II. The Concealment Theory and Priority Issues by Dr. Amir H. Al-Saadi, Advisor at the Presidency.
III. The Outstanding Issues and Verification by Dr. Riyadh al-Qaysi, Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Statement by H.E. Mr. Mohammed Saeed Al-Sahaf, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
I would like to thank you for convening this meeting to enable me and my delegation to present our views on the fulfillment by Iraq of the requirements of disarmament as set out in Section C of resolution 687 (1991) in the fields falling within the mandate of UNSCOM.
The Security Council will hold an informal meeting tomorrow to hear a detailed technical presentation from the Executive Chairman of UNSCOM and its senior experts on what is called “ the priority outstanding issues on each of the weapons areas” in order, supposedly, to resolve them with Iraq’s cooperation during the next six months and report thereon to the Council next October.
The objective of our presence in New York is twofold. On the one hand, we thought it important to present our views to the Security Council along with our assessment of the present stage of work, and, on the other, to hold technical consultation with UNSCOM.
I intend to outline first a number of fundamental points of a very critical nature to the whole exercise.
1. The theory of concealment seems to be the only dynamic governing the work of UNSCOM at present with the result that no weight whatsoever is given to the tangible results achieved in the field whether material balance, destruction or lack of any discovery which proves concealment.
2. From the technical consultations held with the Executive Chairman and senior experts of UNSCOM on 28 and 29 May, we came to the conclusion that there is nothing new in the position of UNSCOM. Its views on the outstanding priority issues are identical with those outlined in the April report of the Commission. This is despite the fact that most of those issues are either resolved or irrelevant to the field of disarmament, or can easily be moved to the ongoing monitoring phase without detriment. Following this statement, Dr. Amer al-Sa’adi, Advisor at the Presidency, will elaborate on the two points I have just mentioned.
3. To strengthen the dynamic of the alleged concealment, UNSCOM has expanded the concept of verification, introduced the incomprehensible distinction between “ positive” and “ negative” verification, and neglected to respect its past undertakings in the Joint Programme of Action of 22 June 1996. With your permission, I shall request Dr. Riyadh al-Qaysi, Under-Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to elaborate on these points.
4. Although UNSCOM is talking about priority outstanding issues to be resolved, there does not seem to be the slightest indication that UNSCOM is ready to consider those issues as a finite list, and consequently, we cannot hope for an end in sight. In this connection I should like to remind the distinguished members of paragraphs 79 to 80 of the April’s report of the Commission, which dealt with this question and which were the subject of extensive questioning by members the Council when the report was introduced last April.
5. We view the meeting of the Council tomorrow with the utmost importance as it is bound to reflect upon the future relationship between Iraq and the Council. We are not engaged an academic exercise. At stake is the fate and well-being of a nation of 22 million human beings, which has endured untold sufferings from sanctions unprecedented in their scope and severity. I need not present any evidence on this incontrovertible fact in view of the mounting reports of the United Nations Specialized Agencies and humanitarian organizations at large.
With your permission I shall ask my colleagues to elaborate on the points assigned to them and I shall make some concluding remarks after that elaboration. Needless to say that we stand ready to respond to any question that might be raised.
I- Concealment Theory
During the forthcoming briefing to the Security Council by the Executive Chairman Mr. Richard Butler and his team, scheduled for 3 June 1998, it is intended to inform the Council of the reasons for creating in June 1996 the new section within the UNSCOM headquarters in the United Nations called the Concealment Section.
It is ironic that when the defection of Hussein Kamel brought to the attention of the Government of Iraq the unknown part of activities of Hussien Kamel and other individuals, that of retaining documents and materials, and then Iraq took the decision to hand over all that material to the Executive Chairman in August 1995 followed by clear and unambiguous orders to the organizations and individuals involved in the past programs to cooperate fully with UNSCOM on completing the remaining issues which fall within UNSCOMs mandate for completing its tasks … And when Iraq embarked on a new phase of cooperation in the technical areas remaining on completing the missile and chemical files as well as revealing everything unsaid about the Biological program ... after all that UNSCOM saw fit to establish the concealment section in 1996.
The new outfit began its work on the basis of theories about a concealment system and mechanism and to develop scenarios based on those theories and proceeded to work on those bases. That action brought about a new dimension to the work on all the files nuclear, missile, chemical and biological.
The result of those activities were:
- Poisoning UNSCOM and Iraq relationship on each front.
- Creating mistrust by intruding and trespassing on Iraq’s security concerns and infringing on Iraq’s dignity and pride.
Exploiting Iraq’s sensitivity to the intrusion on its security and the injury to its dignity and pride to the maximum they moved with sickening repetition from one crisis to another undermining UNSCOM’s real work on disarmament.
The incidents created through the demands to enter sensitive sites such as:
- The Ministry of Irrigation-March 1996.
- Republican Guards Units-March 1996.
- Security Services and Special Guards-July 1996.
- Special republican Guards Unit adjacent to a Presidential site - August 1996.
- And several other incidents in 1997 culminating in September 1997 with the incident outside the 3 Presidential sites.
Those incidents resulted in adverse statements and resolutions by the Security Council against Iraq on issues unrelated to the real work on disarmament. In addition to showing Iraq in a negative light and provoking public opinion against Iraq.
The cumulative effect of that campaign was an escalation of threats of military strikes against Iraq by the United Sates and the massing of military forces in the Gulf. Thus creating a seriously dangerous situation and bringing the area to the brink of disaster. Thus UNSCOM embroiled itself in politics (wittingly we believe) through the work of the Concealment Section.
- What have they proved so far?
a) Allegations of concealment of operational missile force?
The Concealment Section elaborated a paper based on its concealment theory on the "Measures taken by the Government of Iraq on the Concealment of Weapons of Mass Destruction" in which it claimed that Iraq concealed an operational missile force composed of up to 25 operational missiles and 1 to 2 launchers in addition to chemical and biological warheads and perhaps an imported nuclear bomb and having two nuclear devices minus the cores which Iraq was trying to obtain secretly.
This scenario, of course, was the cover for all the intrusive inspections carried out over the past two years. That campaign as is well known came to nothing and proved to be miserably wrong in two ways: the first was that they found nothing and the second through the establishment of material balances employing technical and scientific means in the nuclear and missiles areas, including the material balance for missiles, engines, and special warheads, launchers etc.
b) Allegations on concealment in the nuclear area.
In the Nuclear area, the Concealment Section put forward ideas on the basis of their concealment theory that nuclear material was concealed in sensitive sites, farms, a church and a monastery in the vicinity of Baghdad.
Those sites had to be inspected by teams from the IAEA against their better judgement on the basis of the information supplied by the Concealment Section. Needless to say, the inspection proved that the information was wrong.
c) Allegations on concealment of munitions at various sensitive sites.
d) Concealment of documents at various sensitive sites, military and civil organizations, ministry of defense and other ministries, and even private houses on occasions.
e) Allegations of concealment of production capabilities in this or that sensitive site.
f) Allegation on concealment of CW & BW stocks of agents VX and Anthrax and biological production facilities at Presidential sites.
UNSCOM's allegations based on the concealment theory achieved its final goal of inspecting the Presidential sites, searching for hidden stocks of VX and Anthrax and Missile warheads filled with those agents and for their production facilities etc. and took samples from the soil, the air, the water, and swabs from various surfaces inside the buildings and underground surveys using ground penetration radar. We have yet to receive the results! Needless to say, the results will also be negative.
g) The concealment section followed every bit of information and leads supplied by foreign intelligence services. What did they find? Nothing!
How long will that activity continue?
All the problems identified as remaining priority
issues stem from the new dimension added to the work of the groups in all
3 areas. They are all based on suspicions, unjustified and unwarranted.
Many issues could have been resolved in a professional manner during discussion
between experts unprejudiced and uninfluenced by the concealment theories.
II-The priority issues
The concealment theory as we have seen permeated into all areas of the work remaining between UNSCOM and Iraq. IN all these areas it remains for Iraq to provide documents and records UNSCOM "knows" are in Iraq's possession and therefore UNSCOM must continue to search for them.
