Skip to comments.U.N. Plans Long-Term Monitoring of Iraq
Posted on 12/03/2003 7:42:32 PM PST by TexKat
UNITED NATIONS - U.N. weapons inspectors are planning for possible monitoring of Iraq's biological, chemical and missile programs despite being barred from the country by the United States, according to a report to the U.N. Security Council.
The quarterly report released Wednesday by the U.N. Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission, known as UNMOVIC, outlines a range of activities undertaken by the U.N. inspectors to seek new information about Iraq's weapons programs and to prepare for a possible future role.
U.N. inspectors were pulled out of Iraq in March, just before the U.S.-led war that toppled Saddam Hussein's regime. After the war, the United States deployed its own search teams and refused to allow U.N. inspectors to return.
The Security Council has said it will discuss UNMOVIC's mandate at a future date. But American officials have said the United States doesn't want to take up the issue until the U.S. hunt, now led by former U.N. inspector David Kay, is completed, probably in June.
Despite being barred from Iraq, UNMOVIC said it continues to seek information about Iraq's banned weapons programs from governments, from material in the media, and from post-war commercial satellite imagery. These photos of Baghdad, Mosul and other areas "where there have been concentrations of inspection sites" were compared with pre-war images, it said.
The commission also described what it knew about various Iraqi missile programs.
It noted that Iraq had considerable capabilities, but that there was little evidence that Iraq had tried to go beyond the Al-Samoud 2 missile, which had a range beyond the 92-mile limit allowed under U.N. resolutions.
The report assesses "what Iraq could have developed in the future with such knowledge and technology," and says UNMOVIC would have liked to investigate the possibility that Iraq was trying to use a first-stage boost motor with the Al-Samoud 2 to increase its range.
On another issue, UNMOVIC said advanced testing and analysis had indicated that the strain of anthrax found on R400 bombs that Iraq declared that it unilaterally destroyed was the same strain that it had earlier declared to have weaponized.