Iran WMD Stats


  • Biological: A description of the nation's situation with regards to the possession and manufacture of biological weapons of mass destruction
  • Chemical: A description of the nation's situation with regards to the possession and manufacture of chemical weapons of mass destruction
  • Missile: A description of the nation's situation with regards to the possession and manufacture of missile weapons of mass destruction
  • Nuclear: A description of the nation's situation with regards to the possession and manufacture of nuclear weapons
Biological There is very little publicly available information to determine whether Iran is pursuing a biological weapon program. Although Iran acceded to the Geneva Protocol in 1929 and ratified the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BWC) in 1973, the U.S. government believes Iran began biological weapon efforts in the early to mid-1980s, and that it continues to pursue an offensive biological weapon program linked to its civilian biotechnology activities. The United States alleges that Iran may have started to develop small quantities of agent, possibly including mycotoxins, ricin, and the smallpox virus. Iran strongly denies acquiring or producing biological weapons. 1980
Chemical Iran suffered severe losses from the use of Iraqi chemical weapons over the period 1982 to 1988. As a consequence Iran has a great deal of experience of the effects of chemical warfare (CW). Iran has continued to maintain a significant defensive CW capability since the end of the Gulf War in 1988. The most important incentive for this effort was probably concern that Iraq continued to possess chemical weapons. Iran ratified the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) in November 1997 and has been an active participant in the work of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). Iran has publicly acknowledged the existence of a chemical weapons program developed during the latter stages of the 1980-1988 war with Iraq. On ratifying the CWC Iran opened its facilities to international inspection and claimed that all offensive CW activities had been terminated and the facilities destroyed. Nevertheless the United States has continued to claim that Iran maintains an active program of development and production of chemical weapons. This program reportedly includes the production of sarin, mustard, phosgene, and hydrocyanic acid. The U.S. government estimates that Iran can produce 1,000 metric tons of agent per year and may have a stockpile of at least several thousand metric tons of weaponized and bulk agent. Open-sources do not provide unambiguous support to these accusations. Iran strongly denies producing or possessing chemical weapons. To date the United States has not pursued options available to it under international law to convincingly demonstrate Iranian noncompliance with the CWC. Iran is committed to the development of its civilian and military industries and this has involved an ongoing process of modernisation and expansion in the chemical industry aimed at reducing dependence on foreign suppliers of materials and technology. Due to U.S. claims of ongoing chemical weapons production Iran encounters regular difficulties with chemical industry related imports that are restricted by members of the Australia group. 1997
Missile Iran possesses one of the largest missile inventories in the Middle East and has acquired complete missile systems and developed an infrastructure to build missiles indigenously. It has purchased North Korean Scud-Bs, Scud-Cs, and Nodong ballistic missiles. Meanwhile, Iran has also developed short-range artillery rockets and is producing the Scud-B and the Scud-C—called the Shehab-1 and Shehab-2, respectively. Iran recently flight-tested the 1,300 km-range Shehab-3, which is based on the North Korean Nodong. The Shehab-3 is capable of reaching Israel. Following this most recent flight-test, the Shehab-3 was placed in service and revolutionary guard units were officially armed with the missiles. There are conflicting reports about the development of even longer-ranged missiles, such as the Shehab-4 and the Kosar intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM). U.S. intelligence agencies assess that barring acquisition of a complete system or major subsystem from North Korea, Iran is unlikely to launch an ICBM or satellite launch vehicle (SLV) before mid-decade. At present, Iran's capabilities in missile production have kept in line with its doctrine of protection from regional threats. Iran has developed new missiles including the Ra'ad and Kosar and continues to test its Nodong based, Shehab-3 missile. On October 20, 2004, Iranian Defense Minister Ali Shamkhani confirmed the latest successful test of Iran’s Shehab-3 with a 2,000-kilometer range in front of observers. Iran has openly declared its ability to mass produce the Shehab-3 medium-range missile. Intelligence reports regarding Iran's expansion of capabilities and persistent interest in acquiring new technologies have led the United States to seek other options in dealing with Iran as a regional threat. 2004
