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News, 29/11-6/12/02 (1) WEAPONS INSPECTIONS * Inspectors Find Only Ruins at an Old Iraqi Weapons Site * How a 'leak' turned out to be an own goal * Waiting for an Iraqi Sakharov * Iraq's fate lies in hands of UN N-lab * A Glimpse Into Saddam's Lifestyle * UN: Iraqi arms equipment 'missing' * Regime Change, or Regime Protection? * Iraq Says It Had Aluminum Tubing Before Sanctions * Naked U.S.-Israeli Strategic Alliance for Destruction of Iraq * U.N. Team Inspects Former Iraqi Factory * French researcher says Iraq, N. Korea N-crises linked * Inspectors find only mushrooms amid ruins of bombed reactor * UN experts secure Iraqi mustard gas shells * Dance of Saddam's Seven Veils WEAPONS INSPECTIONS http://www.nytimes.com/2002/11/29/international/middleeast/29IRAQ.html * INSPECTORS FIND ONLY RUINS AT AN OLD IRAQI WEAPONS SITE by John F. Burns New York Times, 29th November BAGHDAD, Iraq, Nov. 28: When United Nations weapons inspectors raced up to the gates of a scruffy industrial plant on the southern outskirts of Baghdad today they were met, amid the listless palm trees and acres of bare earth, by a large, green-painted sign at the gate with a deceptively innocuous legend. "General Establishment for Animal Development," the sign read, in English and Arabic, and underneath: "Animal Health Development. Foot and Mouth Disease Vaccine Production Laboratory." But the plant at Al Dawrah has as sinister a history as any on the weapons inspectors' list of about 1,000 sites across Iraq - sites the inspectors plan to search painstakingly. Al Dawrah's story took a sharp turn in 1995, when Mr. Hussein's son-in-law, Gen. Hussein Kamel, then in charge of all of Iraq's nuclear, biological and chemical weapons programs, defected to neighboring Jordan with millions of dollars of government money. Among the secrets he took with him was confirmation of a huge biological weapons program that Iraq had insistently denied, with Al Dawrah as one of the principal production plants. General Kamel was later lured back to Baghdad, where within days, he and several members of his family, taking refuge in his sister's luxurious villa, were killed in a furious shootout. But Al Dawrah became a focal point of the earlier round of United Nations weapons inspections. Those inspections were terminated in December 1998, over Iraq's persistent noncompliance. By that time, however, the United Nations specialized teams had determined that Al Dawrah had produced, among other things, at least 1,425 gallons of botulinum toxin. When the new round of inspections began on Wednesday, Al Dawrah was high on the list for an early-morning, unannounced, arrive-at-high-speed search. One reason was that the Iraqis never accounted for all the botulinum, which kills by paralysis and suffocation. Another was that a British government document issued this summer named Al Dawrah as a site where there was a suspicion of renewed activity. By the time the inspectors left the plant today, after four hours, they had concluded that the plant was no longer operational - not for the production of toxins, and not for animal vaccines either. Reporters who were allowed to wander through the plant after the inspectors left found the place largely in ruins. Apparently, it had been abandoned by the Iraqis after 1996, when the weapons inspectors took heavy cutting equipment to the fermenters, containers and pressurized tubing and valves used in the toxin production. The darkened rooms of the compound's main building were little more than a garbage site, with mangled lengths of steel, document files strewn about to collect dust and piles of pressure valves and severed pipes. The inspectors, bearing clipboards, tape recorders, cameras and flashlights, spent much of their time scouring outbuildings, taking swab samples from air-filtration systems and, in the case of one inspector, clambering to the top of a 20-foot tank, then nodding to his colleagues as if to confirm that he had found what he expected. Equipment judged not to have been used in the toxin production, they found, had been left untouched. Al Dawrah's director, Montasser Omar Abdel Aziz, had been summoned to the plant by aides after the inspectors began their search shortly before 9 a.m. Later, he told reporters, somewhat testily, that the inspectors had found exactly what Iraq had predicted when it said, repeatedly in recent months, that it had abandoned all its banned weapons programs. "You can enter inside, all there are destroyed," he said, speaking in English. "Nobody can do nothing inside. Now, nothing. Just a store." The weapons inspectors agreed with the Iraqi official, but only up to a point. As they had on Wednesday, when they began their inspections by visiting a missile-engine factory, an adjacent graphite plant and a motor production complex, the leaders of the inspection teams acknowledged that the Iraqis had placed no impediments in the way of their work. It is a point much emphasized by Iraqi officials, who have encouraged foreign reporters to follow the inspection teams and roam freely about the plants afterward. "We had no problem with access," said Demetrius Perricos, the 67-year-old Greek chemical engineer who is leading the field inspection teams deployed by the United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission. That agency is responsible for inspections of sites with potential involvement in banned biological, chemical and missile programs. "We conducted all the activities we had to do, so as far as we are concerned this is a good start." Mr. Perricos dispatched 14 inspectors to Al Dawrah today and met with reporters later at a United Nations briefing. A similar view was offered by Jacques Baute, the French nuclear physicist who leads the field inspection teams for the International Atomic Energy Agency. Nine of the nuclear agency's teams today inspected the industrial complex at Al Nasr, 30 miles north of Baghdad, where sophisticated machine-tool equipment was identified during United Nations inspections from 1991 to 1998 as having been involved in producing rotors for centrifuges designed for enriching uranium, and engine parts for missiles. "We had no difficulty with access," Mr. Baute said. "We went into every technically significant building." Al Nasr was heavily bombed by American and British aircraft after inspections were terminated in 1998, but has since been partly rebuilt. It was identified by American officials in October as one of the weapons sites the Iraqis were putting back into commission, but Mr. Baute said the new building shown in American intelligence