Excerpts from the statements today by chief U.N. weapons inspector Hans Blix and International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Mohamed ElBaradei to the Security Council. Blix's report covered the inspections of Iraq's chemical and biological weapons programs; ElBaradei's covered nuclear weapons programs.
Iraq appears not to have come to a genuine acceptance -- not even today -- of the disarmament, which was demanded of it and which it needs to carry out to win the confidence of the world and to live in peace. . . .
Cooperation might be said to relate to both substance and process. It would appear from our experience so far that Iraq has decided in principle to provide cooperation on process, notably access. A similar decision is indispensable to provide cooperation on substance in order to bring the disarmament task to completion through the peaceful process of inspection and to bring the monitoring task on a firm course. . . .
Iraq has on the whole cooperated rather well so far with UNMOVIC [U.N. Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission]. . . . The most important point to make is that access has been provided to all sites we have wanted to inspect and with one exception it has been prompt. . . .
There are strong indications that Iraq produced more anthrax than it declared, and that at least some of this was retained after the declared destruction date. It might still exist. Either it should be found and be destroyed under UNMOVIC supervision or else convincing evidence should be produced to show that it was indeed destroyed in 1991. . . .
There are questions to be answered concerning the fate of the VX [nerve gas] precursor chemicals, which Iraq states were lost during bombing in the Gulf War or were unilaterally destroyed by Iraq. . . .
The document [from Iraqi Air Force headquarters handed over to a U.N. inspector on Nov. 30] indicates that 13,000 chemical bombs were dropped by the Iraqi Air Force between 1983 and 1988, while Iraq has declared that 19,500 bombs were consumed during this period. Thus, there is a discrepancy of 6,500 bombs. . . .
Iraq also declared the recent import of chemicals used in propellants, test instrumentation and guidance and control systems. . . . What is clear is that they were illegally brought into Iraq -- that is, Iraq or some company in Iraq, circumvented the restrictions imposed by various resolutions. . . .
While we now have the technical capability to send a U-2 plane placed at our disposal for aerial imagery and for surveillance during inspections and have informed Iraq that we planned to do so, Iraq has refused to guarantee its safety . . . [and] Iraq is not so far complying with our request. . . .
To date, 11 individuals were asked for interviews in Baghdad by us. The replies have invariably been that the individual will only speak at Iraq's monitoring directorate or, at any rate, in the presence of an Iraqi official. . . . At our recent talks in Baghdad, the Iraqi side committed itself to encourage persons to accept interviews "in private," that is to say alone with us. Despite this, the pattern has not changed. However, we hope that with further encouragement from the authorities, knowledgeable individuals will accept private interviews, in Baghdad or abroad. . . .
UNMOVIC, for its part, is not presuming that there are proscribed items and activities in Iraq, but nor is it . . . presuming the opposite, that no such items and activities exist in Iraq. Presumptions do not solve the problem. Evidence and full transparency may help. . . .
When Iraq claims that tangible evidence in the form of documents is not available, it ought at least to find individuals, engineers, scientists and managers to testify about their experience. . . .
No prohibited nuclear activities have been identified during these inspections. A particular issue of focus has been the attempted procurement by Iraq of high-strength aluminum tubes, and the question of whether these tubes, if acquired, could be used for the manufacture of nuclear centrifuges. Iraqi authorities have indicated that their unsuccessful attempts to procure the aluminum tubes related to a program to reverse-engineer conventional rockets. . . . From our analysis to date it appears that the aluminum tubes would be consistent with the purpose stated by Iraq and, unless modified, would not be suitable for manufacturing centrifuges; however, we are still investigating this issue. . . .
Another area of focus has been to determine how certain other "dual use" materials have been relocated or used; that is, materials that could be used in nuclear weapons production but also have other legitimate uses. . . .. The whereabouts and final use of the removed material are matters that will require further investigation A fourth focal point has been the investigation of reports of Iraqi efforts to import uranium after 1991. The Iraqi authorities have denied any such attempts. . . . At this stage, however, we do not have enough information, and we would appreciate receiving more. . . .
We have to date found no evidence that Iraq has revived its nuclear weapons program since its elimination of the program in 1990s. However, our work is steadily still in midstream, progressing and should be allowed to run its natural course. With our verification system now in place, barring exceptional circumstances, and provided there is sustained proactive cooperation by Iraq, we should be able within the next few months to provide credible assurance that Iraq has no nuclear weapons program. . . . These few months would be a valuable investment in peace because they could help us avoid a war.