News


Tracking Number:  201327

Title:  "IAEA Head Describes Iraq's Nuclear Programs." In his annual report to the UN, IAEA Director General Hans Blix said Iraq had scientific and technical programs in place to make nuclear bombs despite assertions to the contrary. (911021)

Translated Title:  Director OIEA describe programas nucleares de Irak; L'AIEA explique le programme nucleaire Irakien. (911021)
Author:  AITA, JUDY (USIA STAFF WRITER)
Date:  19911021

Text:
*POL110

10/21/91 HIAEA HEAD DESCRIBES IRAQ'S NUCLEAR PROGRAMS SH(UNGA receives report on IRAQ'S NPT violations) (660) BYBy Judy Aita BIUSIA United Nations Correspondent

TUnited Nations -- Iraq had scientific and technical programs in place to make nuclear bombs despite its assertion to the contrary, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) told the General Assembly October 21.

In his annual report to the assembly, IAEA Director General Hans Blix said IAEA still has to remove some quantities of highly enriched uranium fuel from Iraq and destroy or neutralize nuclear-related items which Iraq is not allowed to keep under the Security Council's cease-fire agreement for the Persian Gulf war.

The director general also said that IAEA's ability to uncover secret nuclear installations and material would be improved drastically if other nations would provide IAEA with satellite information. The success IAEA inspectors achieved in Iraq was due in large part to intelligence information provided by individual nations on "where to look," he said.

Blix had previously reported to the Security Council that Iraq was conducting programs to develop its own uranium enrichment programs, make both atomic and hydrogen bombs, and develop delivery systems.

Blix said that the agency's seventh team, which has just finished its inspection in Iraq, has reported that "although Iraq asserts that no political decision was taken to make a nuclear bomb, the scientific and technical program for weapons development is affirmed and information is given about it."

The IAEA director general discussed IAEA's "laborious" technique in discovering and detailing the scope of Iraq's nuclear weapons program. But he emphasized that "as no one feels confident that everything has been revealed, close future monitoring is a necessity to preclude new surprises."

"The Board of Government of the IAEA has twice declared Iraq in non-compliance with its safeguards obligations and the General Conference of the IAEA last month condemned Iraq's non-compliance with its nuclear non-proliferation obligations," Blix reported.

As a party to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, Iraq had pledged not to develop or acquire any nuclear weapons and had a safeguards agreement with IAEA to place all its nuclear material under safeguards. "To the regret and shock of the world community, Iraq has been found not to have respected these pledges," Blix said.

The IAEA board of governors has begun discussing new procedures under which the IAEA would perform so-called "special inspections" at undeclared sites and would be supported by the Security Council if a country refuses to comply, Blix said. Such measures should be put in place if the international community is to avoid such surprises in the future as the Iraqi program, he noted.

"Although another case like Iraq may not occur again in a world moving toward nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation...the eventuality cannot be excluded and effective procedures must be in place to meet it," he said.

But Blix noted that in spite of Iraq, "significant progress" has been made in non-proliferation. Argentina and Brazil are in the process of concluding comprehensive safeguards agreements with the IAEA; South Africa, China, and France have said they will adhere to the NPT; Lithuania has acceded to the treaty, and the Ukraine has declared its intention to do so, he said. "Several other states in southern Africa have recently joined the NPT, making the objective of a nuclear-weapon-free African continent seem attainable."

IAEA is also taking steps to prepare a model agreement for safeguards against all nuclear activities in the Middle East and the creation of a nuclear-weapons-free zone in that region, he said.

"It does not seem too daring, in the present international climate, to aim at and hope for both accelerated nuclear disarmament by nuclear-weapon states and universal commitment to non-proliferation on the part of non-nuclear-weapon states by 1995 when the extension of the NPT is to be examined," Blix said. NNNN


File Identification:  10/21/91, PO-110; 10/21/91, EP-113; 10/21/91, EU-107; 10/21/91, NE-113; 10/22/91, AE-207; 10/22/91, NA-205; 10/22/91, AR-207; 10/22/91, AS-204; 10/22/91, AF-204
Product Name:  Wireless File
Product Code:  WF
Languages:  French; Spanish; Arabic
Keywords:  INTERNATIONAL ATOMIC ENERGY AGENCY; IRAQ/Defense & Military; MILITARY CAPABILITIES; NUCLEAR WEAPONS; BLIX, HANS; UNITED NATIONS; INSPECTIONS; NON-PROLIFERATION TREATY (NPT)
Thematic Codes:  1UN; 1AC; 1NE
Target Areas:  EA; EU; NE; AR; AF
PDQ Text Link:  201327; 201404; 201529