photographs appeared to be inactive, at least during today's inspections. "As far as we observed today, it seemed to be very empty," he said. Both men gave the Iraqis credit for keeping an accurate inventory of equipment "tagged" by the previous inspectors. When one fermenter at Al Dawrah was missing, plant officials said it had been moved to a veterinary plant north of Baghdad. When the inspectors went on to the other plant in search of the missing equipment, they found it. Mr. Baute said his men had a similar experience at Al Nasr, identifying every tagged piece of equipment at the plant, other than some the Iraqis had acknowledged moving in earlier declarations to the United Nations. But neither Mr. Perricos nor Mr. Baute was ready to comment, based on the initial inspections, on the issue behind the months of American threats that led to the United Nations Security Council's action earlier this month in approving the tough new weapons inspection mandate: whether Iraq still has banned weapons programs, or has abandoned them, as senior Iraqi officials have insisted. A key test of Iraq's intentions will come on Dec. 8, when the Baghdad government must make a full, formal declaration of all its banned weapons programs, if any, and of civilian work in related fields. The inspectors said their work was not a matter of reaching conclusions from visits to individual sites, but of building a "mosaic" by visiting groups of related sites, then re-visiting some of them. Mr. Perricos described this process as "trying to make an assessment of what happened in the dark years" after 1998, when the inspections ceased. Mr. Baute said the work could take "weeks or months" ? longer, possibly, though he did not say so, than the Bush administration might be prepared to wait as it weighs its options for war. http://news.independent.co.uk/world/middle_east/story.jsp?story=357462 * HOW A 'LEAK' TURNED OUT TO BE AN OWN GOAL by Kim Sengupta in Baghdad The Independent, 1st December The extraordinary admission by the UN that it had warned Iraqi officials about a supposed surprise visit to a site will play directly into the hands of US hawks eager to portray weapons inspections as little more than going through the motions. Neither will their suspicions be allayed by the way in which the news was revealed. When it emerged that the director of a military industrial complex had received advanced notice of the "no warning" raid, there were suggestions that UN security had been breached. A spokesman even said he had no idea how Iraqi officials at the Mother of All Battles company, in Yusoufiyyah, 10 miles south of Baghdad, knew that a monitoring team was coming. But late last night came the admission that it was the UN itself that had told the Iraqis. This statement was more of a surprise than the inspection was ever going to be, and the reaction to all this in Washington is now nervously awaited. UN weapons inspectors have completed searches of 10 sites in Iraq without apparently finding any evidence to back up claims by the US and Britain that some are being used in chemical, biological and nuclear programmes. Another UN team undertook the first search of a "sensitive site" at the Balad military base, 48 miles north of Baghdad, where the Iraqi army says it carries out experiments and training in how to counter chemical and biological attacks. It is believed the inspectors may have been checking for atropine, a medicine that can be used to counter nerve agents, which, US authorities have claimed, was being imported in large quantities. US officials maintain this may be a sign that President Saddam is planning to use nerve agents against any US-led attack and is stocking atropine to protect his own troops against "blowbacks". The Iraqis have strongly denied the claims. The UN refused to say if any samples had been taken away. But after the inspection, Brigadier Karim Mohsen Alwan of the Iraqi National Monitoring Directorate, claimed the team had found nothing. Iraqi soldiers at the site appeared to have been caught unaware by the visit, and the site was "frozen" by monitors, barring anyone from entering or leaving. The UN inspectors are not able to sweep their headquarters, the Canal Hotel, for bugs. As a result, all confidential discussions have to take place outdoors. Iraqi "minders" accompany the inspectors, but they are told to follow UN vehicles without knowing the destination. A senior UN official said earlier that the Iraqis may have "guessed" the Mother of All Battles site was being targeted by the direction of the journey. A number of the sites inspected had been named by US and Britain as places where Iraq is attempting to reactivate programmes for weapons of mass destruction. One site inspected last week was al-Tahadi, a factory in the north-eastern suburbs of Baghdad where, the US Senate intelligence committee was told at a hearing in February, a number of "the alumni of the Iraqi nuclear establishment" had been gathering. But another US intelligence report, leaked to Washington newspapers, gave the wrong location for the plant, which, the report claimed, was being used for biological warfare experiments. Another site visited was al-Rafah, 80 miles west of Baghdad where, Washington claims, the Iraqis have built a new and large missile-testing stand. http://www.iht.com/articles/78752.html * WAITING FOR AN IRAQI SAKHAROV by Thomas L. Friedman International Herald Tribune, from The New York Times, 2nd December WASHINGTON: The United Nations inspectors in Iraq have begun their investigation of various Iraqi factories and military sites. Pay no attention. They will find nothing. The key to this whole inspection gambit will not be where the inspectors look inside Iraq but whom they decide to interview outside Iraq, and whether that person has the courage to talk. The fate of Iraq will all come down to the least noticed paragraph in UN Security Council Resolution 1441, which is Point 5. The framers of this resolution had learned their lessons from previous Iraqi inspections. They knew that Saddam Hussein was an expert at hiding his war toys and, having had four years without inspections, had probably buried everything good under mosques or cemeteries. That means the only way to uncover anything important is if an Iraqi official or scientist - a Saddam insider - tells the United Nations where it's hidden. Point 5 says: "Iraq shall provide" the UN inspectors and the International Atomic Energy Agency "immediate, unimpeded, unrestricted and private access to all officials and other persons whom [the United Nations] or the IAEA wish to interview in the mode or location