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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

UN PRESS RELEASE ON MUTHANNA INSPECTION
1. REPORTED BELOW IS THE TEXT OF A JUNE 24 U.N. PRESS
RELEASE DESCRIBING AN INITIAL, EXPLORATORY JUNE 9-14
INSPECTION OF IRAQ'S MUTHANNA STATE ESTABLISHMENT, AN
IRAQI-DECLARED CHEMICAL WEAPONS PRODUCTION FACILITY.
THE PRESS RELEASE ASSERTS THAT THERE WAS NO EVIDENCE OF
ANY UNDECLARED ACTIVITY RELATED TO BIOLOGICAL, NUCLEAR,
OR MISSILE CAPABILTY AT THE SITE, BUT EMPHASIZES THAT AS
THE INSPECTION WAS INITIAL AND EXPLORATORY, THE SPECIAL
COMMISSION HAD NOT YET COME TO ANY CONCLUSION ON THE
VERACITY OF IRAQI DECLARATIONS REGARDING THE FACILITY.
2. FULL TEXT FOLLOWS:
BEGIN TEXT:
24 JUNE 1991
PRESS RELEASE
THE FIRST INSPECTION OF IRAQI CHEMICAL WEAPONS
CAPABILITIES PURSUANT TO UN SECURITY COUNCIL RESOLUTION
687 (1991 )
--THE UNITED NATIONS SPECIAL COMMISSION (UNSCOM) CARRIED
OUT AN INITIAL EXPLORATORY INSPECTION OF THE MUTHANNA
STATE ESTABLISHMENT - ALSO KNOWN AS THE STATE ENTERPRISE
FOR PESTICIDE PRODUCTION - IN IRAQ OVER THE PERIOD 9-14
JUNE 1991 .
--THE MUTHANNA STATE ESTABLISHMENT IS A MAJOR CHEMICAL
WEAPON PRODUCTION FACILITY WHOSE EXISTENCE AND LOCATION
WERE DECLARED BY THE IRAQI AUTHORITIES TO THE SECRETARY
GENERAL ON 18 APRIL, AS REQUIRED UNDER UN SECURITY
COUNCIL RESOLUTION 687 OF 3 APRIL. IT IS LOCATED IN
SEMI-ARID COUNTRY SOME 80 KM NORTH WEST OF BAGHDAD AND
50 KM SOUTH WEST OF SAMARRA, AND IS THE FACILITY WHICH
HAS OFTEN BEEN REFERRED TO IN WESTERN MEDIA REPORTS IN
RECENT YEARS AS THE SAMARRA FACILITY.
--THE IRAQI DECLARATION OF 18 APRIL ALSO CONFIRMED THE
PRESENCE AT THE SITE OF A NUMBER OF R&D, PRODUCTION
MUNITIONS MANUFACTURING, FILLING AND STORAGE FACILITIES,
AS WELL AS THE PRESENCE ON THE SITE OF SUBSTANTIAL
QUANTITIES OF BULK CHEMICAL WARFARE AGENTS, CHEMICAL
WEAPONS PRECURSOR CHEMICALS AND CHEMICAL MUNITIONS OF
VARIOUS TYPES.
--THE PURPOSE OF THE INITIAL EXPLORATORY INSPECTION WAS
TO OBTAIN A DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE SITE, INCLUDING
THE NATURE AND CONDITION OF THE FACILITIES, CHEMICAL
WARFARE AGENTS, CHEMICAL MUNITIONS AND PRECURSOR
CHEMICAL ON THE SITE AND AN INDICATION OF THE HAZARDS
PRESENT SO AS TO ENABLE A FULL INSPECTION OF THE
INSECTICIDES. THIS REQUEST WAS GRANTED BY THE EXECUTIVE
CHAIRMAN SUBJECT TO CERTAIN STRICT CONTROL ARRANGEMENTS
BEING OBSERVED BY THE IRAQI AUTHORITIES.
--THE TEAM FOUND NO EVIDENCE AT THE SITE OF ANY
UNDECLARED ACTIVITY RELATED TO BIOLOGICAL, NUCLEAR OR
MISSILE CAPABILITY.
