Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi has dismissed Washington's claims about a secret Iranian chemical weapons program, promising that Tehran would thoroughly debunk the allegations in the coming days.
"Once again America has leveled groundless accusations against Iran…which we strongly reject," Ghasemi said in a statement published on the Foreign Ministry's website on Friday.
Turning the US allegations around on them, Ghasemi pointed to the US' own acknowledged chemical weapons program, and to suspicions that Israel, which signed but never ratified the Chemical Weapons Convention, may also have access to such weapons.
"The crystal clear point here is that the US is the only OPCW member state with chemical weapon arsenals, which has so far failed to fulfill its commitment to destroy them," the spokesman said. "At the same time, the US sides with the Zionist regime's chemical weapons program and levels such wrong and false accusations against Iran," he added.
According to Ghasemi, the ultimate goal of the US claims against Iran was to distract the international community from the violation of its own commitments and its continued support for alleged Israeli chemical arsenals and terrorist groups.
On Thursday, US permanent representative to the OPCW Kenneth Ward accused Iran of failing to declare its chemical weapons capabilities, including existing stocks, research, countermeasures and production capabilities.
Earlier this week, Iran's Syrian allies voiced "concerns" over Washington's sluggishness in eliminating its chemical weapons, which is estimated to amount to some 3,000 tonnes of various agents. The George H.W. Bush administration committed to eliminating the US stockpiles at the end of the Cold War, with the elimination originally slated to wrap up by 2012. Since then, the deadline has been pushed back repeatedly to at least 2023. Russia, the successor to the US's Cold War Soviet rivals, destroyed the last of its once-vast stocks of chemical weapons in 2017 under OPCW supervision.