of [the United Nations'] or the IAEA's choice, pursuant to any aspect of their mandates." The United Nations and the International Atomic Energy Agency may "conduct interviews inside or outside of Iraq, may facilitate the travel of those interviewed and family members outside of Iraq, and ... such interviews may occur without the presence of observers from the Iraqi government." In other words, the chief UN inspector, Hans Blix, can invite any Iraqi general or scientist to come outside Iraq and reveal what he knows. And should that Iraqi worry about personal safety, U.S. officials would be prepared to give his whole family green cards and money to live on. And why not? "I am happy to pay for that," a senior Pentagon official said. "It will be a lot cheaper than going to war to find these weapons." But there are two weak points to worry about here. The first is Blix, an IAEA veteran. Although the United Nations has given him this authority, he is not entirely comfortable with it, UN officials say. The whole IAEA inspection process and culture were never set up to be prosecutorial, and it isn't in most countries, where the host government provides full cooperation. Blix, and the United Nations generally, are not used to such an "aggressive, adversarial approach," effectively subpoenaing Iraqi officials, a U.S. official said. The United States will have to hold the United Nations' feet to the fire. "The key is finding a defector" through interviews, a senior U.S. official said. "That's the only way we're going to find anything." Is there an Iraqi Andrei Sakharov? Is there just one Iraqi scientist or official who wants to see the freedom of his country so badly that he is ready to cooperate with the United Nations by submitting to an interview and exposing the regime's hidden weapons? It takes just one person in Iraq who wants these inspections to be real, who wants Saddam to be exposed, and the whole house of cards comes down. And that person does not really have to risk his life or his family to do it. He can get everybody out. If there is not one such person in Iraq, well, that tells us something about the Iraqi people's own quest for freedom and a different future. "In the past year we've seen Arab extremists risking their lives to attack others," says the Middle East expert Stephen P. Cohen. "Is there one Arab democrat willing to risk his life to save his own country? Think about the refuseniks in Russia who went to prison. Think about the reformers in Iran who speak out every day, knowing that it will land them in jail or with a death sentence. "It's really an Abraham-like situation, when God told Abraham he would not destroy Sodom if he could find just 10 good men there. Are there 10 Iraqi refuseniks who dare to say 'Enough is enough' and will whisper to Blix the truth? Is there one?" If there isn't one such Iraqi, we will have to ask, and many Arabs will ask, "Exactly who are we fighting this war for?" So watch this issue. This is the real drama. http://www.dawn.com/2002/12/03/int11.htm * IRAQ'S FATE LIES IN HANDS OF UN N-LAB by Louis Charbonneau Dawn, from Reuters, 3rd December SEIBERSDORF: It is hard to imagine that inside an innocuous cluster of buildings in the Austrian countryside scientists might find something worthy of igniting a war in Iraq. But that is exactly the power the UN forensic laboratories located a half hour's drive from the Austrian capital will hold when samples collected by weapons inspectors begin arriving from Baghdad next week. The UN inspectors have returned to Iraq after a four-year hiatus to resume their hunt for weapons of mass destruction under threat of a United States-led military attack. David Donohue, head of the UN International Atomic Energy Agency's (IAEA) Clean Laboratory Unit in the east Austrian town of Seibersdorf, said that technicians and scientists would make sure they deliver results to the UN Security Council inside the two month deadline. "The inspectors have a list of sites that they have to visit in this two-month period and the samples that come back have to be analysed in the same period," Donohue said, referring to IAEA head Mohamed ElBaradei's deadline to brief the Security Council. "It's going to be a lot of stress to get the samples analysed before the end of this two-month period," he added. Donohue is confident that if inspectors have unlimited access to all the sites they want to see, the multi-million dollar lab that analyses environmental samples from Iraq will uncover even the most minute traces of illegal activity. "Even if they paint the walls and completely change the floor to hide it, we'll still find it," said Donohue. "If we're in the right building or on the right site, we will find it. They can be quite clever at hiding things, but we have to be just as clever at finding it," he said. Experience from the very first inspection in May 1991, when UN experts found traces of a uranium enrichment programme indicating Iraqis were trying to make a bomb, shows results may come fast. The nuclear inspectors' principal tool is not a Geiger counter but a 10x10 cm (4x4 inch) cotton pad for swabbing buildings. Armed with hundreds of sterile environmental sampling kits - which include swabs, medical gloves and polythene bags to protect the samples - dozens of IAEA inspectors in the field will meticulously examine suspicious buildings and sites all over Iraq. Inspectors will be especially interested in areas around ventilation systems, where telltale dust particles tend to collect, Donohue said. "What they're trying to do is to collect very small traces of nuclear material that might be present at the site," he said. State-of-the art instruments, some of which are new since the inspectors fled Iraq in 1998, can detect the tiniest uranium particle, down to a trillionth of a gram. A country needs 20 to 30 kg of highly-enriched uranium for a nuclear programme, so it is virtually impossible to erase all traces, Donohue said. The inspectors already had a pretty good idea of where to look before they arrived in Baghdad. "They have been watching Iraq very closely by satellite, spy satellites, for the last couple of years," said Donohue. "And if (the Iraqis) have built anything, I'm sure it will be found. Even an underground tunnel leaves a trace." The scientists at the lab are well aware that their work could be the trigger for a war against Iraq. The Iraqis are to provide a full and truthful declaration of any nuclear, chemical, biological and ballistic weapons programmes by Dec 8. If they fail to meet this demand, Washington is expected to lead a coalition to forcefully disarm and topple Saddam