UNITED24 - Make a charitable donation in support of Ukraine!

Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

25 June 1998


(Says Iraq continues to deceive UNSC on its WMD program) (1460)
Washington -- Following is a summary of the United Nations Special
Commission's (UNSCOM) technical presentation to the U.N. Security
Council on June 3 and 4 regarding Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction
(WMD) program.
(Begin text)
The United Nations Special Commission (UNSCOM), presented compelling
evidence to the UN Security Council on June 3 and 4 that Iraq
continues its efforts to deceive the special commission, seeking to
conceal and retain elements of its WMD program. UNSCOM's experts
emphasized three points:
-- Iraq's unilateral destruction of materials has made it extremely
difficult for UNSCOM to verify Iraq's disarmament declarations;
-- Inaccurate and incomplete declarations about Iraq's WMD program are
-- Iraq has failed to provide information in response to repeated
requests, prompting UNSCOM to ask, "What is Iraq seeking to hide?"
UNSCOM cited several incidents to support its conclusions.
-- UNSCOM presented a recently obtained Iraqi document which proves
that Iraq continued to hide documents two years after it claimed that
it had stopped doing so.
-- The document refers to a 1993 meeting at the al-Farouk factory,
which was involved in the production of mobile missile launchers.
During the meeting it was decided that all official documents related
to the work of UNSCOM were to be removed to alternate sites or
destroyed. Iraq had previously told UNSCOM that all documentation had
been gathered in late 1991. UNSCOM stated, "this newly discovered
document raises serious concerns for UNSCOM, for the date of the
activity in question does not coincide with the detailed chronology
prepared by Iraq."
-- UNSCOM presented evidence that Iraq assembled documentation at
Haider house farm after the defection of the late Hussein Kamel.
UNSCOM stated that this contradicts Iraq's explanations to date that
Kamel gathered the documents on his own prior to his departure from
Iraq. UNSCOM said, "The Iraqi story does not stand up to close
-- Photographic images presented by UNSCOM show that nothing was
stored at farm prior to Kamel's departure. However, the day after he
left the images show considerable activity at the farm, including the
delivery of numerous storage containers.
-- UNSCOM said high-level defectors told them that the documentation
in question was actually stored at numerous secret sites throughout
Baghdad. Before being transported to the farm it was consolidated at
another location and sorted into two categories: documents to be given
to the commission, and those that were to be retained by the Iraqi
-- UNSCOM said documentation possibly still held by Iraq include
drawings that will help enable Iraq resume production of scuds,
"cookbooks" with recipes for producing chemical weapon agents, and
information pertaining to Iraq's biological weapons program. UNSCOM
stated, "continued Iraqi possession of these documents would be of
concern, as it could be indicative of the future of Iraq's intent
regarding compliance with Security Council resolutions."
Missile program
-- UNSCOM presented evidence that demonstrates Iraq has been changing
its weapons declarations to match emerging commission findings. UNSCOM
noted, "a lack of realism in the declarations complicates the
verification work. Such issues need to be resolved by Iraq to allow
UNSCOM to report with confidence on Iraq's compliance."
-- In 1997 the commission found pieces of chemical and biological
warheads at the "P3" site at Nabai, a site that Iraq had not declared:
once the site was discovered Iraq claimed a "farmer" had dug up the
warheads at one site, taken them a kilometer to the present site and
reburied them. In 1998 Iraq finally admitted that P3 was a warhead
disposal site. UNSCOM asked, "why would Iraq provide inaccurate
-- UNSCOM presented other evidence about some Iraqi "hide" sites which
are areas where Iraq itself has declared it has hidden proscribed
-- Iraq declared in 1997 that it had taken 10 chemical warheads from a
"hide" site around Falujah and brought them to Nabai. UNSCOM, however,
presented aerial photography imagery of Falujah which indicates that
there was no activity at the site at the time Iraq reportedly removed
the warheads and brought them to Nabal. UNSCOM asked rhetorically,
"where were these warheads actually hidden?"
-- In another instance, UNSCOM stated, Iraq declared in 1997 that is
BW warheads stored at a site along the Tigris Canal were removed on
