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[casi] Re: ElBaradei WSJ commentary?

On Fri, 7 Mar 2003 12:14:38 -0500, you wrote:

>Can anyone point me to an alternative online source for the ElBaradei
>commentary in today's (3-7-3) WSJ?  I'm not a subscriber, obviously.

March 7, 2003 12:13 a.m. EST


Let Us Inspect


For the past three months, a cadre of highly trained inspectors from the
International Atomic Energy Agency has been on a focused mission: to
verify, through intrusive inspection, the existence or absence of a
nuclear-weapons program in Iraq.

These inspections have recently been characterized by some as a "mission
impossible" -- a task too challenging to warrant continued pursuit.
This, in my view, is a mischaracterization. I cannot speak for UNMOVIC
-- the United Nations organization tasked with chemical, biological and
missile inspections in Iraq. However, the facts on the nuclear side
speak for themselves: After three months back in Baghdad,
nuclear-weapons inspections are making marked progress.

The inspector's role is not that of a cloak-and-dagger detective, but
neither are inspectors the passive "observers" that some have suggested.
The IAEA's nuclear-weapons inspectors are physicists, chemists and
engineers with decades of experience in nuclear-weapons research and
development, nuclear-material safeguards and intrusive international

A high percentage of the current IAEA team had experience in Iraq during
1991-98. This was a period when the IAEA successfully seized
nuclear-related documents based on information provided by defectors,
convinced Iraq to provide volumes of additional information describing
its existing nuclear-weapons program, destroyed or neutralized Iraqi
facilities and equipment related to nuclear-weapons production and
confiscated and removed from Iraq its nuclear weapons-usable material.

In the past three months, they have conducted over 200 inspections at
more than 140 locations, entering without prior notice into Iraqi
industrial facilities, munitions factories, military establishments,
private residences and presidential palaces. They have followed up
inspection leads provided by other states, confiscated nuclear-related
Iraqi documents for further scrutiny, interviewed scientists and
engineers known to have played a key role in Iraq's past nuclear-weapons
program and lowered themselves by rope into abandoned
underground-reactor chambers.

Taking advantage of the "signature" of radioactive materials, they have
conducted radiation surveys over thousands of kilometers of Iraqi roads
and collected samples of soil, air, water and vegetation and particulate
matter from key locations in Iraq for laboratory analysis.

In short, the nuclear inspectors in Iraq have been far from idle, and
their efforts far from futile. The IAEA's inspectors have systematically
examined the contents and operations of all Iraqi buildings and
facilities that were identified through satellite surveillance as having
been modified or newly constructed since December 1998, when inspections
were brought to a halt. They have determined the whereabouts and
functionality of Iraq's known "dual-use" equipment -- that is, equipment
that has legitimate industrial uses, such as precision machining, but
that could also be used for the high-precision manufacture of components
relevant to a nuclear-weapons program.

While the task is by no means complete, the inspection results achieved
to date are worthy of careful consideration. In my update to the U.N.
Security Council today, I will present the latest inspection results in
detail. These will cover issues such as whether Iraq has used aluminum
tubes and high-strength magnets as part of efforts to enrich uranium,
Iraq's indigenous capability for flow-forming aluminum cylinders and the
reported attempts by Iraq to import uranium from Niger.

A key facet of these inspections has been the degree of cooperation on
the part of Iraq. Throughout the past three months, Iraqi authorities
have provided access to all facilities without conditions and without
delay and have made documents available in response to inspectors'

However, the level of cooperation was initially "passive." Thus in our
reports to the Security Council and meetings with Iraqi officials, we
emphasized the need for a shift to more "proactive" support on the part
of Iraq -- that is, making every effort to assist inspectors by
voluntarily making available documentation, people and physical evidence
that could help to fill in the remaining gaps in our understanding.

This urging, backed by the threat of the use of force, ultimately led to
improvement. In recent weeks, Iraq has agreed to the use of overhead
surveillance flights by American, French, Russian and German aircraft in
support of the inspecting organizations and, as requested, committed to
encouraging its citizens to accept interviews in private in Iraq. It has
also provided lists of additional Iraqi personnel who might be relevant
to verification issues. This kind of cooperation should speed up the
verification process and generate additional credibility for the
assurances that result.

Nuclear-weapons inspections in Iraq are making marked progress. To date,
we have found no substantiated evidence of the revival in Iraq of a
nuclear-weapons program -- the most lethal of the weapons of mass
destruction. No verification program can provide absolute guarantees
that every facility or piece of equipment has been seen. There is always
some degree of risk -- and for that reason we need to continue to
maintain a monitoring and verification presence in Iraq well into the

For the present, we intend to continue our program of intrusive
inspection, making use of all the authority granted to us by the
Security Council and all the information provided by other states.
Barring any unforeseen circumstances, and provided that the level of
cooperation by Iraq accelerates and support by other states continues,
the IAEA should be able in the near future to provide the Security
Council with credible assurances regarding the presence or absence of a
nuclear-weapons program in Iraq.

Mr. ElBaradei is the director general of the International Atomic Energy
Agency and head of nuclear inspections in Iraq.

URL for this article:,,SB104700878957030300,00.html

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