Iran: Legal experts discuss prohibition of weapons

20 February 2015

Tehran (ICRC) – The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the National Committee of Humanitarian Law of Iran (NCHL) have together hosted a series of events on prohibiting and restricting the use of certain weapons under international humanitarian law.

Following the ICRC's participation in Allameh Tabatabaee University's conference on chemical weapons, a roundtable was held on 17 February on the legal framework for prohibiting and restricting the use of certain weapons. The event was co-organized by the ICRC, NCHL and Iran's School of International Relations.

Experts from the ICRC's Legal Division, including its chief legal officer and the head of its Arms Unit, discussed how humanitarian law applies to new technologies of warfare, conventional weapons and weapons of mass destruction.

"The aim of this first ever roundtable was to enable views to be exchanged freely on the impact in humanitarian terms of certain weapons and how their use is governed by international humanitarian law," said Olivier Martin, who heads the ICRC's mission in Iran. "We look forward to continuing such exchanges with our Iranian counterparts in the future," he added.

On 18 February, Allameh Tabatabaee University hosted the launch of the Persian translation of the book Elements of war crimes under the Rome Statutes of the International Criminal Court by Dr Knut Doermann, head of the ICRC's Legal Division.

Dr Doermann, who attended the event, said, "International criminal justice mechanisms are vitally important to ensure better compliance with humanitarian law. But we need to remember that the suppression of war crimes is first and foremost the responsibility of domestic jurisdictions. Compliance with humanitarian law can also be achieved through dialogue, training and immediate action to tackle violations."

Also on 18 February, ICRC representatives were invited to attend a meeting of the NCHL alongside ministry officials.

As the guardian of international humanitarian law, the ICRC strives to raise awareness of its stance on weapon use, as well as the treaties and customary law governing weapons.

For further information, please contact:
Mojgan Mohammad, ICRC Teheran tel: +98 919 830 1161