US embassy cable - 04THEHAGUE1224


Identifier: 04THEHAGUE1224
Wikileaks: View 04THEHAGUE1224 at
Origin: Embassy The Hague
Created: 2004-05-19 12:54:00
Classification: SECRET//NOFORN
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 07 THE HAGUE 001224 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/19/2014 
     B. B) STATE 59960 
Classified By: Ambassador Eric M. Javits, Permanent Representative to t 
he OPCW.  Reasons: 1.5 (B, D). 
This is CWC-62-04. 
1.  (C)  On May 17, Gholamhossein Dehghani and S. Ali 
Mohammad Mousavi of the Iranian delegation to the 
Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons met with 
the U.S. delegation to provide Tehran's answers to the U.S. 
questions passed to the Iranian delegates on the margins of 
the March 23-26 Executive Council session.  Dehghani noted 
that Tehran included some questions of its own for the U.S. 
and welcomed a U.S. reply in the near future.  The U.S. 
questions, Iranian answers, and Iranian questions have been 
E-mailed and DHLed to AC/CB: 
2.  (S)  Begin text. 
Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran 
Duinweg 24, The Hague 
In the Name of God 
17 May 2004 
Ambassador Eric M. Javits 
United States Permanent Representative to the OPCW 
Dear Mr. Ambassador: 
In response to your letter dated 19 March 2004, regarding 
U.S. queries about Iran's CWC declarations, please find 
attached the responses recently received from the National 
Authority of the Islamic Republic of Iran.  The answer to 
each question posed has been written in italic under each 
question.  I hope this supplementary clarification, would 
suffice to alleviate U.S. concerns about Iran's CWC 
In a separate section (VII), authorities in Tehran, seeking 
U.S.'s clarification to resolve some matters of concern to 
the I.R of Iran, have raised some compliance-related 
questions from your government. 
Looking forward to receive your government's responses to our 
requested clarification and questions. 
Yours sincerely, 
Hossein Panahi Azar 
Ambassador and Permanent Representative 
Of I.R. Iran to OPCW 
Enclosure:  As attached 
I.  Undeclared CW Stocks and Storage Facilities 
Q:  Iran has acknowledged the existence of a past chemical 
weapons (CW) program and the production of chemical weapons. 
Iran declared that its past production - amounting to 20 
metric tons of sulfur mustard and four metric tons of 
nitrogen mustard agent - was destroyed before the CWC entered 
into force (EIF).  States Parties to the CWC are obligated to 
submit declarations associated with the possession of CW 
stockpiles not later than 30 days after entry into force of 
the Convention.  In the "A-2 Form" submitted in 2001, Iran 
claimed that it did not possess any CW.  In order to 
alleviate continuing U.S. concerns about Iranian CW-related 
activities, provision of additional information is thus 
important.  We therefore request that Iran provide 
clarification regarding the stockpiling and disposition of 
its chemical weapons stocks, including: 
A: As it has been stated in initial declaration (1999) Iran 
has produced 20 MT of Sulfur mustard and 4 MT of Nitrogen 
Mustard, and destroyed them all before EIF.  Iran does not 
possess any CW as declared in A2 form.  In the spirit of 
cooperation with member states responses to the questions are 
as follows 
Q:  Where were Iranian CW stocks located, how were they 
stored and during what time periods? 
A:  Sulfur Mustard was stored in Imam Hossein facility since 
the beginning of its production in September 1987 till the 
deactivation of that facility in 1988 then the stocks were 
transferred to Ali Abad facility for safety reasons.  As it 
was necessary to destroy these chemicals through 
hydrolization using the same equipment in Imam Hossein 
facility, those chemicals were transferred back to Imam 
Hossein facility in several stages. 
Nitrogen Mustard was stored in Ali Abad facility since its 
production (1987) till end of its destruction (Feb. 1991) 
The produced chemical agents had been stored in barrels. 
Q:  When, where, and how did Iran dispose of its CW stocks to 
include its declared 24 metric tons of chemical weapons agent? 
A:  The time period for the destruction of the chemical agent 
produced in Imam Hossein facility was from Sep. 1991 till 
Feb. 1992.  Sulfur Mustard agent was destroyed through 
hydrolization and the wastes were poured into a well in Ali 
Abad area. 
The period of destruction of the chemical agent (Nitrogen 
Mustard produced in Ali Abad facility was from September 1990 
till February 1991.  Nitrogen Mustard was destroyed in Ali 
Abad area through neutralization using Calcium Hypochloride. 
