CENTER FOR NONPROLIFERATION STUDIES. MARCH 4, 2010. By Jonathan B. Tucker
Iraq joined the Chemical Weapons Convention in February 2009 and now faces major challenges destroying the chemical munitions it inherited from the Saddam Hussein regime.
Before the 1991 Persian Gulf War, Saddam Hussein's Iraq produced and stockpiled hundreds of tons of chemical weapons (CW), a small fraction of which still exist. After Iraq acceded to the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) on February 12, 2009, it was obligated to declare and destroy any surviving CW agents and munitions according to the detailed procedures set out in the treaty. Because some of Iraq's legacy chemical weapons were damaged by aerial bombing during the Gulf War and are extremely dangerous to handle, Baghdad will have great difficulty disposing of them. In addition, chemical munitions from the pre-1991 era will probably be recovered in the future and will have to be destroyed in a verifiable manner. How Iraq and the international community deal with these issues will have important implications for the CWC and the prospects for chemical disarmament in the Middle East.
Click here for the full article.