Iraq Flag for Iraq


After pursuing every major category of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) prior to the 1991 Gulf War, Iraq has no active WMD programs today. Iraq dismantled its programs starting in 1991 but was subjected to international pressure regarding reconstitution of the programs, culminating in the 2003 U.S.-led invasion and occupation of Iraq.

See Iraq's preformance in:

Region   Middle East and North Africa

12,500 Liters of undeclared biological agents reportedly destroyed

1,000,000+ Estimated number of deaths by Iraqi chemical weapons during Iran-Iraq War

690+ Metric tons of chemical weapons agents destroyed by the UN

2 Cruise missile programs in operation from 1998 to 2002


  • Began nuclear weapons development under then-Vice President Saddam Hussein in the 1970s
  • IAEA Director General announced in 2003 that there was no evidence of a reconstituted nuclear program since the program was dismantled in the 1990s
  • Security concerns in 2014 regarding stolen radioactive material in former IS-controlled territory


  • Began research and development of a biological weapons program in 1975, ultimately producing large quantities of botulinum toxin, anthrax, and aflatoxin during the 1980s and early 1990s
  • 166 R400 bombs and 25 Al Hussein warheads were filled with biological agents and deployed but never used
  • Iraq Survey Group confirmed that Iraq abandoned its bioweapons program in 1991


  • Pursued ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, and unmanned aerial vehicles during the 1990s 
  • Concealed majority of ballistic missile program from the UN during 1990s inspections
  • Subject to missile strikes on U.S. occupational bases by Iran-backed militias


  • Used mustard gas and tabun against Iranian and Kurdish populations during Iran-Iraq War 
  • Unilaterally declared all chemical weapons disarmament issues were resolved in 1998
  • Various chemical weapons were found on the Iraqi black market after the 2003 Iraq War

Treaties and Regimes Memberships

See all Treaties & Regimes

Biological Weapons Convention (BTWC)

The BTWC mandates the elimination of existing biological weapons and prohibits developing, stockpiling, or using biological and toxin weapons.

Learn More

Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC)

The Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) requires countries to destroy all chemical weapons and prohibits developing, stockpiling, or using chemical weapons.

Learn More

Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT)

The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty bans all nuclear explosion tests on Earth. It needs eight key countries to ratify before entry into force.

Learn More


The NPT is a treaty aimed at limiting the spread of nuclear weapons through the three pillars of non-proliferation, disarmament, and peaceful use of nuclear energy.

Learn More


See All Facilities



More Analysis

Education Center

Extensive resources on nuclear policy, biological threats, radiological security, cyber threats and more.

Explore the Center


My Resources