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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)



From the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI)

This document is provided as a service by UNAMI. The material is drawn from non-UN sources and does not reflect the opinions of the United Nations, nor can the UN vouch for its accuracy

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

 
HEADLINES, Click to follow link
  
IRAQI NEWS, 29 MARCH 05

·         National Assembly resumes but fails to elect Speaker
·         TV reports on Basra bridge repair with British help
·         TV reports on Japanese funded projects
·         TV reports on revamping ports
·         Basra MP alleges British forces "attacked his house"
·         Ministry plans to rebuild space observatory
·         Al-Janabi's acceptance of Iraq Speaker's post conditional - TV
·         Paper examines contamination of water supplies
·         Al-Zarqawi's group denies its attacks have lessened
·         Ansar al-Sunnah Army corrects Kirkuk police chief claim
·         Islamic Army in Iraq claims attack on National Assembly building
IRAQI PRESS HEADLINES - 29 MAR 05
·         Al-Sharq al-Awsat
·         Al-Dustur
·         Al-Adalah
IRAQI PRESS COMMENTS AND QUOTES - 29 MAR 05
·         ``Iraqis own agenda'' -Al-Sharq al-Awsat
·         ``Democracy, transparency for the incoming government'' Al-Zaman
·         ``Iraqis have lost interest in following up National Assembly'' -Al-Dustur
·         ``The Marji'iyah'' stressing the need for national unity - Al-Adalah
·         IRAQI PRESS COMMENT (29 March)
IRAQI MEDIA PROGRAMME SUMMARIES, 29 MARCH 2005
·         Programme summary of Al-Sharqiyah TV news 29 Mar 05
·         Programme summary of Al-Iraqiyah TV news 29 Mar 05

IRAQI NEWS, 29 March 05
National Assembly resumes but fails to elect Speaker

The second session of the newly-elected Iraqi National Assembly opened at 1037 gmt on 29th with a Koranic recitation after an almost two-hour delay, Iraqi Al-Sharqiyah TV reported.The assembly went into a closed session at 1054 gmt after acting Speaker Dhari al-Fayad asked the media to leave the hall. A few minutes earlier al-Fayad announced that the election of the Speaker had been deferred to give the Shi'is and the Sunnis more time for consultations. (Al-Sharqiyah Satellite Channel, Baghdad, in Arabic, 29 Mar 05)

TV reports on Basra bridge repair with British help
Iraqi TV station Al-Iraqiyah TV on 29 March broadcast a report on the repair works of an old bridge in Basra with the help of the British troops. It added that the General Roads and Bridges Company in Basra has started repair works of the iron bridge of Faiha with the help of the British troops in a bid to ease the difficulty facing local residents in crossing it. (Al-Iraqiyah TV, Baghdad, in Arabic 1700 gmt 29 March 05)
TV reports on Japanese funded projects
Iraqi TV station Al-Iraqiyah TV on 29 March broadcast a report on reconstruction projects carried out in Al-Muthanna province with the help of the Japanese force. The TV said that over the last two years the province of Al-Muthana has seen the completion of several projects, which have raised the economic condition and upgraded education and health services there. The spokesman for the Samawa-based Japanese force, Lt-Col Kyoda was quoted as saying that 37 projects have already been implemented while 22 others are nearing completion. Those projects include paving 47 kilometres of roads, rehabilitating schools and employing 160,000 people as well as reconstruction projects, upgrading playgrounds and gardens and supplying villages with 35,000 tons of water. In the medical field, Kyoda pointed to professional advice given to Iraqi doctors and training middle level medical staff-- all provided during 120 visits made by Japanese doctors to medical institutions in Al-Muthana. ( Al-Iraqiyah TV, Baghdad, in Arabic 1700 gmt 29 March 05)
TV reports on revamping ports
Iraqi TV station Al-Iraqiyah TV on 29 March broadcast a report on upgrading Iraqi ports which said that work in under way to rebuild and maintain storehouses at Iraq's ports of Um-Qasr, Abu-Flus, Khur al-Zubair and Al-Mi'qal. Pulling out sunken ships obstructing shipment in waterways has started. Although Iraqi ports have not reached their maximum capacity, they have made earnings, which have been used in upgrading works and paying staff salaries. An unnamed official said: "It is 20m US dollars; we employ 10,250 people who get paid from the company's own earnings, which also cover maintenance costs." (Al-Iraqiyah TV, Baghdad, in Arabic 1700 gmt 29 Mar 05)

