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The World | SHOWDOWN WITH IRAQ

'Access Has Been Provided to All Sites'

January 28, 2003|From Reuters

Following are excerpts from the report presented Monday by chief U.N. weapons inspector Hans Blix to the U.N. Security Council.

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Iraqi Cooperation

Iraq appears not to have come to a genuine acceptance -- not even today -- of the disarmament, which was demanded of it and which it needs to carry out to win the confidence of the world and to live in peace....

The substantive cooperation required relates above all to the obligation of Iraq to declare all programs of weapons of mass destruction and either to present items and activities for elimination or else to provide evidence supporting the conclusion that nothing proscribed remains....

Cooperation might be said to relate to both substance and process. It would appear from our experience so far that Iraq has decided in principle to provide cooperation on process, notably access. A similar decision is indispensable to provide cooperation on substance in order to bring the disarmament task to completion through the peaceful process of inspection and to bring the monitoring task on a firm course....

Iraq has on the whole cooperated rather well so far with UNMOVIC [U.N. Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission].... The most important point to make is that access has been provided to all sites we have wanted to inspect and with one exception it has been prompt.

Weapons

There are strong indications that Iraq produced more anthrax than it declared, and that at least some of this was retained after the declared destruction date. It might still exist. Either it should be found and be destroyed under UNMOVIC supervision or else convincing evidence should be produced to show that it was indeed destroyed in 1991....

There are questions to be answered concerning the fate of the VX precursor chemicals, which Iraq states were lost during bombing in the Gulf War or [it] unilaterally destroyed....

The document [from Iraqi air force headquarters handed over to a U.N. inspector late last year] indicates that 13,000 chemical bombs were dropped by the Iraqi air force between 1983 and 1988, while Iraq has declared that 19,500 bombs were consumed during this period. Thus, there is a discrepancy of 6,500 bombs....

Iraq also declared the recent import of chemicals used in propellants, test instrumentation and guidance and control systems....

What is clear is that they were illegally brought into Iraq -- that is, Iraq or some company in Iraq, circumvented the restrictions imposed by various [U.N.] resolutions.

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To read Blix's full report, go to latimes.com/blix.

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