In the Missile Area:
The priority issues identified by UNSCOM as problems to be addressed in the coming months are:
1) The material balance of the indigenous production for missiles.
a) UNSCOM's position:
UNSCOM maintains that the material balance of the
destroyed items could not be reestablished by the inspection team sent
recently to the destruction site and therefore UNSCOM must resort to another
way for establishing the material balance and that can only be through
the provision by Iraq of production, quality control and store records.
b) Iraq's Position:
Iraq has submitted a complete material balance for Gyroscopes (which represent the major part of guidance and control) and indigenous missile warheads.
Iraq also submitted in the FFCD a complete account
of indigenous production of airframes.
The Special Commission verified the Iraqi declaration by hundreds of inspection visits and scores of meetings and interviews with the cadre concerned in the Military Industrialization Corporation (MIC). A large number of supporting documents were submitted to the Special Commission including the procurement documents for supply of raw material, finished and semi-finished parts.
The volume of documents presented to the Special
Commission in the field of indigenous production of engines was about 300
documents and reports (more than 2000 pages.) There are no further
documents available on this matter.
Iraq furnished UNSCOM with extensive data and information on the status of the indigenous production of the missiles and proved the status of the indigenously produced engine parts never attained the final specifications required for operational missiles. That being so it follows that tools made for those parts are not final and thus are worthless.
Iraq established the material balance and detailed information supported by material evidence and documents according to the inquiries of the Special Commission. Iraq also cooperated fully in providing the required clarifications and answers related to the destruction methods, quantities and types of destroyed items.
The Special Commission was shown that the indigenously produced engines were not operational. The difficulties experienced in developing Al-Sumud liquid propellant engine (less 150km range) are indicative of this fact.
And, therefore, the remaining issue of indigenous production of the engines is not relevant to the disarmament phase stipulated in chapter C of resolution 687(1991) and any further questions in that area can easily by pursued during the on-going monitoring and verification phase, particularly that all the remaining production facilities for this type of work are currently subject to strict monitoring regime. Therefore Iraq cannot see why this issue has recently qualified to be moved up as a priority issue.
2) The Material balance of the propellant
a) UNSCOM position:
UNSCOM claims that Iraq's declaration on the propellant material balance is inaccurate and has changed several times. Therefore UNSCOM demanded from Iraq to provide the destruction diary for the unilateral destruction of the propellant.
b) Iraq's position:
UNSCOM never considered the issue of the propellant an important one for the first six years of its work. Consequently, Iraq thought this matter was closed. However, UNSCOM returned to the propellant on and off since April 1996. At all times, the issue was never considered as a priority issue. The attitude of UNSCOM in bringing this issue now as a priority issue is unjustified. The claim that the propellant for the Scud missile is of a type dedicated to that missile implying that it is a special propellant. This is far from being so. The propellant is made up from two types of fuel and an oxidizer. The starting fuel designated TG-02 is a mixture of common and commercially available organic compounds. More importantly it is not a proscribed item as it is also used in the Volga anti-aircraft missile currently in service in Iraq.
The other fuel is the main fuel designated TM-185 which is a cocktail of petroleum products which can be produced in many crude oil refineries around the world without any difficulty. (See attachment No. I)
The Oxidizer is mainly fuming nitric acid with some additives as stabilizers (see attachment No. II) It is seen that all the compounds in the oxidizer are common commercially available chemicals. It is readily seen for formula given in attachment II that the oxidizer for Volga system (permitted) and for the Scud system (prohibited) are essentially the same with slight difference in the additives to account for the longer residence time for the oxidizer inside the Volga system than the Scud. From the practical point of view one may be used in place of the other with acceptable performance.
3) The conventional warheads material balance:
a) UNSCOM's position:
In view of the fact that indigenously produced conventional warheads were also used as special warheads then UNSCOM requires production records of the conventional warheads for the full accounting of the material balance.
b) Iraq's position:
On their own, the conventional warheads are not relevant to the disarmament phase and have no special importance. It should be noted that, paragraph (47) of the report of the Special Commission of April 1997 mentions special warheads only. The special warheads were accounted for and verified fully through material and documentary evidence. Those warheads included 18 indigenously produced warheads.
Iraq provided all the clarifications requested by the Special Commission during the TEM on the warheads. In the TEM, Mr. El-Khateeb asked for a special table concerning the indigenous warhead monthly production details. The Table included information that may be regarded as to the best recollection of the personnel involved in the production in accordance with UNSCOM's request as a substitute to the original production records which do not exist. The clarification also included the explanation for the existence of 7-8 empty warheads in project 144/2 after the war.
As to the point concerning the P3 pit, we have presented to the Special Commission in our letter of May 25, 1998 the results of the analyses done on the remnants of the warheads excavated from P1, P3 & P6. Any additional information that may be discovered during the work in progress at present in the destruction area will be forwarded to UNSCOM.
A number of chief inspectors from the Special Commission have mentioned on many occasions that a zero material balance of a major component of the missile system such as the engines and launchers would be sufficient to indicate the correctness of Iraq’s declarations regarding the material balance of other components. Unfortunately the Special Commission abandoned this principle when the zero material balance of missile engines, launchers, special warheads was accomplished.
The Chairman of the Special Commission stated in the high level talks of February 1998 in Baghdad, that he would not search for 100% level of verification of the material balance of the other parts. Unfortunately that statement was not reflected in the Commission's statements and reports that followed, specially the report of April 1998.
Iraq undertook to cooperate with the Special Commission in clarifying any ambiguities concerning subjects not related to disarmament that the Special Commission believes require further clarification during the on-going monitoring and verification (OMV) after the implementation of paragraph 22 of resolution 687(1991).
In view of the establishment of the material balance for the missile, engines, launchers and special warheads, the requirements for disarmament is achieved. Other issues raised presently by UNSCOM are of secondary importance and may be pursued during the ongoing monitoring and verification phase.
In the Chemical Area
The priority issues identified by UNSCOM as problems to be addressed in the coming months are:
1) Revision of the material balance of the chemical munition
a) UNSCOM’s position:
UNSCOM stated that in order to help finalize the
VX issue it is important to revise the material balance for all types of
chemical munitions. Namely:
- Filled and empty 155 mm shells
- Empty R-400 bombs: 170 bombs accepted plus 191 bombs rejected. Other aerial bombs LD250 & ALD500
- 122mm filled and empty rockets.
b- Iraq's position:
155 mm munitions
- The Iraqi declaration in 1991 included the existence
of 12,634 (155 mm caliber) filled with mustard at two different sites.
This represents the status of intact munitions and their location.
- 12747 mustard filled shells were destroyed during 1992-1993 under UNSCOM supervision at Al-Muthana. The reason for the extra quantity compared with the Iraqi declaration in 1991 was due to the discovery of the remaining shells at different sites that have been bombarded (132 at Al-Muhammadiyat) in addition to quantity of rejected shells in the graveyard of Al-Muthana (113). Therefore, the Iraqi declaration in 1995 came with the figure 12 900.
- In December 1995 Iraq found some important documents which were handed over to UNSCOM according to those documents there was prior to the war 13500 shells filled with mustard. Thus the balance was corrected to the above figure and given by the Iraqi declaration in June 1996. The discrepancy of 500-600 shells in the balance have been attributed to the aerial bombardment and lost during the Gulf War as was evident that munitions stores were bombarded from the air and remnants were found on a number of occasions.
- In February 1998, the UNSCOM team visited Al- Muhamedyat stores, they noticed the presence of some shells (155 mm) were scattered and damaged, which were the remnants of the shells that were stored before at the site. The Iraqi side presently upon UNSCOM's request endeavors to obtain more information about the remnants of this quantity of munitions.
- UNSCOM claims that the Iraqi side did not declare Al-Aukhaider depot as a chemical store. This is not accurate for in 1991 the Iraqi side informed UNSCOM that Al-Aukhaider munitions depot was used as a temporary storage site for the purpose of storing the shells. Inspection teams visited the site during 1991. They observed the destroyed dump and the presence of a big pit, close to it, a pile of shells. The transfer of the scattered shells to Al-Muthana site may not have been complete as 4 shells were discovered in 1997 amongst the shrubs and 12 more were unearthed recently.
