MR. BLIX: Mr. President, since I
reported to the Security Council on 27th of January, UNMOVIC has had further --
two further weeks of operational and analytical work in New York and active inspections
This brings the total period of inspections so far to 11 weeks.
Since then, we have also listened on the 5th of February to the presentation
to the council by the U.S. secretary of State and the discussion that followed.
Lastly, Dr. ElBaradei and I have held another round of talks in Baghdad with our
counterparts and with Vice President Ramadan on the 8th and 9th of February.
Let me begin today's briefing with a short account of the work being performed
by UNMOVIC in Iraq. We have continued to build up our capabilities. The regional
office in Mosul is now fully operational at its temporary headquarters. Plans
for a regional office in -- at Basra are being developed.
L-100 aircraft continues to operate routine flights between Baghdad and Larnaca.
The eight helicopters are fully operational. With the resolution of the problems
raised by Iraq for the transportation of minders into the no-fly zones, our mobility
in these zones has improved. We expect to increase utilization of the helicopters.
The number of Iraqi minders during inspections has often reached a ratio
-- had also reached a ratio as high as five per inspectors. During the talks in
January in Baghdad, the Iraqi side agreed to keep the ratio to about one to one.
The situation has improved.
Since we arrived in Iraq, we have conducted
more than 400 inspections covering more than 300 sites. All inspections were performed
without notice, and access was almost always provided promptly. In no case have
we been -- seen convincing evidence that the Iraqi side knew in advance that the
inspectors were coming.
The inspections have taken place throughout Iraq
at industrial sites, ammunition depots, research centers, universities, presidential
sites, mobile laboratories, private houses, missile production facilities, military
camps and agricultural sites.
At all sites which had been inspected before
1998, rebaselining activities were performed. These included the identification
of the function and contents of each building, new or old, at a site. It also
included verification of previously tagged equipment, application of seals and
tags, taking samples, and discussions with the site's personnel regarding past
and present activities. At certain sites, ground-penetrating radar was used to
look for underground structures or buried equipment.
Through the inspections
conducted so far, we have obtained a good knowledge of the industrial and scientific
landscape of Iraq as well as of its missile capability, but, as before, we do
not know every cave and corner. Inspections are effectively helping to bridge
the gaps in knowledge that arose due to the absence of inspections between December
1998 and November 2002.
More than 200 chemical and more than 100 biological
samples have been collected at different sites. Three-quarters of these have been
screened using our own analytical laboratory capabilities at the Baghdad center.
The results to date have been consistent with Iraqi declarations.
have now commenced the process of destroying approximately 50 liters of mustard
gas declared by Iraq that was being kept under UNMOVIC's seal at the Muthanna
site. One-third of the quantity has already been destroyed. The laboratory quantity
of thiodiglycol, a mustard gas precursor which we found at another site, has also
The total number of staff in Iraq now exceeds 250, 250
from 60 countries. This includes about 100 UNMOVIC inspectors, 15 IAEA inspectors,
15 air crew, and 65 support staff.
Mr. President, in my 27th of January
update to the council, I said that it seemed from our experience that Iraq had
decided in principle to provide cooperation on process, most importantly on prompt
access to all sites and assistance to UNMOVIC in the establishment of the necessary
This impression remains, and we note that access to sites
has, so far, been without problems, including those that have never been declared
or inspected, as well as to presidential sites and private residences.
In my last updating, I also said that a decision to cooperate on substance was
indispensable in order to bring, through inspection, the disarmament task to completion
and to set the monitoring system on a firm course. Such cooperation, as I have
noted, requires more than the opening of doors. In the words of Resolution 1441,
it requires immediate, unconditional, and active efforts by Iraq to resolve existing
questions of disarmament, either by presenting remaining proscribed items and
programs for elimination, or by presenting convincing evidence that they have
In the current situation, one would expect Iraq to be
eager to comply. While we were in Baghdad, we meet a delegation from the government
of South Africa. It was there to explain how South Africa gained the confidence
of the world in its dismantling of the nuclear weapons program by a wholehearted
cooperation over two years with IAEA inspectors. I have just learned that Iraq
has accepted an offer by South Africa to send a group of experts for further talks.
