U.S. Avoids Sanctions Over Chemical Arms | Chemical & Engineering News
Volume 89 Issue 50 | p. 21 | Concentrates
Issue Date: December 12, 2011

U.S. Avoids Sanctions Over Chemical Arms

Department: Government & Policy
Keywords: chemical weapons

The U.S., Russia, and Libya will not be sanctioned or penalized for their inability to meet an approaching international deadline for the destruction of their stockpiles of chemical weapons. Instead, the countries will be required to comply with an enhanced reporting program, according to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. The body verifies compliance with the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), an international arms control treaty that took effect in 1997. In addition to banning future production of chemical weapons, the treaty obligates participating nations to eliminate their existing chemical arsenals by April 2012. The U.S., Russia, and Libya have acknowledged that they will not be able to meet the 2012 deadline. On Dec. 1, CWC member nations voted 101-1 in favor of a declaration calling on each of the three countries to devise a detailed plan by next spring “for the destruction of its remaining chemical weapons … in the shortest time possible.” Iran opposed the declaration and harshly criticized the U.S. for failing to meet its treaty obligations. However, Iran found no support for its view that the U.S. should be punished for its “noncompliance.”

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