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Text of remarks delivered by H.E. Mr. Mohammed Saeed Al-Sahaf, Minister for Foreign Affairs to Members of the Security Council on April 27, 1998 Mr. Chairman, Distinguished Members of the Council, Thank you, at the outset, for giving us this opportunity to attend this meeting under the Arias formula, particularly that it comes after the Council had resumed its meetings to review the sanctions regime imposed on my country after a long interruption. The Security Council is now considering three reports on Iraq: the report of the Special Group, which visited the presidential sites in implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding signed between Iraq and the United Nations on 23 February 1998, the semi annual report of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the semi-annual report of the Special Commission. The first conclusion to be reached by any person, who reads these reports thoroughly, is that three parties of United Nations dealt With one party, Iraq, according to Security Council resolution 687 (1991). Two of these three United Nations parties, IAEA and the diplomats and IAEA experts, who were members of the Special Group which visited the presidential sites under the chairmanship of Mr. Dhanapala, reached positive conclusions, showing great progress in completing their tasks in Iraq. The third party, however, the Special Commission, took, a negative approach in the preparation of its semi-annual report, as well as in the preparation of the report of its Deputy Chairman,, Mr. Duelfer, on the participation of UNSCOM's inspectors in the Special Group headed by Mr. Dhanapala. The distinguished members of the Council must have wondered why this insistence on the negative approach adopted by the Special Commission, Is there any real justification for this? We believe that UNSCOM has no real justification for its negative approach, Its semi annual report is lacking in objectivity, and fairness. It deviates from the basic rules for dealing with disarmament issues and denies Iraq's accomplishments in meeting the requirements of Section C of resolution 687 (1991) during the past seven years. It gives the impression as though nothing has been achieved, puts the blame on Iraq and justifies the continuation of the harsh and inhuman sanctions imposed on it. This report presents a gloomy picture of the accomplishments made during the past seven years in the three areas: missiles and chemical and biological weapons. This Picture is totally at variance with reality, Following is a summary of what has been accomplished. In the area of missiles, All substantive aspects related to the disarmament phase have been achieved. I will give you a brief summary of this subject The Special Commission has been able, with Iraq's full cooperation, to verify the material balance for 819 missiles, including all the missiles which were in Iraq's possession when resolution 687 (1991) was adopted. These totaled 133 missiles and 14 missile launchers, in addition to hundreds of major parts, equipment, molds and thousands of other parts, Tens of tons of raw materials, propellants, which represented all what was in Iraq's possession, have been destroyed. Testing and production buildings for the past missiles programme have also been destroyed. The Special Commission completed the verification of what has been mentioned above by the middle of 1992. From 1991 to the present, 80 inspection teams in the area of missiles, in which 1129 inspectors and experts took part, visited Iraq, and since November 1991, these inspection teams have not found any prohibited material or any indication that there were any prohibited activities, because the truth is that there is no longer in Iraq any prohibited material or any capability in the area of the prohibited missiles, seven years of inspections, verification and destruction have confirmed that. The resident monitoring teams in Baghdad, which number 47 teams sent to Baghdad since 1994, do carry out surprise visits daily. They have made 800 such visits to the sites covered by the monitoring system, which number 40 sites. They also visited other sites,, which are not covered by the monitoring system. The Special Commission had installed about (20) monitoring Camera and sensors in eight key sites. The Special Commission also tagged hundreds of missiles covered by the monitoring system. They are being monitored constantly, with full cooperation from the Iraqi side. Since July 1997, the Special Commission has again verified the material balance for warheads. The Commission had previously verified this matter in mid 1992. The number of special warheads (chemical and biological) was 79 warheads, 49 of all which were destroyed unilaterally by Iraq. The results of the second verification carried out recently by the Special Commission confirmed the truth and veracity of Iraqi declarations. In the area of chemical weapons, In 1991, the Special Commission supervised the destruction of all blank chemical munitions., which numbered 12,500 rounds of air bombs and artillery shells. The Special Commission supervised in 1992 the destruction of 