Recent CW News

Jan 16 – The Blue Grass Army Depot in Kentucky is continuing the disposal of three bulk containers once filled with sarin nerve agent.

Jan 23 – Chinese officials have pressed Japan to follow through on its pledge to recover and eliminate chemical weapons abandoned in China at the close of World War II.

Jan 27 – The Pine Bluff Arsenal in Arkansas is expected to meet the April 2012 international deadline for disposal of its stockpile of chemical weapons.

Jan 29 – The Umatilla Chemical Depot in Oregon is continuing preparations for disposal of more than 2,000 ton containers of mustard blister agent.

Iran Accuses Israel of using CW

Iran has accused Israel of using white phosphorus in their military campaign against Hamas in Gaza. In a letter to United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon Iran’s Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki urged for ‘serious and effective action’ over Israel’s use of chemical weapons in Gaza.

Iran, which has continually supported the CWC, has urged for tighter restrictions on the use of white phosphorus.

White phosphorus is an incendiary agent that is often used in combat to create smokescreens or to illuminate targets at night. It remains a contentious issue under the CWC and Geneva Convention because its use is not permitted in civilian areas.

News Stories:

Iran Accuses Israel of using Phosphorus in Gaza – Reuters

Iran Blasts Israel for Employing Phosphorus Bombs – Tehran Times

Iran Accuses Israel of using Chemical Weapons in Gaza – China View

Gaza Family Returns Home after Phosphorus Blast – The Associated Press

Gaza Film Shows White Phosphorus from Alleged Israeli Attack – The Guardian

Iran’s IAEA ambassador warns against Israel’s “ethnic cleansing” in Gaza – ISNA

Israeli Completes Gaza Troop Pull-out – The Associated Press

Iraq Joins the CWC

On January 13, 2009 Iraq deposited its instrument of accession to the Chemical Weapons Convention. The convention will enter into force for Iraq on February 12, 2009, making them the 186th State Party to the convention. The accession of Iraq leaves only 9 states outside of the CWC; the Bahamas, the Dominican Republic, Israel and Myanmar are CWC signatories but have yet to ratify it. Angola, the People’s Republic of Korea, Egypt, Somalia and the Syrian Arab Republic have neither signed nor ratified the Chemical Weapons Convention.

The accession of Iraq coupled with the December 2008 accession of Lebanon mark significant progress toward the OPCW goal of CWC universality.

On January 14 the US State Department issued a press release regarding Iraq’s accession into the CWC.

News Stories:

Iraq Joins Chemical Weapons Convention – Global Security News Wire

Iraq Signs UN Treaty Banning Chemical Weapons – VOA News

Iraq ratifies treaty banning chemical weapons – Yahoo News

Iraq Ratifies Treaty Banning Chemical Weapons – The Telegraph

Iraq Ratifies Treaty Banning Chemical Weapons – Kansas City Star

Iraq Signs UN Treaty Outlawing Chemical Weapons – Channel News Asia

Iraq Ratifies Treaty Banning Chemical Weapons – Khaleej Times

Iraq Signs UN Treaty Outlawing Chemical Weapons – The Morning Star

Iraq Signs Up For Chemical Weapon Ban – ABC News Australia

Iraq Ratifies Treaty Banning Chemical Weapons – Las Vegas Sun

Iraq Ratifies Chemical Weapons Treaty – UPI

Iraq Accedes to International Chemical Weapon Ban – Reuters

Ban Welcomes Iraq’s Deposit of Instrument to CWC Accession – Zawya