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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

National Monitoring Directorate

The National Monitoring Directorate was the governmental agency established as the interface between the Iraqi government and the United Nations Special Commission. The Commission often discovered that facilities provided accurate information to the National Monitoring Directorate but this information had then been manipulated so that the monitoring declarations presented to the Commission were misleading and inaccurate.

Iraq accepted the Security Council Resolution 687 on April 6th 1991. The resolution was passed on April 3rd 1991. Iraq had to deal with the Security Council Special Commission. Initially, the Iraqi side formed a Section (Directorate later) of National Monitoring headed by a general director entrusted with the task of dealing with the UNSCOM. It consists a number of experts, specialists and technicians to work with the UNSCOM, coordinate its work and its inspecting teams. These teams were sent to Iraq to implement the paras 8,9 and 10 of the aforementioned resolution. They were to verify Iraq's declarations in relation to its proscribed weapons, their removal and its commitment not to resume the production of Chemical, Biological weapons and the Missiles of more than 150 Km range. In return the Security Council had to meet its obligation as concerned with the para (22) whose application leads to lifting the sanctions. The Security Council instructed the IAEA to implement the paras 11,12 and 13 which are related to the removal of Iraq's nuclear armament programme. In November 1993 Iraq accepted the Security Council Resolution 715 (1991) and the accompanied monitoring plan. The National Monitoring Directorate was formed at the end of 1993 as a national response to those ill-intended members of the UNSCOM. The aim behind that was to carry out the tasks necessary to speed up the formation and operation of the monitoring system in coordination with the Special Commission. The ultimate purpose was to facilitate the application of the para (22) of the Security Council resolution 687 (1991).

The structure of the National Monitoring Directorate was composed of the following departments:

  • The Missiles Department.
  • The Chemical Department.
  • The Biological Department.
  • The Nuclear Department.
  • The Import - Export Department. Established in 1996 following passing the Security Council Resolution 1051 (1996).
  • The Operation Department.
  • The Photography and Sensors Department.
  • The Documentation and Information Department.
  • The Follow-up Department.
  • The Studies Department.

In cooperation with the Special Commission the National Monitoring Directorate established the monitoring system and put it into operation in August 1994. The National Monitoring Directorate conducted a number of measures in this respect. One was the provision of all the logistic necessities to establish Baghdad UN monitoring center in al-Kanat Hotel. A building was prepared, reconstructed and developed to meet the nature of the activities of the UNSCOM. The communication system's instruments, including a tower of 100M height, were set up within two weeks while the UNSCOM planned to install it in six months. The Chairman of the UNSCOM (then) Rolf Ekius described this achievement as a symbol of the cooperation of Iraq with the UNSCOM. The National Monitoring Directorate provided the UNSCOM with the technical and logistic support necessary to operate the helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft used by the commission. The support included ground services and decision on suitable places for the UNSCOM's pilots and technicians to conduct their daily tasks of air reconnaissance. Also minders were made available with the commission to overcome problems that might arise.

The National Monitoring Directorate ensured the safety of the UNSCOM's helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft when carrying out their missions in coordination with the Iraqi air defence system since 1991. The National Monitoring Directorate provided the inspection teams and monitoring groups with specialized minders to facilitate their sudden and planned field inspections. It also ensured the safety of the members of the teams and answered their questions and enquiries during their visits. The National Monitoring Directorate provided the UNSCOM in a cooperative manner with the required information in relation to the covered by base-line inspection and monitoring activities. The National Monitoring Directorate provided the UNSCOM with the accurate mid-annual data concerning the sites and equipment covered by the monitoring plan. The National Monitoring Directorate continuously updates the data. This definitely left its profound impact on facilitating the tasks of the monitoring groups during their visits to such sites.

One of the tasks of the National Monitoring Directorate is to provide minders who travel with the Commission's inspection teams to ensure that they are granted immediate and unconditional access to the sites under monitoring. The National Monitoring Directorate sought to constrain the Commission's activities by restricting the times and days during which it would respond to requests for minders. When minders from the National Monitoring Directorate escorted the Commission's inspectors, they have often interrupted interviews and instructed Iraqi site personnel to provide wrong information or to refuse to answer relevant questions.

Iraq further sought to constrain monitoring activities by implementing a policy whereby instructions were issued to all sites and facilities that access be refused to the inspectors unless representatives of the National Monitoring Directorate are present. Iraq has tried to enforce procedures that seek to require prior approval from the National Monitoring Directorate for the provision of documents found by inspectors at sites. These violations of the Commission's rights were protested by the Chairman in a series of letters to senior Iraqi officials and to the Deputy Prime Minister and were raised with him by the Chairman during his bimonthly meetings.

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Page last modified: 24-07-2011 04:44:48 ZULU