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[casi] Iraq Suppliers Won't Be Revealed

Sounds like a pretty good deal for those who supplied Saddam with weapons.
What a deal!



U.N. Official Won't Reveal Iraq Suppliers to the Public

UNITED NATIONS, Dec. 10 — Hans Blix, a chief of the weapons team here, told
the Security Council today that he was not going to release the names of
foreign arms suppliers that Iraq has listed in its weapons declaration
because they could be valuable to United Nations inspectors as sources of
information about Baghdad's programs.

Mr. Blix confirmed to the Council that there appeared to be bomb recipes in
the hundreds of pages detailing Iraq's secret nuclear program, which was
discovered by inspectors in 1991 and deactivated. He said he would identify
by Friday any passages in the vast document that must be screened out before
it can be distributed to the full Council. Iraq delivered the report,
required under Resolution 1441, to inspectors in Baghdad on Saturday night.

A 300-page section of the declaration, describing industrial facilities in
Iraq where there could have been nuclear activity after 1991, includes much
new information that analysts have to scrutinize carefully, he said.

Mr. Blix briefed the 15 Council nations over lunch today with Secretary
General Kofi Annan. On Sunday, all of them except Syria agreed to allow the
five permanent members, which are all nuclear powers, to examine the
declaration immediately, before the 10 rotating members, none of which are
nuclear powers.

In Washington, London and Paris today, experts plunged into the trove of
documents and CD-ROM's, after agreeing to assist Mr. Blix in detecting
information that could be used to make an illegal weapon. Russian and Chinese
diplomats said that their copies of the declaration were only just arriving
today in Moscow and Beijing.

Mr. Blix turned the tables today on the United States and other permanent
members, saying he wanted to receive by Friday their assessments of the
information that had to be filtered out of the documents. Up to now, the Bush
administration, echoed by Britain, has been vocal in its complaints that Mr.
Blix is moving too slowly with his inspections.

Both Russia and China said they doubted that they would have their
assessments ready by Friday.

Mr. Blix said he wanted to give the filtered declaration to all 15 Council
members on Monday. As soon as the declaration is so widely distributed, it is
certain to leak out and become public.

Mr. Blix, the chairman of the United Nations chemical and biological weapons
team, explained that he would, at least initially, remove the suppliers'
names from the document that will be made public because inspectors found in
the past that suppliers could provide vital information about what Baghdad
was buying and where.

If the inspectors "were to give the names publicly, then they would never get
another foreign supplier to give them any information," he said after the
Council session.

Diplomats have indicated that disclosing the suppliers could be embarrassing
to several nations, even perhaps the United States, which provided arms to
Iraq during its long war with Iran in the 1980's.

Mr. Blix said he would abide by whatever the Council ultimately decided about
the suppliers. The plan is for Mr. Blix's team and the International Atomic
Energy Agency to keep the risky information confidential.

Mr. Blix said the most important part of the declaration is contained in
3,000 of its 12,000 pages, about 500 of which are in Arabic and must be

Weapons analysts here will not even begin to assess the far more interesting
issue of the accuracy of the declaration until next week. Mr. Blix and
Mohamed ElBaradei, the head of the atomic energy agency, will give their
first evaluation to the Council Nov. 19.

A senior Mexican official sought today to clarify remarks by Mexican diplom
ats here that indicated they were reluctant to back the United States plan to
have Washington and the other permanent members see the declaration first.

The official said that Jorge G. Castañeda, the foreign minister, had in fact
proposed to Secretary of State Colin L. Powell that Colombia, which holds the
Council presidency this month, should decide whether to turn over the
declaration to Washington on behalf of the nonpermanent members.

Mr. Castañeda also talked to Mr. Blix on Saturday to make sure he agreed, the
official said.

"We have nobody in the whole country that can go through this declaration in
three days and see if there are weapons cookbooks in there," the official

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