400 artillery rockets of 122-mm caliber in a delicate operation that lasted 40 days, in which the Iraqi side had made special efforts. During the period Of June 1992 to June 1994, the Special Commission supervised the destruction at Al- Muthanna facility. The Commission used methods and equipment proposed and carried out by Iraqi experts to complete destruction in the shortest possible time and at the lowest possible cost, while avoiding possible pollution of the environment. The destruction included the following: * One million kilograms of solid precursors. * 1.8 million liters of liquid precursors. * 83, 500 blank and live rounds of ammunition. * 700 tons of final produced agents. * 150 pieces of production equipment. * 6 sites for production and storage. In 1997, the Special Commission demanded the destruction of dual purpose laboratory equipment and instruments as well as dual-purpose chemical materials, which the Commission had identified and accounted for. The Commission claims in its new demand that these items had (perhaps) some relationship to the agent VX, which was never produced in large quantities nor weaponized at all. The destruction was actually carried out. It included 385 disabled pieces of equipment, 90 analysis instruments and 275 tons of chemical materials. The number of sites covered by the monitoring system was 100 sites. Thirty-five monitoring camera, and 22 air samplers were installed in 13 of these sites. Hundreds of tags were placed on machines and pieces of equipment, not only those belonging to the Military Industrialization corporation . Tags were even placed on equipment that was in several sites belonging to Ministries, such as the Ministry of Higher Education, Agriculture and Oil, as well as in some private-sector companies. The report of the Special Commission, submitted to the Security Council in October 1997, identified the subjects that, in the opinion of the Special Commission, were still outstanding in the chemical area as two subjects only: (a) the subject of VX: and (b) the special warheads. The Iraqi side submitted all the requested clarifications on VX and the verification of special warheads was completed. In the biological area. The Special Commission has been able since 1996 to supervise the destruction of production equipment and laboratory analysis instruments, in addition to structures, materials and general equipment belonging to the single-cell protein project. on the pretext that they were in the main site of production of biological agents- The equipment and materials destroyed included: • Hundreds of pieces of production equipment, which were used for biological agents and laboratory analysis instruments at several sites. • Tens of tons of different growth media and materials. • Tens of thousands or square meters of structures and storage places. The Special Commission was able since 1996 to verify the destruction of biological warheads in the course of verifying the special missile warheads, in addition to 157 aerial bombs. The Special Commission was able to verify the destruction of biological agents produced (which were not loaded on arms) in terms of quality. The two sides, the Special Commission and Iraq, are trying to find practical ways to ensure the verification of the destroyed quantities of those agents. In the area of monitoring, 88 sites have been placed under the monitoring system. The sites are located in several agencies, including the Ministries of Industry and Mines, Higher Education, Health and Agriculture. Biological monitoring teams make daily surprise visits to these sites, in two of which observation cameras were installed. They also tagged hundreds of pieces of equipment and instruments throughout the monitored sites, The biological monitoring teams made nearly 1200 visits to sites under on-going monitoring and also to un-monitored sites. No indication of the presence of prohibited materials or activities in Iraq were found during these visits, In spite of all these facts, the Special Commission maintains that the Iraqi declaration was incomplete and insufficient and did not include supporting documents. Iraq had made it clear from the beginning that it had delivered to the Special Commission all the documents in its possession in the biological field. The full and final Iraqi declaration on the biological file is a true and actual one- It gives an honest historical account of Iraq's past biological programme, which has been completely destroyed and is no longer in existence. The Special Commission has not been able to submit any tangible evidence to support its criticisms, which are of a political and propagandistic nature. In addition to the aforementioned regarding the ongoing monitoring system in the three fields , the aerial inspection team conducted (6250) flight hours of surprise aerial inspection from June 1992 until mid April 1998. Those aerial inspection operations done by helicopters covered all sites included in the monitoring system and even sites that are not included in that system. Mr. Chairman, Distinguished members of the council Iraq is fully confident that the requirements of the disarmament phase in the three