How much, if any, is left of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction and related
proscribed items and programs? So far, UNMOVIC has not found any such weapons,
only a small number of empty chemical munitions, which should have been declared
Another matter, and one of great significance, is that
many proscribed weapons and items are not accounted for. To take an example, a
document which Iraq provided suggested to us that some 1,000 tons of chemical
agent were unaccounted for.
I must not jump to the conclusion that they
exist. However, that possibility is also not excluded. If they exist, they should
be presented for destruction. If they do not exist, credible evidence to that
effect should be presented.
We are fully aware that many government
and intelligence organizations are convinced and assert that proscribed weapons,
items and programs continue to exist. The U.S. Secretary of State presented material
in support of this conclusion. Governments have many source of information that
are not available to inspectors. The inspectors, for their part, must base their
reports only on the evidence which they can themselves examine and present publicly.
Without evidence, confidence cannot arise.
Mr. President, in my earlier
briefings, I have noted that significant outstanding issues of substance were
listed in two Security Council documents from early 1999, and should be well known
to Iraq. I referred as examples to the issues of anthrax, the nerve agent VX and
long-range missiles and said that such issues, and I quote myself, "deserve
to be taken seriously by Iraq rather than being brushed aside," unquote.
The declaration submitted by Iraq on the 7th of December last year,
despite its large volume, missed the opportunity to provide the fresh material
and evidence needed to respond to the open questions. This is perhaps the most
important problem we are facing. Although I can understand that it may not be
easy for Iraq in all cases to provide the evidence needed, it is not the task
of the inspectors to find it. Iraq itself must squarely tackle this tax and avoid
belittling the questions.
In my January update to the council, I referred
to the Al-Samoud 2 and the Al-Fatah missiles, reconstituted casting chambers,
construction of a missile (agenda ?) and test stand, and the import of rocket
engines, which were all declared to UNMOVIC by Iraq.
I noted that the Al-Samoud
2 and the Al-Fatah could very well represent prime facie cases of proscribed missile
systems, as they had been tested to ranges exceeding the 150 kilometers limit
set by the Security Council. I also noted that Iraq had been requested to cease
flight test of these missiles until UNMOVIC completed a technical review.
Earlier this week UNMOVIC missile experts met for two days with experts from
a number of member states to discuss these items. The experts concluded unanimously
that based on the data provided by Iraq, the two declared variants of the Al-Samoud
2 missile were capable of exceeding 150 kilometers in range. This missile system
is therefore proscribed for Iraq, pursuant to Resolution 687 and the monitoring
plan adopted by Resolution 715.
As for the Al-Fatah, the experts found
that clarification of the missile data supplied by Iraq was required before the
capability of the missile system could be fully assessed.
to the casting chambers, I note the following. UNSCOM ordered and supervised the
destruction of the casting chambers, which had been intended for use in the production
of the proscribed Badar 2000 missile system. Iraq has declared that it has reconstituted
these chambers. The experts have confirmed that the reconstituted casting chambers
could still be used to produce motors for missiles capable of ranges significantly
greater than 150 kilometers. Accordingly, these chambers remain proscribed.
The expert also studied the data on the missile engine test stand that is
nearing completion and had assessed it to be capable of testing missile engines
with thrusts greater than that of the SA-2 engine. So far the test stand has not
been associated with a proscribed activity.
On the matter of the 380
SA-2 missile engines imported outside of the export-import mechanism, and in contravention
of Paragraph 24 of Resolution 687, UNMOVIC inspectors were informed by Iraq during
an official briefing that these engines were intended for use in the Al- Samoud
2 missile system, which has now been assessed to be proscribed. Any such engines
configured for use in this missile system would also be proscribed. I intend to
communicate these findings to the government of Iraq.
