Compliance With the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on Their Destruction Condition 10(C) Report (Excerpts) (2018)

March 1, 2018

Weapon Program: 

  • Chemical

This Report is submitted consistent with Condition (10)(C) of the Resolution of Advice and Consent to Ratification of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction (CWC). The Convention was ratified by the United States on April 25, 1997, and entered into force on April 29, 1997. Condition (10)(C) provides that the President shall submit on January 1 annually to the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate and the Committee on International Relations of the House of Representatives a full and complete classified and unclassified report setting forth –

(i) a certification of those countries included in the Intelligence Community’s (IC) Monitoring Strategy, as set forth by the Director of Central Intelligence’s Arms Control Staff and the National Intelligence Council (or any successor document setting forth intelligence priorities in the field of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD)) that are determined to be in compliance with the Convention, on a country-by-country basis;

(ii) for those countries not certified pursuant to clause (i), an identification and assessment of all compliance issues arising with regard to adherence of the country to its obligations under the Convention;

(iii) the steps the United States has taken, either unilaterally or in conjunction with another State Party:

(I) to initiate challenge inspections of the noncompliant party with the objective of demonstrating to the international community the act of noncompliance;

(II) to call attention publicly to the activity in question; and

(III) to seek on an urgent basis a meeting at the highest diplomatic level with the noncompliant party with the objective of bringing the noncompliant party into compliance;

(iv) a determination of the military significance and broader security risks arising from any compliance issue identified pursuant to clause (ii); and

(v) a detailed assessment of the responses of the noncompliant party in question to action undertaken by the United States described in clause (iii).

It is the view of the United States that, in most cases, efforts to resolve compliance concerns discovered through review of declarations or inspection results should first be attempted through diplomatic means. This does not preclude or prevent the escalatory step of requesting challenge inspections, but diplomatic outreach is an initial mechanism to attempt to resolve compliance concerns before the need to resort to challenge inspection requests.

For its part, both as a matter of national policy and as a guide to national policy, the United States undertakes its own independent review – based upon the best available information, including intelligence information – of the compliance of CWC States Party with their obligations under the Convention. The United States believes that CWC States Party should be held to their obligations under the CWC, and places a high premium upon their compliance with specific declaration and implementation provisions (e.g., Articles III, IV, V, VI, and VII) and the “general obligations” provision under Article I.

Information and assessments in this Report are current as of December 31, 2017. This Report highlights new developments since the most recent Condition (10)(C) Report, and refrains from repeating much older information found in previously submitted reports.

The Technical Secretariat (TS) of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) reported, as of July 31, 2017, the following regarding Article VII implementation:

  1. Somalia and Timor-Leste, which became States Party in 2013 and 2003, respectively, have not yet designated a National Authority.

  2. Seventy-one States Party had not yet notified the TS of the adoption of implementing legislation and/or regulations that cover all the initial measures (scheduled chemical transfers, prohibitions, penalties, extraterritorial obligations, legal basis of regulations, establishment of national authority, other initial measures). They were: Afghanistan, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Armenia, The Bahamas, Bahrain, Barbados, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Brunei, Darussalam, Burma, Chad, Chile, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Gabon, Georgia, Ghana, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Iceland, Jamaica, Kenya, Kuwait, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Marshall Islands, Mongolia, Mozambique, Namibia, Nauru, Nepal, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Rwanda, Samoa, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Somalia, Suriname, Swaziland, Syria, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tuvalu, United Republic of Tanzania, Vanuatu, Venezuela, and Zimbabwe. 

  3. One State Party, Tonga, had not yet submitted its required initial declarations (due July 28, 2003) pursuant to the Convention. The TS is unable to fulfill its verification tasks with regard to this State Party.

As of December 31, 2017, there were 192 CWC States Party. Four other States have neither ratified nor acceded to the CWC and, therefore, are not States Party to the Convention (one signatory State, Israel, and three non-signatory States, Egypt, North Korea, and South Sudan).

States Parties that have not been certified in compliance with the CWC as of December 31, 2017, include Iran, Russia, and Syria. Due to the March 4, 2018 use of a military-grade nerve agent in an attack on two individuals in the United Kingdom and ongoing Syrian use of chemical weapons, the United States certifies that the Russian Federation and the Syrian Arab Republic are in non-compliance with their obligations under the CWC. Additional information is available in the 2018 classified version of the Condition (10)(C) Report and its annex.

COUNTRY ASSESSMENTS

ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF IRAN (IRAN)

FINDING

Based on available information, the United States cannot certify Iran has met its obligations under the Convention for declaration of its: (1) chemical weapons production facility (CWPF); (2) transfer of chemical weapons (CW); and (3) retention of an undeclared CW stockpile.

CONDUCT GIVING RISE TO COMPLIANCE CONCERNS

The Convention entered into force for Iran on December 3, 1997. Iran made its initial declaration in three separate submissions (June 1998, January 1999, and March 1999).

The United States does not have sufficient information to ascertain whether some Iranian facilities are involved in or intentionally retain the capability to produce CW agents. There are reports that Iran transferred CW munitions to Libya in the late 1980s. The United States also has insufficient information about possible CW activity prior to entry into force (EIF) of the Convention for Iran. There also is insufficient information concerning activities relevant to its riot control agent (RCA) declaration, and activities involving highly-potent pharmaceutical compounds.

ANALYSIS OF COMPLIANCE CONCERNS

In accordance with Article I, each State Party “undertakes to never under any circumstances 1. develop, produce, otherwise acquire stockpile or retain chemical weapons, or transfer, directly or indirectly, chemical weapons to anyone” and 2. “to destroy chemical weapons it owns or possesses…;” and under Article III each State Party is required to declare all chemical weapons activities including possession of RCAs.

Due to a combination of irregularities in the Iranian declaration and insufficient clarification from Iran, the United States cannot certify that Iran:

  1. Has met its CWPF declaration obligations, given the existence of possible CW-capable infrastructure, including the possibility of a clandestine production-on-demand capability dispersed among industrial chemical plants and at military-owned facilities;
  2. Does not maintain a suspected undeclared CW stockpile;
  3. Has fully declared those chemicals it holds for riot-control purposes; and
  4. Has declared all CW transfers, in particular, any from Iran to Libya.

Iran’s Compliance with Articles VII and X Obligations

The OPCW TS reported that Iran has fully implemented legislation under Article VII of the CWC that includes penal provisions and measures to control transfers of scheduled chemicals. As part of its obligations under paragraph 4 of Article X of the CWC, Iran has acknowledged that it has a national protection program and has submitted declarations annually. Iran has also committed to support, by bilateral agreements, as well as through unilateral offers, assistance measures under paragraph 7 of Article X.

EFFORTS TO RESOLVE COMPLIANCE CONCERNS

On the margins of OPCW Executive Council (EC) meetings in 2001 and 2004, the United States engaged the Iranian delegation about Iran’s CWC compliance. The outcome of the discussions did not resolve any of the issues. Since 2004 and through the end of the reporting period, there have been no CWC compliance discussions between the United States and Iran.

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