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D.U. conference in Iraq & 'Iraq Tried to Buy Weaponry'

a couple of news articles:

                  November 29, 1998 

                  BAGHDAD, Iraq (Reuters) -- Iraq hosts a conference this
                  week to focus attention on what it says is an enduring
                  health and environmental disaster caused by depleted
                  uranium munitions used by the United States and Britain
                  in the 1991 Gulf War. 

                  "This war has not ended," Nasra Sadoon,
                  director-general at the Information and Culture Ministry,
                  told Reuters. "It's still going on without the world knowing
                  about it." 

                  Depleted uranium (DU) is used to harden ammunition,
                  making it highly effective in piercing tank armour. 

                  Britain has said DU rounds can produce small amounts of
                  radioactive and toxic particles on impact, but it is unlikely
                  that anyone outside the target area could be affected. 

                  Sadoon is among the organisers of the two-day
                  conference due to open on Wednesday, bringing together
                  Iraqi researchers with 50 foreign doctors, scientists and
                  veterans of U.S. and British forces suffering from
                  so-called Gulf War syndrome. 

                  Iraq will give details of what it says is a dramatic jump in
                  cancer cases since the Gulf War, especially in the south. 

                  "There is massive radioactive contamination in southern
                  provinces, in addition to the exposure of the people to
                  radioactive and chemical toxicity," said Sami al-Araji, who
                  serves on a government committee studying the war's

                  Araji said allied forces had estimated they had used 300
                  tonnes of DU munitions against Iraqi forces, but said
                  other researchers put the figure at 700 to 800 tonnes. 

                  "There has been an alarming increase in cancers and
                  other unusual diseases," he said, citing genetic
                  deformities and abnormalities in Iraqi children born after
                  the Gulf War. 

                  "Among military personnel, lymphomas and leukaemia
                  have risen five to six times in the last five years. Among
                  children and civilians the rise has gone beyond that
                  number," he added. 

                  The southern Shi'ite Moslem provinces are some of Iraq's
                  poorest, regularly scoring badly in surveys of health care,
                  malnutrition, school attendance and water sanitation. 

                  With its health services devastated by eight years of
                  sanctions imposed for its invasion of Kuwait, Iraq says it
                  cannot afford expensive cancer drugs to treat the
                  afflicted, let alone the huge cost of decontaminating
                  DU-polluted areas. 

                  Sadoon said particles from DU munitions had found their
                  way into food and water chains, causing cancer and other

                  "The conference will also discuss the link between Gulf
                  War syndrome and similar effects in Iraq, which we
                  believe are caused by depleted uranium," she added. 

                  Iraqi officials say they hope to spur scientific debate on
                  what they see as a deadly legacy of the conflict, while
                  acknowledging that more research needs to be done. 

                  "We are seeing a good number of patients coming from
                  the area of heavy bombardment, especially in the south,"
                  said Selma Haddad, head of the oncology unit at the
                  Mansour Children's Teaching Hospital in Baghdad, one of
                  the two main centres to which child cancer cases are
                  referred from all over Iraq. 

                  "It might be related to the effect of that (DU) pollution, but
                  I think we need a more wide epidemiological and
                  statistical study to be sure of that," she said. 

                  Iraq sent a formal complaint to U.N. Secretary-General
                  Kofi Annan in May, reserving its right to compensation for
                  the "appalling damage" caused by allied use of DU tank

                  Britain rejected Iraq's charge that its use of DU weapons
                  violated the U.N. Charter and international agreements. It
                  said its Challenger tanks had fired fewer than 100 new
                  120-mm rounds with a DU core against Iraqi forces and
                  its armoured forces had been operating well away from
                  population centres. 

                  In October a preliminary report by the World Health
                  Organisation proposed sending a WHO mission to
                  southern Iraq to research radiation levels and reportedly
                  higher cancer rates. 

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Rania Masri <>
Subject: [ADC Iraq Task Force] Iraqi Weaponry - focus of CNN-Time

Good morning,

Yesterday evening, CNN dedicated a segment of its evening program
(CNN+Time) to further presenting the possibility of Iraq's weaponry
program.  (article enclosed below).  

There was no mention of the suffering of the Iraqi people due to the

There was no mention about the impossibility of the UNR 687 resolution --
according to Zalinskas (former UNSCOM inspector) to completely verify
destruction of biological and chemical weapons is impossible.

This is the second report in the mainstream news that talks about Iraq
without mentioning the Iraqi peole. (the first was a report on 60 minutes
a week ago that talked about the barbarity of Odei - Saddam Hussein's son
- according to a defector.)

- Rania Masri

---------- Forwarded message ----------

                  CNN: Iraq Tried to Buy Weaponry 

                  By The Associated Press
                  Sunday, November 29, 1998; 9:59 p.m. EST

                  Despite years of claims it has ended all programs to
                  build weapons of mass destruction, Iraq made a bid to
                  acquire prohibited missile technology last May, CNN
                  reported Sunday. 

                  In its program NewsStand, produced with Time
                  magazine, CNN said Iraqi missile experts, escorted by
                  Iraqi secret police, went to the Romanian capital
                  Bucharest to negotiate the purchase of guidance
                  equipment for long-range missiles. 

                  Iraq is required to eliminate its long-range missiles and
                  chemical, biological and nuclear weapons under
                  resolutions by the U.N. Security Council adopted Pd0us
                  the 1991 Gulf War that ended Iraq's occupation of

                  The CNN report quoted unnamed sources and Scott
                  Ritter, an American ex-Marine who resigned as a U.N.
                  arms inspector in August who complained the U.S.
                  government was undermining the search for Iraq's
                  forbidden weapons. 

                  Iraq has insisted since the early 1990s that it has
                  destroyed all its prohibited weapons. Tough U.N. trade
                  sanctions, imposed after Iraq's 1990 invasion of Kuwait,
                  cannot be lifted until U.N. inspectors certify that its
                  weaponry has been destroyed. 

                  According to the program's transcript, the Iraqi purchase
                  in Bucharest was blocked because spy agencies from
                  the United States, Romania and Israel uncovered the
                  potential deal and monitored the Iraqis' two-week visit. 

                  ``We had the goods on the Iraqis. ... We caught them
                  red-handed,'' Ritter told NewsStand. 

                  CNN said Romania's government cooperated in the
                  spying operation. 

                  Iraq refused to comment on the reports until after
                  Sunday's broadcast, CNN said. 

                  NewsStand also noted the Security Council, which set
                  up the arms inspection program, was never officially
                  informed of the spy operation in Bucharest that was
                  approved by Richard Butler, the chief U.N. arms

                  Ritter, who earlier had disclosed U.N. arms inspectors'
                  dealings with Israel's Mossad spy agency and the CIA,
                  expressed disappointment the Romanian operation had
                  remained secret. 

                  ``We could not present to the Security Council the most
                  compelling evidence'' of Iraqi non-compliance with U.N.
                  resolutions, Ritter said. 

                  He said revealing the information would have opened
                  up ``the sources and methods used to collect it ... which
                  governments did not want to put at risk.'' 

                  According to NewsStand, agents learned of the plans
                  for the Romanian visit from an Iraqi engineer who
                  defected. They also had documents found at the farm of
                  Lt. Gen. Hussein Kamel al-Majid, Iraqi leader Saddam
                  Hussein's son-in-law. 

                  Iraq allowed inspection of al-Majid's chicken farm after
                  he defected in 1995; he later returned to Iraq and was
                  killed. Among the documents from his farm was a
                  previous contract for missile equipment with the
                  state-run Romanian company Aerofina. 

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