UN chief weapons inspector Hans Blix has given Iraq a deadline of 1 March to start destroying all its al-Samoud 2 short-range missiles. Excerpts from his letter, addressed to Iraqi weapons expert General Amir al-Saadi, follow:
The deadline follows UN tests
"During our latest discussions in Baghdad on 9 and 10 February 2003 I informed you that an international panel of experts would be convened in New York to conduct a technical assessment of the range capabilities of al-Samoud 2... missile systems...
"The panel, which met on February 10 and 11... was unanimous in its assessment in reaching the attached conclusions.
"Accordingly, the government of Iraq should present to Unmovic [United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission] for verifiable destruction all al-Samoud 2 missiles and associated items, as follows:
1. All al-Samoud 2 missiles and warheads, whether deployed, assembled or partly assembled
- 2. Fuel and oxidiser, where deployed with al-Samoud 2 missiles
Tactical surface-to-surface ballistic missile powered by liquid fuel
Tested at range of 183 km - in excess of UN 150-km limit
Diameter also in excess of prescribed limit
May be able to deliver biological or chemical warhead
- 3. The SA-2 missile engines imported outside of the export/import mechanism and in contravention of Paragraph 24 of
Resolution 687 (1991), which have been configured for use in the al-Samoud 2, are in the process of being so configured or are
otherwise associated with the al-Samoud 2 missile program
- 4. All engine components acquired for the modification of the SA-2 engine for use with the al-Samoud 2 system, such as thrust
regulators, gas generators and air pressure regulators
- 5. All SA-2 autopilots and other guidance and control items, such as gyroscopes, accelerometers, inertial equipment and software
imported or developed for use with the al-Samoud 2 system
- 6. With respect to launchers, all parts of the launching mechanism that are designed for use with the al-Samoud 2 system. The
basic platforms of the vehicles need not be destroyed, but will be tagged and their future use monitored
7. Those components specific to the al-Samoud 2, which are incorporated in the logistic support vehicles required for the
operation of the al-Samoud 2 missile force
- 8. Equipment and components designed for the production and testing of the al-Samoud 2 missile
- 9. All software and documentation concerning corruption, research and development, production and quality control related to
the al-Samoud 2 research program
"The panel confirmed that the reconstituted casting chambers could still be
used to produce motors for missiles capable of ranges significantly greater than 150 kilometres (95 miles)... and are to be destroyed...
"The necessary destruction is to be carried out by Iraq under Unmovic guidance and supervision...
"The appropriate arrangements should be made so that the destruction process can commence by 1 March 2003...
"Both versions of the al-Samoud 2 were evaluated using four independent computer models. Calculations, employing information
declared by Iraq, show that both versions are inherently capable of flying more than 150 km...
"The lighter version... was determined to be capable of flying about 193 km... The heavier version... is capable of
achieving a range of approximately 162 km..."