Q:  Which part (or parts) of the Iranian government was 
responsible for the destruction of Iran's chemical weapons 
A:  CW stockpiles were destroyed by MoD. 
Q:  Who was responsible for procuring precursor chemicals? 
Handling and maintaining CW stockpiles and/or munitions? 
A:  Procurement of precursors was carried out by former 
Ministry of Sepah and MoD. 
With regard to munitions it should be stated that the CW 
agents were never weaponized. 
Q:  The United States recognizes that Iran is not formally 
obligated under the CWC to provide some of the information 
requested above in its initial declarations.  However, our 
concerns about the fundamental issue of how much CW agent 
Iran produced and stockpiled are quite acute, and our request 
for information is entirely consistent with Article IX of the 
CWC, which encourages States Parties to "resolve, through 
exchange of information and consultations among themselves, 
any matter which may cause doubt about compliance with this 
Convention."  The United States has provided similar 
questions and requests for information to other States 
Parties, which in many cases have led to the successful 
resolution of our compliance concerns. 
A:  The Islamic Republic of Iran hopes that these 
consultations would address the existing concerns completely. 
II.  Inaccurate Declaration of Chemical Weapons Production 
Q:  The United States has concerns that Iran's declaration of 
its chemical weapons production facilities (CWPFs) does not 
accurately reflect the activities conducted at these 
facilities.  Iran identified two CWPFs in its declaration. 
In 2002, Iran informed the United States that CW activities 
at the Imam Hossein and Ali Abad facilities ceased in 1988, 
and that the buildings were sealed until 1999 when - in the 
presence of OPCW inspectors - the buildings were completely 
destroyed.  In your declaration regarding the Imam Hossein 
facility, however, Iran indicates that the Imam Hossein 
facility was dismantled and destroyed in June 1992 and the 
Ali Abad facility in January 1992. This contradictory 
information raises questions about the accuracy of both 
Does Iran intend to amend its declaration by providing to the 
OPCW Technical Secretariat the precise dates of destruction 
of these two facilities?  The United States encourages Iran 
to clear up this discrepancy between the two dates of when 
destruction was completed. 
A:  The dates provided in initial declarations are accurate 
and for following reasons there is no need to amend them: 
1- Production activities of Imam Hossein and Ali Abad 
facilities ceased in 1988 and equipment dismantled by cutting 
pipes, separating pumps, reactors and other equipment in 
1992.  This method was named under paragraph 19 of CWP2.1 
forms of declaration of these facilities as "destruction", 
however the complete destruction of the building and 
equipment was carried out at the presence of the OPCW 
inspectors in 1999; 
2- Deactivated facilities were sealed from EIF for the I.R. 
of Iran till the date of complete destruction in 1999; 
3- Imam Hossein facility's equipment was transferred to Ali 
Abad facility.  They were destroyed completely in Ali Abad 
facility at the presence of the OPCW inspectors in 1999. 
As it has been mentioned in declarations, the destruction of 
facilities in 1992 means; dismantling of equipment, 
separation of pumps and reactors and cutting pipes which has 
been verified by the OPCW inspectors. 
Q:  Can Iran explain in its response to U.S. questions what 
is meant by the term "closed and sealed?"  What kind of 
activities occurred at the Imam Hossein and Ali Abad 
facilities between 1992 and 1999? 
A:  "closed and sealed" means that the equipment was removed 
from the building of Imam Hossein facility in 1992, and the 
evacuated building after decontamination remained 
deactivated, and from EIF for the I.R. of Iran till 1999 it 
was sealed and was not used at all. 
Ali Abad CWPF has been closed (deactivated) from 1992 till 
the EIF for the I.R. of Iran and since then till 1999, the 
building was closed and sealed and not used at all. 
Q:  The United States believe that some buildings and/or 
structures directly connected to the Ali Abad facility may 
have been associated with CW activity, but were not declared. 
 Can Iran please clarify the past and current use and purpose 
of other such buildings that are adjacent to the Ali Abad 
facility, and why they were not declared?  Additionally, 
there is information indicating that after the United States 
first inquired about these other buildings in 2001, Iran 
conducted dismantlement activities at these locations.  Can 
Iran please provide a list of the buildings dismantled and 
explain the nature of activities that occurred at these 
A:  All buildings related to Ali Abad CWPF (including 
production and utility buildings) were destroyed at the 
presence of the OPCW inspectors.  Adjacent buildings to Ali 
Abad facility were being used for producing an inorganic 
chemical.  This factory was never involved in any activity 
related to the declared Ali Abad CWPF or precursors for CW. 