Nuclear By early June 2005, the EU-3 (France, Great Britain, and Germany) had not yet submitted their proposal to Iran outlining future nuclear negotiations. The EU-3 requested a delay in negotiations, but Tehran rejected the delay and publicly announced it would resume peaceful nuclear research activities. At issue was Iran's insistance that right to peaceful nuclear research be included in any proposal, a position the United States adamantly opposed. Attempts were made to persuade Iran to give up its fuel cycle ambitions and accept nuclear fuel from abroad, but Tehran made it clear that any proposal that did not guarantee Iran's access to peaceful nuclear technology would lead to the cessation of all nuclear related negotiations with the EU-3. In addition, members of the Iranian Majlis, scientists, scholars, and students were protesting and holding rallies to encourage the government to lift the suspension on uranium enrichment and to not succumb to foreign (U.S.) pressure. One week later, Iran once again agreed to temporarily freeze its nuclear program until the end of July when the European Union agreed it would submit a proposal for the next roud of talks. In June, IAEA Deputy Director Pierre Goldschmidt stated that Iran admitted to providing incorrect information about past experiments involving plutonium. Tehran claimed all such research ceased in 1993, but results from recent tests show experiments took place as late as 1995 and 1998. In early July, Iran asked the IAEA if it could break UN seals and test nuclear-related equipment, stating the testing would not violate Tehran's voluntary suspension of nuclear activities. At the end of July, an official letter was submitted to the IAEA stating that the seals at the Isfahan Uranium Conversion Facility (UCF) would be removed. The IAEA requested that it be given 10 days to install the necessary surveillance equipment. On 1 August, Iran reminded the EU-3 that 3 August would be the last opportunity for a proposal to be submitted to continue negotiations. A few days later, the European Union submitted the Framework for a Long-term Agreement proposal to Iran. The proposal specifically called on Iran to exclude fuel-cycle related activity. Tehran immediately rejected the proposal as a negation of its inalienable rights. On 8 August, nuclear activities resumed at the Isfahan UCF and two days later, IAEA seals were removed from the remaining parts of the process lines with IAEA inspectors present. In the days leading up to Iran's resumption of nuclear activities, several countries called on Iran to cooperate with the IAEA and to re-establish full suspension of all enrichment related activities. Additionally, some European countries and the United States threatened to refer Iran to the UN Security Council. Once again, Iran rejected any proposal related to the suspension of conversion activities, but stated they were ready to continue negotiations. Tehran did not believe there was any legal basis for referral to the UN Security council and believed it was only a political move. Iran also threatened to stop all negotiations, prevent any further inspections at all its nuclear facilities, suspend the implementation of the Additional Protocol, and withdraw from the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT), if it was referred to the UN Security Council. In August 2005, the IAEA announced that most of the highly enriched uranium (HEU) particle contamination found at various locations in Iran were found to be of foreign origin. The IAEA concluded much of the HEU found on centrifuge parts were from imported Pakistani equipment, rather than from any enrichment activities conducted by Iran. In late August, Iran began announcing it would be resuming nuclear activities in Natanz and that Tehran would be willing to negotiate as long as there were no conditions. In August, Iran refused to comply with a resolution from the IAEA to halt its nuclear program, stating that making nuclear fuel was its right as a member of the NPT. The European Union believed that although Iran did have a right to nuclear energy under Article 4 of the NPT, it had lost that right because it violated Article 2 of the NPT - "not to seek or receive any assistance in the manufacture of nuclear related weapons or other nuclear explosive devices." On 24 September 2005, the IAEA found Iran in non-compliance of the NPT. The resolution passed with 21 votes of approval, 12 abstentions, and one opposing vote. Russia and China were among those that abstained from voting and Venezuela was the only country to vote against the resolution. The resolution stated Iran's non-compliance due to "many failures and breaches" over nuclear safeguards of the NPT were grounds for referral to the UN Security Council. 2005


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