News

ACCESSION NUMBER:371836

FILE ID:POL103

DATE:12/19/94

TITLE:IRAQ STILL WITHHOLDING WEAPONS INFORMATION, U.N. SAYS (12/19/94)

TEXT:*94121903.POL

IRAQ STILL WITHHOLDING WEAPONS INFORMATION, U.N. SAYS

(New Ekeus report to U.N. Security Council) (740)

By Judy Aita

USIA United Nations Correspondent

United Nations -- Iraq "falls far short" of its obligation to provide the

United Nations with complete details of its banned weapons programs and is

deliberately withholding information, a top U.N. official has reported to

the U.N. Security Council.



Recounting Iraq's lack of cooperation with the U.N. over the past six

months, Ambassador Rolf Ekeus says the U.N. "has both direct and indirect

evidence that Iraq is still failing to declare equipment and materials

acquired for and capable of use in proscribed programs and that its

accounts of certain of its projects do not reflect their true purpose and

their role as part of now proscribed weapons programs."



Ekeus, who is chairman of the U.N. Special Commission overseeing the

destruction of Iraqi weapons programs (UNSCOM), says in a written report

released December 19 that Iraq was "generally cooperative" in allowing U.N.

weapons experts to visit sites, set up long-term monitoring equipment, and

tag items that have a "dual purpose" -- ones that could be used for

peaceful manufacturing or in the production of banned chemical, biological,

or nuclear weapons.



However, the chairman says "Iraq has not volunteered information and has

shown marked lack of transparency, disclosing information only when

confronted with evidence by the commission."



Many of Iraq's declarations to the Special Commission "are incomplete and

1ometimes contradictory," he says.



In an attempt to independently piece together a complete picture of Iraq's

weapons programs, the commission has greatly increased its contacts with

governments that supplied Iraq with arms and supplies prior to Baghdad's

1990 invasion of Kuwait.



Ekeus' report says the commission does not believe that Iraq has destroyed

all the documents related to the banned chemical, biological, nuclear and

ballistic missile programs or that no other tangible proof exists on the

extent or details of the weapons programs.



"Events of the past six months have strengthened the commission's conviction

that important documentation still exists and that the Iraqi authorities

have taken the conscious decision not to release it freely to the

commission," it says.



UNSCOM has great problems accounting for Iraq's past biological programs,

Ekeus says.  "Iraq's account is minimal and has no inherent logic," he

says, noting that its officials have either refused to answer the U.N.

experts' questions or have provided only incomplete and misleading

information.



In November, he says, Iraq finally presented new information on biological

weapons equipment and material to enable the U.N. to begin initial

long-term monitoring.



In the chemical weapons area, he says, the commission cannot be sure that

Iraq has fully accounted for all the precursor chemicals and production

equipment it imported.



In the missile area, the U.N. has a fuller account of Iraq's past programs

but the problem is with the long-term verification.  "Areas of particular

concern related to accounting for known imports of components and

production equipment," the report says.



A prime example, it says, related to the import of a high precision

instrumentation radar.  The U.N. has firm evidence that the radar was

imported for Iraq's long-range ballistic missile program and was used in

testing the missiles.



"Iraq denied this outright and has presented numerous different and

conflicting explanations of the use and purpose of this radar," saying

first that it was disassembled in 1990 and later that it was used in

tracking missiles in late December 1990, Ekeus says.



UNSCOM has ordered the radar destroyed.

"Iraq must provide credible accounts for all its past proscribed programs

and capabilities and supporting evidence to enable the commission

independently to verify its declarations so that the commission can achieve

a material balance for the past programs and thereby have confidence that

its ongoing monitoring and verification system is proceeding from a sound

basis," the report insists.



"Without such confidence," it declares, "the commission cannot be certain

that it is indeed monitoring all the facilities and items in Iraq which

should be monitored if the requirements of the Security Council are to be

fulfilled."



The Security Council will use the report during its periodic sanctions

review, which will be held in January.  The council's determination that

Iraq has complied with all the gulf war cease-fire demands concerning the

weapons programs will be key to the eventual lifting of sanctions,

especially the oil embargo.



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