|Wikileaks:||View 04THEHAGUE1224 at Wikileaks.org|
|Origin:||Embassy The Hague|
|Tags:||PARM AORC IR OPCW CWC CBM|
|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 SIPDIS NOFORN STATE FOR AC/CB, VC/CCB, AND NEA/NGA E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/19/2014 TAGS: PARM, AORC, IR, OPCW, CWC, CBM SUBJECT: CHEMICAL WEAPONS CONVENTION (CWC) - IRANIAN ANSWERS TO U.S. QUESTIONS REF: A. A) THE HAGUE 812 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 Declarations. 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 RESPONSE BY THE I.R. OF IRAN TO QUESTIONS BY THE U.S. 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 stockpile? 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 Facilities 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 declarations. 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 facilities? 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 Maneb. 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 Ministry. 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 Convention? 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 declared. 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 presence. -- When did this transfer from Imam Hossein to Ali Abad take place? 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 question. 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 Declaration. 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 information: - 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 destruction? - 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 key-components? - 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 SIPDIS its legislation to render it consistent with the CWC obligations? - 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. END TEXT. 3. (U) Javits sends. SOBEL
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