Event — 24 May 2016

By Rashid Shirinov

Armenia may face strict international sanctions due to illegal use of chemical weapons against the Azerbaijani civilians in the frontal zone.

The Azerbaijan National Agency for Mine Action (ANAMA) detected Armenian white phosphorus bomb in Tartar District of Azerbaijan last week. More than 20 military attaches from 13 countries visited the area to witness the gross violation of a number of international documents.

Armenia has violated the Treaty of Non-Proliferation of nuclear weapons, which it joined in 1993, by using the white phosphorus bomb to Azerbaijan.

Now the international experts urge that the incident must be thoroughly investigated by international community and strict sanctions should be imposed on Armenia.

The country’s involvement in nuclear materials and chemical weapons emerged concerns of many international organizations and countries. In particular, Armenian politicians’ open statements threatening with an atomic bomb that the country allegedly possesses made the Azerbaijani government to actualize the issue.

Alexey Sinitsyn, chief expert of the US-Azerbaijan Fund for Advancement Assistance and a military expert, told day.az that Armenia used the chemical weapons even in 1990s.

He reminded the April events of 1992 when he was in Shusha and noticed that the majority of Azerbaijani soldiers had scarlet rash on their bodies, suffering bubbled up and slipping leather in some cases.

“We explored the entire area, literally on our bellies, and gathered a few dozen of rusted out so-called “arrow-shaped elements”, i.e. small arrows, which equip artillery shells. On the next day the same red pimply rash appeared on our bodies and hands especially,” he told.

Then foreign experts and journalists gathered in Shusha along with the Commission of Azerbaijan Ministry of Health and doctors to hold an examination and agreed that Armenians used prohibited ammunition with poisonous substances in the area between Lachin and Shusha.

Sinitsyn expressed his confidence in use of chemical weapons shells and chemical toxic substances by Armenia back in the beginning of 1990s, when military hostilities in Nagorno-Karabakh war reached their peak.

Ph.D. Elkhan Alasgarov, who heads the Baku Network expert group, also believes that theoretically Armenia may produce “dirty bomb” due to its Metsamor nuclear power plant.

“The NPP enables the leadership of Armenia to legally purchase radioactive elements abroad. They can be used to create “dirty bombs” later, as well as for profit and sale on the black market. Citizens of Armenia, selling radioactive materials to the world, are the main characters of shady deals on the black market,” Alasgarov wrote in his article.

He brought some evidences of transferring smuggled nuclear materials by Armenians abroad, usually through the Georgian territory.

“One of the last cases was arrest of three Armenians by the Georgian authorities for attempting to smuggle cesium-137 through Sadakhlo-Bagratashen checkpoint in Georgian-Armenian border in January 2016. The other proof is the incident fixed in April, 2016 when three Georgian and three Armenian citizens were arrested for attempting to sell 200 grams of uranium-238. It was revealed that the three Armenians worked for the Metsamor nuclear power plant previously. The group planned to sell uranium-238 to the Middle East.”

The news was a hot topic of the world famous newspapers such as Washington Times, Reuters, The Huffington Post and The Jerusalem Post, which published stories about these attempts of Armenian smugglers.

It is assumed that Sashik Sargsyan, the brother of Armenian President, is the protagonist of all these actions because it is not possible to carry radioactive substances through Armenian checkpoints without his consent.

Now the international community is called to urgently prevent Armenia’s manufacturing and selling nuclear materials in order to avert a possible terror escalation in the region. Otherwise, the terror organizations can benefit this opportunity and use Armenia as its nuclear resources supplier.

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