Hussein. IAEA lab director Gabriele Voigt said she feels the weight of responsibility that their findings could spark a bloody war thousands of miles away from peaceful Seibersdorf. That is why the lab must provide proof that is incontrovertible. "All we can do is provide good data," she said. "And if we find something we have to report it." To ensure their findings are solid, the lab sends swabs to other labs in IAEA member states like the US, Britain and Germany for confirmation. "If there is an undeclared activity, we should find evidence of it in each laboratory," Donohue said. The inspectors would then extend their nuclear police work by interviewing scientists to find out what they have been doing for the last four years. The inspectors' right to carry out surprise inspections anytime and anywhere in Iraq have an important deterrent effect going forward and will put pressure on the Iraqis to keep clean. http://www.newsday.com/news/nationworld/sns-ap-iraq-inside-the palace1203dec03,0,4902737.story?coll=ny%2Dnationworld%2Dheadlines * A GLIMPSE INTO SADDAM'S LIFESTYLE by Charles J. Hanley Newsday, from Associated Press, 3rd December BAGHDAD, Iraq -- The vast lawns, roadway, portico and grand entrance hall were eerily quiet and empty. No one appeared in the endless windows. No one was there to smell the rows of pale yellow roses. When a president like Saddam Hussein has dozens of palaces at his command, any one of them, like Al-Sajoud, can stand idle for many days at a time -- hidden, silent and beautiful. The quiet was broken Tuesday, first by a dozen U.N. weapons inspectors who showed up at the gates and demanded immediate entry under U.N. resolutions. After the inspectors left, the peace was disturbed even more by more than 100 journalists who were allowed a rare look at the grandiose lifestyle of a Middle Eastern autocrat. What the journalists saw silenced even the most jaded among them. Built in a modern Islamic style, the palace has soaring arched windows, an enormous sky blue dome, and a facade of tan brick that stretches for hundreds of yards. A flourish of Arabic calligraphy on the portico announces the name of the palace, Al Sajoud, an Arabic word signifying the Islamic act of kneeling in prayer. Further back, the intricately carved wooden doors are inset with another seal, in gold, that bears the initials "SH." When the tall doors swung open, they revealed an entry hall that brought a gasp to the visitors. It is an octagonal space, three stories high and with walls of white marble, exquisitely worked in Islamic patterns. It is illuminated by a glittering gilt-and-crystal chandelier. In the middle of the hall sat models of Al-Sajoud itself -- charred and holed from U.S. bombing in the 1991 Gulf War, and then restored to its gleaming self. Al-Sajoud is part of a sprawling presidential neighborhood that runs along a bend in the Tigris River in western Baghdad. It includes the Iraqi "White House" -- the Republican Palace which is home to Saddam's executive offices. Across the road stands the massive headquarters of the ruling Baath Party, an edifice that dwarfs most government buildings in Washington. After taking full command of oil-rich Iraq in 1979, Saddam went on a spree of palace building across Iraq. He is known to travel among them, partly because he fears assassination. He often spends only a brief period in one palace before moving to another. The opulence of the palaces contrasts starkly with the drab existence of ordinary Iraqis. The economy has plummeted because of the international economic sanctions that resulted from Iraq's invasion of Kuwait in 1990. But the lavish decor and the enormous size of the palaces seems to fit the gargantuan ego of the president, who has his portrait displayed in hundreds of public places across Baghdad. Before being ushered out of Al-Sajoud, the journalists caught a close look at the octagon's walls, each of which was inscribed in gold with a poem singing the praises of Saddam. "You are the glory," read one. http://www.dailystar.com.lb/03_12_02/art18.asp * UN: IRAQI ARMS EQUIPMENT 'MISSING' Daily Star, Lebanon, 3rd December BAGHDAD: UN weapons experts said they discovered Monday that some equipment tagged by previous inspectors was missing from a missile site during a six-hour inspection, as the United States and Britain turned up military and psychological pressure on Baghdad. In the first glitch in five days of inspections, a statement by the inspectors reported that Iraqi officials had said the missing gear had either been destroyed by Western bombing or moved to other facilities. A UN source declined to comment on how serious the matter was, but said the Iraqi side had informed the inspectors where the remaining equipment had been moved to. "When the time comes, our inspectors will verify their claims," the source said. The statement said that in 1998 the site contained pieces of equipment tagged by the United Nations Special Commission (UNSCOM) and several monitoring cameras. "None of these are currently present at the facility," it said. "It was claimed that some had been destroyed by the bombing of the site; some had been transferred to other sites." The inspectors spent six hours at the Karamah (Dignity) compound in Baghdad. The statement said the facility, run by the Military Industrialization Commission, was an engineering design and research and development site. The site was one of Iraq's main missile-development sites before it was placed on long-term monitoring by previous inspection teams. Brigadier Mohammed Saleh Mohammed, commander of the Karamah compound, said the facility was involved in the production - mainly design - of missiles permitted by UN Security Council resolutions. Iraq is allowed to only have missiles with a range of 150 kilometers or less. [.....] http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,72055,00.html * REGIME CHANGE, OR REGIME PROTECTION? by Ken Adelman Fox News, 3rd December The Bush administration wanted U.N. inspections of Iraq the worst way possible. Well, that's how it's gone for them so far. All the lovey-dovey cooperation in Iraq last week masks D-Day-- "Decision Day"-- this week, when President George W. Bush has to decide if he goes the U.N. way of non confrontation, or implements his confrontational but wholly justified goal of "regime change." The days following Dec. 8 will be the most important of the Bush administration since the days immediately following Sept. 11, 2001. This Sunday, Iraq must declare if its facilities are capable of producing -- and undoubtedly still producing -- nuclear, chemical or biological weapons. The