World Report

LONDON (JPS) — Iran and Syria have some of the largest stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons in the Third World, as well as the means of delivering those weapons, according to reports published in London this week.

The authoritative, London-based journal Jane's Defence Weekly reported Wednesday that Iran's stockpile includes "several thousand tons" of chemical weapons agents, including sulfur mustard, phosgene and cyanide.

It also quotes a CIA report as saying Iran has the ability to deliver chemical weapons by means of artillery, mortars, rockets, aerial bombs "and possibly even Scud warheads."

Meanwhile, a sister publication, Jane's Sentinel, reports that Syria has the most advanced chemical weapons program in the Arab world and relatively sophisticated missiles for delivering these weapons.

A range of chemical weapons is reported to be manufactured at facilities near Damascus, at the village of Safira, near Aleppo, and at a site near Hama, with assistance from China, North Korea and Iran.

Swiss to consider bill on looted assets

NEW YORK (JTA) — A draft bill that would allow an expanded Swiss government probe of Holocaust-era Jewish bank accounts has been introduced into the Swiss parliament.

The move comes as a six-member commission set up by the World Jewish Restitution Organization, the World Jewish Congress and the Swiss Bankers Association is seeking to determine the whereabouts of money deposited in Switzerland by Jews during the World War II era.

The commission had called on the government to take part in the investigation.

The commission, which last month named U.S. Federal Reserve Board Chairman Paul Volcker as its head, is also seeking to uncover looted Jewish assets that were deposited into Nazi accounts.