July 7, 1991, and taken to another location for decontamination.
UNSCOM revealed that imagery of the site indicates the warheads were
moved some 10 days before the declared date. UNSCOM asked, "Why were
they removed? Where did they go?"
-- UNSCOM also presented evidence suggesting that Iraq has
consistently misled UNSCOM about the destruction of missile components
related to its indigenous missile production program. Iraq has
acknowledged that until August 1995, it undertook efforts to conceal
the extent of its success in the indigenous production of missiles.
-- In one instance UNSCOM said it attempted to verify Iraq's
declarations regarding the destruction of engine components. Iraq
claimed that it had destroyed about 100 tons of material at a site
near Tikrit called al Alam. UNSCOM could only account for 12 tons of
material at the site. Iraq then claimed that the site had been
"re-excavated" and that the material melted down. However, when UNSCOM
attempted to verify that 200 tons of material had been melted down per
Iraqi claims, they were only able to verify 50 tons. Iraq then claimed
that some of the material slated for melting had actually been
diverted for disposal in rivers and canals. To date UNSCOM has been
unable to verify this claim. UNSCOM stated, "Iraq intentionally chose
methods for the unilateral destruction of components and tooling for
its indigenous production efforts which would frustrate the
commission's efforts to discover or account for these materials."
Chemical weapons
-- UNSCOM presented evidence that suggests that, despite Iraq's claims
to the contrary, Baghdad was able to produce the deadly nerve agent VX
in large, viable quantities. UNSCOM said, certain facts, in
combination with Iraq's attempts to conceal the VX-related activities
until 1995, led the international expert team to the technical
evaluation meeting to the conclusion that Iraq was able to produce VX
in quantity and had obtained VX production technology."
-- Iraq has declared that it produced only 3.9 tons of VX. UNSCOM has
documented that Iraq actually had precursors sufficient for the
production of 200 tons of agent.
-- Iraq claimed that it lacked the technology for industrial
production of VX. However, documentation obtained by UNSCOM reveals
that Iraq had in fact obtained sophisticated technology for the
production of VX.
-- Iraq stated that the VX it did succeed in producing had poor
stability. Through sampling, however, UNSCOM said it has found traces
of a VX stabilizer, indicating that in all probability the VX produced
by Iraq was more stable than they have thus far admitted.
-- UNSCOM also presented evidence indicating that Iraq is harboring
several hundred chemical-filled munitions.
-- In 1991 Iraq declared that they had 12,792 chemical-filled
munitions. During the period 1991-1994 these munitions were destroyed
under UNSCOM supervision. In 1996, after UNSCOM obtained some storage
inventories relating to these munitions, Iraq declared that they
actually had closer to 13,500 munitions, but that 550 were destroyed
during the Gulf war. Iraq, however, was unable to locate the site of
their destruction.
-- In 1997 UNSCOM found some of the munitions that Iraq had claimed
were destroyed in the war, these munitions were intact and contained
mustard agent that was 94-97% pure. The rest of the unaccounted
weapons have not yet been found. Over 500 mustard-filled munitions are
likely to still be in the hands of the Iraqis.
Biological weapons
-- Evidence presented by UNSCOM in this area indicates that it is
probable that portions of Iraq's biological weapons program remains
-- Since 1995 UNSCOM said it has consistently found indications, both
physically and on paper, that Iraq had acquired supplies, equipment,
and material for its BW program. It also produced various types of
agent as well as munitions for these agents.
-- Iraq denied having a BW program until 1995, when confronted by
evidence that UNSCOM had obtained to the contrary, it admitted that it
had a rudimentary program but never weaponized any of its agent. After
Hussein Kamel's defection, however it became evident that Iraq had in
fact weaponized its agent. Iraq in response changed its story and
admitted that some munitions had been produced and filled, but that
they had been destroyed. UNSCOM has been unable to verify this
statement. UNSCOM concluded, "Iraq's current declaration is not
verifiable. The absence of detail in this presentation is consistent
with the absence of detail declared by Iraq."
(End text)

Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list