Does Iran Have Chemical Weapons?
As Iran quickly approaches its nuclear breakout time, the U.S. and its regional adversaries must consider the potential scale and scope of the regime’s asymmetrical warfare endeavors. While the extent of Iran’s ability to obtain weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and the technology to deliver them remains murky, the regime’s pursuit of nuclear and ballistic-missile capabilities has only intensified over the years.Though the Islamic Republic denies possessing any chemical weapons today, open-source reports tracking the import of dual-use materials into Tehran support the theory that the regime does have some sort of program in place.
In the 1980’s, Iranian soldiers suffered greatly from Iraq’s use of chemical warfare during the eight-year-long Iran-Iraq War. The Iraqi forces, led by Ba’athist President Saddam Hussein, justified its use of chemical weapons by claiming Iran employed the tactic first. Throughout the war, Iraq used mustard agents among other chemicals in various battles, resulting in approximately 100,000 Iranian deaths. Even more soldiers and civilians were injured and suffered from long-term health conditions.
A 1987 U.N report concluded that “Iraqi forces have been affected by mustard gas and a pulmonary eleme …