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Syria Producing Chemical Weapons, German Arms Control Expert Reports

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Syria is producing chemical weapons and developing an advanced version of the Scud missile, according to a German arms control expert.

Wilhelm Dietl, a specialist in weapons sales, said Syria, aided by China and North Korea, is producing over 100 tons annually in chemical weapons and is working on an advanced Scud.

The report was given at an arms-control conference held at the Jewish community center here.

At the same time, Germany’s commitment to Israel remains strong, an official of the German Ministry of Economics said.

Joachim Jahnke said Bonn had declined a request from Iran to complete construction of a nuclear reactor near the town of Bashir. It had also turned down requests from Teheran for pesticides that could be used for military purposes, he said.

A representative of the Anti-Defamation League in Germany, addressing the three-day conference, called on stricter government control over the export of weapons of mass destruction.

Participants called on Germany to tighten control over export of “dual-use” technology to deter exploitation of civilian equipment for military purposes.

Dual-use technology is that which can be used for peaceable industrial use as well as for military purposes. It can therefore be classified for a common industrial use and pass customs restrictions.

The participants to the conference urged Bonn to take a more active role in strengthening an international accord aimed at the destruction of chemical weapons. Seventy nations are currently signatory to the agreement.

Speakers voiced concern that as Europe prepares to drop customs barriers in January, difficulties would increase in monitoring German arms exports.

An optimistic forecast came from Thomas Stock of the Swedish International Peace Research Center, who said Iraq’s chemical weapon stockpile would be destroyed before the summer of 1993.

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