files have been completed. If there is anything that requires follow-up after the completion of this phase and the application of paragraph 22, Iraq calls for quick action to be taken in accordance with the process established by the Special Commission in paragraph 12 of its report to the Security Council of 1 December 1993, which reads as follows: “12. The Commission expressed its firm conviction that verification of the information now available on Iraq's past programmes could be completed substantially in advance of the Commission being in a position to determine that ongoing monitoring was underway and proceeding in a satisfactory Manner. The Commission emphasized that verification would be pursued together with the initiation of full- scale ongoing monitoring. In the Unlikely event that some elements of verification were unduly delayed, they would continue to be pursued during the monitoring phase. Therefore, verification need not delay any reports by the Commission and by IAEA under paragraph 22 of resolution 687 (1991), Should any new information of past programmes be forthcoming in the future,.. the Commission and IAEA welcomed Iraq's express recognition of the right of the Commission and IAEA, after implementation of paragraph 22 of resolution 687 (1991), to undertake immediate on-site inspections.” Mr. Chairman, Distinguished Members of the Council, Iraq has given a detailed reply. to the semi-annual report of' the Special Commission in the letter addressed to the President of the Security Council by Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz on 22 April 1998. It has been circulated to the members of the Security Council. According to this letter of Iraq, I would like to summarize the position of my country as follows: Security Council resolution 687 was adopted in 1991 seven years ago. On going monitoring has been in place for 4 years, i.e., since 1994. All weapons prohibited under resolution 687 were destroyed by the end of 1991. All related factories and equipment have been destroyed- Sanctions were expected to be lifted long ago, The Iraqi people have been subjected to unprecedented injustice by the policy of continued starvation and repeated assaults. Nevertheless, regardless of the degree of inequity and injustice to which it has been subjected, Iraq has, nevertheless, cooperated with the Security Council and the Special Commission in the hope that promises of the lifting of sanction talked about by representatives of the Special Commission and members of the Security Council be carried out. During the two crises that took place last November and last February, Iraq held serious talks with members of the Security Council and responded positively to the appeals of many officials of the international community, Recently, it responded to the Russian initiative and to that of Mr. Kofi Annan. It did not view either one of them only on the basis of the details contained therein, but also on the basis of what was said that their implementation would lead to the lifting of sanctions. Therefore, particularly after the facts became very clear, when the Special Group constituted by Mr. Kofi Annan, Secretary -General of the United Nations entered into the presidential sites and found that, contrary to the false allegations that they contained prohibited weapons, plants and equipment, there was nothing of that sort in them. Iraq hoped that the Security Council's discussion this month would focus on the main issue and would lead to the lifting of the sanctions. Iraq is still hoping for this as a due result of its major sacrifices to be realized, particularly in view of the fact that it has fulfilled all the requirements for the lifting of the sanctions. If fair-minded people in the Security Council and the international community want the relations between Iraq and the Security Council and the Special Commission to be established on a basis of equity and proper legal interpretation of resolution 687, they should deal seriously with the question of sanctions and lift them immediately. They should take seriously the statements issued by the Leadership and the Council of' Ministers of Iraq. These statements include the appeal of the 22 million Iraqis who are demanding the lifting of sanctions. Mr. Chairman, Distinguished Members of the Council, In spite of Iraq's accomplishments of the requirements of disarmament mentioned above, we unfortunately see that the Special Commission's report does not accurately reflect the accomplishments actually realized. It arrived at wrong and baseless conclusions by adopting strange concepts that resulted in hindering recognition that Iraq had fulfilled its commitments under paragraph 22 of resolution 687 (1991). My colleague, the Minister of Oil, General Amer Mohammed Rashid, will address the concept, and allegations of the Special Commission, Thank you, Mr. Chairman. April 27, 1998 -- ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- This is a discussion list run by Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To be removed/added, email firstname.lastname@example.org, NOT the whole list. Archived at http://linux.clare.cam.ac.uk/~saw27/casi/discuss.html