At the meeting
in Baghdad on the 8th and the 9th of February, the Iraqi side addressed some of
the important outstanding disarmament issues and gave us a number of papers; for
instance, regarding anthrax and growth material, the nerve agent VX, and missile
Experts who were present from our side studied the papers
during the evening of 8th of February and met with Iraqi experts in the morning
of 9 February for further clarifications. Although no new evidence was provided
in the papers and no open issues were closed through them or the expert discussions,
the presentation of the papers could be indicative of a more active attitude focusing
on the important open issues.
The Iraqi side suggested that the problem
of verifying the quantities of anthrax and two VX precursors, which had been declared
unilaterally destroyed, might be tackled through certain technical and analytical
methods. Although our experts are still assessing the suggestions, they are not
very hopeful that it could prove possible to assess the quantities of material
poured into the grounds years ago. Documentary evidence and testimony by the staff
that dealt with the items still appears to be needed.
Not least, against
this background, a letter on the 12th of February from Iraq's National Monitoring
Directorate may be of relevance. It presents a list of 83 names of participants,
I quote, "in the unilateral destruction in the chemical field which took
place in the summer of 1991." Unquote. As the absence of adequate evidence
of that destruction has been and remains an important reason why quantities of
chemicals had been deemed unaccounted for, the presentation of a list of persons
who can be interviewed about the actions appears useful and pertains to cooperation
on substance. I trust that the Iraqi side will put together a similar list of
names of persons who participated in the unilateral destruction of other proscribed
items, notably in the biological field.
The Iraqi side also informed
us that the commission which had been appointed in the wake of our finding 12
empty chemical weapons warheads had its mandate expanded to look for any still
existing proscribed items. This was welcomed. A second commission, we learned,
has now been appointed with a task of searching all over Iraq for more documents
relevant to the elimination of proscribed items and programs. It is headed by
the former minister of Oil, General Amer Rashid, and is to have very extensive
powers of search in industry, administration, and even private houses.
two commissions could be useful tools to come up with proscribed items to be destroyed
and with new documentary evidence. They evidently need to work fast and effectively
to convince us and the world that it is a serious effort.
of private interviews was discussed at length during our meeting in Baghdad. The
Iraqi side confirmed the commitment which it had made to us on the 20th of January
to encourage persons asked to accept such interviews, whether in or out of Iraq.
So far, we have only had interviews in Baghdad. A number of persons have declined
to be interviewed unless they were allowed to have an official present or were
allowed to tape the interview. Three persons that had previously refused interviews
on UNMOVIC's terms subsequently accepted such interviews just prior to our talks
in Baghdad on the 8th and 9th of February.
These interviews proved informative.
No further interviews have since been accepted on our terms. I hope this will
change. We feel that interviews conducted with (sic) any third party present and
without tape recording would provide the greatest credibility.
recent meeting in Baghdad, as on several earlier occasions, my colleague Dr. ElBaradei
and I had urged the Iraqi side to enact legislation implementing the U.N. prohibitions
regarding weapons of mass destruction. This morning we had a message that a presidential
decree has now been issued containing prohibitions with regard to importation
and production of biological, chemical and nuclear weapons. We have not yet had
time to study the details of the text of the decree.
Mr. President, I
should like to make some comments on the role of intelligence in connection with
inspections in Iraq. A credible inspection regime requires that Iraq provide full
cooperation on process, granting immediate access everywhere to inspectors; and
on substance, providing full declarations supported by relevant information and
material and evidence. However, with the closed society in Iraq of today and the
history of inspections there, other sources of information, such as defectors
and government intelligence agencies, are required to aid the inspection process.
remember myself how in the 1991, several inspections in Iraq, which were based
on the information received from a government, helped to disclose important parts
of the nuclear weapon program. It was realized that an international organization
authorized to perform inspections anywhere on the ground could make good use of
the information obtained from governments, with eyes in the sky, ears in the ether,
access to defectors and both eyes and ears on the market for weapons-related material.
It was understood that the information residing in the intelligence services government
could come to very active use in the international effort to prevent proliferation
of weapons of mass destruction. This remains true, and we have by now a good deal
of experience in the matter.
