have been planted with landmines during the 1980-1988 Iraqi-imposed war, the Iranian activist told a news conference on the occasion of United Nations Mine Action Awareness Day, observed Tuesday.
She noted that landmines and unexploded pieces of ordnance still kill or maim innocent people in war-ravaged areas in Iran.
Mine clearance expense in Iran is 30 times higher than mine production here, she said, adding that the Iranian people, especially those residing in mine-affected border areas, should be taught mine clearance techniques.
"We urge all Iranian people to take steps to solve this national problem and we urge the UN to render assistance to Iran on mine clearance," Ebadi, who is the head of the Center for Cooperation for Mine Clearance in Iran, said.
"Iranian nomads residing in landmine-affected areas will learn mine-risk visual teachings to get familiar with the threats posed by and mines," said the Iranian activist.
The head of the Iranian anti-mine campaign also stressed that her center cannot accept any foreign aid in this regard and called for public assistance on mine clearance.
Von: Apr 5, 2006 http://www.iranian.ws