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Below Raymond Zalinskas, former UNSCOM inspector, states in a 13 February 1998 National Public Radio interview that (scroll down for transcript): * "UNSCOM has destroyed all the chemical facilities, the chemical weapons facilities, and also all known chemical weapons" * "In the biological area, UNSCOM has destroyed the dedicated biological weapons facility at Al Hakam, plus other ones at other institutes. And as far we know, they have no biological weapons stored up." * "I think also that if you have an air strike, then the Iraqis are likely to kick UNSCOM and the International Atomic Energy Agency out of the country and that means that you don't have the inspectors that do all the monitoring over the 200 facilities right now. So, in a way, I think you increase the danger by doing the bombing." Please note that the transcript below is an official National Public Radio transcription and not a second-hand transcription. Show Date: 1998-02-13 Display Timing: 00:04:15 Segment Number: 2 Trans. Title: Iraqi Weapons Cat. Title: Potential Not Actual Iraq Chem/Bio Dangr Abstract: Host Bob Edwards talks with Raymond Zalinskas, Associate Professor at the University of Maryland’s Biotechnology Institute and a former UN weapons inspector in Iraq, about the potential danger posed by Iraq’s chemical and biological weapons. BOB EDWARDS, HOST: If there is a military strike on Iraq, Clinton administration officials say one of the goals will be to reduce or eliminate the threat of biological and chemical weapons. Raymond Zalinskas is an associate professor at the University of Maryland's Biotechnology Institute and is a former United Nations weapons inspectors in Iraq. How imminent a danger is Iraq's development of these weapons for the U.S. and other nations? RAYMOND ZALINSKAS, ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR, BIOTECHNOLOGY INSTITUTE, UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND, AND FORMER UNITED NATIONS WEAPONS INSPECTOR IN IRAQ: Well, it's really a potential more than an actual danger, I think. UNSCOM has destroyed all the chemical facilities, the chemical weapons facilities, and also all known chemical weapons. However, the persons, the scientists, engineers and technicians that developed these weapons, of course are still available, that work force is intact. In the biological area, UNSCOM has destroyed the dedicated biological weapons facility at Al Hakam, plus other ones at other institutes. And as far we know, they have no biological weapons stored up. So in other words, you have the work force and you have the potential of converting a bunch of civilian facilities to warfare purposes, but all this would take rather long time, at least six months. EDWARDS: You think the Pentagon has a pretty good idea of where these weapon sites might be? ZALINSKAS: Well, there are no weapon sites that I know of. If they have some buried weapons, I don't think they would know, I don't think anybody would know. Because if UNSCOM knew about it, they would have been destroyed already. EDWARDS: So in your opinion, is the danger great enough to warrant air strikes? ZALINSKAS: No, not for that reason. And I think also that if you have an air strike, then the Iraqis are likely to kick UNSCOM and the International Atomic Energy Agency out of the country and that means that you don't have the inspectors that do all the monitoring over the 200 facilities right now. So, in a way, I think you increase the danger by doing the bombing. You have to remember that 95 percent of UNSCOM and the agency's work continues unhindered, and this is what they call "the ongoing monitor and verification program." And all these 80 facilities are visited on, sometimes on a weekly basis, sometimes on a monthly basis. EDWARDS: Were you able to identify some of the sites when you were a weapons inspector, these sites that have the potential? ZALINSKAS: Oh, sure. Of course I was a biological warfare inspector, so I visited about 60 of these facilities at one time or another, and most of them are pretty innocuous. And the only one that was really very obviously something significant in this area was Al Hakam, and as I said, that was destroyed during June 1996. EDWARDS: But if the Pentagon can identify these sites, can it destroy them? ZALINSKAS: Well, many of these sites are located at urban settings, so, yes, I think theoretically you can destroy them, but there's likely to be a lot of collateral damage. EDWARDS: When you talk about the collateral damage, the danger to civilians, are you talking about danger from the air strikes themselves or from release of chemical or biological agents in the course of such an attack? ZALINSKAS: Yes. I think it more has to do with the direct damage from the bombing itself, because if there are any biological agents that are useful for weapons use, then they are probably seed cultures, small cultures sitting in freezers or refrigerators, and those things would be destroyed immediately. EDWARDS: Would air strikes properly carried out significantly reduce Saddam's capability to produce biological and chemical weapons? ZALINSKAS: I don't think so. I mean the main, or the most important element is the expert work force, and the work force are all civilians and they're, of course, dispersed all over the place. So, that's still gonna be there. And as far as the facilities, these are civilian facilities and I think it's gonna be hard to justify knocking all of them out on the suspicion that they might be converted someday. EDWARDS: Thank you very much. ZALINSKAS: Thank you. EDWARDS: Raymond Zalinskas is an associate professor at the University of Maryland's Biotechnology Institute and a former UN weapons inspector in Iraq. Copyright (c) 1998 National Public Radio (r). All rights reserved. No quotes from the materials contained herein may be used in any media without attribution to National Public Radio. This transcript may not be reproduced in whole or in part without prior written permission. For further information, please contact NPR's Permissions Coordinator at (202) 414-2000. ----------------------------------------------- FREE! The World's Best Email Address @email.com Reserve your name now at http://www.email.com -- ----------------------------------------------------------------------- This is a discussion list run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq For removal from list, email firstname.lastname@example.org Full details of CASI's various lists can be found on the CASI website: http://www.casi.org.uk