--AS THIS WAS ONLY AN INITIAL EXPLORATORY INSPECTION, IT
HAS NOT BEEN POSSIBLE FOR UNSCOM TO COME TO ANY
CONCLUSION AS TO THE VERACITY OF THE OVERALL IRAQI
DECLARATION CONCERNING THE MUTHANNA STATE
ESTABLISHMENT. THE INSPECTION TEAM FOUND NO INDICATION
THAT IRAQ WAS DELIBERATELY TRYING TO MISLEAD THE
/****** BEGINNING OF SECTION 002 ******/
COMMISSION: INDEED THE ATTITUDE OF THE IRAQI
AUTHORITIES THROUGHOUT WAS COOPERATIVE.
--THE TEAM ALSO HELD INITIAL INFORMAL DISCUSSIONS WITH
THE IRAQI AUTHORITIES ON THE IRAQI OFFER OF 9 JUNE
(S/22682) TO CARRY OUT THE PROCESS OF DESTRUCTION. THE
TEAM FOUND THAT THE SITE WOULD BE SUITABLE FOR THE
DESTRUCTION OF IRAQ'S CHEMICAL WEAPONS CAPABILITIES.
--THE NEXT STEPS WILL BE A FULL INSPECTION OF THE SITE
AND FURTHER DISCUSSIONS WITH THE IRAQI AUTHORITIES ON
THE DESTRUCTION PROCESS. EVALUATION OF THE INFORMATION
COLLECTED DURING THE INITIAL EXPLORATORY INSPECTION HAS
COMMENCED AND DETAILED PLANNING FOR THE FULL INSPECTION
WILL COMMENCE IN THE VERY NEAR FUTURE. BECAUSE OF THE
SIZE OF THE SITE AND THE EXTENT OF THE FACILITIES AS
WELL AS THE HAZARDS INVOLVED, THE FULL INSPECTION COULD
WELL BE A LENGTHY PROCESS.
--AMBASSADOR EKEUS SAID HE WISHED TO PLACE ON RECORD HIS
APPRECIATION OF THE DEDICATION, ENTHUSIASM AND SUPERB
PROFESSIONALISM WITH WHICH ALL MEMBERS OF THE INSPECTION
TEAM WENT ABOUT THEIR TASKS AND WHICH WERE, HE SAID,
FULLY IN ACCORD WITH THE HIGHEST TRADITIONS OF THE
UNITED NATIONS.
--THE TEAM VERIFIED THE PRESENCE ON THE SITE OF MUSTARD
GAS AND ORGANOPHOSPHORUS NERVE AGENTS BOTH AS BULK AGENT
AND IN THE FROM OF MUNITIONS. IT WAS INFORMED BY THE
IRAQI AUTHORITIES THAT THE NERVE AGENTS WERE OF THE
TYPES GB AND GF. THE TEAM ALSO CLARIFIED WITH THE IRAQI
AUTHORITIES THEIR UNDERSTANDING OF THE TERM "BINARY
SARIN" AS USED IN THEIR DECLARATION TO THE SECRETARY
GENERAL. IN IRAQ, TERMINOLOGY, THE TERM SARIN COVERS
ALL G-TYPE NERVE AGENTS BASED ON ESTERS, BOTH SINGLE AND
MIXED, AND IN THIS CONTEXT, "BINARY SARIN" IS THEREFORE
A CHEMICAL MUNITION CONTAINING BOTH GB AND GF.
--THE TEAM FOUND EVIDENCE FOR THE PRESENCE ON THE SITE
OF IMPURE TABUN (AGENT GA), WHOSE USE IN THE IRAN-IRAQ
WAR HAD BEEN VERIFIED BY THE UNITED NATIONS
INVESTIGATIONS OF 1984, 1986 AND 1987. IT WAS INFORMED
THAT PRODUCTION OF GA AT THE SITE HAD CEASED IN 1986.
--THE TEAM WAS INFORMED THAT THE SITE HAD BEEN USED FOR
THE PRODUCTION OF HERBICIDES KNOWN AS PROPANIL AND
DALAPON.
--THE TEAM WAS ALSO INFORMED THAT RESEARCH HAD BEEN
CARRIED OUT AT THE MUTHANNA STATE ESTABLISHMENT ON THE
NERVE AGENTS SOMAN (AGENT GD) AND VX, BUT THAT NO
LARGE-SCALE PRODUCTION OF THESE AGENTS HAD BEEN
UNDERTAKEN. IT SAW NOTHING ON THIS OCCASION WHICH WAS
INCONSISTENT WITH THAT STATEMENT, BUT CONCLUDED THAT TWO
UNDAMAGED AND SOPHISTICATED PILOT PLANTS FOUND ON THE
SITE WOULD REQUIRE FURTHER INVESTIGATION.
