In August 1998, in what was my last meeting with Tariq Aziz as a weapons inspector, he lambasted the lack of progress after more than seven years of inspections. "The truth is that Iraq has no proscribed weapons or capabilities in any areas within the mandate of the Special Commission... Your duty is to take the direct political responsibility and report the truth."
During and immediately after the first gulf War, more than 200,000 of 700,000 U.S. troops sent to Iraq and Kuwait in January 1991 were exposed to nerve gas and other chemical agents. Though aware of this, the Department of Defense and CIA launched a campaign of lies and concocted a cover-up that continues today.
The removal from Syria of the Assad regime's stockpile of chemical weapons shows that joint efforts can yield positive results. Likewise, by agreeing to extend the international negotiations on Iran's nuclear program, the parties to the talks have kept alive the promise of a final deal, which would be a great victory for multilateral diplomacy.