- UNSCOM lately claims that these shells contain high quality mustard (purity 95-97 %) giving rise to speculations that they have made a new discovery. This must be corrected.
- Does this issue really qualify to be a priority issue? The shortfall in the material balance was known since 1995, why was it not raised earlier?
Regarding the 170 empty R-400 bombs and 191 rejects which were destroyed by melting. This quantity represented the total rejected quantity after delivery of 1224 R-400 bombs to MSE. Some of the rejects, as shown in the supporting documents presented by Iraq namely 170 pieces, were possible to repair and the remainder 191 pieces were impossible to repair and were melted as scrap. It is worth mentioning here that the R-400 bomb is made up from 3 parts; The bomb's body (which was made by Iraq) the tail unit, and fuse mechanism, both of which are advanced technology items which were imported. Therefore the quantity of R-400 bomb bodies referred to by UNSCOM are not significant by themselves.
Concerning the material balance of the 122mm sarin rockets, they were verified as mentioned in a letter of the Chief Inspector of UNSCOM 198 in August 1997.
1) The VX Issue:
The Commissions position on this issue outlined in the Executive Chairman's letter of 11 May 1998 is that the international experts, on the basis of indirect evidence, drew the conclusion that Iraq was indeed capable of producing VX in quantity. Therefore Iraq must provide the necessary documents on the VX activities during the last stage of its program in 1990. Recently during the technical meeting we had with the Commission we were informed that the quantity of VX produced in 1987 and 1988 were accounted for. However, the quantity produced in 1990 needs to be supported by documentary evidence.
We have heard so much about VX and the hundreds of tons Iraq may have produced and concealed that we do not exactly know what the Commission's position really means.
Iraq's declaration stated that R & D work on VX was successful but Iraq never succeeded in production of VX. There were a total of 5 batches produced in 1988 and 2 batches in 1990. All ended in failure and further production attempts were stopped. Evidence from a copy of a report found with one of the personnel involved in the work showed that the 5 batches of 1988 about 2,5 tons reached zero VX purity after one month.
The two batches which were produced in 1990 (1.5 tons), were not successful and were discarded. Evidence of that is the letter of MSE activities for December 1990 in which the absence of VX production was commented upon by Minister Hussein Kamel. The VX was also absent from the inventory list of MSE agents and precursor material in storage at the end of 1990. In addition to that, another document about receiving munitions dated 5th January 1991. In that document there is no mention of VX. All this is direct evidence for the absence of VX production as distinct from failed production. IN view of that why do we consider indirect evidence? And how should we prove that success in production did not take place during the last stage of 1990?
3) The material balance of the production equipment:
We were informed during the technical meeting with
the Commission on 28 May 1998 that the account of the material balance
for the equipment is good and no further information are necessary.
As regards the evacuation of equipment in 1990 and 1991, this was
limited to the aerial bomb workshop that was transferred to the sugar factory
in Mousel, and the analytical equipment were evacuated. All these
events were mentioned in the two documents handed over to UNSCOM concerning
the evacuation activity.
In the Biological Area
a) UNSCOM's position
UNSCOM considers the entire FFCD as inaccurate, deficient and lacks credibility and consequently unverifiable. Therefore Iraq must present all the records and documents relevant to all aspects of the program.
b) Iraq's position
Iraq maintains that the FFCD of September 1997 is
true in every respect and the data given whenever documents could be found
are accurate. Where supporting documents are lacking, the true data
were given to the best of the recollections of the personnel involved in
the program. It is stated throughout the FFCD which portion is accurate
and supported by evidence and which portion although unsupported by evidence
is still true and in many cases verifiable through other means. Such
as indirect evidence as in cases of personnel diaries and notes found,
qualitative and analytical evidence as in the unearthing of remnants of
munitions unilaterally destroyed and buried.
Research and development:
Agents researched and finally selected for production
and weaponization have been identified and supported by evidence.
Acquisitions of materials:
All known activities related to the past biological program are given in the FFCD including the culture media, materials, equipment and microorganisms. Whenever UNSCOM ventured to present what they considered as evidence to the contrary, they were proven wrong.
Production of BW agents:
Iraq stated repeatedly that all records and documents of the BW program were destroyed in 1991 including the production of biological agents, therefore, the information depended on recollection of technical staff, capacity of the equipment, batches and durations especially for 1988 and 1989. While the production of 1990 was documented by the annual production report of Al-Hakam factory, noting that this year is considered as the year of the most intensive production of biological agents.
The equipment used in the production were obtained locally from idle projects or plants belonging to other organizations and were adapted for use in the production with many problems due to their condition and age or the fact they were imported for other purposes and not specific for biological agent production. Moreover, the specific production equipment ordered by Iraq from Chemap had not been received and this fact is well known by UNSCOM.
The Iraqi side submitted all information about the material balance of imported and local acquisition of culture media, consumed quantities and the remaining quantity which was destroyed under the supervision of UNSCOM.
The Material balance is given of BW agents produced, filled in munitions and the remaining stockpile that was destroyed in 1991. The Iraqi side also submitted documents that clarified the potential capacity for production for 1988 and 1989.
Filling and weaponization:
The information were reconstructed mainly from recollections with some documents for weaponization have been provided to UNSCOM. The munitions used in the field trials were mentioned as far as could be recollected by the personnel involved in the trials.
The munitions produced and filled were as follows:
R400 Aerial Bombs
Total number 200 manufactured (documented)
Number used for filling 157 (indirect documents)
Number of empty munitions 37 (indirect documents)
Number of rejected munitions 6 (UNSCOM verified and destroyed them)
This matter was discussed at length over the past two years and recently by UNSCOM-238. Nothing was brought up by UNSCOM, which contradicts the account given in the FFCD. The BW special warheads account in the FFCD was contested by UNSCOM on the bases of suspicions only and no evidence was presented. Strenuous efforts by Iraq showed that Iraq's account is supported by physical evidence from the destruction site.
Other issues for which UNSCOM demanded answers such as structure and organization of the program, entities which supported the program and their role as well as the position of the BW weapons in Iraq's defense policy have all been truthfully answered. UNSCOM contests the answers without giving any reasons. In any case these issues are not relevant to the disarmament phase?
The Commission supervised the destruction of the main site of Al-Hakem totally including 926 units of equipment and instruments many of which were unrelated to the past program and were actually used in non-proscribed production activities. Also destroyed were 30500kg of growth media and chemicals.
The Commission also destroyed the other declared sites which participated in the past program, namely Al-Salman site and the FMD site. The Commission refused to give or acknowledge formally to Iraq the list of destroyed items, and refused even to say why? Consequently disputes over destroyed items cannot be settled. A case in point is now relevant to that of 3 bags of yeast extracts allegedly imported from Daniel Company in October 1990.
The Commission carried out hundreds of verification inspections and analyses for all the identified sites and many other sites designated by the Commission with full Iraqi cooperation and found nothing which contradicts Iraq's declarations.
The active and extensive ongoing monitoring system covering over 100 sites in the biological area in addition to the export-import monitoring system in place since 1994 have not registered any case of proscribed activity.
Iraq's comments on TEM in Vienna:
TEM was attended by 18 experts from 14 countries of whom only 4 or 5 were new. They have been briefly exposed in New York and Vienna to masses of documents and materials originating from Iraq's draft declarations and two formal FFCDs for which there was insufficient time to study and to formulate a conclusion about. Therefore, members of the TEM, adopted the readymade opinions and comments and the numerous questions prepared by the old group and confronted the Iraqi side with that. Thus, the Iraqi team spent considerable time responding to questions many of which were irrelevant or insignificant or already settled and verified through visits, tests, inspections and analyses, discussions and interviews over the past 30 months of work with UNSCOM. The teams evaluation report was full of generalities containing nothing specific in the way of contradictory evidence. It failed to reflect Iraq's point of view in any way and did mot include Iraq's response delivered to the TEM on the final session as was the case in the previous TEM's reports for the missile warheads and the VX question.
