SECRETARY POWELL: Thank you very
much, Mr. President and Mr. Secretary-General, distinguished colleagues.
Mr. President, let me join my colleague in congratulating you on the assumption
of the presidency, and I know you will lead us in these difficult days with great
distinction. And let me also express to my German colleagues my thanks and admiration
for the stewardship that they provided to the council over the past month.
We meet today, it seems to me, with one question and one very, very important
question before us: Has the Iraqi regime made the fundamental strategic and political
decision to comply with the United Nations Security Council resolutions and to
rid itself of all of its weapons of mass destruction, all of the infrastructure
for the development of weapons of mass destruction? It's a question of intent
on the part of the Iraqi leadership.
The answer to that question does
not come from how many
inspectors are present or how much more time should
be given or how I was pleased to hear from both of these distinguished gentlemen
that there has been some continuing progress on process, and even some new activity
with respect to substance.
But I was sorry to learn that all of this
still is coming in a
grudging manner, that Iraq is still refusing to offer
what was called for by 1441: immediate, active and unconditional cooperation.
Not later, immediate. Not passive, active. Not conditional, unconditional in every
respect. Unfortunately, in my judgment, despite some of the progress that has
been mentioned, I still find what I have heard this morning a catalogue still
If Iraq genuinely wanted to disarm, we would not
have to be
worrying about setting up means of looking for mobile biological
units or any units of that they kind; they would be presented to us. We would
not need an extensive program to search for and look for underground facilities
that we know exist. The very fact that we must make these requests seems to me
to show that Iraq is still not cooperating.
The inspectors should not
have to look under every rock, go to every crossroad, peer into every cave for
evidence, for proof. And we must not allow Iraq to shift the burden of proof onto
the inspectors. Nor can we return to the failed bargain of Resolution 1284, which
offered partial relief for partial disclosure. Fourteen-forty one requires full
and immediate compliance, and we must hold Iraq to its
also heard this morning of an acceleration of Iraqi initiatives. I don't know
if we should call these things "initiatives." Whatever they are, Iraq's
small steps are certainly not initiatives. They are not something that came forward
willingly, freely from the Iraqis, they have been pulled out or have been pressed
out by the possibility of military force, by the political will of the Security
Council. They have been taken -- these initiatives, if that's what some would
choose to call them -- only grudgingly, rarely unconditionally, and primarily
under the threat of force.
We are told that these actions do not constitute
immediate cooperation, but that's exactly what is demanded by 1441. And even then,
progress is often more apparent than real.
I am pleased, very pleased
that some al-Samoud 2 missiles are now being broken up, although perhaps the process
of breaking them up has now paused for a moment.
And I know these are not
toothpicks, but real missiles, but the problem is, we don't know how many missiles
there are, how many toothpicks there are. We don't know whether or not the infrastructure
to make more has been identified and broken up. And we have evidence that shows
that the infrastructure to make more missiles continues to remain within Iraq
and has not yet been identified and destroyed.
There is still much more
to do. And frankly, it will not be possible to do that which we need to do unless
we get the full and immediate kind of cooperation that 1441 and all previous resolutions
The intent of the Iraqi regime to keep from turning over all
of its weapons of mass destruction, it seems to me, has not changed, not to cooperate
with the international community in the manner intended by 1441. If Iraq had made
that strategic decision to disarm, cooperation would be voluntary, even enthusiastic;
not coerced, not pressured. And that is the lesson we learned from South Africa
and the Ukraine, where officials did everything possible to ensure complete cooperation
I also listened to Dr. ElBaradei's report with great
As we all know, in 1991 the IAEA was just days away from determining
that Iraq did not have a nuclear program. We soon found out otherwise. IAEA is
now reaching a similar conclusion, but we have to be very cautious. We have to
make sure that we do keep the books open, as Dr. ElBaradei said he would. There
is dispute about some of these issues and about some of these specific items.
Dr. ElBaradei talked about the aluminum tubes that Iraq has tried to acquire
over the years, but we also know that, notwithstanding the report today, that
there is new information that is available to us and, I believe, available to
the IAEA about a European country where Iraq was found shopping for these kinds
of tubes; and that country has provided information to us, to IAEA, that the material
properties and manufacturing tolerances required by Iraq are more exact by a factor
of 50 percent or more than those usually specified for rocket motor casings. Its
experts concluded that the tolerances and specifications Iraq was seeking cannot
be justified for unguided rockets. And I'm very pleased that we will keep this
I also welcome the compilation of outstanding issues that
Dr. Blix and his staff have provided to some of us and will make available to
all of us. UNMOVIC put together a solid piece of research that adds up when one
reads the entire 167 pages -- adds up fact by chilling fact to a damning record
of 12 years of lies, deception and failure to come clean on the part of Iraq.
This document is in fact a catalogue of 12 years of abject failure, not by
the inspectors but by Iraq. We have looked carefully at the draft given to the
UNMOVIC commissioners and which will be available more widely after this meeting,
and we found nearly 30 instances where Iraq refused to provide credible evidence
substantiating its claims. We have counted 17 examples when the previous inspectors
actually uncovered evidence contradicting Iraqi claims. We see instance after
instance of Iraq lying to the previous inspectors and planting false evidence
-- activities which we believe are still ongoing. As you read this document, you
can see page after page of how Iraq has obstructed the inspectors at nearly every
turn over the years.
Just by way of example, we've talked about the R-400
bombs. The report says that during the period 1992 Iraq changed its declaration
on the quantity of bombs it had produced -- changed the declaration several times.
