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Re: delighted with Dr. Herring's access re IWTV, but, the anomalies grow larger...



> One large problem is figuring out to the extent to which the equipment
> and chemicals identified by IWTV as indispensable for import have been
> banned by the 661 Committee.  So far it's been largely a matter of
> inference from the UN's documents.  Does anyone have the minutes of the
> meetings of the 661 Committee?  I also would appreciate additional
> guidance on judging "duel-use" and also workable ways of allowing the
> importing of genuinely "duel-use" but indispensable items. It would
> appear to me that if, for example, chlorine is "duel use" and
> indispensable, but  if it is  put directly in to the water system by the
> UN, then even the Pentagon's  would have a tough time retrieving
> enough  chlorine from the purified water supply to make a BW warhead.

Hi Tom and list members,

I think that I might be able to shed some light on the questions that you
raise.  As some of these issues arise fairly frequently, as they relate to
the functioning of the 661 (Sanctions) Committee of the Security Council,
I am posting my response to the whole list.

There is a difficulty in assessing what has been "banned" by the 661
Committee (the committee established by Security Council Resolution 661 to
administer the sanctions on Iraq) because they do not have a list of
banned items.  Rather, they have scrutinised contracts on an individual
basis and now, in fact, have "green lists" ( 17 of SCR 1284 and  8 of
SCR 1302) of items that can enter Iraq without 661 scrutiny. 

As to the question of "dual use" items there is an important distinction
between the terms "dual use" and "1051 notifiable".  The expression "dual
use" is undefined and, therefore, cannot meaningfully serve as a
guideline for policy.  As we noted in our last newsletter (available from
http://www.cam.ac.uk/societies/casi/newslet/index.html), the US seems to
have been using this term of late, possibly because they cannot be held
accountable for how they do so: if it's undefined, their use can't be
wrong.

On the other hand, the lists established by Security Council Resolution
1051 are well defined because they either list an item or do not.  If Iraq
seeks to import an item on these lists, Unmovic (originally Unscom) must
be notified.  They would then attempt to decide whether the use of this
product could be adequately monitored if it was imported.  If so, they
would establish a monitoring regime for it, and enter all the details in
their database.  They would then be allowed to spot check it in Iraq once
installed. 

One of the ironies of Iraq's decision not to allow the return of weapons
inspectors following the US/UK bombing is that the US now claims that
monitoring of "1051 notifiable" items has become harder without inspectors
on the ground.  They regard this as giving them more license to place
holds on contracts. 

Incidentally, CASI's "info sources" webpage has the April 2000 version of
the 1051 lists.

Turning more specifically to chlorine, we can see that it has been
imported from the beginning of the "oil for food" programme.  The first
report of Phase II of "oil for food", for example, reports that

        Collection of the first supplies of chlorine gas for water
        purification is under way. [ 19]

        In the water and sanitation sector, the nine international
        observers from UNICEF will assist in tracking 2,750 tons of
        chlorine gas to ensure that supplies are used in the designated
        plants and the gas cylinders returned on schedule to Turkey for
        refilling. [ 37]

This report can be found at
http://www.un.org/Docs/sc/reports/1997/s1997685.htm.  CASI's "info
sources" page has a complete listing of "oil for food" reports.

A very different question is that of how much chlorine Iraq needs to
import to purify its water, and whether it is allowed to import sufficient
quantities.  I don't know the answer to this question.

Finally, the question of 661 Committee minutes is raised.  I know that the
661 Committee has become more open in recent years but I have yet to see
its press briefings (which they apparently hold) or its annual reports.  I
do know that its most recent annual reports are S/2000/133 (4th annual)
and S/1998/1239 (3rd? annual).  If anyone did have print copies of these,
I would be most interested in putting copies on the CASI website.

Another approach to obtaining 661 Committee documents is to approach the
Dutch Mission to the UN, as the 661 Committee is currently chaired by the
Dutch Ambassador, Van Walsum.

I hope that this is of some help.  It seems good news that a Congressman
is interested in pursuing this. 

More generally, I think that there are many people who have joined this
list in the past year (we number some 250 members) and may be slightly
disorientated by all of the terminology.  If you feel this way, the
chances are that most people on the list do as well.  Please ask
questions: we are better equipped when we are better informed.

Best wishes,
 
Colin Rowat

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