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Sardasht, West Azerbaijan


Sardasht, West Azerbaijan

Sardasht is located in Iran
Country  Iran
Province West Azerbaijan
County Sardasht
Bakhsh Central
Elevation 1,300 m (4,300 ft)
Population (2006)
 • Total 37,115
Time zone IRST (UTC+3:30)
 • Summer (DST) IRDT (UTC+4:30)

Sardasht (Persian: سردشت‎‎; Kurdish: سه‌رده‌شت, Serdeşt‎; also Romanized as Sar Dasht)[1] is a city in and the capital of Sardasht County, West Azerbaijan Province, Iran. At the 2006 census, its population was 37,115, in 8,224 families.[2]

Sardasht is located southwest of Lake Urmia about 1,300 metres above sea level. It lies in the West Azarbaijan province. It was the first city in which civilians were attacked with chemical weapons by Saddam Hussein during the Iran–Iraq War.

The population of Sardasht is Kurdish. Sardasht is also known for the many villages around it and their reliance on the city's market.

Gawerk Lords in Iranian kurdistan - Mahabd - sardasht-آغایان ایل گورک در سردشت و مهاباد 1900 میلادی


  • Climate 1
  • History 2
    • 1987 attacks on Sardasht with chemical weapons 2.1
    • Iran-PJAK conflict 2.2
  • See also 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5


Climate data for Sardasht, Āzarbāijān-e Gharbī
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 16
Average high °C (°F) 1.2
Average low °C (°F) −3.5
Record low °C (°F) −25
Average precipitation mm (inches) 134.6
Average precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm) 11.3 9.9 10.8 10.1 5.9 1.1 0.5 0.4 0.7 4.7 7.8 10.2 73.4
Average relative humidity (%) 73 68 62 54 44 31 31 29 29 44 59 68 49.3
Mean monthly sunshine hours 133.0 138.4 184.0 219.2 288.3 352.8 367.7 357.5 312.0 248.0 180.7 129.8 2,911.4
Source: Synoptic Stations Statistics


1987 attacks on Sardasht with chemical weapons

On June 28, 1987, Iraqi aircraft dropped what Iranian authorities believed to be mustard gas bombs on Sardasht, in two separate bombing runs on four residential areas. The numbers of victims were initially estimated as 10 civilians dead and 650 civilians injured.[3]

Out of a population of 20,000, 25% are still suffering severe illnesses from the attacks.[4] The gas attacks occurred during the Iran–Iraq War, when Iraq frequently used chemical weapons against Iranian civilians and soldiers.

In April 2004, the government of the United States (US) was found by the Tehran Public Court to be liable for the attacks, through its previous support for the government of Saddam Hussein. The US government was ordered to pay $600 million compensation to the victims.[5]

Because Sardasht was not considered a military target, the population was both unprotected and unprepared for a chemical weapons assault. Living close to the border and to the war front, citizens had become accustomed to Iraqi bombardment with conventional weapons. However, people later told physicians that they did not know that the bombs carried chemical weapons; in fact, at first they had been relieved when the bombs did not explode.

Due to the direction of the wind, even the hospital and the convalescent center were contaminated, and the few doctors and nurses who were working there had to leave. Two public baths were used for decontamination of the victims and a small stadium was converted to a 150-bed medical facility. Within the first few hours, about 30 people died, mostly young children and old people, due to severe respiratory problems.

Out of 12,000 inhabitants, according to official reports, 8,000 were exposed. Of the 4,500 requiring medical care, 1,500 were hospitalized, 600 of them in Tehran. The other 3,000 were treated as outpatients and discharged. Many of these 3,000 former outpatients left the city for the villages and attempted to treat themselves, using traditional medicines, etc. These people do not have medical records of their exposure and now are having difficulty obtaining government benefits.

Included among the 4,500 casualties requiring medical attention were some of the rescuers.[6]

CasualtiesUp until 2007: altogether 130 people (109 civilians, 21 military and other) have died from the sulfur mustard attack on Sardasht in June 1987. Twenty people died in the first few hours, ten during the evacuation to other cities, and about one hundred more died in hospitals in Iran and Europe during the next month. Of the civilians who died, 39 were under 18 years of age, including 11 under the age of 5. Thirty-four women and girls died.[7][8]

Mustard is not considered a lethal agent, but an incapacitating agent, causing only 3-5% mortality. Many of the 95% who survived from the Sardasht gas attack, developed serious long-term complications over the next few years including serious respiratory problems, eye lesions, skin problems as well as problems in their immune system.[9][10]

Iran-PJAK conflict

Sardasht and its surrounding areas became a scene of sporadic clashes between Iranian IRGC forces and the militant Kurdish PJAK organization. Among those clashes was the August 2013 Sardasht clash.

See also


  1. ^ Sardasht, West Azerbaijan can be found at GEOnet Names Server, at this link, by opening the Advanced Search box, entering "-3082687" in the "Unique Feature Id" form, and clicking on "Search Database".
  2. ^ "Census of the Islamic Republic of Iran, 1385 (2006)".  
  3. ^ "Iran Profile - Chemical Chronology 1987".  
  4. ^ Iranian Chemical Attacks Victims
  5. ^ "Iran: Tehran's Public Court issues $600 million verdict against US to pay to Sardasht residents".  
  6. ^ Foroutan, Abbas. Medical Review of Iraqi Chemical Warfare. Tehran, Iran: Baqiyatallah University of Medical Sciences, 2003, p. 183
  7. ^ Khateri S, Wangerin R. Denied Truths, the story of victims of chemical weapons in Iran, center for women and family affairs. 2008 , ISBN 978-600-5201-13-0
  8. ^ Khateri S. Victims of chemical weapons in Iran – an evaluation on health status of 45,000 Iranian victims of chemical warfare agents. Society for Chemical Weapons Victims Support (SCWVS) (, April 2003, ISBN 964-93602-5-5
  9. ^ Khateri S, Ghanei M, Soroush MR, Haines D. Effects of mustard gas exposure in paediatric patients. Long-term health status of mustard-exposed children, 14 years after chemical bombardment of Sardasht. J Burns & Wound Care [serial online] ( , 2003;2(1):11
  10. ^ Ghanei M, Aslani J, Khateri S, Hamadanizadeh K. Public Health Status of the Civil Population of Sardasht 15 Years Following Large−Scale Wartime Exposure to Sulfur Mustard. J Burns &Surg Wound Care [serial online] 2003;2(1):7. Available from: URL: . Published March 11, 2003

External links

  • 1987 chemical attack still haunts Iran
  • 'Forgotten Victims' Of Saddam Hussein Era Await Justice
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