In 1992 it declared it had produced a total of 1,200 of these bombs. With the
admission finally, after it was pulled out of them, of an offensive biological
warfare program in 1995, this number was subsequently changed to a total of 1,550
Given the lack of specific information from Iraq, UNSCOM could
not calculate the total number of R-400 bombs that Iraq had produced for its programs.
And so, this report says, it has proved impossible to verify the production and
destruction details of R-400 bombs. UNMOVIC cannot discount the possibility that
some CW- and BW-filled R-400 bombs remain in Iraq.
In this document,
UNMOVIC says actions that Iraq could take to help resolve this question: present
any remaining R-400 bombs and all relevant molds; provide more supporting documentation
on production, inventory relating to the R-400 and R-400A bombs it manufactured;
provide further documentation explaining the coding system that it used with the
R-400-type bombs, including the coding assigned to specific CBW agents; provide
credible evidence that the R-400 bomb production line stopped after September
This is just one example of the kinds of documentation you'll all
be seeing. The question that leaps out at you is that these are issues, these
actions that Iraq is being asked to take they could have taken many times over
the preceding 12 years. We're not talking about immediately; we're talking about
why hasn't it been done over the last 12 years? And how can we rely on assurances
now in the presence of this solid record of lying and deceit over the years? These
questions could easily have been cleared up in Iraq's December 7th declaration.
There should not be these kinds of outstanding issues to work on. But there are.
And we will all examine them carefully.
The point is that this document
conclusively shows that Iraq had and still has the capability to manufacture these
kinds of weapons; that Iraq had and still has the capability to manufacture not
only chemical but biological weapons, and that Iraq had and still has literally
tens of thousands of delivery systems, including increasingly capable and dangerous
unmanned aerial vehicles. These are not new questions being presented for our
consideration. These are old questions that have not been resolved and could have
been resolved in December with the declaration or could have been fully resolved
over the last four months if Iraq had come forward and do what 1441 wanted it
In his report this morning, Dr. Blix remarked on the paucity of
information on Iraq's programs since 1998. We've all been working hard to fill
that gap. But Iraq is the one who could fill that gap if it was truly complying
with 1441. It would be inundating the inspectors with new information, not holding
it back begrudgingly.
The draft we reviewed today in preparation for
this meeting was 167 pages long. If Iraq were genuinely committed to disarmament,
Dr. Blix's document would not be 167 pages of issues and questions, it would be
thousands upon thousands of pages of answers about anthrax, about VX, about sarin,
about unmanned aerial vehicles. It would set
out in detail all of Iraq's prohibited
programs. Then, and only then, could the inspectors really do the credible job
they need to do of verification, destruction and monitoring.
down this road before. In March 1998, Saddam Hussein was also faced with the threat
of military action. He responded with promises, promises to provide inspectors
at that time with immediate, unconditional, and unrestricted access. The then-chief
inspector reported to this council a new spirit of cooperation, along with his
hope that the inspectors could move very quickly to verify Iraq's disarmament.
We know what happened to that hope. There was no progress on disarmament, and
nine months later, the inspectors found it necessary to withdraw.
that not much has changed. Iraq's current behavior,
like the behavior chronicled
in Dr. Blix's document, reveals its strategic decision to continue to delay, to
deceive, to try to throw us off the trail, to make it more difficult to hope that
the will of the international community will be fractured, that we will off in
different directions, that we will get bored with the task, that we will remove
the pressure, we will remove the force. And we know what has happened when that
has been done in the past.
We know that the Iraqis still are not volunteering
information, and when they do, what they are giving is often partial and misleading.
We know that when confronted with facts, the Iraqis still are changing their story
to explain those facts, but not enough to give us the truth.
the strategic decision been made to disarm Iraq of its
weapons of mass destruction
by the leadership in Baghdad? In my judgment, I think our judgment has to be clearly
not. And this is now the reality we, the council, must deal with.
Council membership carries heavy responsibility;
responsibility to the community
of nations to take the hard decisions on tough issues, such as the one we are
Last November, this council stepped up to its responsibilities.
We must not walk away. We must not find ourselves here this coming November with
the pressure removed and with Iraq once again marching down the merry path to
weapons of mass destruction, threatening the region, threatening the world. If
we fail to meet our responsibilities, the credibility of this council and its
ability to deal with all the critical challenges we face will suffer.
As we sit here, let us not forget the horrors still going on in
a spare moment to remember the suffering Iraqi people, whose treasure is spent
on these kinds of programs and not for their own benefit; people who are being
beaten, brutalized and robbed by Saddam and his regime.
now is the time for the council to send a clear
message to Saddam that we
have not been taken in by his transparent tactics. Nobody wants war, but it is
clear that the limited progress we have seen, the process changes we have seen,
the slight substantive changes we have seen come from the presence of a large
military force, nations who are willing to put their young men and women in harm's
in order to rid the world of these dangerous weapons. It doesn't come
simply from resolutions; it doesn't come simply from inspectors; it comes from
the will of this council, the unified political will of this council and the willingness
to use force if it comes to that to make sure that we achieve the disarmament
Now is the time for the council to tell Saddam that the clock
has not been stopped by his stratagems and his machinations. We believe that the
resolution that has been put forward for action by this council is appropriate
and in the very near future we should bring it before this council for a vote.
The clock continues to tick. And the consequences of Saddam Hussein's continued
refusal to disarm will be very, very real.