The assembled experts asked the Iraqi counterparts to provide site plans and documentary evidence for events, decisions, or actions mentioned in the FFCD. Most of these were either included in the attachment to the FFCD of 1996 or handed over separately to the BW UNSCOM team over the past years, some of which were the only copy available in Iraq. That shows that not all the material provided by Iraq over the years was passed to the TEM experts.
It is curious to note that the Commission in its April 1998 report states that Iraq failed to present the technical answers required by the experts and that more than half the answers provided by Iraq were political. There were about 150 questions asked by the experts, 55 questions were technical and were mainly answered during the discussion and the remainder were answered in writing later (over 100 pages supported by some documents) 72 questions were non-technical and were answered as far as possible and 23 political questions. (quote from political)
The Commission has been challenging Iraq's FFCD on every aspect reported. So far all attempts to discredit the report were shown to have been baseless.
The Commission and to some extent the TEMs evaluation criticizes Iraq's FFCD on the bases of concepts and standards and practices prevalent in developed countries and thus rejects some aspects of the program as incredible or implausible.
The Commission presumes that all records for the past program exist in Iraq and the non-submission of those records is part of the concealment system.
The Commission in conclusion inexplicably ignores all the evidence at hand, documents (about 200 documents), physical evidence, absence of any signs of proscribed activities over the past 7 years and continue to maintain that Iraq conceals information about a parallel or dormant biological program!
The perception it created by catch phrases repeated often like "black hole" makes it all the more difficult for the Commission to come down to earth and deal with the realities evident on the ground.
I- OUTSTANDING ISSUES
There is no doubt that the task of UNSCOM is to locate proscribed weapons and their production equipment in order to eliminate them by means of destruction, removal or rendering them harmless. It is crucial in this connection to define the ‘substantial’ and ‘significant’ points, or ‘key elements’, which acquire priority in the substantive determination of Iraq’s implementation of its obligations, and distinguish them from those which do not possess such a character.
UNSCOM seems to have adopted this distinction in 1995, as is evident from paragraphs (9) and (29) of its report to the Security Council, document S/1995/494 dated 20 June 1995.
"9. The Chairman stated that, in the missile and chemical areas, while technical issues remained outstanding, they related more to the level of technical expertise achieved by Iraq or to accounting for components or materials than to weapons themselves or to an operational weapons production capability. Uncertainties arising from such issues (as mentioned in the report to the Security Council contained in document S/1995/284) had been reduced by Iraq during discussions with the Commission. They were no longer significant, in his view, for the evaluation of the fulfillment of the terms of paragraphs 8 to 10 of Security Council resolution 687 (1991), namely the assessment of whether Iraq's proscribed ballistic missile and chemical weapon capabilities had been eliminated and that current dual-purpose capabilities were being adequately monitored. However, he insisted that those issues still needed to be resolved and the Commission would continue to use its rights to do so under the relevant resolutions, the plan for ongoing monitoring and verification and the agreement contained in the Exchange of Letters of 7 and 14 May 1991 between the secretary-general and the Foreign Minister of Iraq, regardless of what action the Security Council took on the implementation of paragraph 22 of resolution 687 (1991).
29. Clearly, Iraq has not met all these terms, given the absence of credible accounting for its military biological activities. In the ballistic missile and chemical weapon areas, the Commission is now confident that it has a good overall picture of the extent of Iraq's past programmes and that the essential elements of its proscribed capabilities have been disposed of. While there are still some issues to be resolved in those two areas, the uncertainties arising from them do not present a pattern consistent with efforts to conceal a programme to retain acquired proscribed weapons. These remaining issues are not of a magnitude that would affect the assessment as to whether Iraq has completed the substantive actions required of it under paragraphs 8 to 10 of Security Council resolution 687 (1991) to eliminate its proscribed ballistic missile and chemical weapon and related facilities and to permit effective monitoring of its compliance in those areas."
Now, UNSCOM is advocating a different approach in determining what is required of Iraq. As has been demonstrated, it has put forward the notion of determining priority outstanding issues regardless of their or relevance to the substance of disarmament, as defined in the relevant resolutions of the Council, and without considering such so-called ‘ priority outstanding issues’ as a ‘ finite list’. This means that even when these issues are settled, UNSCOM will not be ready to report finally to the Council on the fulfillment by Iraq of its obligations.
Paragraph (80) of the last report submitted by UNSCOM, document S/1988/332 dated 16 April 1998 is quite clear on this point.
"80. While this is the outcome the Commission earnestly seeks, the Commission's ability to verify positively that Iraq has completed all of the actions contemplated necessarily relies upon the availability of all relevant materials. If the Commission presented Iraq with a finite list, it is not unreasonable to consider that Iraq might take action to satisfy only that list positively, thus leaving aside other relevant materials known to it but possibly not known to the Commission. To proceed in this way could water-down Iraq's primary obligation to make all relevant material available. Furthermore, to replace that obligation with the Commission's own list would effectively transfer the onus of establishing the basic facts from Iraq to the Commission. The Commission's list would become the standard of proof, not Iraq's compliance with what the Security Council has repeatedly declared to be the sole governing standard, namely Iraq's compliance with the resolutions and decisions of the Council. Those resolutions provide that Iraq should submit its truth for verification by the Commission, not the reverse."
Note also paragraphs 79 & 81of the report.
UNSCOM, in fact, applied this approach. In the field of missiles, after the Commission completed the material balance of missile engines (imported and indigenous) and launchers, it added the question of special and conventional warheads, to be followed by the question of propellant, and lately commenced to talk about indigenous production of tools and components. Paragraph (34) of the April report provided as follows:
"34. Indigenous missile production. Iraq was required to provide verifiable declarations on its achievements in indigenous production of proscribed missiles, including a verifiable material balance of their components. The work, in particular in the area of verification of indigenously produced missiles and the unilateral destruction of components acquired for their production, has not yet yielded satisfactory results."
In the chemical area, the Commission determined seven outstanding issues in February 1997. Five of these were settled, the two remaining being those of VX and the special warheads. However, the Commission expanded the issues in this area by adding the material balance of the production equipment, and the material balance of the special munitions.
"59. In addition, the Commission will continue evaluation and verification of the chemical weapons issues mentioned in its report to the Security Council of 6 October 1997. This includes: the accounting of all CW-related research and production projects in the area of CW agents and munitions carried out by Iraq in the period from 1988 to 1990, the disposition of "know-how" documentation on the production of various types of CW, and; documentation on commercial contracts from Iraq's CW-related procurement activities."
In the biological field, it is clear from the April 1998 report that the Commission considers every point open and every issue outstanding regardless of any consideration. These include the history of the programme, organizations, acquisition, research and development, production, weaponisation and material balance. (See paragraphs 68 to 75 of the report.) The conclusion of the Commission appears in paragraphs 76 and 77 of the report as follows:
" 76. The Commission will continue its pursuit of the facts of Iraq's proscribed BW programme, but given the situation described above, it requires new verifiable information from Iraq before the Commission can assess the full scope of Iraq's BW programme.
77. Unless such information is forthcoming, the
Commission will not be able to provide a credible report required with
respect to Iraq's BW capabilities, as required by the Security Council."
See also paragraphs 68 to 75.
The concept of verification is somewhat complex, but needless to say vital. Naturally, the definitional parameters of the concept, substantively and procedurally, depend on the objectives sought by putting the concept into function. Verification is, therefore, not an end in itself. It is an operational means designed to a specific end.
In the field of disarmament falling within the mandate of UNSCOM, the procedures envisaged by the relevant resolutions of the Security Council for the determination of the fulfillment of the substantive requirements of disarmament are basically those of declaration and on-site inspection. Since the end of 1991, hundreds of inspections have been carried out by UNSCOM’s teams with the result that to-date no proscribed weapon or component thereof was found.