administration can then highlight any discrepancies between what Saddam declares as his weapons of mass destruction, and what we know he has through intelligence gathered over the past 11 years. Deeming such discrepancies a material breach would constitute grounds for regime change, and with it Iraq's liberation. And this may be the last opportunity Bush has available over the next year. Because once U.N. inspectors begin their full operations -- such that they are! -- we can kiss President Bush's justified policy of regime change goodbye, at least for a while. After that, there's scant way we can liberate Iraq without getting a green light from inspections chief Hans Blix. And there's no way Blix will be giving Bush a green light to attack. Members of the administration, along with the U.N. establishment, somehow imagined that inspections could ensure Saddam's disarmament. Fat chance. Really, no chance. Saddam mastered developing and hiding chemical, biological and nuclear weapons over the past 11 years. He just finished four years of developing, without having to bother about the hiding. Hans Blix plans for 80 or so inspectors to cover a country the size of France, with 23 million inhabitants who face torture or death for revealing such information. To show how ludicrous this is, consider two simple comparisons: --After World War I, more than 5,000 international inspectors went into Germany after its hostile government was changed -- not with the violators still in power; -- A team of 80 inspectors equals the size of the police force of Blacksburg, Va., and is smaller than the force of Milford, Conn. >From this flows my conclusion that the only reliable international inspectors for Iraq are members of the 101st Airborne Division. Real inspections can only follow real regime change. Unless this post Dec. 8 opportunity is seized, the U.N. inspections will lead to "regime protection" over the coming year. This is remarkably different from the "regime change" Bush intended. Kenneth Adelman is a frequent guest commentator on Fox News, was assistant to U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld from 1975 to 1977 and, under President Ronald Reagan, U.N. ambassador and arms-control director. Mr. Adelman is now co-host of TechCentralStation.com. http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/nm/20021203/ts_nm/iraq_un_alu minium_dc_3 * IRAQ SAYS IT HAD ALUMINUM TUBING BEFORE SANCTIONS Yahoo, 3rd December LONDON (Reuters) - A source close to U.N. weapons inspectors said Tuesday that Iraq recently admitted to several failed attempts to acquire aluminum tubing for use in conventional weapons in violation of United Nations sanctions. But Baghdad immediately denied that claim, saying it has had the aluminum tubing since 1989, before the U.N. sanctions imposed for its 1990 invasion of Kuwait, and was using them for the production of artillery shells. "The Iraqis said they tried to import the aluminum tubing, but not for use in nuclear weapons as the U.S. and Britain have alleged," the source close to the inspectors told Reuters. The source said the Iraqis told the inspectors after they returned to Baghdad last week that the tubing was to be used in multi-barreled rocket launchers. Baghdad also said it made several failed attempts to import the tubing. Asked by reporters in Baghdad about the claims, Hussam Mohammed Amin, the Iraqi official in charge of liasing with the weapons inspectors, said: "This is untrue." "This is a tube which was available in Iraq since 1989, before the (Gulf) war, and we did not import any such tubes and the situation was explained in detail to Mr. Hans Blix and Mr. (Mohamed) ElBaradei during the Baghdad discussions with the UNMOVIC and IAEA (chiefs)," he said in English. The aluminum tubing "are currently used for the production of artillery rockets of 81 (mm) caliber...," he said. [.....] http://www.tehrantimes.com/Description.asp?Da=12/4/02&Cat=2&Num=018 * NAKED U.S.-ISRAELI STRATEGIC ALLIANCE FOR DESTRUCTION OF IRAQ by Parviz Esmaeili Tehran Times, 4th December TEHRAN - In an unprecedented measure in the history of international relations, President George W. Bush appointed Zalamy Khlalizad as his plenipotential envoy and coordinator for the post-Sadddam Iraqi affairs. The move shows that the overthrow of the Saddam government is one of the objectives of the United States to be fulfilled in the next few months. The decision has in fact been taken regardless of the outcome of the investigations of the UN inspectors in Iraq, the Iraqi treatment of the UN inspection team, and the tactical maneuvers of Iraqi generals with respect to the probable future democratic measures inside Iraq. All these signs show unprecedented U.S. preparations for a military attack on Iraq. Among these activities one may mention the secret meeting between Condoleeza Rice, the National Security Advisor to the Bush Administration, with the head of the UN inspection team Hans Blix; the prediction of the U.S. Defense (read war) Secretary that the results of the inspections will be irrelevant; the pressure the White House exerts on the UN inspection team to prepare a report to suit Pentagon's objectives; the grant of a three-billion-dollar aid package to Turkey as a quid pro quo for military cooperation with the United States in its attack on Iraq - similar to how Pakistan was dealt with during the U.S. attacks on Afghanistan; and the meetings of the U.S. Assistant Defense Secretary as well as Khalilzad's consultations with the Iraqi opposition are among the events that herald war and gunpowder in the Middle Eastern region. In 1982 Israel used special highly advanced homing devices planted by its agents in the Ossirak Nuclear power plant near Baghdad to guide its fighter-bombers and their missiles to their intended target and successfully destroyed the power plant. The devices are reported to also help the jets evade Iraqi anti-aircraft batteries and surface to-air missiles. A necessary ingredient for any planning involving the homing devices involves, of course, the services of agents or mercenaries who plant the devices at or close to the target. The system has been repeatedly and successfully used by the Israelis in assassinating many Palestinian and Hizbullah leaders by planting the homing device on the target vehicle by an agent. The targets were subsequently destroyed by missiles launched from Israeli helicopters using the homing devices for precise targeting. Therefore, analysts suggest that it is plausible that in the September 11 events of last year in the United States Israeli agents planted homing devices in the World Trade