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Message Subject Welcome to the beginning of the end
Poster Handle Baldrick
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However, what has been lost in the shuffle is the fact that Iran is already producing chemical and biological weapons. These are weapons of mass destruction - and American policy is very clear: If attacked by chemical or biological weapons, the United States will respond with nuclear weapons. Iran's major chemical weapons production facility is based at Damghan, about 300 kilometers east of Tehran. American intelligence agencies estimate that Iran is producing 1,000 tons of chemical weapons a year, including mustard gas, phosgene, and various cyanide agents. These agents are older technology than the sarin nerve gas used in the 1995 Tokyo subway attack, but they can still kill.

Iran is also working on biological weapons as well. Intelligence agencies suspect Iran is working on smallpox, which officially has been eradicated save for samples being kept in the United States and Russia. Smallpox incubates for about 12 days, is highly contagious, and kills anywhere from 20 to 40 percent of its victims. Survivors are often left blind in at least one eye. Its nastiness is compounded by the fact that the last known case was in 1978, and there are very few, if any, physicians who have experience treating the disease.

Iran's other projects in the biological realm are biotoxins. Unlike biological weapons, they do not rely on having the initial victims infect more people. They are more accurately described as delayed-action chemical weapons. Iran is reportedly working on two types of biotoxins: Mycotoxins (fungi) and ricin. The mycotoxins would likely be used against food supplies - often to cause economic disruption. Ricin, which was used to lace a letter sent to Senator Bill Frist's office in 2004, is intended to kill victims directly - its most famous use being the assassination of Gregory Markov in London in 1978.

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