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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Tracking Inspections: 15 DECEMBER 2002

A team of UNMOVIC inspectors visited the Institute of Plasma and Vaccination belonging to the Iraqi Ministry of Health, the Foreign Ministry reported. The institute produces "some kinds of human vaccinations, several chemical diagnoses, and several medical instruments to identify tuberculosis and typhoid fever," the ministry stated. The team split into two groups, one checking instruments and previously tagged machines. The other group visited the "storage of waste materials, fuel...chemical materials, and...the imported vaccinations," the Foreign Ministry stated.

Meanwhile, IAEA inspectors went to the Umm Al-Marik Company, 20 kilometers south of Baghdad, belonging to the MIO. Inspectors questioned the assistant manager about buildings constructed after 1998 and visited workshops. It also inquired about the stages of producing the 81-millimeter missile. Inspectors also checked machines that were imported by Iraq after 1998. UNMOVIC stated that Al-Marik "was previously involved in the Electromagnetic Isotope Separation (EMIS) program prior to 1991." IAEA inspectors also went to the Al-Qadissiya Company where they visited several plants and workshops, as well as checked equipment against declarations, according to the Foreign Ministry. UNMOVIC reported that Al-Qadissiya is a facility that provides engineering support to the military. The inspectors then went to the Badr General Company (MIO) and visited the factory and a mold plant, the ministry stated. UNMOVIC stated that the Badr Company was previously involved in the centrifuge program prior to 1991. All three sites are said to have "dual-use" machine tools by the UN.

The Foreign Ministry reported that a second group of IAEA inspectors took water, soil, and plant samples from the following areas: Al-Rustumia Station (waste water treatment plant), around the Diahla Bridge (Diahla River), and at the Atomic Energy Agency.

A third group of IAEA inspectors visited the Glass and Ceramic Company belonging to the Ministry of Industry. They asked the director about the company, its employees and their education levels, research and development activities, and about people who previously worked in the nuclear program. Inspectors also asked about the company's relationship with Al-Anbar University before checking documents and touring the facilities. They also conducted a radioactive survey. The group then proceeded to the Al-Ramadi Silo of the General Seeds Company, 100 kilometers west of Baghdad, to inspect the Glass and Ceramic Company. Inspectors ran a radioactivity survey in Al-Ramadi, UNMOVIC stated. The IAEA team also went to the Golden Sinbula Company, which produces farinha. The Foreign Ministry describes it as a gristmill owned by a private company. Inspectors toured the mill and checked for radioactivity.

A 12-member UNMOVIC team visited the Al-Mutasim plant belonging to the Al-Rashid State Company. The team split into three groups to inspect all workshops and buildings, the Foreign Ministry reported. They also asked about the plant's activities and its role in producing the Ababil, Al-Nida, Al-Fatah, and Al-Ra'ad missiles. The ministry stated, "They are special missiles for monitoring purposes of 150 kilometers." Inspectors also inquired about newly constructed buildings and about missiles that had stickers (presumably tagged by UNSCOM) removed "for maintenance purposes," according to the ministry. UNMOVIC stated that Al-Mutasim is a solid-rocket plant located 90 kilometers west of Baghdad and "carries out the final assembly of the Ababil and Al-Fatah solid propellant rockets. Additionally, static test firings of these motors are conducted here."

A second UNMOVIC group went to the Al-Taqar (also owned by Al-Rashid) plant. The Foreign Ministry stated, "It is a special plant for producing and accumulating missiles of variable ranges." Inspectors checked the machines and manufactured parts, as well as all buildings and storage areas. A UNMOVIC statement said that the factory, located 40 kilometers northwest of Baghdad, "is concerned with the manufacture of mechanical parts for several solid propellant rockets."

A team of chemical inspectors returned to the Al-Qa'qa State Company. One group of inspectors visited the "Al-Karnek Acid" plant, according to the ministry. They questioned the director of the plant on research and development, and the structure of the Al-Samud plant. Another group visited the Al-Khalid plant, which specializes in producing bombs. They inquired as to the quantity of production "and the parties that benefit from them," the ministry stated. A group also visited the "concentrated acid unit" to inquire about production, as well as the area that stores raw materials. UNMOVIC reported that inspectors at the Al-Qa'qa State Company updated information on selected facilities there, including a sulfuric acid plant, and an explosives-production plant and storage areas. UNMOVIC stated that the inspection focused on a new production unit that was built after 1998.

Copyright (c) 2003. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036. www.rferl.org

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