Towards the end of 1993, the Commission put forward ‘verification’ as if it were a concept separate from the activity of inspection. Iraq dealt positively with this approach when it was quite clear that the concept of verification was restricted to what was ‘necessary’ and ‘ material’ for the implementation of paragraph (22) of resolution 687 (1991), setting aside matters that were secondary and immaterial to be dealt with in the ongoing monitoring phase.
The previous reports of the Special Commission clearly indicate this fact.
UNSCOM's Report S/26451 of 16 September 1993
Para.3 : " It was understood that, when Iraq addressed the issues in a satisfactory manner and information provided by it was independently verified where necessary, the Special Commission and the IAEA would be in a position to conclude that Iraq had completed the actions necessary to bring it into compliance with paragraphs 8, 9, 11, 12 and 13 of resolution 687 (1991)."
Para 4 of Annex III of the same report : When all initial information was furnished, it would be assessed by the Commission and the IAEA and, to the extent necessary, verified by independent inspection by the means deemed appropriate by the Commission and the IAEA."
UNSCOM's Report S/26571 of 12 October 1993
Paragraph 4 stressed the same point stated in paragraph 3 of the previous report noted above.
Then UNSCOM extended the concept of verification and gave it a different link, namely with material balance for the past programmes, as can be seen from its report in document S/1994/1422 of 15 December 1994. Paragraph 29 of that report stated:
" Iraq must provide credible account for all its past proscribed programmes and capabilities and supporting evidence to enable the Commission independently to verify its declarations so that the Commission can achieve material balance for the past programmes and thereby have confidence that its ongoing monitoring and verification system is proceeding from sound basis."
Despite that, however, UNSCOM could not ignore the inherent relativity of the function of verification. In its report in document S/1995/494 of 20 June 1995, it had this to say:
" 30. The Commission has pursued, and is continuing to pursue, all means available to it to identify and verify every aspect of Iraq's past programmes. It realizes, however, that conditions have been such, particularly where the acquisition and disposal of items is concerned, that a verified accounting of each and every element of the past programmes is beyond the realm of possibility, given the various hostilities in which Iraq has been engaged and the unilateral actions by Iraq to destroy weapons, equipment, supplies and documentation. The Commission is, however, satisfied that, in the missile and chemical fields, it has achieved such a level of knowledge and understanding of Iraq's past programmes that it can have confidence that Iraq does not now have any significant proscribed capability. It is also confident that the comprehensiveness of its ongoing monitoring and verification activities, while those activities continue, is such that the Commission would detect any attempt to reconstitute a proscribed capability in those areas. Verification of the latest information obtained by the Commission in the missile and chemical fields can be carried out satisfactorily during the Commission's ongoing monitoring and verification operations, using the rights and privileges available to it under the relevant resolutions, the Exchange of Letters and the plan for ongoing monitoring and verification. As noted in paragraph 10 above, the Commission welcomes Iraq's pledge to cooperate with these efforts, even after any decision by the Security Council to ease or lift the sanctions and the embargo."
In complete harmony with the conception of the Commission to restrict verification to what is necessary, the Joint Programme of Action of 22 June 1996, agreed upon between Iraq and the Commission provided as follows:
" 4. As a priority to accelerate verification, both
sides agreed to concentrate the work on fundamental areas as follows:
- the material balance of proscribed weapons and their major components.
- the unilateral destruction of proscribed items.
- the further provision of documentation, when available, related to proscribed weapons programmes: and
- the identification of measures taken in 1991 and the measures used by certain individuals to retain some proscribed items until August 1995. "
UNSCOM now thrusts verification in a manner that goes far beyond, not only the functional utility of the concept, but also in a way which constitutes a significant departure from the approach it had adopted in the past during the tenor of the former Executive Chairman. It is important to remember that UNSCOM cannot justify its present approach on the functions of verification on the grounds of the events of August 1995. This is because the Joint Programme of Action between Iraq and the Commission, which restricts verification to specifically listed ‘ fundamental areas’, was agreed upon nearly a year after the defection of Hussein Kamil and the handing over by Iraq of the chicken farm documents which Kamil had concealed.
The over-extension of the substantive and procedural functions of verification by UNSCOM at present could be seen from the presentation in April report in document S/1998/332 of 16 April 1998, which seems to have been made on the basis of forging an organic link between verification and concealment.
To begin with, the Commission sets off from the
premise in paragraph (12) as follows:
“12. Before providing detail on the substantive disarmament issues, a number of central points are recorded, briefly, because they form the indispensable context for any consideration by the Council of the current state of Iraq's compliance with its obligations.”
Then come the views of the Commission on the place of verification in the disarmament phase in paragraphs (13) to (18) in the following terms:
“13. Throughout the period of crisis, Iraq has claimed that it no longer has prohibited weapons "in the control of the Government of Iraq, in the territory of Iraq". It has stated, further, that it has made available to the Commission all that is necessary to enable the Commission to verify that claim and that nothing further, of substance, will be made available by Iraq.
14. Iraq's claim that it has no more prohibited weapons, which it has not been possible for the Commission to verify, does not in itself satisfy the three-step system the Council established in order to enable Iraq to fulfil its obligations under resolution 687 (1991). Those three steps are full declaration by Iraq, verification by the Commission and destruction, removal or rendering harmless under international supervision. These three steps form the integrity of a whole process. They are not separable into individual parts.
15. While Iraq's present claim might be able to be interpreted as satisfying, at least partly, the first of these steps, its consistent refusal to provide the commission with the information and materials needed to verify its claim, clearly fails to satisfy the second step. Taken together, these two circumstances make the third step impossible. Thus, the integrity of the whole process has not yet been satisfied.
16. This difficult circumstance is made even more complicated by Iraq's claim that it has unilaterally destroyed those of its prohibited weapons which were not destroyed under international supervision. While it is clear that in a number of weapons areas unilateral destruction did take place, again, Iraq's refusal to provide adequate and verifiable details of that destruction has meant that, up to the present time, the Commission has not been able to verify all of Iraq's claims with respect to such unilateral destruction.
17. It needs to be recorded that in relevant discussions between the Deputy Prime Minister of Iraq, Mr. Tariq Aziz, and the Executive Chairman, the Deputy Prime Minister indicated that, in his view, the main reason why Iraq's claims with respect to its weapons status were not accepted by the Commission was the Commission's lack of technical competence and bias against Iraq. Such views do nothing to alter the fact that Iraq's basic declarations of its holdings and capabilities in prohibited weapons areas have never been "full, final or complete", as required by the Council. Further, Iraq's failure to provide all of the materials and evidence required to fill in the gaps left by those declarations and its acts of unilateral destruction have significantly obfuscated the situation.
18. In the atmosphere that these regrettable circumstances have caused there has been, perhaps inevitably, some focus on the nature and/or standard of verification required to enable the Commission to enter credible reports under paragraph 22 of resolution 687 (1991).”
What the Commission is trying to say in these paragraphs boils down to two basic points, namely first that the integrity of the whole process of disarmament has not yet been satisfied because of Iraq’s continued refusal to provide the Commission with the information and materials needed to verify its claim that it no longer has prohibited weapons, and second that this difficult circumstance is made even more complicated by Iraq’s claim that it has unilaterally destroyed those prohibited weapons.
The Commission then goes on to say in paragraph (19) of the report that in order to be able to enter credible reports, it must be able to achieve verify positively that the prohibited weapons have been destroyed, removed or rendered harmless, and verify negatively that prohibited weapons are not being created. The Commission claims that this is “ the standard that was envisaged by the Security Council and the standard routinely applied in all comparable disarmament and arms control regimes.” Let me leave for the time being the question that negative verification does not mean anything but ongoing monitoring, and go to the section of the report entitled ‘ Concealment investigations’, which comprises paragraphs (118) to (124). These paragraphs stated as follows:
“118. As already indicated in this report, Iraq has never fulfilled the primary obligation to provide complete and verifiable declarations in any of the weapons areas specified by resolution 687 (1991). Iraq has admitted that it had a policy of either total concealment or significant, under-representation of its proscribed weapons and missile activities. In the cases of nuclear weaponization, biological weapons, VX nerve agent and indigenous ballistic missile production, Iraq began to disclose these programmes only after inspection teams uncovered proof of its undeclared activities.
