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[casi] The hypocricy...

Arms suppliers to Iraq will be kept secret
'Sensitive' names to be edited out, chief UN weapons inspector says

Joe Lauria
The Ottawa Citizen

Wednesday, December 11, 2002

UNITED NATIONS -- The names of foreign companies that supplied Iraq's
unconventional weapons programs will be edited out of Baghdad's arms declaration
before it is given to the full Security Council, probably by Monday, said Hans
Blix, the UN chief weapons inspector.

"There are some guidelines from the past that we will practise, subject to
agreement by the Security Council," Mr. Blix said yesterday about releasing the
companies' names.

He said past UN weapons inspectors had considered foreign suppliers
"sensitive for the reason that they had sometimes been obtaining information from
suppliers about the Iraqi program and if they were to give their names publicly,
then they would never get another foreign supplier giving new information."

Mr. Blix added some companies may have been legally supplying chemical or
biological material that could have been used by Iraq for military purposes
without the companies' knowledge.

The revelation of company names could be embarrassing for nations on the
Security Council whose firms may be among them.

There has been speculation Iraq may seek to embarrass the United States,
Britain and other countries by publishing the suppliers' names on its government
Web site.

Asked whether Iraq would release the names, Mohamed Aldouri, Baghdad's UN
envoy, told the Citizen: "Everything will come out eventually."

Conventional arms exports made before UN sanctions were placed on Iraq after
its 1990 invasion of Kuwait were legal. Exports of biological, chemical or
nuclear-related materials may have been in violation of international treaties, in
force at the time on unconventional weapons systems.

Any exports of arms-related material after the August 1990 sanctions are

During Iraq's eight-year war with Iran during the 1980s, more than 50
countries supplied weapons to both sides.

According to the U.S. Senate committee on banking, housing, and urban affairs
report, written by principal investigator, James Tuite: "On Oct. 27, 1992, the
committee on banking, housing and urban affairs held hearings that revealed that
the U.S. had exported chemical, biological, nuclear, and missile-system equipment
to Iraq that was converted to military use in Iraq's chemical, biological, and
nuclear weapons program. Many of these weapons -- weapons that the U.S. and other
countries provided critical materials for -- were used against us during" the
Persian Gulf War.

Financial Times journalist Alan Friedman, in his 1993 book, The Spider's Web:
How the White House Illegally Armed Iraq, claimed former U.S. president George
Bush, future Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, and current FBI head Robert
Mueller were involved in arming Iraq through the Department of Agriculture's
Commodity Credit Corporation.

The acknowledgment by Mr. Blix that the list of suppliers would remain secret
goes beyond his initial statements that only sensitive information on constructing
unconventional weapons would be censored.

Mr. Blix's inspection team is also vetting the document for data that could
lead to proliferation.

"I told the council that we hope that we will be through the main part of the
document, which is 3,000 pages, by Friday," said Mr. Blix yesterday . "The
bottleneck is translation. We have about 500 pages in Arabic."

He added: "In the best case, by Monday we will be able to produce a working
text that we will share with all the members of the council."

 Copyright 2002 The Ottawa Citizen

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