Therefore there was no obligation to declare it. 
The DG and OPCW inspectors were also granted access to this 
factory while inspecting Ali Abad. 
This factory for not having economic justification was closed 
down in 2002 and its equipment was dismantled.  It is 
intended to use the area (which is a historical place) for 
non-productive purposes. 
Q:  In our efforts to further clarify our concerns in this 
area, the U.S. requested Iranian authorization to allow the 
OPCW Technical Secretariat to release inspection reports on 
these facilities.  In the 2002 response to this request, Iran 
stipulated its readiness to act in accordance with the 
provisions of the Convention.  In the spirit of cooperation, 
and the right under Article IX (2) to arrange by mutual 
consent any procedures to clarify and resolve any matter 
which may cause doubt about compliance, the United States 
would therefore like Iran to authorize the TS to permit the 
United States to view inspection reports for these 
facilities.  This step may help allay some of our concerns. 
A:  The I.R. of Iran will consider release of inspection 
reports on these facilities. 
III.  Ministry of Defense Production of Scheduled Chemicals 
Q:  The Iranian Ministry of Defense (MOD) controls the 
declared Schedule 3 facility at Raja Shimi, the Discrete 
Organic Chemical (DOC) facility at Sadr Shimi.  In 2002, Iran 
informed the United States that the Ministry of Defense (MOD) 
carried out civilian projects where the private sector had 
not taken the lead.  Iran further stated that it was pursuing 
privatization of these facilities. 
The U.S. is concerned that these facilities remain 
subordinate to the Ministry of Defense (MOD), are located on 
military installations, and seem suitable for the production 
of toxic chemicals for CW purposes. 
-- If the purpose of the facilities described above is purely 
commercial, why do they remain on military installations 
under the control of the Ministry of Defense? 
A:  The Ministry of Defense has expressed its readiness to 
transfer the ownership of these facilities to private sector 
in accordance with the governments privatization policy. 
Q:  What scheduled or other chemicals have been or are 
planned to be produced for use in these facilities? 
A:  Raw materials for Raja Shimi are TMP and PCL3 which are 
produced in the same factories but the raw materials for Sadr 
Shimi are not produced in this facility. 
Q:  If scheduled or other chemicals have been or are being 
procured for use in these facilities, what are they being 
used to produce? 
A:  Raja Shimi factories produce Glyphosate and Sadr Shimi 
factories produce Fungicides, especially Mancozeb, Zineb, and 
Q:  If products are produced at these facilities, what are 
the markets for the products produced, and what are the 
quantities sold or distributed? 
A:  All Sadr Shimi products are purchased by Ministry of 
Agriculture.  Raja Shimi also has sale contract with the same 
Q:  Does Iran intend to privatize or transfer ownership of 
these facilities? If so, when and under what conditions? 
A:  Answer to this question is positive and the explanation 
was provided before. 
Q:  We continue to seek the precise location and number of 
plants that are declared at Raja Shimi and Sadr Shimi as 
required by Part VIII, paragraphs 6 and 7, of the 
Verification Annex.  In Iran's declaration, there is no 
specific latitude and longitude, or address provided.  Can 
Iran please provide this information as required by the 
A:  According to the provisions of the Convention, there is 
no obligation to provide geographical coordinates for such 
facilities.  However, the address of Raja Shimi is: 
Thehran Province, Shahriar, Bidgeneh village, Raja Shimi 
Industrial Factories (approximately 35 kilometers to the west 
of Tehran).  This address has been quoted in the declaration 
and verified by the OPCW inspectors. 
The address for Sadr Shimi is:  Fars Province, Km. 20 
Shiraz-Esfehan Rd., Sadr Shimi Industrial Factories.  This 
address has been quoted in the declaration. 
There are 3 plants in Raja Shimi Plant Site that 2 of them 
have been declared and 1 plant yet falls below the declarable 
threshold and there is only 1 declared plant in Sadr Shimi 
Plant Site. 
Q:  Does the Ministry of Defense Control any other facilities 
for the production of scheduled or other organic chemicals? 
If yes, please indicate the location and chemicals produced. 