Center towers and the Pentagon enabling the hijacked airliners to effectively act as missiles which homed in on their targets with great accuracy. And only recently in Yemen, a missile launched from an American drone successfully tracked and destroyed an speeding vehicle carrying a number of alleged Al-Qaeda members killing all occupants instantly. There are reports that not long before the Yemen operation, the United States signed a contract for the purchase of the drones and the ground station equipment and other needed electronics with Israel. Some also suggest that there is a possibility that some UN inspectors with dubious allegiances be able to surreptitiously plant such homing devices in various places they visit, or even hide them in cameras they are entitled to install in sensitive places. Afterwards, the United States and its allies can use the homing devices for extremely effective targeting of Iraqi sites in case a good excuse if found. The devices would allow American warplanes to accurately target and destroy Iraqi targets from long distances without entering skies where harm might come to the attacking aircraft. Thus, analysts suggest that American acquiescence on the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1441 might be only a trick enabling American agents to enter sensitive Iraqi sites to plant the homing devices for later use. Therefore, the cumulative weight of evidence suggests that the once thinly-veiled strategic cooperation of the United States and Israel has entered a new phase and the two do not see any need to hide the partnership any longer. The unholy strategic alliance between the two is now aimed at the destruction of the Iraqi regime and its replacement by a puppet government, analysts say. Bearing in mind that Iraq and its defensive capabilities are quite different from that of the Taliban; and the possibility of chemical and biological weapons being used by Iraq in any attack by the U.S., the value of the Israeli homing devices in military planning becomes even more apparent. http://www.lasvegassun.com/sunbin/stories/w-me/2002/dec/04/120408381.html * U.N. TEAM INSPECTS FORMER IRAQI FACTORY by Charles J. Hanley Associated Press, 4th December U.N. monitors spent five hours Wednesday inspecting a desert factory that was once the heart of Iraq's chemical and biological weapons industries. A second team, meanwhile, visited the Al-Tuwaitha nuclear complex to check on new construction and other changes since the last inspection in 1998, according to Melissa Fleming, spokeswoman for the U.N. nuclear control agency in Vienna, Austria. Elsewhere, U.S. war planes bombed an Iraqi air defense site in the northern "no-fly" zone about 15 miles from the city of Mosul, U.S. officials said. The attack came after the Iraqis fired on U.S. jets patrolling the area, the officials said. The Al-Tuwaitha site, 15 miles southeast of Baghdad, has long been an issue of international concern. The site was bombed by Israeli warplanes in 1981 and again by the Americans in the Gulf War 10 years later. Recent satellite photos have spotted new construction. The inspectors who drove to the desert chemical weapons factory were making a return visit to check that Iraq had not resumed production at the site. In the late 1990s, U.N. inspectors demolished the al-Muthanna State Establishment, in wastelands 40 miles northwest of Baghdad, after finding it had been key to Iraq's production of some of the deadliest chemical weapons known: mustard gas, tabun, sarin and VX nerve agent. The desert center operated under the name of Iraqi State Establishment for Pesticide Production, but the Iraqis finally admitted to the U.N. monitors that al-Muthanna produced 4,000 tons of chemical warfare agent per year. Al-Muthanna also became instrumental in the development of biological agents, apparently including anthrax. Wednesday's searches came at the end of the first week of renewed inspections under a U.N. Security Council mandate for Iraq to shut down any continuing chemical, biological or nuclear weapons programs. When the inspectors arrived at the remote front gate of al-Muthanna at 10:25 a.m., they were admitted quickly to what appeared to be a vast desert installation covering what seemed to be several square miles. Through the morning fog, the ruins of scattered buildings could be seen from the outer gate. After the 1991 war, the facility's equipment and material were destroyed under the supervision of U.N. inspectors in the late 1990s. The disarmament of al-Muthanna was a major achievement of the U.N. inspectorate. A recent Iraqi report said the U.N. teams at al-Muthanna had destroyed 38,500 artillery shells and other chemical-filled weapons, almost 520,000 gallons of liquid material, 150 pieces of equipment used to make chemical weapons, and four production facilities. Inspectors left al-Muthanna without speaking to journalists waiting at the gate. However, an Iraqi liaison officer, Raad Manhal, said the arms experts had searched for signs of resumed production at the site. "There were looking for any change, and they found no change," Manhal said. [.....] http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/newse/20021205wo41.htm * FRENCH RESEARCHER SAYS IRAQ, N. KOREA N-CRISES LINKED by Jean Serror Daily Yomiuro, Japan, 5th December PARIS--Georges Amsel is a prominent French researcher in atomic physics. As emeritus research director at France's Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique and adviser on proliferation issues to former French President Francois Mitterrand, Amsel was part of a small group of scientists that revealed the extent and risks of France-Iraq nuclear cooperation in the 1970s and 1980s. In an interview with The Yomiuri Shimbun, Amsel said the new round of U.N. inspections will be crucial to ending the Iraqi crisis and will directly impact the way the North Korean nuclear issue is resolved. The Yomiuri Shimbun: How can U.N. inspections help clear up doubts about Iraq's nuclear program? Amsel: One should never forget that India, Pakistan and North Korea have signed the Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT). Inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) have visited nuclear facilities in these countries regularly. But inspections have never prevented these nations from developing clandestine nuclear programs. As NPT rules limit where inspectors can go, inspectors found nothing in Iraq until post-Gulf War U.N. inspections in 1991. The ongoing inspections must be conducted very strictly, and inspectors must be allowed to go everywhere and interview Iraqi engineers without