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Annex C
Report of the Special Group Established for 
Entries into Iraqi Presidential Site 
[9 April, 1998]

Initial entry to the Presidential Sites
Summary report of the Head of the Team

Text courtesy Iraq News

1. The initial entry to the eight Presidential sites in Iraq, tasked by 
the Executive Chairman of the Special Commission, was performed by 
mission UNSCOM 243 during the period of 25 March to 4 April 1998. The 
initial entry was conducted following the Memorandum of Understanding 
between Iraq and the Secretary-General of 23 February 998. This 
agreement and its implementing procedures provided for special 
arrangements by which Iraq would accept UNSCOM and IAEA access to the 
eight Presidential sites.  Previously, and contrary to Security Council 
resolutions, access to these sites had been blocked from UN inspectors. 
As will be seen below, one major aspect of the agreement involving the 
continuing nature of such access - is still unresolved, merely 
postponed.

2. The initial entry to these sites had limited objectives which were 
achieved. It is important to emphasize that this mission was not a 
search type mission, nor was it no notice. Iraq had over a month to make 
whatever preparations it desired.

3. Cooperation from Iraqi counterparts was satisfactory. The presence of 
senior diplomatic observers worked out generally well.  Of particular 
note was the constructive presence of Presidential Secretary Mr. Abid 
Hamoud and Lt. General Amer Rashid, the Minister of Oil, during the 
visits.

4. The team was composed of a Head of Team, Mr. Charles Due1fer (the 
Deputy Executive Chairman of UNSCOM), a Chief Expert, Mr. Roger Hill, 
arid approximately 71 inspectors from 17 countries. The IAEA was a joint 
participant in this mission represented by Deputy Chief Expert. Mr. 
Jacques Batite and 14 IAEA experts.

5. The team assembled in Bahrain on 21 March and conducted training 
until 25 March when the team trave1led to Baghdad. Detailed planning was 
done in advance to identity site approach routes and the inspection 
procedures. Operation and logistical planning was conducted in Bahrain 
and was accomplished smoothly. The team also provided operational and 
logistical support for the senior diplomats once in Iraq. This placed an 
additional responsibility on the UNSCOM  243 logistics and operations 
planners.  They performed superbly and the diplomats had few complaints 
on the planners.

6. Site entries began on 26 March. The eight Presidential Sites were 
surveyed according to the following schedule:
26-27 March - Three sites in Radwaniyah
28 March - Tikrit
29 March - Mosul and Jabal Makhul
30 March - Lake Tharthar and Basra          
31 March - Report writing and perimeter re-survey visits
1-2 April - Republican Palace and Sijood
3-4 April - Report writing and perimeter resurvey visits

7. The team was organized into three entry subteams and additional 
support subteams, including a special sensor team, external security 
team, and headquarters team.  Sites were divided into sectors; with each 
entry team responsible for a respective section.

8.  A baseline survey was conducted at all Presidential sites that 
allowed the Commission to establish the location, general purpose, and 
aerial understanding of most buildings within the sites. This involved 
brief visits to approximately 1,000 buildings during an eight day 
period.  Obviously, time was limited at each building and quick 
assessments were required. Document and computer searches were to be 
limited to spot checks intended to set a precedent.

9. Iraq, ultimately, provided the cooperation necessary to complete 
these tasks.  Present during all mission activities was Lt. General Amer 
Rashid.  Present during most of the visits was also Presidential 
Secretary Mr. Abid Hamoud.  Deputy Prime Minister Mr. Tariq Aziz was 
present at all site visits, but avoided contact with UNSCOM members.

10. The utility of this limited mission is three-fold. First, the 
acquired database will allow UNSCOM and the IAEA to conduct more 
focussed subsequent inspections which will support both ongoing 
monitoring tasks as well as searching for prohibited materials and 
related documents.  Second, the visits allowed inspectors to gain a much 
better understanding of the nature of the facilities in these areas and 
that will help clear up many uncertainties and concerns. Finally, the 
precedent of access to these sites and the use of normal UNSCOM/IAEA 
inspection techniques was demonstrated.

11.  The mission was not intended to be a search for prohibited material 
and none was found.  In fact, there was very little equipment, 
documentation, or other material in the sites at all. It was clearly 
apparent that all sites had undergone extensive evacuation.  In all the 
sites outside of Baghdad, for example, there were no documents and no 
computers.  The buildings were largely empty.  In the Baghdad area, 
there were limited documents and a few computers at selected government 
facilities such as the Presidential Diwan. However like other areas, 
most buildings were emptied of contents.  The Republican Palace, 
including the area described as belonging to the President, was 
evacuated.  Iraq's explanation for this was that such measures were 
taken in anticipation of a military strike. This makes follow-on 
missions more important.

12.  A key accomplishment of the mission was to plot more precisely the 
boundaries of the Presidential sites. Changes were made to four of the 
sites and included significant surveying work.  Discussions over the 
precise boundaries were conducted primarily with Lt. General Amer Rashid 
with the episodic involvement of Presidential Secretary Mr. Abid Hamoud. 
The presence of the senior officials provided for quick decisions as 
required.  The revised perimeters of the sites have now been agreed in 
the signed note between the Deputy Executive Chairman Mr. Charles 
Duelfer and Lt. General Amer Rashid.

13. One element of the discussions on the established perimeters 
concerned the provision for subsequent changes of the Presidential 
areas.  The Commission is concerned that Iraq could change portions of 
these sites without notifying the Commission and this might lead to 
problems in subsequent inspections. The team sought to include a 
provision for 24-hour notification to the Commission of any such change. 
However, Lt General Amer Rashid asked that this not be included in the 
signed document since it would imply a continuing right of access to 
such sites by the Commission. This, he stated, was not Iraq's position.

