Chemical, Biological Weapons

Posted in Hassan Rouhani

Rouhani was a member of the Supreme National Security Council when it authorized the development of biological/chemical weapons in 1991.In 2003, Rouhani falsely claimed, “Weapons of mass destruction have no place in Iran's security strategy.”1  Rouhani was a member of the Supreme National Security Council (SNSC), Iran's top decision-making panel on defense and national security issues, when it authorized the development of chemical/biological weapons.

In 1991, Rouhani personally oversaw the implementation of Iran’s Comprehensive National Microbial Defense Plan, which expanded the country's nascent biological/chemical weapons research program into a full-fledged weapons development program.

Details of the Plan were first revealed as a press conference by the NCRI in Washington DC on May 15, 2003.

Iran established a chemical/biological weapons research program in 1985, during the Iran-Iraq War. Research facilities were set up at Tehran’s Pasteur Institute and Vira Laboratory (later renamed Sina Industry), under the direction of Gholamhossein Riazi. They succeeded in producing aflatoxin, a highly carcinogenic agent.2

Until the early 1990s, Iran’s chemical/biological weapons program focused on scientific research. The Comprehensive National Microbial Defense Plan, a four-page document, assigned specific tasks to military organizations and ministries to expand Iran’s chemical/biological capabilities.

Imam Hussein University, a military complex controlled by the IRGC, was tasked with developing weapons using anthrax, aflatoxin, smallpox, typhoid fever, plague, and chloromicrobes. Malek Ashtar University was directed to work on genetic cloning research.

Iran created the Special Chemical, Biological and Nuclear Industries organization within the Ministry of Defense to produce biological and chemical weapons, as well as procure needed technology.3

Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) was directed to procure foreign technology on WMDs, especially biological weapons. To assist Iran, chemical/biological weapons experts were recruited from China, North Korea, India, and Russia.

A US intelligence revealed that Iran had started production of weaponized anthrax spores, and was investigating other pathogens, including smallpox for its bioweapons arsenal.4

Other Iranian organizations involved in Iran’s chemical/biological weapons program are Milad Industry (in Mard-Abad), Be’ethat Industry (in Qom), and Sard-shimi Industry (in Shiraz).

In 2003, the NCRI said Iran intended to increase the number of personnel working on WMDs from 3,000 to 11,000.

Iran signed the Biological Weapons Convention on April 10, 1972 and it was ratified August 22, 1973.


1) "Nuclear Arms Have 'No Place' in iran's Strategy, Top Official Insists," Agence France Presse, June 4, 2003.

2) A 1989 US intelligence report said Iranian agents attempted to purchase two strains of fungi from Canada and the Netherlands, which could be used to produce T-2 mycotoxins. The samples, the report said, were likely for 'an Iranian government agency specializing in biological warfare." See "Iran's Nuclear Deterrent: Weapons of Mass Destruction Program," By David Eshel, Defense Update, April 4, 2004.

3) Two Swiss firms, Bio Engineering and MBR Company, sold fermenters to Iran in the 1990s. See Eshel's article listed below.

4) "Iran's National Deterrent: Weapons of Mass Destruction Program," by David Eshel, Defense Update, April 4, 2004.