A:  Ministry of Defense has no scheduled chemicals and 
declarable DOC production facilities other than what has been 
IV.  Transfer of Specialized Equipment for the Production of 
Chemical Weapons 
Q:  In 2002 Iran informed the United States that all 
"specialized" equipment located at the Imam Hossein CWPF was 
dismantled and transferred to the Ali Abad CWPF, where it was 
checked by the OPCW inspectors and destroyed in their 
-- When did this transfer from Imam Hossein to Ali Abad take 
A:  Dismantled equipment of Imam Hossein facility was 
transferred to Ali Abad facility in 1992. 
Q:  Can Iran explain why was it necessary to transfer such 
equipment to Ali Abad if (1) both Ali Abad and Imam Hossein 
ceased activities in 1988; and (2) both such facilities were 
dismantled, decontaminated, and remained closed and sealed 
until 1999? 
A:  Imam Hossein facility was located in a private land and 
therefore dismantled equipment could not remain there, 
specifically despite the decontamination of the equipment, 
there was a risk of remaining pollution.  Thus for safety 
reasons it was necessary to transfer them to Ali Abad 
facility which belonged to military sector. 
Q:  Why did Iran not use OPCW inspectors to verify the 
destruction of the specialized equipment while it was still 
located at the Imam Hossein facility? 
A:  The US is reminded that the OPCW was not established in 
1992, therefore presence of the OPCW inspectors to verify the 
destruction of equipment (as defined before) is out of 
V.  Production of Chemical Weapons Precursors for CW Purposes 
Q:  Iran has not fully satisfied its obligations to declare 
production of the precursors it used to make chemical 
weapons.  Iran indicated in its initial CWC declaration that 
it at one point produced chemical weapons (nitrogen mustard) 
at the Ali Abad CWPF using thionyl chloride, a schedule 3 
chemical. Iran later informed the United States that the CW 
precursors used for producing nitrogen mustard were obtained 
from the "domestic market," even though Iran declared no 
associated thionyl chloride production facility. 
The Convention, in Part VIII (A), paragraph 9 of the 
Verification Annex, states that each State Party shall, not 
later than 30 days after the Convention enters into force for 
it, declare all plant sites comprising plants that produced 
at any time since 1 January 1946 a Schedule 3 chemical for 
chemical weapons purposes.  Therefore, production and use of 
thionyl chloride in Iran, used in the production of nitrogen 
mustard must be declared, along with the associated plant 
sites used for thionyl chloride production. 
-- To date, we have not received any indication that Iran 
declared a facility for thionyl chloride production as 
required under VIII (A) paragraph 9, nor provided the 
subsequent information required in paragraph 10 of the 
Verification Annex. 
A:  Thyonil Chloride has never been produced in Iran, 
therefore there has not been any facility to be declared 
under Paras. 9 and 10 of Section A of Part VIII of the 
Verification Annex. 
Q:  We would like Iran to provide more specific information 
about the thionyl chloride in question.  How much was used to 
make CW? Where did it come from? Was it produced by a 
government-owned facility or by a commercial facility? Was it 
purchased directly or through an agent or distributor? 
A:  Approximately thirteen MT of Thyonil Chloride was 
consumed for production of four MT of Nitrogen Mustard.  This 
amount was purchased from a domestic importing trader. 
Q:  Why has Iran not declared a thionyl chloride production 
facility? If this was omitted, when does Iran plan to amend 
its declaration? 
A:  As stated before there has been no Thionyl Chloride 
production facility in Iran. 
VI.  Production of Nerve Agent 
Q:  Iran has marketed itself as a world leader in the 
development of individual protective equipment and chemical 
sensors for the detection of chemical agents, including nerve 
agents.  This has been advertised in open literature and 
catalogs published by Iran.  Marketing materials from the 
Iranian Special Industries Group advertise products said to 
be effective against nerve agents.  Iran has declared a 
facility for producing Schedule 1 chemicals for purposes not 
prohibited under the CWC, but the declaration covers the 
production of sulfur mustard, not nerve agents. 
-- In order for Iran's claims about protective equipment to 
be credible, such products would seem to require actual 
testing with nerve agent in order to validate performance. 
How are such protective items tested and, if nerve agent was 
used for this purpose, where was this nerve agent produced, 
and what is the present this position of the nerve agent? 
How much nerve agent was produced/spent in testing/remains? 
-- Declaration of the production of Schedule 1 chemicals for 
protective purposes is required under Part VI, section D, of 
the Verification Annex. 
