Magazine article UN Chronicle

'Most Complex' Weapons Inspection Uncovers No Violations

Magazine article UN Chronicle

'Most Complex' Weapons Inspection Uncovers No Violations

Article excerpt

After completing its "largest, most complex" inspection, the Special Commission on Iraqi disarmament reported on 8 November that it had found no weapons prohibited under Security Council resolution 687 (1991).

Eighty-five inspectors from nine countries undertook the Commission's nineteenth ballistic missile inspection, visiting more than 30 sites between 30 September and 30 October. The team investigated possible caches of banned weapons and verified Iraqi declarations on its past weapons programmes and activities. Using state-of-the-art technology, including ground-penetrating radar mounted on specially-adapted helicopters, it surveyed sites in central, northern and western Iraq.

The Commission, in a report (S/26910) on activities from 14 June to 14 December, said Iraq had provided "all the support requested" by the inspection team.

However, the Commission's twelfth chemical weapons inspection team reported that Iraq refused a demand to interview army personnel near the site of an alleged chemical attack.

Inspectors, nevertheless, concluded on-site work on 21 November, finding no immediate evidence of chemical weapons use. The team collected soil, water, flora and fauna samples for laboratory analysis.

By mid-December, the Commission's Chemical Destruction Group completed its large-scale destruction of Iraq's stock of 155-millimetre mustard-agent-filled artillery shells. The Group expected to complete its work by mid-1994.

The international Atomic Energy Agency's (IAEA) twenty-second nuclear inspection team completed a two-week mission in Iraq from 1 to 15 November, reporting (S/1994/31) that the "inspection ran smoothly and the Iraqi side was helpful throughout". The team of 17 inspectors from nine nations conducted monitoring inspections at eight "core" sites of the former Iraqi nuclear programme.

It collected surface water along the Tigris-Euphrates watersheds, as part of a periodic radiometric survey. It verified equipment declarations and data on Iraqi centrifuge activities.

Detailed microscopic examinations were performed on nuclear material declared to have originated in Brazil. "Further corroboration will be sought with the assistance of the Brazilian Government", the report stated. …

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