Basra MP alleges British forces "attacked his house"
Mansur al-Tamimi, a member for Basra, a member of the United Iraqi Alliance, told the Iraqi National Assembly on 29th that British forces attacked his house on the night of 28th March, arrested 11 members of his family and "seized large sums of money".
His remarks were broadcast live on Al-Iraqiyah TV shortly before the National Assembly went into closed session.
Al-Tamimi said his family had phoned him from his house to report the alleged attack.
"My house was attacked by 40 British vehicles and two British helicopters. Explosive charges were planted and doors were broken by using explosives. Eleven members of my family were arrested, including children, and large sums of money were seized," he told MPs.
"I am a member of the National Assembly and I represent the will of the Iraqi people; I am an elected member of the assembly and I have immunity. I don't know the reasons or justifications for this savage way in which the British treated me, although I was formerly a member of the governorate council and a tribal chieftain, and I am known to the British forces.
"I ask the National Assembly to issue a statement on this issue and I ask the British to release the prisoners. I also demand returning the seized funds and providing a justification for this action and an official apology. I demand material and moral compensation for this crime. I ask my brothers the members of the National Assembly to show big moral support for me. Thank you."

The chairman of the session promised Al-Tamimi that the assembly would look into this request. (Al-Sharqiyah Satellite Channel, Baghdad, in Arabic, 29 Mar 05)

Ministry plans to rebuild space observatory
The Iraqi newspaper Al-Ittihad, published by Iraqi Patriotic Union of Kurdistan PUK) reported on 29th that the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research plans to rehabilitate the space observatory on Kirkuk mountain and transform it into a centre for Astronomical Research. The undersecretary of the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, Berivan Muslih Abd-al-Karim Khaylan, said that the Science Colleges of Baghdad University in conjunction with Salah-al-Din University in Arbil had agreed to form a joint team to undertake the rehabilitation of the observatory and accommodate its requirements, in cooperation with the Iraqi academics in Britain. (Al-Ittihad, Baghdad, in Arabic 29 Mar 05)
Al-Janabi's acceptance of Iraq Speaker's post conditional - TV

Iraqi Al-Sharqiyah TV on 29 March said that its correspondent has learned that Adnan al-Janabi, the candidate of the Iraqi List, has agreed to assume the post of National Assembly Speaker on condition that the ministerial portfolios are redistributed in a way that gives the Iraqi List a suitable number of these portfolios. (Al-Sharqiyah Satellite Channel, Baghdad, in Arabic, 29 Mar 05)