witnesses. If these conditions are not met, inspections will only lead to false guarantees--the inspectors may not find anything, but that won't mean Iraq has nothing to hide. The quantity of enriched plutonium needed to make bomb is about the size of an orange. It's easy to hide in a country as big as Iraq. Does that mean the inspections are unlikely to solve the crisis? Iraq has been misleading the West for 10 years. The only guarantee against its weapons of mass destruction would be the inauguration of a pacifist regime. According to Hans Blix, the U.N. chief inspector, new inspections will take at least a year, which leaves Iraq some time. I'm afraid that in order to prevent any automatic use of force by the United States, the U.N. Security Council may not be strict enough with Iraq. The current situation is very important for Japan. It will create a precedent that will determine the way the North Korean crisis is solved. The question of inspections is crucial. It will be impossible to impose conditions on North Korea that have not been imposed on Iraq. The Iraq crisis has taken on more global dimensions since the revelation of North Korea's nuclear program. It will be a test of whether a peaceful solution is possible to the problem of weapons of mass destruction. Japan should be very aware of what's going on. It will have a direct impact on the crisis with North Korea. In the 1970s, France played an important role in the Iraqi nuclear program by building two research reactors, known as Osirak 1 and 2. What may remain of this program? Osirak was a very powerful research reactor, an exact copy of the reactor the French built in their nuclear research center in Saclay. Although the French government always has denied it, Osirak 1 was powerful enough to produce three to five kilograms a year of so-called military plutonium. This reactor was destroyed by Israeli planes in 1981, but France already had delivered up to 14 kilograms of highly enriched uranium to Iraq. Later, these were recovered by the IAEA, but since then we haven't known precisely what became of this uranium. Do you think Iraq could get a stock of plutonium? It's clear Iraq has no more means of producing military plutonium, but it could have bought it from another state. Tons of plutonium were left in former Soviet republics like Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine after the partial dismantling of the Russian nuclear arsenal. In these states, the military and scientists are often poorly paid, and due to social disruption and the power of the mafia, they represent a real proliferation risk. Tons of plutonium produced by civilian nuclear plants also are circulating around the world. It is highly possible that Iraq tried to buy some. It is generally said that this plutonium, which contains only 25 to 30 percent of plutonium 239, cannot be used to make a bomb. However, 20 years ago the United States succeeded in exploding such a bomb. As it is a dirty device whose explosion is uncertain, it would not be very effective in terms of deterrence, but it would be enough for a terrorist attack. Only a few dozens kilograms are needed to make an explosive device. As recent events have proven, it would be difficult to prevent a terrorist group from planting a nuclear device in the heart of a city. http://news.independent.co.uk/world/middle_east/story.jsp?story=358616 * INSPECTORS FIND ONLY MUSHROOMS AMID RUINS OF BOMBED REACTOR by Kim Sengupta in Tuwaitha The Independent, 5th December Twisted pieces of metal rise from the rubble, rainwater lies in craters gouged into the earth, a scorched chimney leans into a jagged wall reminders of how Saddam Hussein's nuclear ambitions were destroyed. United Nations inspectors revisited the old Osirak site yesterday to check whether Iraq has once again embarked on a nuclear programme, as Washington and London claim. Tony Blair recently made public satellite photographs which, he maintained showed that the Iraqis were engaged in secret new construction. The remains of the three reactors destroyed in 1981 by the Israelis, and then a decade later in the Gulf War, by the Americans, have been left by the Iraqis. Around it is the vast, sprawling al-Tuwaitha complex, with dozens of buildings, artificial hills with foxholes for anti-aircraft guns, and cars and buses lined up to transport workers around the plant. The Iraqis insist the site is now used for medical and pharmaceutical products. Officials were keen to show the supposedly clandestine construction which so alarmed Mr Blair. They appeared to be no more than a few sheds. Nor were there overt signs of the infrastructure needed to enrich uranium for nuclear weapons. Monitors from the International Atomic Energy Agency arrived at 8.55am and spent four hours and 48 minutes at Iraq's biggest suspected nuclear site, poring over equipment and computers, before leaving with samples. Faiz al-Barkhdar, the director of al-Tuwaitha and an adviser to President Saddam, professed to be bewildered by the visit. Nothing nuclear had been tested at the site since 1991, he insisted, and the gun emplacements were empty. One of the new sheds was being used to grow mushrooms, Mr al-Barkhdar said. Observers comments about nuclear bombs and mushroom clouds were lost on him. "It is to help us produce better quality mushrooms, that is all," he insisted. "I know this is not strictly medical and pharmaceutical, but are Bush and Blair going to say this is a material breach? "The truth is even the harmless work we do is very difficult, because of the UN sanctions. We cannot get spare parts, and around 70 per cent of the equipment cannot be used. We keep applying to the UN to get more supplies in, but we only get refusals." For a plant running at a fraction of its capacity, there appeared to be a huge number of people present. Twenty-eight buses were lined up to take workers back to Baghdad in the afternoon as work finished early for Ramadan. Mr al-Barkhdar said about 2,500 people were employed, in a variety of jobs, "but none of them nuclear". The inspectors had been particularly interested in a furnace in the physics laboratory, said Mr al-Barkhdar. It was made by the Degusse company of Germany and has been at the plant for over 10 years. "It does not even work, again because of lack of spare parts," he complained. "But the inspectors still took swabs from inside, I think to see whether we are using it for uranium. They will not find anything, I guarantee." Osirak, is never far from the mind of the people working at the plant. Pointing at the wreckage, Mr al-Barkhdar recalled: "The Israelis hit with missiles early in