119. Iraq has also claimed that in mid-1991 it unilaterally destroyed all of its concealed proscribed weapons, missile systems and documents. Because many of the specific claims about these purported unilateral destruction actions remain unproven, including the destruction events themselves, the Commission cannot positively verify that proscribed items and documents relating to them, no longer exist in Iraq. In addition, information at the disposal of the Commission points towards the possible continued existence of such prohibited items.
120. As a result of those events, the Commission, has developed, and continues to carry out, a system of mutually supporting investigations and on-site inspections designed to establish the absence of proscribed items and that dual-use items and materials are not being applied to proscribed purposes. The ongoing application of these verification procedures is intended to provide confidence that all proscribed items and activities have been disclosed by Iraq and eliminated.
121. As part of the Commission's efforts to verify Iraq's declarations, specifically its assertion that it is now free of proscribed items and materials, the Commission maintains a capable sites and concealment investigation unit. The series of inspections mounted by this unit are based on data available to the Commission from a wide range of sources, including Iraq's documents, interviews, U2 imagery and previous inspection findings.
122. The official Iraqi position on this matter is that it ended its concealment efforts in late 1991, dismantling the concealment mechanisms, but that the late Lt.-Gen. Hussein Kamel continued, on a personal basis, some concealment activities until his departure from Iraq in 1995. In this regard, it is critical for the verification of Iraq's declarations that the Commission not only establish that active concealment efforts have ceased, but also that the mechanisms of concealment used by Iraq have been found to have been dismantled.
123. This issue remains a vexing and pertinent one, for the Commission has information that contradicts Iraq's statements. For example, in March 1998, the Commission discovered documents in Iraq, dated 1993, that reflect Iraq's concealment activities at that time involving the i destruction, removal and safeguarding of documentation relating to proscribed activity in the field of ballistic missiles.
124. More importantly, the documents reflect, yet
again, a systematic attempt by Iraq - not solely by an individual - to
deceive the Commission, as late as 1993, regarding the true nature and
extent of Iraq's proscribed missile programmes. The documents contradict
current Iraqi declarations concerning its earlier concealment activities
and underscore the importance of continued vigilance and activity on the
part of the Commission on the issue of concealment.”
It could readily be seen from these paragraphs that the Commission is espousing the theory of concealment as a reasoning tool to conclude that verification is impossible at present, and thereby the task of disarmament becomes also impossible, unless Iraq provide the necessary evidence in the shape of documents on all aspects of the questions raised by UNSCOM.
Let us scrutinize this reasoning. To begin with, paragraph (11) of the Commission’s report sets out the relationship between disarmament and paragraph ( 22) of resolution 687 (1991) in the following terms:
“11. Paragraph 22 of resolution 687 (1991) ties Iraq's actions with respect to the removal of its proscribed weapons to the removal of the prohibitions against the import of commodities and products originating in Iraq and the financial transactions related thereto set forth in resolution 661 (1990). This relationship has, naturally, led to significant focus being placed upon the state of affairs in each of the specified weapons "files". While such focus is on the matter of substance - the weapons - it is important to recall that the terms of paragraph 22 refer to the specific actions contemplated in paragraphs 8 to 13 of the same resolution. Paragraphs 8 to 10, for which the Commission is particularly responsible, provide the sole criteria on the basis of which Iraq's actions with respect to disarmament in the three specified weapons areas are to be assessed and, thus, the basis for a decision by the Council on the other matters referred to in paragraph 22.”
It is clear from the reasoning outlined in this paragraph that it could not be harmonized with an over-extended concept of verification, or any theory of concealment for that matter. This is because the clear language of the specific actions on disarmament contemplated in the paragraphs of resolution 687, to which reference has been made, can be assessed in reality on the basis of the total results actually achieved throughout the seven years of work done so far. These results are not meager. The destruction of weapons, stocks of agents, related subsystems, components, research, development, support and manufacturing facilities, major parts, repair and production facilities, the presentation of hundreds of various types of documents thereon, the conduct of countless interviews, discussions, analysis, inspections, excavations, aerial surveillance, the establishment of material balance, the failure to find any “ concealed “ prohibited weapon despite the countless inspections …etc., could not be described as insufficient to prove technically verifiable actions of disarmament as contemplated by resolution 687.
If the Commission’s contention is true that it has
at its disposal information and documentary evidence contrary to Iraq’s
declarations, why does it not share them with Iraq as the Joint Programme
of Action agreed upon with on 22 June 1996 provides?
Paragraphs (3) and (4) of that Programme provide :
"3. With a view to enhancing confidence-building, the work will be carried out in a transparent and open manner, including the sharing of documentation obtained in Iraq in August 1995 and, as appropriate, sharing information and participation in the international seminars of experts."
" 4. As a priority to accelerate verification, both
sides agreed to concentrate the work on fundamental areas as follows:
- the material balance of proscribed weapons and their major components.
- the unilateral destruction of proscribed items.
- the further provision of documentation, when available, related to proscribed weapons programmes; and
- the identification of measures taken in 1991 and the measures used by certain individuals to retain some proscribed items until August 1995. "
This is an agreement which UNSCOM should honour, and there is no acceptable reason why such should not be the case due to a change of leadership of the Commission. The language of this agreement is clear and needs no explanation on the undertaking to act with transparency, sharing documentation and information, the meaning of verification, its fundamental areas, and the provision of documentation when available. There is also no doubt as to what is meant by the parameters of the so-called concealment, a term which was deliberately avoided. Incidentally, you should check the record that UNSCOM advanced the intensive conduct of interviews at one stage on the ground that that was the way to compensate the unavailability of documents! But now, nothing short of the provision of unavailable documents is acceptable for a satisfactory verification! If the procedures followed by the Commission have been anywhere near those followed in criminal proceedings, we would have been entitled by law to look into alleged evidence against us in order to be able to defend ourselves. Since UNSCOM is not a criminal court, it seems strange that it places us in a situation of ‘ double jeopardy’, in the sense that not only we have to provide it with the unavailable, but also to defend ourselves against the unknown that is alleged to be had against us. It is this strange reasoning that drives UNSCOM to talk about “ disarmament by declaration’ and ‘transferring the onus of establishing the facts’ and the like of notions, which are simply confusing and totally unnecessary.
In addition, the incessant demands by the Commission to be provided with documents gives the impression that Iraq has provided none. The facts of the situation are to the contrary. Iraq has provided the Commission with thousands of documents of various types: records, reports, charts, maps, consumption records, and even personal diaries. These demands for the provision of documents seem to be prompted by the claims of the Commission that it has evidence proving that necessary documents are still retained by the Iraqi competent authorities. Well if so, the Commission is bound by the provisions of the Joint Programme of Action, to which we have already referred, to share the evidence it has to settle this issue. It should be remembered that in the few situations in which the Commission shared some of the evidence and information it has, which caused its concerns, the Iraqi experts took a very short time to explain the situation and allay those concerns. Examples of this can be seen from the stories about the air-fuel bomb, the undeclared biological experiment, the experiments conducted on human beings, and the importation of culture media, which was explained to you in detail when we had occasion to meet with you last April under the Arias formula. It should be unacceptable at this late stage in the joint work with the Commission to maintain the adversarial approach, based on allegations and assumptions, that has been imposed for far too long by UNSCOM. We are not at the threshold of the commencement of the work. We have over seven years of work behind us and the Commission has a very extensive data base indeed in its possession which does not justify any presumptive modality of work. UNSCOM should take stock from the practice followed by the IAEA in investigating tendentious allegations against Iraq, as was the case for instance in regard to the London Sunday Times article published on 2 April 1995, and which was the subject matter of a supplementary report to the Council by the Agency.
See Documents S/1995/287 of 11 April 1995 and S/1995/604 of 21 July 1995
Section III of the IAEA's seventh semi-annual report (document S/1995/287 dated 11 April 1995) on the implementation of the IAEA's plan for ongoing monitoring and verification of Iraq's compliance with the relevant obligations specified in UNSC resolutions 687 (1991) and 715 (1991), addressed the implications of two, singe page, documents which were represented as official Iraqi correspondence, generated in April/May 1994, suggesting the reconstitution of a nuclear weapons programme.
