Practice Relating to Rule 74. Chemical Weapons
Iraq’s Law of the Supreme Iraqi Criminal Tribunal (2005) identifies the following as a serious violation of the laws and customs of war applicable in international armed conflicts: “Using asphyxiating, poisonous or any other gases, as well as any other similar liquids, materials or devices”.
The Law of Administration for the State of Iraq for the Transitional Period (2004) states:
This Law is now established to govern the affairs of Iraq during the transitional period until a duly elected government, operating under a permanent and legitimate constitution achieving full democracy, shall come into being.
CHAPTER ONE – FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES
(A) The term “transitional period” shall refer to the period beginning on 30 June 2004 and lasting until the formation of an elected Iraqi government pursuant to a permanent constitution as set forth in this Law, which in any case shall be no later than 31 December 2005, unless the provisions of Article 61 are applied.
CHAPTER THREE – THE IRAQI TRANSITIONAL GOVERNMENT
(E) The Iraqi Transitional Government shall respect and implement Iraq’s international obligations regarding the non-proliferation, non-development, non-production, and non-use of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons, and associated equipment, materiel, technologies, and delivery systems for use in the development, manufacture, production, and use of such weapons.
Iraq’s Constitution (2006) states:
The Iraqi Government shall respect and implement Iraq’s international obligations regarding the non-proliferation, non-development, non-production, and non-use of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons, and shall prohibit associated equipment, materiel, technologies, and delivery systems for use in the development, manufacture, production, and use of such weapons.
Iraq’s Law on the National Monitoring Authority to Ban Nuclear, Chemical and Biological Weapons (2012) states:
The National Monitoring Authority to ban nuclear, chemical and biological weapons is hereby established and is affiliated to the Ministry of Science and Technology.
The Authority aims to prohibit the use of the Republic of Iraq’s territories and its regional waters and aerospace, as well as every location subject to Iraqi sovereignty, for any banned activities related to agreements and conventions on [the] non[-]proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons that the country is part of.
The Authority shall achieve its objectives through the following means:
First. Establishment of a national system for monitoring, authentication, and inspection, that ensures compliance of Iraq [with] international agreements and conventions on the non-proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons.
Second. Monitoring of peaceful activities to ensure that they are not turned into banned activities in accordance with agreements and conventions on the non-proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons in all parts of Iraq[,] including production, ownership, use, storage, export, import, shipment, transfer, disposal of, and management of any materials, equipment, and technologies or any other activities defined by the authority.
The Authority assumes the following tasks:
First. Pursue and follow-up [the] implementation of Iraq’s commitments to international, regional, and bilateral agreements and conventions and [their] attached protocols and control systems of import and export of materials related to nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, and consider the same as part of the Iraqi law.
. To ensure that no nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and any material related thereto are designed, or developed, or produced, or used, or transferred, or shipped, or imported, or exported within the territories of the [R]epublic of Iraq.
At the CDDH, Iraq supported the Philippine amendment (see infra
), since “the use of … gas had been prohibited for a very long time but the user was not liable to criminal proceedings. It was high time that the use of such appalling weapons was made a grave offence.”
In 1990, the Iraqi President, halfway through a long speech at a military award ceremony broadcast the next day on Baghdad Radio, stated: “We do not need an atomic bomb. We have the binary chemical al-kimawi al-muzdawij
. Let them take note of this. We have the binary chemical.”
In 1991, during a debate in the UN Security Council, Iraq stated that it had “undertaken the unconditional obligation not to use, develop, manufacture or acquire any material referred to in [Security Council Resolution 687 (1991)]”.
In 2012, in a speech at the ministerial meeting of the member States of the Non-Aligned Movement, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Iraq stated:
Iraq supports and works within the framework of [the] international community to have the Middle East free from mass destruction weapons, and nuclear weapons in particular, and supports efforts to hold the UN meeting [on a Middle East Weapons of Mass Destruction Free Zone] in Helsinki, Finland[,] next December to come out with positive results regarding making such area free of  said weapons, as failure of such meeting could only lead to more armament races in an area that is in dire need of stability and peace.