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news agencies, January 12, 1990

Chemical Weapons: Bayer Investigated On Deal With Iran

The West German Government is investigating whether the chemical giant Bayer A.G. sold equipment to Iran that could be used to produce poisonous gases, West Germany's public prosecutor's office said today. Bayer, West Germany's third-largest chemical company, has previously denied the accusation, which first arose in November, that the equipment for producing dilute agricultural pesticides could be used to make chemical weapons.

Johannes Wilhelm, a spokesman for the prosecutor's office in Cologne, said the investigation centered on whether Bayer violated West Germany's foreign trade laws when the company supplied the equipment to Iran's Ghasvine chemical complex in 1987. He said the issue was whether Iran could use the equipment to make chemical weapons.