Iraq used chemical weapons in Iran during the war in the 1980s, and Iraq also used mustard gas and nerve agents against Kurdish residents of Halabja, in Northern Iraq, in 1988. The horrific pictures of Halabja victims shocked the world at the time of the negotiations in Geneva on the Chemical Weapons Convention. The two most recent examples of the use of chemical weapons were the sarin poisoning incident in Matsumoto, a Japanese residential community, in 1994, and the sarin attack on the Tokyo subway in 1995, both perpetrated by the Aum Shinrikyu doomsday cult. These two attacks re-focussed international attention on the potential use of chemical weapons by terrorists, and on the dangers posed by chemical weapons.


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