WASHINGTON (Jan. 18)
The State Department expressed concern Wednesday that some countries are developing biological weapons. But officials refused to confirm that one of them is Iraq.
“We do believe that some nations are at work on a biological warfare capability,” department spokesman Charles Redman said. “I can’t identify them further for intelligence reasons.”
Redman was reacting to an ABC-TV news report Tuesday evening that Iraq is producing and stockpiling biological weapons that can spread typhoid, cholera and anthrax.
Israel has asked the United States to tell Iraq that unless this is stopped, Israel will de-story the plant that is producing them, ABC said. The network said the plant is believed to be located south of Baghdad.
“The United States is very concerned about the spread of this particularly horrible form of warfare in the world,” Redman said. “Regardless of what countries are involved, we call upon all nations to comply with the international agreements banning these weapons,” he said.
Redman said there are two international agreements involved, which most countries, including Iraq, have signed.
The first is the 1925 Geneva Protocol, which bans biological as well as chemical warfare, he said. The second is a 1972 agreement which bans “the development, production, stockpiling or transfer of biological weapons.”