(CBS News) In a blistering statement delivered Thursday at a meeting of the international chemical weapons watchdog agency, U.S. Ambassador Robert Mikulak said the effort to remove Syria's toxic agents had "seriously languished and stalled," and blamed the government of President Bashar Assad for the delay.
The Syrian government has cited security concerns for causing the delays and has requested additional equipment including armored jackets for shipping containers, electronic countermeasures and detectors for improvised explosives. However, U.S. officials say the regime is causing the delay and that the security claims are without merit, suggesting a "bargaining mentality" from Damascus.
Under a timeline drawn up last year, the most toxic chemicals -- known as "priority 1" materials -- in Syria's 1,300-metric-ton stockpile were to have been removed from the country by Dec. 31, but that deadline was missed.
Advertisement - story continues below