the evening, a Frenchman and a number of Iraqis were killed, they hit the reactors. Then the Americans bombed the new facility during the war in the middle of the night, all that work was lost. Now they are just seeking an excuse to attack again." Another group of UN inspectors visited al-Muthanna, 60 miles north west of Baghdad, once the nucleus of Iraq's chemicals production. But the facility was severely damaged in the Gulf War by more than 30 Tomahawk missiles and 2000lb laser-guided bombs The inspectors discovered mustard gas shells in the derelict buildings of the complex. The Iraqis claimed they intended to destroy the shells of the type used to gas to death 5,000 people in Halabjah but were waiting for discussions with the UN first. http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/cms.dll/html/uncomp/articleshow?artid=302 99114 * UN EXPERTS SECURE IRAQI MUSTARD GAS SHELLS Times of India (from AFP), 5th December BAGHDAD: UN arms experts secured a stock of mustard gas shells already inventoried by a previous inspections mission during a visit on Wednesday to a huge complex in the Iraqi desert, team leader Dimitri Perricos told reporters. "We wanted to make sure that the mustard shells which were not destroyed were still there," said Perricos after the visit to the al-Muthanna facility, 150 KMs north of the capital, where Iraq launched its chemical and biological weapons research in 1985. "It's a pretty good quantity of mustard," he said explaining that the shells had been transferred to the desert site by the former UN Special Commission in 1998. "There is no leakage," he said. "We should proceed with the procedure of destruction. They have been stored in a safe place." NO URL (sent through list) * DANCE OF SADDAM'S SEVEN VEILS The Wall Street Journal, 6th December Sunday is the deadline for Iraq to fess up to all of its secret weapons programs, but we already have a suggestion of what that list will be worth. "We have no weapons of mass destruction, absolutely no weapons of mass destruction," said Iraqi Major General Hussam Muhammad Amin this week. Well, that's a relief. This remarkable non-admission is the real Iraq news this week, not the dance of the seven veils now being undertaken in Baghdad by United Nations weapons inspectors. The latter couldn't be more amusing if it had been written by the Friar's Club. The inspectors pretend to be "surprising" the Iraqis about their inspection destinations, while the Iraqis pretend to be cooperating. This week they even managed a surprise visit to one of Saddam Hussein's umpteen presidential sites and/or palaces. Iraqis claimed to be outraged at this intrusion into their sovereignty, as if they haven't long ago had the chance to conceal whatever they really want to keep secret. The real, stunning surprise will be if the inspectors find something. In recent years Saddam has developed mobile laboratories that can take off in the opposite direction if they see a U.N. team heading their way. Nor does he have to keep many of his lethal weapons actually in stock. As a senior U.S. official told us this week, he's perfected the art of "just in time inventory" and has the ability to cook up weapons on demand. Some of the ingredients even have legitimate alternative uses, so Iraqis will insist they aren't a problem. The Iraqi report due this weekend could run to thousands of obfuscating pages, and the Bush Administration says it likely will take a while to respond. But the reality is that we already know Iraq has weapons of mass destruction, both from intelligence information and from U.N. inspections during the 1990s. All of this was laid out a couple of months back in a dossier by Tony Blair's Labor government. The Brits released another report on Iraq this week, this time reminding the world about Saddam's human-rights abuses. But the earlier report is more relevant to this weekend, demonstrating as it does that any assertion that Iraq lacks mass-murder weaponry is one more lie. Saddam's inventory includes: up to 360 tons of bulk chemical warfare agent, including 1.5 tons of deadly VX nerve agent; up to 3,000 tons of precursor chemicals for use in chemical weapons; growth media for the production of biological weapons (enough to make more than three times the 8,500 liters of anthrax spores that Iraq admits to having manufactured); and more than 30,000 special munitions "for delivery of chemical and biological agents." The British dossier also performs a useful service by describing in detail what it calls Iraq's "large, effective system for hiding proscribed material." That includes forged documents, dual-use facilities and hiding spots close to roads and telecommunications so illicit items can be moved at short notice. It's always possible the inspectors will get a break and stumble onto something, much as inspectors got lucky with defections in the 1990s before Saddam threw them out. But Saddam will always win a game of inspect and pretend on his home turf. In the meantime, the world is left to live with the knowledge that, as the British report also notes, Iraq can get weapons of mass destruction ready for use within 45 minutes of Saddam's order. In the foreword to the report, issued on September 24, Prime Minister Blair previews the charade we've been watching in Baghdad this week. Saddam, he warns, will "do his utmost to try to conceal his weapons from U.N. inspectors" and will "go to extreme lengths, indeed has already done so, to hide these weapons and avoid giving them up." It's the same old pattern of deceit that Saddam has gotten away with for more than a decade. But with the accounting due this weekend, the dance should finally be up. As U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said this week, "The United States knows that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction. The U.K. knows that they have weapons of mass destruction. Any country on the face of the Earth with an active intelligence program knows that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction." If Iraq asserts this weekend that it has no such weapons, then that will on its face be a material breach of U.N. Security Council resolutions demanding that he disarm. And a material breach means Iraq must be disarmed by force. The U.S. and Britain ought to say so, the U.N. should then bring its inspectors home, and the hour will be at hand to liberate Iraqis and the world from Saddam Hussein's terror threat. _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-discuss To contact the list manager, email firstname.lastname@example.org All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk