Ploughshares Fund Deplores the Use of Chemical Weapons

September 10, 2013

Washington, DC - Ploughshares Fund deplores the use of chemical weapons. We express our heartfelt concern for the suffering of the Syrian people. There is every reason to believe that the regime of President Bashar al-Assad used chemical weapons in large quantities against innocent men, women and children. Use of these weapons violates international law and norms. It shocks the human conscience and must not go unanswered. 

We agree that a diplomatic solution to prevent the further use of these weapons by Syria is the preferred route, and the only sustainable approach over the long term. We applaud the commitment of President Barack Obama to work with the United Nations and the international community to negotiate the surrender of Syria's chemical weapons and to implement a verifiable process that will result in their ultimate destruction. Ploughshares Fund is confident that the experience and expertise of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons can significantly contribute to achieving this goal.

We also believe that the multiple challenges in and connected to the Middle East require significant attention, particularly as new opportunities for resolving the nuclear crisis with Iran have developed with a new government in Tehran. All efforts should be made to engage America's allies and adversaries alike in pursuit of core American security objectives in the region, including, most importantly, preventing the development, production or use of chemical, biological and nuclear weapons.