Paper examines contamination of water supplies
An Iraqi water official has said the country's drinking water is becoming contaminated with sewage, with contamination levels that may exceed 50 per cent. The unnamed official told the Islamic Al-Da'wah Party newspaper Al-Bayan that efforts to decrease the amount of contamination through new purification plants have produced relatively positive results in some areas of Baghdad, but the problem still continues in other regions.
The contamination has led to the spread of diseases such as viral liver inflammation and typhoid, the paper said. With the approach of summer, the water level in the rivers is dropping, which affects the purity of the drinking water and turns it muddy.
Itaq's water network is almost 44 years old and continues to be used, "although it is 24 years beyond its valid date of use. The network should have been changed in 1982. The fact that it wasn't has created cracks in the piping of the network and has mixed sewage water with drinking water".
However, the paper added that following "huge efforts during the past two years by international and governmental institutions to resolve the problem", the drinking water situation in Basra Governorate had "immensely improved". (Al-Bayan, Baghdad, in Arabic 27 Mar 05)
Al-Zarqawi's group denies its attacks have lessened
On 29 March, Al-Khattab al-Iraqi posted a statement in the Al-Ikhlas forum, at http://ekhlaas.com/forum, from Abu-Mus'ab al-Zarqawi's Al-Qa'idah of Jihad Organization in the Land of the Two Rivers [Tanzim Qa'idat al-Jihad fi Bilad al-Rafidayn] which asserted that the "enemies of God claim that our conquests and our strikes have lessened, but they lie and lying to them is a religion." It stated that "with the passing of every day, the mujahidin get stronger and more triumphant while the unbelievers suffer losses and defeat." (Jihadist www 29 Mar 05)
Ansar al-Sunnah Army corrects Kirkuk police chief claim
On 29 March, Khalid al-Harbi, a frequent participant at the Islamic Renewal Organization forum, posted a statement from the Ansar al-Sunnah Army in which the group claimed responsibility for assassinating Kirkuk Police Chief Shirku. In a statement posted later the same day by "Bashir al-Sunnah" in the Al-Ikhlas forum, at http://ekhlaas.com/forum, the Ansar al-Sunnah Army corrected its earlier claim of responsibility for the assassination of Shirku, saying that they had actually killed the Kirkuk Director of Water and Sanitation. The Islamic Renewal Organization at http://lajnah22me.co.uk/forums is the website of the Saudi dissident group, formerly known as CDLR, based in the United Kingdom and headed by Muhammad al-Mas'ari. (Jihadist www 29 Mar 05)
Islamic Army in Iraq claims attack on National Assembly building
On 29 March, Al-Jaysh al-Islami fi al-Iraq [Islamic Army in Iraq], a frequent contributor to Al-Ikhlas forum, at http://ekhlaas.com/forum, who is described as "The Correspondent of Mujahidin," posted a statement issued by the Islamic Army in Iraq claiming responsibility for a mortar attack against the Iraqi National Assembly building in the Green Zone. (Jihadist www 29 Mar 05)

IRAQI PRESS HEADLINES - 29 MAR 05
Al-Sharq al-Awsat
Al-Sharq al-Awsat [Baghdad edition of London-based independent daily newspaper, Saudi-owned]

·         Ninety-eight detained in Salman-Pak raid, seven killed in attack on procession of Shi'i mourners, huge terror base discovered south-east of Baghdad (Agencies- Quoted)
·         According to his lawyer, Tariq Aziz resented being questioned on bribe to European head of state, was for Saddam Kamil's execution
·         In preference to Chalabi, Abd al-Mahdi wins Shi'i nomination for VP post
·         Al-Yawar takes final decision to reject National Assembly Speaker's job
·         Manila investigating reported Philippine fighters' presence in Iraq (Agencies quoted)
·         Iraqi Interior Ministry says Al-Arabiya reporter detained for carrying Al-Fallujah films (AFP quoted)
·         Hinting at embezzlements of millions of dollars, Inspectors-General say they are intimidated by Mafia gangs in Iraqi ministries
·         Iranians banned from entry into Iraq to join mourners marking anniversary of Imam Husayn's fortieth post-martyrdom day.
Al-Dustur
Al-Dustur [Baghdad, independent general political daily newspaper]
·         Al-Sistani taboos administrative corruption, dissipation of public wealth (INA quoted)
·         Allawi calls for Iraqi security apparatus to stay independent of political parties' patronage (INA quoted)
·         National Assembly to reconvene today Alliance: Allawi's letter ideologically tainted, certain issues remain unsettled Al-Naqib: We are fighting at more than one front, will maintain security in the streets US reservations on nominees for security posts in Iraq (Agencies quoted).

Al-Adalah
Al-Adalah [Baghdad, general political daily newspaper published by the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq]
·         Sayyid al-Hakim: Incoming government will be strong because its born from the people United Iraqi Alliance nominating Adil Abd-al-Mahdi for VP, Al-Shahristani for deputy National Assembly Speaker Blood donation campaign organized by Islamic Party for victims of terror attacks Iraq calls for implementation of project to link railroads with Iran (IRNA quoted) Karbala mourning pilgrims targeted by terror attacks (Agencies quoted) Tight security measures in Baghdad Polish contingent pull out of Southern Iraq, turning in positions to British troops (Agencies quoted) Eighteen boat-loads of fuel intended for smuggling seized in Shat-al-Arab waterway (INA quoted).


