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Pompeo Says Iran Supplied Gaddafi Regime with Chemical Weapons that Were Used in Iraq

Pompeo Says Iran Supplied Gaddafi Regime with Chemical Weapons that Were Used in Iraq

Monday, 11 January, 2021 - 12:00
An Iranian flag flutters in front of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) headquarters in Vienna, Austria September 9, 2019. (Reuters)

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo revealed on Sunday that Iran had supplied the regime of late Libya ruler Moammar al-Gaddafi with chemical weapons.

He made the revelation in a State Department report that declassifies Iran’s use of chemical weapons.

The report said: “The United States certifies Iran is in non-compliance with the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) due to (1) its failure to declare its transfer of chemical weapons (CW) to Libya during the 1978-1987 Libya-Chad war, (2) its failure to declare its complete holdings of Riot Control Agents (RCAs), and (3) its failure to submit a complete Chemical Weapons Production Facility (CWPF) declaration.”

“The United States assesses that in 1987 Iran transferred CW munitions to Libya during the 1978-1987 Libya-Chad war. Following the collapse of the Gaddafi regime, the Libyan Transitional National Council located sulfur mustard-filled 130mm artillery shells and aerial bombs, which are assessed to have originated from Iran in the late 1980s.,” it went to say.

“In 2011, Libya declared to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) that it discovered 517 artillery shells and 8 aerial bombs comprising 1.3 Metric Tons of sulfur mustard but did not address the provenance of the items,” it said.

Libya requested OPCW Technical Secretariat assistance in collecting information relating to these chemical weapons. They were assessed to have originated from Iran in the late 1980s.

Iran has never declared that it transferred chemical weapons to Libya, including in response to the Technical Secretariat's request.

Iran never declared this transfer in accordance with the CWC, and Iran never responded to an OPCW request for additional information, stressed the report.

“In light of the discovery of chemical-filled artillery projectiles and aerial bombs the United States assesses that Iran filled and possessed chemical weapons,” it charged.

“We also assess that Iran successfully developed mortars, artillery cannon rounds, and aerial bombs for CW agent delivery during the 1980-1987 Iran-Iraq War, but failed to declare a CWPF with respect to weapons filling,” it noted.

“In April 1987, mustard-filled 130-mm mortars believed to be of Iranian origin were used near Basra, Iraq. Iraq's military and a UN delegation in Iraq reported the artillery contained residual sulfur mustard agent and Iraqi casualties displayed burns consistent with mustard exposure,” it explained.

“During an UN inspection in 1991 at Iraq's Muthana State Establishment, UN inspectors found 165 81-mm mortars filled with sulfur mustard that the Iraqis claimed were Iranian origin,” it continued.

“Iraq did not possess or fill 81-mm mortars with mustard and the subsequent laboratory tests concluded that the agent in the munitions had higher levels of sulfur mustard impurities than those typically found in agent made by the Iraqis at Muthana, suggesting the munitions were not made by the Iraqis or made at that location,” it added.

“The United States is also concerned that Iran is pursuing chemicals for purposes inconsistent with the CWC, based on Iranian scientific publications,” it stated.

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