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write to Independent on Sunday

The following AP story is reprinted in todays Independent on Sunday.
Don't have an e-mail for the I on S to hand I'm afraid. You've got till
Wednesday to hone any letters to the editor.



IAEA inspectors go to work in Iraq 


22 January 2000 

An International Atomic Energy Agency team here to verify that Iraq's
nuclear stocks are not being used for military purposes went to work

"We will start our first round this morning," was all that Ahmad Abuzahra,
the Egyptian head of the team, would say as he and five monitors were
leaving their Baghdad hotel. 

The team arrived in Baghdad Friday. It is the first visit to Iraq by
monitors from the Vienna
based organization since U.N. weapons inspectors left the country in late
1998 on the eve of U.S.
British airstrikes. 

Abuzahra yesterday said the inspection was not part of the supervision
regime imposed on Iraq by the United Nations after the 1991 Gulf War over
Iraq's invasion of Kuwait. "We are here to perform routine physical
inventory checking for nuclear material." 

The inspection, he added, was part of the monitoring program imposed on
all signatories to the nuclear nonproliferation treaty. Iraq signed in

The IAEA is also responsible for stripping Iraq of its potential to
acquire or produce nuclear weapons. Until the 1998 departure of U.N.
weapons inspectors, the IAEA used to carry out stringent searches of
Iraq's nuclear sites and stockpile. 

The agency reported that Iraq no longer had the ability to produce nuclear
weapons, but said Baghdad still had to answer questions about its past
atomic program. 

In December, the U.N. Security Council passed a resolution that charges
the agency with the task of monitoring Iraq's nuclear facilities. 

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