IRAQI PRESS COMMENTS and QUOTES - 29 MAR 05

``Iraqis own agenda'' -Al-Sharq al-Awsat
Al-Sharq al-Awsat [From commentary by Mishari al-Thydi]:
"It is absolutely essential for Iraqis to have their own agenda rather than allow others, be they Iranians, Syrians or Arab fundamentalists, to sell them outlandish political and cultural merchandise according to agendas of theirs. The worst thing to happen after so much blood and pain is for Iraqis to return to square one, once again becoming hostage to an abolitionist pariah regime that would indulge in repression, not in the name of the Arab nation, as Saddam's did, but in the name of God this time."
``Democracy, transparency for the incoming government'' Al-Zaman
Al-Zaman [From commentary by Dr Bahir Batti]:
"Above all, democracy presupposes respect for the individual citizen's opinion. This is expected to manifest itself through full observance of transparency in the various practices of the legislature, executive and judiciary. Would it then be too much to ask the incoming government to make sure that it keeps the general public well-informed of the decision-making mechanism being adopted by it various organs, especially those that are to do with national development and public services?"

``Iraqis have lost interest in following up National Assembly'' -Al-Dustur
Al-Dustur [From editorial by Basim al-Shaykh]:
"Most Iraqis seem to have lost interest in following up the proceedings of the National Assembly reconvention today partly because they have waited too long for it, and partly because much of the excitement of watching democracy in action under the dome of parliament has been spoiled by frequent media leaks. Indeed, today's session will come to be seen as just another ordinary occurrence, now that the Iraqi layman already knows what is going to happen in it."

``The Marji'iyah'' stressing the need for national unity - Al-Adalah
Al-Adalah [From commentary by Dr Ali Khlayf]:
"The Marji'iyah [Shi'i religious authority] has always made a point of stressing the need for national unity, solidarity and cooperation as a prerequisite to building a free, democratic and unified Iraq, to say nothing of its memorable role in initiating and upholding the principle of elections as the sound premise for the whole political process in Iraq. All this notwithstanding, we can still hear certain quarters calling for the Marji'iyah to be kept away from politics."

IRAQI PRESS COMMENT (29 March)
Al-Bayan publishes on page 3 a 500-word article by Ahmad al-Bayyati
saying that the dissolved Governing Council had limited authority and power, thus it could not accomplish great achievements for the Iraqi people. The writer adds that despite the great security challenges, the interim government, which came under massive criticism alleging that it was an unelected and illegitimate government, managed to accomplish significant achievements. The writer adds that the Iraqi people anticipate that the transitional legitimate government will be capable of handling the country's urgent issues such as the security file, the unemployment problem, the lack of services, and other crises. The writer maintains that the Iraqis are hoping that the new government protects Iraqi sovereignty and "totally rejects foreign presence in Iraq."
Al-Zaman publishes on page 4 a 1,000-word column by Jasim Murad, an Iraqi writer, commenting on the ongoing political crisis regarding the formation of the transitional government in Iraq. Murad says that difference in opinion and views among various political forces is a healthy phenomenon that serves the democratic process; however, if it is employed to achieve party interests, it will harm national interests and "become a factory that creates crises."
Al-Zaman publishes on page 8 a 1,000-word column by Dr Bahir Butti, an Iraqi writer, commenting on the delay in the formation of the transitional government in Iraq. The writer says that the fact that the Iraqi political forces are discussing vital issues behind closed doors raises the question of whether the Iraqi political forces are serious in respecting the State Administration Law or not. The writer says that if the formation of a transitional government, the term of office for which is only nine months, takes this long, he wonders how long the formation of a permanent government will take.
Al-Manarah dated 27 March carries on page 5 a 250-word article by Jasim Muhammad Isa commenting on the US statement that the Americans came to Iraq not to occupy Iraq, but to liberate the Iraqi people from Saddam. He says that during this liberation we lost security, crimes have increased, the government has not yet been established, and things are continuing to deteriorate.
Al-Mada carries on page 12 a 2,500-word article by Sayyar al-Jamil in which he speaks to the new Iraqi leaders by saying: "Are you working for the sake of the Iraqi interests or your own interests? Are you working for the sake of all the Iraqi people who are waiting for the birth of the new Iraq? The writer concludes by calling on the next government to serve all the Iraqi people with all its different components.
Al-Nahdah publishes on page 4 a 300-word article by Abd-al-Mun'im al-A'sam commenting on Allawi's conditions to participate in the new government. The writer says that all the negotiations and the delay in forming the next government is due to the interference of the religious authority in Al-Najaf in the elections by supporting one electoral list at the expense of other electoral lists.
Al-Furat carries on page 5 a 1,000-word article by Bilal Hasan commenting on the US optimism regarding the latest developments in the Arab region such as the Iraqi elections, the Palestinian elections, the consequences of Al-Hariri's assassination in Lebanon and Syria, and the municipality elections in Saudi Arabia.

