News


Tracking Number:  189735

Title:  "US Demands Full Disclosure of Iraqi Nuclear Activities." Accusing Saddam Hussein's regime of continued deception, the US has demanded that Iraq fully disclose its nuclear weapons-related activities and provide immediate access to its facilities by UN inspectors. (910709)

Translated Title:  Demanda EU revelacion total de activiadades nucleares.; Les Etats-Unis et les activites nucleaires de l`Irak. (910709)
Author:  DYBVIK, RUSSELL E (USIA STAFF WRITER)
Date:  19910709

Text:
*POL207

07/09/91 * U.S. DEMANDS FULL DISCLOSURE OF IRAQI NUCLEAR ACTIVITIES (Says "national security" excuse unacceptable) (670) By Russell Dybvik USIA Diplomatic Correspondent

Washington -- Accusing Saddam Hussein's regime of continued deception, the United States has demanded that Iraq fully disclose its nuclear weapons-related activities and provide immediate access to its facilities by United Nations inspectors.

In making the demand July 9, State Department spokesman Margaret Tutwiler dismissed as "totally unacceptable" Iraq's excuse that it hid equipment from joint U.N. Special Commission/International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspection teams for "national security" reasons.

Iraq's action "constitutes a clear violation of U.N. Security Council Resolution 687 and its obligations under the nonproliferation treaty and... safeguard agreements," she said at a news briefing. "It is imperative that Iraq fully declare all of its nuclear weapons-related activities and provide immediate, complete and unconditional access to the U.N./IAEA teams as the United Nations Security Council has demanded," she insisted.

Tutwiler expressed hope that a 29-page Iraqi letter addressed to U.N. Secretary General Perez de Cuellar, which contained more details of Iraq's nuclear activities, will be made public, although she acknowledged whether to do so was up to the U.N. official. The State Department has received an initial translation of it, she said.

In the letter, the spokesman told reporters, "Iraq admitted it hid equipment from the U.N./IAEA for certain 'national security reasons' and (maintained) that its program was for peaceful purposes only." She said, "That is something that we find totally unacceptable."

"The fact is," she added, "that Iraq had an unsafeguarded, covert uranium enrichment program that it hid." On two occasions, Iraqi authorities prevented a U.N./IAEA inspection team from entering sites where nuclear material was believed to be stored.

While the Iraqi letter is being reviewed by the U.N. team and the IAEA, Tutwiler said, the translation received by U.S. officials "reveals there are significant omissions and discrepancies."

"Statements Iraq makes about the extent of its capabilities do not comport with scientific data that we have about Iraq's program," she said, adding that the extent of the program, along with other information, "makes us believe strongly that Iraq has a program to develop nuclear weapons."

"It is a concern to us," she said, "one, because of the material involved, and two, because of the government that is in control of this material."

Tutwiler dismissed Iraq's contention that it had developed only four percent levels of uranium enrichment. "Our own assessment suggests this is not an accurate accounting of Iraq's capabilities," she said.

In its letter to the U.N. secretary general, she noted, Iraq now admits it had, among other things:

-- 30 calutrons, equipment used for uranium enrichment under a system called electromagnetic isotope separation (EMIS), only eight of which it claims were operable;

-- A laboratory chemical separation program for uranium enrichment;

-- An incomplete centrifuge process for uranium enrichment;

-- Half a kilogram of low enrichment uranium (four percent), and,

-- Various quantities of other nuclear related materials.

"The calutrons are the type of equipment Iraq moved from two different sites to avoid the U.N./IAEA inspection team...," Tutwiler noted, pointing out that "this type of equipment is used to produce highly enriched uranium which is essential to the development of nuclear weapons."

The spokesman also pointed out that Iraq accepted Security Council resolution 687 and agreed to implement it in full. "I don't know how in the world they can turn around now," she said, "and say for 'national security' reasons they had to hide all this stuff from the inspection teams. It doesn't wash."

As to how close Iraq may have been to completing a nuclear weapon, she told questioners, "I am not going to do an assessment or prediction for you of what we believe the Iraqi government is capable of doing." However, she noted that the United States has "a very sophisticated intelligence network," and "we have a great deal of confidence in it." NNNN


File Identification:  07/09/91, PO-207; 07/09/91, AE-207; 07/09/91, EP-213; 07/09/91, EU-208; 07/09/91, NE-205; 07/10/91, AS-308; 07/10/91, AR-304; 07/10/91, NA-304; 07/11/91, AF-409
Product Name:  Wireless File
Product Code:  WF
Languages:  Spanish; Arabic; French
Keywords:  IRAQ-US RELATIONS; IRAQ/Defense & Military; NUCLEAR WEAPONS; MILITARY CAPABILITIES; NUCLEAR NON-PROLIFERATION; INSPECTIONS; ARMS CONTROL VERIFICATION; ARMISTICE; PERSIAN GULF WAR; HUSSEIN, SADDAM; INTERNATIONAL ATOMIC ENERGY A
Thematic Codes:  1NE; 1AC; 1UN
Target Areas:  AF; AR; EA; EU; NE
PDQ Text Link:  189735; 189757; 189960