A:  The Islamic Republic of Iran has never marketed itself as 
a world leader in development of IPE and chemical sensors, 
but considers itself as the biggest victim of chemical 
weapons.  Those parts of protective equipment products which 
require testing with nerve agent are tested by simulants, 
including DMMP according to existing standards which are 
mainly based on military standards which are also observed by 
the US.  This was verified by the OPCW inspectors in 2002 and 
2003 inspections at Iran's Other Facility.  The need to 
synthesize new agents is declared in the Anticipated 
Notwithstanding the I.R. of Iran, despite being the first 
victim of extensive application of nerve agent in the world, 
never produced and stockpiled any nerve agent.  We hope with 
this clarification and in the spirit of cooperation under 
article IX of the CWC this issue is not propagated in future. 
VII:  Questions to the US 
The Islamic Republic of Iran is concerned that CW stockpiles 
by possessor states, are not timely, according to the CWC 
destroyed.  The fact that the US will not be able to fulfill 
its commitment under the CWC to destroy all of its CW 
stockpiles within the time line envisaged by the Convention, 
is a great source of concern.  Therefore we would like the US 
to clarify the following questions by providing adequate 
- I.R. of Iran has concern that declarations of the US on its 
CW activities do not accurately reflect the factual status, 
in particular with regards to declarations and verification 
of the destruction of its CW stocks.  Could the US please 
provide the information on the latest development regarding 
the destruction of each of the remaining CW, including the 
future time schedules and detailed plans for complete 
- According to the decisions taken by the EC and CSPs of the 
OPCW, the I.R. of Iran is aware of the requests by some 
States Parties for the extension of the deadline for 
destruction of CW mainly due to financial or other 
constrains.  The I.R. of Iran joined consensus to grant 
extension of the deadline for the US, despite ambiguities 
about the real justification of such a request by the US as 
reflected in our intervention at the EC at the time, with the 
expectation of receiving well justified clarification in due 
course.  Does the US intend to retain such stocks for 
inter-alia; security, deterring and defensive purposes? 
- As far as we know the US has had extensive program for 
production of binary CW.  According to the US annual 
destruction plan 1997-2002 submitted to the OPCW, the US has 
not fully satisfied its obligation to destroy its Binary 
Components and after several times of postponing these 
destructions, has announced that it would expect to destroy 
all Binary Components by April 2007.  This would be a matter 
of concern.  We would like to know which kind of plans the US 
has for the fulfillment of its obligations under the CWC for 
the destruction of binary/multi component CW?  Could the US 
provide us the detail technical information on destiny of the 
- To the best of our knowledge the US has not yet provided 
complete information on carriers and launchers which were 
planned to be used for its CW program.  Could the US provide 
such information and the plan for their destruction? 
- It is known that the US has programs for production of 
non-lethal weapons, including anti-plant, riot control and 
anti-terrorism and the same for novel agents.  Could the US 
provide information in this regard and specify legitimacy of 
such programs under the CWC and its other international 
undertakings?  If such program exist which part of the US 
government is in charge of it and what production facilities 
are involved? 
- Based on our information the US has actively used toxic 
chemicals in covert operations in the past.  Could the US 
please inform the I.R. of Iran of its past CW offensive 
activities including covert operations using CW?  We wonder 
if the use of the use of toxic chemicals in such operations 
is still in the agenda of the US National Security plans? 
- Would the US please provide a list of schedule and discrete 
organic chemicals, which are produced or ordered by MoD or 
military sector and their inspection reports, if any? 
- We have found that paragraphs (b) of Sec. 229, (a) of Sec. 
302, (a) of Sec. 303, (f)(1) Sec. 304, (b)(2)(E) of Sec. 305, 
(c)(f) of Sec. 404 of the US National Legislation are 
inconsistent with paragraphs 1 and 4 of Article I and 
paragraphs 21 to 34 and 58 of part II, para. 12 of part X, 22 
of part VII, 51 of part VIII, 12 of part IX of the 
Verification Annex and paragraph 4 of Annex on 
Confidentiality of the CWC.  Could the US set a date to amend 
its legislation to render it consistent with the CWC 
- Would the US allow the TS to provide the latest copy of the 
reports of inspections carried out in the US's schedule 1 
production facilities to the I.R. of Iran? 
- Furthermore taking into account that the US has exported 
scheduled chemicals to the Middle East, would the US please 
provide a list of export of schedule 1 chemicals and their 
precursors to other countries (specially Iraq and Israel) 
since 1980 onward. 
3.  (U)  Javits sends. 

Latest source of this page is cablebrowser-2, released 2011-10-04