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Last Updated:  Friday, 7 March, 2003, 17:53 GMT
Key points: Inspectors' report
Chief UN weapons inspectors Hans Blix and Mohamed ElBaradei have delivered their reports to the Security Council on Iraqi co-operation.

Hans Blix, chief UN weapons inspector:

  • In matters related to process the inspectors have faced few difficulties. This may be due to strong outside pressure.

  • Iraq has carried out a substantial measure of disarmament.

    Blix and ElBaradei

  • Inspections were not free from friction, but inspectors were able to perform professional no-notice inspections and increase surveillance.

  • Iraq, with a highly-developed administrative system, should be able to provide more documentary evidence about its weapons programme. The amount of documents produced was disappointing.

  • It was proving difficult to interview individuals about the weapons programme without a risk of undue pressure on them from the Iraqi authorities. Nevertheless, the interviews were useful.

  • It would be preferable to have better information on sites than double the number of inspectors.

    "[Iraqi co-operation] can be seen as active, or even proactive, but... cannot be said to constitute immediate co-operation"

  • Iraq had tried to persuade the inspectors that its al-Samoud missiles had a range within the permissible limit. The inspectors had disagreed, and Iraq had now begun destroying the missiles. But there had been no destruction work on Friday, and hopefully that was a temporary halt to the process.

  • Iraq has accepted the order to destroy missiles and has started destruction. The destruction is a "substantial measure of disarmament", the first since the 1990s.

  • "We are not watching the breaking of toothpicks - lethal weapons are being destroyed."

  • More paperwork on anthrax had recently been provided by Iraq. There was a significant effort by Iraq under way to supply information on biological weapons destroyed in 1991.

    "Even with a co-operative Iraqi attitude [disarmament] will still take some time... It will not take years, nor weeks, but months"

    After a period of somewhat reluctant Iraqi co-operation, the level of co-operation had improved. But the important thing was how many questions the inspection process was answering.

  • Some of Iraq's co-operation can be seen as active or even proactive, but these moves have not been immediate and do not cover all areas of relevance. But they are welcome.

  • While Iraqi co-operation should be immediate, disarmament and the verification of it would take some time. It would take months, rather than weeks, or days.

  • Iraq's accelerated co-operation in the past month was welcome, but a "sober judgment" had to be made to assess its value.

    Mohamed ElBaradei, IAEA secretary general:

  • Two hundred and eighteen nuclear inspections had been conducted - including inspections at 21 sites which had not been inspected before.

  • Technical support for the nuclear inspections had continued, and interviews had continued with relevant Iraqi personnel.

    "Recently, upon our insistence, individuals have been consenting to being interviewed without escorts and without taped records"

  • Nuclear inspectors had conducted interviews with individuals and groups, both pre-arranged and during unannounced inspections. At first, Iraqi interviewees had insisted on keeping tapes of their interviews, but recently, they had been agreeing to unescorted and unrecorded interviews. But it would be best to hold such interviews outside Iraq.

  • The IAEA had investigated Iraqi attempts to buy high-quality aluminium tubes. No evidence had been found that the Iraqis had tried to use these for other purposes than the stated one - for engineering rockets. The process was "well documented".

  • The IAEA has concluded that the efforts to buy aluminium tubes were not likely to be related to attempts to manufacture gas centrifuges for enriching uranium. But it will continue investigate the issue.

  • On the subject of magnets - also suspected of use in a nuclear programme - experts had verified that none could be used directly to produce nuclear material.

    "The IAEA team has concluded that Iraq's efforts to import aluminium tubes were not likely to be related to the manufacture of gas centrifuges"

  • The IAEA had concluded that allegations that Iraq has tried to buy uranium from Niger appeared to be unfounded.

  • Iraqi attempts to procure some materials had breached UN sanctions, and a team of IAEA inspectors was now in Baghdad investigating this.

  • Inspections were moving forward, and had made important progress. At this stage there was no evidence of resumed nuclear activities in buildings reconstructed since 1988, and there was no evidence that Iraq had tried to import uranium since 1990.

  • After three months of intrusive inspections, there was no evidence of a revival of a nuclear programme in Iraq.

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