As first indicated in an article published in the London Sunday Times on 2 April 1995, the documents had been received by the newspaper in late February from an anonymous sender. Copies of the documents were obtained by the IAEA on 4 April 1995.
As indicated in S/I 995/287, the IAEA had initiated an investigation with the aim of determining the authenticity and clarifying the substance of these documents. On 5 May 1995, as this investigation was nearing completion, an additional set of three documents was received by the IAEA. This second set had been received by a journalist in another Member State around the same time as the first set of documents had been received in the United Kingdom. The second set was clearly related to the same subject and it was quickly determined that both sets originated from the same source.
After explaining the process of investigation, which had entailed a detailed analysis of the form and content of the documents, an in-depth analysis of current and past correspondence and records provided by Iraq; interviews with Iraqi personnel allegedly involved, or known to have relevant technical competence; interviews with private Iraqi civilians not employed by the Government; interviews with journalists associated with the documents; and the carrying out of on-site inspection activities, including environmental monitoring, using the most sensitive analytical techniques" it concluded as follows:
As a result of this investigation, the IAEA has reached the conclusion that, on the basis of all evidence available, these documents are not authentic. Furthermore, no credible evidence was found to suggest that the activities reported in these documents were or are being carried out in Iraq."
One of the most relevant questions to verification is that of the FFCD’s, "Full Final and Complete Disclosures". It as been repeated that Iraq submitted several FFCDs for each area.
I would like at the outset to correct some concepts which caused some misunderstanding. The concept of the FFCD was introduced for the first time in SCR 707 (1991). In retrospect, neither the IAEA nor the Commission could have imagined the extent, the size and complexity it finally reached, as it evolved from less than a 100-page document to thousands of pages eventually. Objectively speaking the size of documents was greatly influenced by the defection of Hussein Kamel. Before submitting the formal FFCD in 1996, Iraq had presented, with the encouragement of the Commission, draft FFCDs for comments and questions, which was done through a series of discussions. Three to four such drafts were submitted. This was done in good faith and in an endeavor to satisfy the Commission. Iraq was later taunted by claims that it had submitted incorrect FFCDs, which had to be withdrawn several times.
Iraq was required by SCR 687(1991) to submit to the Secretary- General within 15 days a declaration of localities, amounts and types of all items specified in paragraph 8 and agree to urgent on-site inspections. Iraq retained some of its missile force for security reasons, as Iraq's very existence was threatened at the time. This lasted for about 2 months when Iraq decided to destroy unilaterally the retained items prior to the arrival of the inspectors. Under the circumstances then prevailing we thought that that was the best option to take.
In retrospect, that action created a problem for the inspections by the Commission, and was detrimental for Iraq. Nevertheless, Iraq declared in 1992 all the destroyed items retained from May to July 1991.
The biological weapons programme, however, was different in that the decision was taken in May 1991 to obliterate the part of it connected with production and weaponization. The unilateral destruction was started earlier than on the other items, missiles and chemical. However, in 1992 the biological weapons special warheads, which were unilaterally destroyed, were presented as part of the chemical weapons warheads as the Commission records attest. Similarly the 157 biological weapons R-400 bombs, which were unilaterally destroyed, were declared as part of the total chemical weapons R-400 bombs and the Commission’s records will also attests to this fact. The production site of Al-Hakem was also subjected to thorough obliteration of all signs of prohibited production activity. Therefore, no weapons or agents were concealed but only information about their past existence were withheld until 1995.
In the first half of 1995, the Commission worked on closing the missiles and chemical files from the disarmament viewpoint and the IAEA having reached a similar conclusion much earlier. The Deputy Prime Mnimister Mr. Tariq Aziz and Chairman Ekeus agreed that during the 1995 the Commission's experts in the biological area should meet with their Iraqi counterpart to learn about the full scope of the past biological weapons programme in order to move towards closing that file also.
Then Hussein Kamel defected. Iraq's credibility was damaged and work on closing all the files suffered a setback.
However, Iraq continued to work doggedly with renewed spirit of cooperation with the Commission to reestablish confidence that in the disarmament area there was nothing essentially new and Iraq's declaration in that respect remained essentially the same as before Hussein Kamel's defection.
However, in parallel to the work based on technical and scientific discussions, the concealment-theory advocates started their campaign in March 1996.
Thus, the work on disarmament achieved long ago, suffered an image problem after the defection of Hussein Kamel, was put on hold, and the mode of operation was the theory of the concealment.
On 22 June 1996, the Joint Programme of Action was agreed upon to dispose of all the difficulties in a transparent fashion to regain confidence. But In 1996-1997, Ekeus was convinced that Iraq concealed an operational missile force armed with anthrax and VX and called upon Iraq publicly to admit that and present it to the Commission for disposal. The slogan was that "Iraq cannot keep weapons of mass destruction and have the sanctions lifted".
Iraq then suggested as a way out of the impasse to reestablish the material balance of the missiles and launchers by re-excavations and examining the remnants.
Chairman Ekeus, believing that this will never be achieved went along with that, and when all the engine parts were unearthed and their numbers tallied with Iraq's declarationthe problem of proving of proving that all parts originate from genuine operational missiles as opposed to training, Iraqi made or fired engines was raised by UNSCOM. Although the analysis could have been done in Iraq under the Commission's supervision they insisted that they should be carried in American laboratories only. That was unacceptable and a stand off which lasted about 2 months followed. Then the tests were carried out in other laboratories outside the USA as well. Although the results proved Iraq's position, the Commission put the blame on Iraq for delaying the resolution of that question towards the closure of the missiles file. This is ironic as we look at the missile file today from the Commission's point of view. Why is the Commission raising obstacles in the form of issues raised in succession rather than in parallel?
However, when the results of the missile engines analysis vindicated Iraq's positions another issue was introduced, namely the special warheads which have been accounted for in 1992. Although on their own, the warheads were not important for many reasons, Iraq went along with UNSCOM's demand to establish their material balance. After more than 9 months of strenuous efforts, Iraq established yet again the correctness of its position. When that was done, now we have priority issues of the propellant, indigenous production and conventional warheads. And we do not know what is more in store.
As the work of the warheads was in progress, the concealment group was busy looking for concealed warheads, agents and capable sites all over the country under the slogan of "unfettered access" and "search and destroy". Iraq must comply in order that the Commission will go in and identify the proscribed items and get rid of them. Needless to say that the concealment team has never found any thing let alone destroy it.
When the "unfettered access" was resolved, we had the April 1998 report in which the Commission denied that anything was achieved and called on Iraq to tell the truth and submit all documents and records to verify Iraq's declarations.
What we request in this connection is that the Commission should restrict itself to the assessment of what is 'necessary', and ‘ material’ for the final reporting on the fulfillment by Iraq of the specific actions on disarmament contemplated in resolution 687 (1991) for the implementation of paragraph (22) thereof. Other questions which do not have that nature could be moved to the ongoing monitoring stage without detriment to the provisions of section C of the resolution. This is the conclusion reached by the Commission in December 1993, as is evident from its report in document S/26825 of 1 December 1993. Paragraph (12) of that report reads as follows:
"12. The Commission expressed its firm conviction
that verification of the information now available on Iraq's past programmemes
could be completed substantially in advance of the Commission being in
a position to determine that ongoing monitoring was under way and proceeding
in a satisfactory manner. The Commission emphasized that verification would
be pursued together with the initiation of full- scale ongoing monitoring.
In the unlikely event that some elements of verification were unduly delayed,
they would continue to be pursued during the monitoring phase. Therefore,
verification need not delay any reports by the Commission and by IAEA under
paragraph 22 of resolution 687 (1991). Should any new information on past
programmes be forthcoming in the future, the Commission and IAEA welcomed
Iraq's express recognition of the right of the Commission and IAEA, after
implementation of paragraph 22 of resolution 687 (1991), to undertake immediate
on- site inspections."
