Islamic Republic of Iran
Practice Relating to Rule 73. Biological Weapons
At the Fourth Review Conference of States Parties to the Biological Weapons Convention in 1996, the Islamic Republic of Iran stated that it believed in a total ban on the use of biological weapons which was explicit and devoid of judgemental interpretations. It noted:
The use of biological weapons is already in contradiction to the provisions and the spirit of the 1925 Geneva [Gas] Protocol and the [Biological Weapons Convention]. In fact, the predominant Opinio Juris considers the prohibition of use a matter of customary international law. Yet, lack of explicit reference in the Convention on the one hand, and persistence of reservations on the Geneva [Gas] Protocol on the other, can leave the door ajar for those who have held a different opinion in the past or may perhaps continue to do so in future.
At the Fifth Review Conference of States Parties to the Biological Weapons Convention in 2001, the Islamic Republic of Iran recalled the “urgent need for an international legally binding instrument, for the strengthening of the Convention to be followed by establishment of an organization in order to implement its provisions”. It added that it “supported the Ad Hoc Group negotiation and expected the successful conclusion and final adoption of a protocol”. According to the Islamic Republic of Iran, the fact that the use is not expressly included in the Convention can be solved by using one of these alternatives: “insert the clause ‘use’ in the title and Article I, or the reservation to Geneva Protocol be withdrawn”.
Furthermore, while exercizing its right of reply, it accused the United States of not complying with its obligation by “transferring deadly agents to Israel and other allies as well as conducting research and development in the area of biological weapons”.