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UN experts say chemicals were used in Gulf war

Chemical weapons have been used in the Persian Gulf war, specialists appointed by UN Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar reported Monday after a six-day visit to Iran earlier this month.

The experts - toxicologists from Australia, Spain, Switzerland, and Sweden - said mustard gas and a nerve agent known as tabun were used. ''The extent to which these chemical agents have been used could not be determined within the time and resources available to us,'' they said.

Diplomats in Tehran told Reuters Tuesday the most significant part of the experts' report was confirmation of the use of tabun, a gas developed and used by the Nazis in Germany before and during World War II. It has a ''horrific and agonizing effect'' on its victims, the diplomats said.

The 28-page report did not identify Iraq as the source of the outlawed chemical warfare. Iran, which called for the UN inquiry, has charged that Iraq has repeatedly attacked its fighters with chemical agents. Iraq has denied the allegations.

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