The same view was reiterated in 1995 by the Commission in paragraph (30) of its report in document S/1995/494 dated 20 June 1995, quoted above. The paragraph read:
" 30. The Commission has pursued, and is continuing
to pursue, all means available to it to identify and verify every aspect
of Iraq's past programmes. It realizes, however, that conditions have been
such, particularly where the acquisition and disposal of items is concerned,
that a verified accounting of each and every element of the past programmes
is beyond the realm of possibility, given the various hostilities in which
Iraq has been engaged and the unilateral actions by Iraq to destroy weapons,
equipment, supplies and documentation. The Commission is, however, satisfied
that, in the missile and chemical fields, it has achieved such a level
of knowledge and understanding of Iraq's past programmes that it can have
confidence that Iraq does not now have any significant proscribed capability.
It is also confident that the comprehensiveness of its ongoing monitoring
and verification activities, while those activities continue, is such that
the Commission would detect any attempt to reconstitute a proscribed capability
in those areas. Verification of the latest information obtained by the
Commission in the missile and chemical fields can be carried out satisfactorily
during the Commission's ongoing monitoring and verification operations,
using the rights and privileges available to it under the relevant resolutions,
the Exchange of Letters and the plan for ongoing monitoring and verification.
As noted in paragraph 10 above, the Commission welcomes Iraq's pledge to
cooperate with these efforts, even after any decision by the Security Council
to ease or lift the sanctions and the embargo."
At this stage, I should like to make some concluding remarks. I shall make these remarks regardless of any claim, allegation, statement, interpretation or position to the contrary.
1. The technical presentation we have made proves beyond a shadow of doubt that Iraq cannot be judged as having been negligent in the performance of its obligations under the relevant resolutions of the Security Council. The record proves that we have made tremendous efforts to enable UNSCOM to be in a position to report positively to the Council under paragraph (22) of resolution 687 (1991). We have acceded to the maximum limits of our possibilities and capabilities to all the functional demands of the Special Commission, and we produced successful results. But the important point to remember is that the successful implementation of every request by the Commission, regardless of any criteria whether related to a key or major, as opposed to a secondary or minor, issue for the substantive requirements of the disarmament phase is not devoid of dire consequences on the life of 22 millions of Iraqis, as sanctions are prolonged without any end in sight. Seen through this angle, the success we achieve in fulfilling the requests of the Commission on a particular issue becomes meaningless.
2. It is not true that Iraq seeks disarmament by declaration
as the Commission contends. In fact, we neither sought nor requested such
a thing. What is at issue really is the functional definition and
the scope of verification as conceived by the Commission under its present
leadership. Concretely put, the problem we face at present is this: despite
all the activities that have been performed, namely the inspections, the
destruction of weapons and components and production facilities, the interviews,
the provision of documents, the effective operation of the ongoing monitoring
and the export import mechanism, and so on, UNSCOM still believes that
the process of verification is not yet complete. The basis for this attitude
is the theory of concealment, otherwise why the undue reliance on presumptions
and suspicions instead of the direct and tangible evidence approach the
elements of which are in abundance? Another aspect of
this problem is that the Commission claims that it has information and
evidence contrary to Iraq’s declarations. If so, this point is not difficult
to resolve on the basis of the Joint Programme of Action agreed upon on
22 June 1996 between Iraq and the Commission, the provisions of which are
ignored by the present leadership of UNSCOM. The fact that the leadership
of UNSCOM has changed should not cause such a result.
3. The Commission has been working in Iraq for over seven
years and the conclusion reached in its last report seems to be that we
have to go back to square one practically in all fields. First, this runs
counter to the last report of the previous executive Chairman submitted
on 11 April 1997, as is evidenced by paragraphs 46 and 47 of that report.
Secondly, it is well-known that UNSCOM often claims that it has the best
qualified experts in its service, and the Council agrees with this view
. Consequently, it is to be expected that they should be able to
conclude their work successfully given the abundance of the data at their
disposal. Moreover, we are bound to wonder why the experts of UNSCOM have
not been able to find any concealed weapon since the inception of the concealment
theory in 1996 despite (133) inspections conducted by (16) inspection Teams
on concealment? We believe that UNSCOM should discard the futile theory
of concealment and dismantle all the organizational structure established
for its implementation, whether in New York or Baghdad.
4. From what we have been able to demonstrate, UNSCOM
at present considers all issues as equal in importance without any distinction
as to their nature whether key, major, significant or otherwise. This approach
represents a formula for an endless process, which defies the provisions
of the relevant resolutions of the Council. The provisions of these resolutions
envisage a clear distinction between the two phases of disarmament and
ongoing monitoring and verification. The latter phase has been in operation
successfully and effectively since 1994. As for the former, it is our considered
view that if the Commission concentrates on relevant issues to disarmament,
and abides within this framework, by the distinction between the key, major,
and significant issues and those that are of a secondary, minor or less
significant nature, it should be able to conclude now that the disarmament
phase is concluded. Nothing will be lost since the Commission will have
the possibility to follow up the secondary, minor and less significant
issues in the ongoing monitoring phase. In this connection, it is very
important to recall the position of Iraq, which was put forward in 1993,
to recognize the right of the Commission and the IAEA, after the implementation
of paragraph (22) of resolution 687 (1991) to undertake immediate on-site
inspections. This position was welcomed by UNSCOM and considered important.
5. The provisions of section C of resolution 687 (1991)
represent the Security Council position. Consequently, it should be the
responsibility of all the members of the Security Council, to assess the
facts as they are at present. This should be done on the basis of criteria
drawn up from the total volume of the work done thus far. On that basis,
a conclusion could certainly be made that the substantive requirements
of disarmament have been fulfilled. Otherwise, the Council will not be
able to decide finally under paragraph (22) of resolution 687 (1991). Any
other approach can only mean extreme absolutism, which is, by the very
nature of the exercise and its objectives, simply untenable. To put it
differently, if a so-called clean bill of health is required, it should
describe the state of health as it is now. This is the position adopted
by the IAEA. Naturally, it is incontestable that the regime of ongoing
monitoring would provide the required periodic checks.
6. Overall, we have cooperated with UNSCOM to the fullest
extent of our possibilities and capabilities as the exigencies of work
demands. We shall continue likewise, but you should be conscious of the
fact that we are not engaged in an academic exercise with UNSCOM.
7. I should like finally to affirm that we do not have any prohibited weapon, component, production equipment, or precursors thereof. I also like to confirm that we have provided UNSCOM with all the documents we have and we do not conceal any document of the type sought by UNSCOM. We are bound to inquire about our rights under the Council’s resolutions. After over seven years of work, we are entitled to a well-deserved recognition instead of being driven into successive crises from which no one would gain. It is our well-considered opinion that we have fulfilled our obligations, as we have demonstrated to you today.
8. Seven years have passed since the adoption of resolution
687 (1991). The regime of ongoing monitoring and verification have been
in effective implementation for four years since 1994. All the prohibited
weapons have been destroyed with all related production facilities and
equipment. Our people have been waiting for far too long to see the lifting
of sanctions. They still suffer from the injustice of the severity of sanctions
which have been prolonged excessively and unjustifiably. Despite that,
we have cooperated with the Security Council and UNSCOM in the hope that
we will be given the rights we are entitled to under the resolutions of
the Council, and specially our rights under paragraph (22) of resolution
687 (1991). I should like to remind you that despite our sincere cooperation
in the implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding which was concluded
on 23 February of this year with the Secretary-General, which proved the
false nature of all the allegations that were made in regard to the Presidential
Sites in Iraq, allegations which nearly led to a very destructive war,
we are still waiting for an end to sanctions and their dire consequences
on the lives of our people. The sacrifices we made, and the sufferings
we had to endure under the unprecedented regime of the sanctions imposed
upon us, deserve now serious consideration more than at any time before.
Such consideration should be based on the rules of equity and legal interpretation
of the resolutions of the Council, no more and no less. We hope that you
will take our position seriously as it represents indeed what 22 million
Iraqis call upon you to respond to favourably.