--THE TEAM ALSO VERIFIED THE PRESENCE ON SITE OF A
NUMBER OF PRECURSOR CHEMICALS, MAINLY ACQUIRED FROM
ABROAD. SOME OF THESE WERE PRESENT IN LARGE
QUANTITIES. IT ALSO FOUND THAT THE SITE CONTAINED
EQUIPMENT OBTAINED FROM A VARIETY OF SOURCES.
--DURING THE INSPECTION, THE IRAQI AUTHORITIES SOUGHT
PERMISSION TO REMOVE CERTAIN ITEMS OF EQUIPMENT FROM THE
SITE FOR USE IN A WATER PURIFICATION PLANT AT FALLUJAH
/****** BEGINNING OF SECTION 003 ******/
AND FOR THE FORMULATION OF MUTHANNA STATE ESTABLISHMENT
TO BE CARRIED OUT AT A LATER STAGE. THE TEAM WAS ALSO
INSTRUCTED TO MAKE AN INITIAL ASSESSMENT OF THE
SUITABILITY OF THE SITE FOR THE DESTRUCTION OF IRAQ'S
CHEMICAL WEAPONS CAPABILITIES, AND TO REPORT ANY
INDICATION OF UNDECLARED ACTIVITY RELATED TO NUCLEAR,
CHEMICAL, BIOLOGICAL OR MISSILE CAPABILITY.
--THE INSPECTION WAS CARRIED OUT BY A TEAM OF 20 EXPERTS
FROM EIGHT DIFFERENT COUNTRIES AND THE WORLD HEALTH
ORGANIZATION SELECTED BY THE EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN OF
UNSCOM, AMBASSADOR ROLF EKEUS, FOR THAT PURPOSE. THE
SPECIALIST SKILLS IN THE TEAM INCLUDED EXPLOSIVE
ORDNANCE DISPOSAL (EOD), STRUCTURAL ENGINEERING,
CHEMICAL AGENT DETECTION, DECONTAMINATION, CHEMICAL
MONITORING, BIOCHEMISTRY, AND MICROBIOLOGY. SUPPORT
PERSONNEL - TWO INTERPRETERS, A PHOTOGRAPHER, A
RECORDER, A COMMUNICATOR AND TWO ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICERS
- WERE SUPPLIED BY THE UNITED NATIONS. DR. PETER DUNN
OF AUSTRALIA WAS APPOINTED CHIEF INSPECTOR AND LT. COL.
JIM KNAPP OF CANADA HIS DEPUTY.
--THE MUTHANNA STATE ESTABLISHMENT IS A LARGE COMPLEX
SOME 170 SQ KM IN AREA. THE MAJOR FACILITIES ON THE
SITE, HOWEVER, ARE CONCENTRATED IN AN AREA OF
APPROXIMATELY 25 SQ KM AND THIS AREA WAS THE FOCUS OF
THE INSPECTION TEAM'S ACTIVITIES.
--IN CARRYING OUT THE INSPECTION THE SAFETY OF THE
INSPECTION PERSONNEL WAS A PRIME CONSIDERATION.
CONDITIONS IN MANY AREAS OF THE SITE ARE HAZARDOUS IN
THE EXTREME. MOST MAJOR STRUCTURES ON THE SITE HAVE
EITHER BEEN TOTALLY DESTROYED OR SEVERELY DAMAGED AS A
RESULT OF THE BOMBING DURING THE HOSTILITIES: FEW
BUILDINGS HAVE ESCAPED UNSCATHED. WHILE MUCH UNEXPLODED
ORDNANCE HAS BEEN REMOVED, SOME STILL REMAINS ON THE
SITE. THE SITE ALSO CONTAINS LEAKING CHEMICAL MUNITIONS
AND THE PRESENCE OF CHEMICAL AGENT WAS DETECTED IN SOME
AREAS AND STRUCTURES. THERE IS A CLEAR NEED TO CLEAN UP
THE SITE AND TO COMMENCE THE DESTRUCTION PROCESS AS
QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE, BEARING IN MIND THE REQUIREMENT FOR
PUBLIC SAFETY AND THE SAFETY OF THE PERSONNEL INVOLVED.
END TEXT.
WATSON
ADMIN BT
#2205
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