News

 

DATE=3/6/98
TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
NUMBER=2-227731
TITLE=U-N / IRAQ WEAPONS INSPECTIONS (S & L)
BYLINE=MAX RUSTON
DATELINE=UNITED NATIONS
CONTENT=
VOICED AT: 

INTRO:  THE UNITED NATIONS COMPLETED WORK TODAY (FRIDAY) ON 
PROCEDURES FOR THE INSPECTION OF PRESIDENTIAL SITES IN IRAQ.  
V-O-A CORRESPONDENT MAX RUSTON REPORTS FROM OUR U-N BUREAU.

TEXT:  U-N OFFICIALS SAY THE COMPLETED PROCEDURES WILL BE 
PRESENTED TO THE SECURITY COUNCIL ON MONDAY, AFTER WHICH DETAILS 
WILL BE RELEASED PUBLICLY.  A U-N UNDER-SECRETARY-GENERAL WILL 
LEAVE NEW YORK FOR BAGHDAD LATER MONDAY, WHERE HE WILL HELP TO 
PREPARE A SPECIAL INSPECTION GROUP TO VISIT THE SITES.

THE COMPLETION OF THE PROCEDURES IS A KEY STEP TOWARDS ENDING THE
LATEST MILITARY TENSION SURROUNDING THE INSPECTION OF IRAQ'S 
SUSPECTED WEAPONS SITES.

THAT TENSION BEGAN WHEN IRAQ DECLARED EIGHT SO-CALLED 
PRESIDENTIAL SITES OFF LIMITS TO WEAPONS INSPECTORS.  LAST MONTH,
U-N SECRETARY-GENERAL KOFI ANNAN VISITED BAGHDAD AND CONVINCED 
IRAQI PRESIDENT SADDAM HUSSEIN TO ALLOW THE RESUMPTION OF 
INSPECTIONS, TO WHICH IRAQ HAD ALREADY AGREED AT THE END OF THE 
GULF WAR.

                      /// REST OPTIONAL ///

ON FRIDAY, AN INSPECTION TEAM LED BY AMERICAN SCOTT RITTER 
CARRIED OUT ITS FIRST INSPECTION MISSION IN IRAQ SINCE JANUARY.  
THE TEAM WAS WITHDRAWN FROM THE COUNTRY AFTER IRAQ CHARGED IT WAS
DOMINATED BY U-S SPIES AND PREVENTED THEM FROM WORKING.

A U-N SPOKESMAN SAYS THE TEAM OF ABOUT 50 INSPECTORS VISITED 
THREE SITES ON FRIDAY, TWO OF WHICH WERE DECLARED "SENSITIVE" BY 
IRAQI AUTHORITIES.

MR. RITTER'S TEAM FOCUSES ON SEARCHING FOR EFFORTS BY IRAQ TO 
CONCEAL ITS ALLEGED CHEMICAL AND BIOLOGICAL WEAPONS PROGRAMS.  
EWEN BUCHANAN, A SPOKESMAN FOR THE U-N SPECIAL COMMISSION ON 
INSPECTIONS, UNSCOM, SAYS OTHER TEAMS HAVE BEEN CARRYING OUT 
THEIR WORK DESPITE THE DISPUTE OVER PRESIDENTIAL SITES.

                      /// BUCHANAN ACT ///

         IN ADDITION TO THE DAILY MONITORING ACTIVITIES THAT WE 
         CARRY OUT THAT IRAQ IS NOT MISUSING DUAL-USE EQUIPMENT 
         -- THAT IS EQUIPMENT THAT HAS PERFECTLY LEGITIMATE 
         PURPOSES BUT COULD ALSO BE USED FOR WEAPONS ... SO WE GO
         OUT AND CHECK THAT ON A DAILY BASIS TO MAKE SURE IT IS 
         NOT BEING USED TO RECREATE WEAPONS -- BUT IN ADDITION WE
         SEND IN EXTERNAL INSPECTION TEAMS WHO GO IN FOR A 
         SPECIFIC TASK AND THAT HAS BEEN GOING ON BASICALLY SINCE
         WE RESUMED OUR WORK IN NOVEMBER.

                         /// END ACT ///

IRAQI OFFICIALS SAY THEY BELIEVE MORE SHOULD BE DONE TO SPEED UP 
THE INSPECTION PROCESS.  UNDER U-N RESOLUTIONS, INTERNATIONAL 
SANCTIONS AGAINST IRAQ CANNOT BE LIFTED UNTIL THE U-N INSPECTION 
COMMISSION CERTIFIES THAT IRAQ NO LONGER HAS ANY WEAPONS OF MASS 
DESTRUCTION.  (SIGNED)

NEB/UN/MPR/LSF

06-Mar-98 2:08 PM EST (1908 UTC)
NNNN

Source: Voice of America
.