14. Lt. General Amer Rashid stated that it was well known to the Deputy 
Executive Chairman that Iraq had agreed only to a process of visits of 
finite duration. This was their view of  what they had agreed in the 23 
February Memorandum of Understanding.  He also acknowledged that it was 
the view of the Deputy Executive Chairman that access would be required 
for long term monitoring. The Deputy Executive Chairman stated that it 
was his understanding that the Secretary-General was of the same view.  
However, since it was not the purpose of this mission to resolve the 
problem of time limits on access, it was agreed to delete reference to 
any ongoing  procedures.  It is essential to note, however, that the 
fundamental issue of continuing access is by no means solved and has 
only been postponed to the future.

15. The most distinguishing feature of this mission was the presence of 
a contingent of senior diplomats and the Commissioner designated by the 
Secretary-General to head the Special Group.  The work was organised to 
ensure that diplomats were present during all visits to buildings and 
areas in Presidential sites.  For the most part this did not interfere 
with the work of UNSCOM/IAEA.  The senior diplomats performed their 
mission as observers well and with enthusiasm.

16. Nevertheless, in certain limited circumstances, diplomats engaged in 
argumentation and challenges to the work of UNSCOM experts, supporting 
Iraqi views against those of UNSCOM.  At times it seemed that Iraq was 
raising spurious issues with the diplomats to put the Commission's 
experts on the defensive.  The Commission's experts might then raise 
complaints of their own and this had the potential of developing into a 
damaging tit-for-tat situation. However, as the mission continued, this 
negative dynamic seemed to recede.  It is important to recognise, 
however, that such problems are likely to reemerge in the future, 
especially when true no-notice inspections are conducted.

17. The cooperation provided by the Iraqis allowed the completion of the 
mission.  However, this was not always readily achieved and there were 
some instances of denial of UNSCOM and IAEA rights which were, however, 
not deemed essential for the present mission.

18  The most contentious issue was the overflight and photography of the 
Presidential sites by the UNSCOM helicopter.  Such photography is 
necessary for the baseline survey to verify reporting of building 
location and structure by ground inspectors. Iraq initially denied 
permission for such activity. While the Head of the team insisted on 
this aspect of the mission and would not proceed with the rest of the 
inspection without it, the Iraqis did not engage in discussion with the 
UNSCOM team.  Instead, they engaged the Secretary-General's 
representatives and, indeed, the Secretary-General himself.

19.  Ultimately, the Secretary General supported the UNSCOM position and 
Iraq relented.  This has important implications for the authority of 
UNSCOM and its chief inspectors when dealing with the Iraqi counterparts 
and may reflect a fundamental change in the relationship between Iraq 
and the Special Commission. It will be important that the 
Secretary-General's representative be supportive of the approach of 
UNSCOM inspection teams or the chief inspector risks being undercut in 
seeking Iraqi compliance in future disputes over access or other 
matters.

20. Two other issues arose related to aerial operations.  The team had 
sought to land an UNSCOM helicopter within these presidential sites. 
Iraq blocked this on all but one occasion.  Further, the Commission had 
planned on moving inspectors and diplomats from a site in the north 
(Mosul) to a site in the south (Basra) by air.  This would have saved 
time and wear and tear on the individuals involved since by road this is 
several hours of driving.  During the recent meetings in Baghdad with 
the Executive Chairman, the Deputy Prime Minister of Iraq again declined 
to allow the Commission's aircraft to operate at any location other than 
Habbaniya Airbase, in contravention of Security Council resolutions.

21.Another potential problem surfaced regarding the procedures and 
stated requirements for the presence of senior diplomats at specific 
locations.  Iraq stated that UNSCOM and IAEA staff could not enter 
buildings without a diplomat being present.  This did not pose a problem 
during the course of this mission since many diplomats were present and 
it was not a surprise visit.  However, it must be noted that the 
procedures do not contain any such requirement and in fact allow for the 
division of the team into sub-teams at the discretion of the head of the 
expert team.  There is no stated requirement for a senior diplomat to be 
present in each sub team.  In the future this may be problematic since 
no-notice visits require quick movement into the location often by 
multiple sub-teams.  Assuring the presence of several diplomats at all 
locations will inhibit the possibility of surprise, since non Baghdad 
based senior  diplomats may then be required.  The team did not dispute 
the request by Iraq to have a diplomat present at each building entered, 
but this was without prejudice to future missions.

22.  Another noteworthy feature of this mission was the extraordinary 
large numbers of Iraqi minders present at all times.  This slowed the 
work. The organization of convoys of the 25 or so UN vehicles and the 40 
to 50 or more Iraqi vehicles was difficult.  Convoys at times exceeded a 
kilometre in length. Upon entry to sites and buildings the ratio of 
Iraqis to inspectors was often five to one or greater.  At times 
inspectors asked minders to remain outside the buildings as the crowds 
inhibited serious work.

23. On balance, the mission was successful, but it was apparent that 
some key issues will arise again in the not too distant future and the 
Council should be prepared to face them when they arise.  Certainly, the 
matter of continuing access is unsettled and will ultimately reemerge as 
the Iraqi side clearly feels that the phrase in the 23 February 
Memorandum of Understanding, referring to "initial and subsequent 
visits" means for a limited period only.

Charles Duelfer
Deputy Executive Chairman
Head of the Team