IK/165

                                                      SC/5794

                                                      28 February 1994





        NO TRACE OF CHEMICAL AGENTS FOUND IN SAMPLES FROM SOUTHERN IRAQ







     The following has been received from the Special Commission set up under

Security Council resolution 687 (1991) in connection with the disposal of

Iraq's weapons of mass destruction:



     The Special Commission has now received the results of the analysis of

samples taken during its investigation of allegations that the Iraqi military

used chemical weapons in the region of the marshes in southern Iraq.  The

analyses found no trace of chemical warfare agents in the samples.



     Following persistent allegations that chemical weapons had been used

against Iraqi opposition forces in early September 1993, the Special

Commission launched in November 1993 an investigation, which included a

fact-finding mission to Iran and an on-site inspection in Iraq, to assess the

veracity of the claims.  During the inspection, portable sensors were unable

to detect traces of chemical warfare agents and the team's observations led it

to conclude that it was unlikely that a chemical weapons attack had occurred

at the site inspected.



     In order to provide greater certainty of this finding, a large number of

flora, fauna, water, air and soil samples were taken for laboratory analysis.

Laboratory equipment is capable of much more sensitive analysis.



     These samples were divided into three parts:  one complete set to three

different laboratories in the United States, the United Kingdom and France.

Analysis was conducted in the laboratories in the United Kingdom and the

United States, while the samples in France were kept as controls.  Both

laboratories confirmed the results achieved on-site:  that the samples

contained no traces of chemical warfare agents.  Thus there is no evidence to

support the allegations of chemical weapons use.











                                    * *** *

.