Iraq’s use of chemical weapons in the 1980-8 Iran-Iraq war, arguably the most serious arms control challenge to the authorities of the IRI prior to the post-2002 diplomatic crisis over the Iranian nuclear program, was a crucial factor in leading post-Pahlavi Iran to adopt an active diplomatic orientation in the area of arms control. The IRI’s powerlessness in the face of Iraq’s chemical warfare prompted Iranian

leaders to make use of all available multilateral diplomatic fora for drawing international attention to Iraq’s military employment of chemical agents. Iran’s sobering experience as a victim of chemical weapons use also convinced the leaders of the IRI that alongside with improving Iran’s military preparedness against chemical armaments and other WMD, they needed to strengthen the IRI’s participation in diplomatic debates dealing with such armaments.