IRAQI MEDIA PROGRAMME SUMMARIES, 29 March 2005
Programme summary of Al-Sharqiyah TV news 29 Mar 05
·         Kurdish leader Jalal Talabani denies Kurds were cause of delay in agreement at National Assembly: Talabani making statement
·         National Assembly fails to appoint Speaker and deputies: report over video
·         Sound of explosions heard in Baghdad this morning prior to meeting of National Assembly
·         Thousands killed in Indonesian quake: video report
·         Civilian killed in car explosion in Kirkuk: report over video
·         US military authorities release imprisoned woman: report over video
·         Iraqi actors celebrate International Theatre Day: video report
·         Iraqi official escapes attempt on his life in Basra
·         Iraqi, US forces carry search operation in Ba'quba; several people arrested: report over video
·         Romanian president says six of his nationals kidnapped in Iraq: report over video
·         Some Syrian troops pullout to inside Syrian border from Lebanon: report over
·         video
·         Life slowly back to normal in Kyrgyzstan: report over video
Programme summary of Al-Iraqiyah TV news 29 Mar 05
·         Sitting of National Assembly adjourned until Sunday, 3 April. Video report covers reconvening of assembly, divisions over naming Speaker and failure to form government.
·         Report on meeting of assembly amid uncertainty, comments by members reflecting splits.
·         Report on opening of assembly meeting highlights session being closed to press, further delay in forming government.
·         Iraqis eager to know outcome of talks over formation of government. Video report covers latest round of talks, comments by Kurdish leader Jalal Talabani, Vice-President Ibrahim al-Ja'fari.
·         Iraqis in Baghdad call for speedy formation of government. Video report covers comments of Iraqis, demands for better living conditions, improved security.
·         Iraqis in Ziqar want new government to take office, solve problems. Video report covers comments, people hoping government will solve unemployment and security problems.
·         National Guard deployed across Baghdad during assembly sitting. Video report highlights security measures.
·         Violence leaves several policemen killed; Romanian journalists missing. Video report covers attacks.
·         Roadside bomb near Basra school causes no casualties. Video report
·         At least 15 "terror" suspects arrested in Fallujah, key suspect held.
·         Phone interview with security force commander, Mahdi Subayh. He speaks about arrests, says compensation payments to population are under way, security improving, city is peaceful.
·         Three suspects held in Zubayr. Video report covers arrest of men on suspicion of killing policemen.
·         National Guard arrests 84 "terror" suspects in Wasit. Video report
·         Members of army special force complete training course in Wasit. Video report covers graduation ceremony.
·         Worshippers march to Karbala.
·         Security tight on Karbala-Najaf road as thousands march to holy cities. Video report
·         New teachers employed in Al-Anbar. Video report
·         Syrian troops pull out of Lebanon positions.
·         US renews trust in UN chief.
·         Indonesia quake death toll rises. Video report
·         Business bulletin. Old bridge in Basra repaired with help of British troops. Iraq share market report. Reconstruction projects in Muthana with help of Japanese. Revamping of Iraqi ports under way.

***
NB: This is not an official document. The information contained therein was compiled by the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq, Information Office. If you have any questions/suggestions, please contact us at (+ 962 550 -4631/4632 or Cell. + 962 77 619 731 jarrar@un.org <mailto:jarrar@un.org> or alsokhni@un.org <mailto:alsokhni@un.org>




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