International organizations need to analyze
such information critically and especially benefit when it comes from more than
one source. The intelligence agencies, for their part, must protect their sources
and methods. Those who provide such information must know that it will be kept
in strict confidence and be known to very few people.
UNMOVIC has achieved
good working relations with intelligence agencies, and the amount of information
provided has been gradually increasing. However, we must recognize that there
are limitations, that misinterpretations can occur.
has been useful for UNMOVIC. In one case, it led us to a private home where documents
mainly relating to laser enrichment of uranium were found. In other cases, intelligence
has led to sites where no proscribed items were found. Even in such cases, however,
inspection of these sites were useful in proving the absence of such items and
in some cases, the presence of other items, conventional munitions. It showed
that conventional arms are being moved around the country and that movements are
not necessarily related to weapons of mass destruction.
of intelligence information by the U.S. Secretary of state suggested that Iraq
had prepared for inspections by cleaning up sites and removing evidence of proscribed
weapons programs. I would like to comment only on one case which we are familiar
with, namely, the trucks identified by analysts as being for chemical decontamination
at the munitions depot. This was a declared site, and it was certainly one of
the sites Iraq would have expected to be to inspect -- us to inspect. We have
noted that the two satellite images of the site were taken several weeks apart.
The report of movement of munitions at the site could just as easily had been
a routine activity as a movement of proscribed munitions in anticipation of imminent
Our reservation on this point does not detract from your appreciation
of the briefing.
Yesterday UNMOVIC informed the Iraqi authorities of
to start the U-2 surveillance aircraft early next week, under
arrangements similar to those UNSCOM had followed. We are also in the process
of working out modalities for the use of the French Mirage aircraft, starting
late next week, and for the Drones supplied by the German government. The offer
from Russia of an Antonov aircraft with night vision capabilities is a welcome
one and is next on our agenda for further improving UNMOVIC's and IAEA's technical
capabilities. These developments are in line with suggestions made in a "non-paper"
recently circulated by France suggesting a further strengthening of the inspection
It is our intention to examine the possibilities for surveying
ground movements, notably trucks. In the face of persistent intelligence reports
-- for instance, about mobile biological-weapons production units -- such measures
could well increase the effectiveness of inspections.
UNMOVIC is still
expanding its capabilities, both in terms of numbers of staff and technical resources.
On my way to the recent Baghdad meeting, I stopped in Vienna to meet 60 experts
who just completed our general training course for inspectors. They came from
22 countries, including Arab countries.
Mr. President, UNMOVIC is not
infrequently asked how much more time it needs to complete its task in Iraq. The
answer depends upon which task one has in mind: the elimination of weapons of
mass destruction and related items and programs, which were prohibited in 1991;
the disarmament task; or the monitoring that no new proscribed activities occur.
The latter task, though not often focused upon, is highly significant
and not controversial. It will require monitoring, which is ongoing -- that is,
open-ended -- until the council decides otherwise.
By contrast, the task
for disarmament foreseen in Resolution 687 and the progress on key remaining disarmament
tasks, foreseen in Resolution 1284, as well as the disarmament obligations, which
Iraq was given a final opportunity to comply with under Resolution 1441, were
always required to be fulfilled in a shorter time span.
the high degree of cooperation required of Iraq for disarmament through inspection
was not forthcoming in 1991.
Despite the elimination under UNSCOM and the
IAEA supervision of large amounts of weapons, weapons-related items and installations
over the years, the task remained incomplete when inspectors were withdrawn
almost eight years later, at the end of 1998.
If Iraq had provided the
necessary cooperation in 1991, the face of disarmament under Resolution 687 could
have been short, and a decade of sanctions could have been avoided. Today, three
months after the adoption of Resolution 1441, the period of disarmament through
inspection could still be short, if, I quote, "immediate, active and unconditional
cooperation," unquote, with UNMOVIC and the IAEA were to be forthcoming.
Thank you, Mr. President.