Iraq has come under mounting international criticism for its purported use of chemical weapons against two Iraqi cities under Iranian occupation. The United States, the International Red Cross and Iran all condemned Iraq Wednesday for the attacks on Halabja and Khormal that Iran claims killed at least 5,000 people and injured 5,000 more.

Mohammed al-Mashat, the Iraqi ambassador to Britain, denied the accusation and accused Iran of carrying out the chemical attack when it occupied the cities in an offensive last week.The two cities are along the Iranian border in predominantly Kurdish northern Iraq. The Iraqi government has been confronted by a growing Iranian-supported Kurdish insurgency in the past year.