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[casi] News, 13-20/12/02 (2)

News, 13-20/12/02 (2)


 *  U.S. rejects Iraqi arms report
*  Germany was 'key supplier' of Saddam supplier
*  Arms report names Western suppliers
*  Iraq: The countdown begins
*  Syria to return sanitized Iraqi weapons declaration
*  Syria to boycott U.N. talks
*  Inspectors say gaps found in Iraqi weapons report
*  The 'gaps' in Iraq's dossier
*  Pakistani scientist 'offered Saddam nuclear designs'
*  Text of Colin Powell's remarks on Iraq


*  US, British planes hit civilian sites in Iraq
*  Coalition planes strike targets in Iraq
*  Western jets attack southern Iraq air defences
*  U.S. Navy Says UAE Firm Smuggling Chemicals to Iraq
*  Iraq opens fire on US, UK warplanes: Baghdad
*  Western jets fire on southern Iraq air defences
*  Western patrols choke off trade in illegal Iraq oil


by Betsy Pisik
Washington Times, 14th December

NEW YORK ‹ The Bush administration yesterday rejected Iraq's accounting of
its weapons of mass destruction, saying that Washington found the
12,000-page declaration incomplete.

"We know that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction and has programs to
create more," State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said. "What's not
in the document may be as important as what is in the document."

The White House, conducting its own analysis of the filing, declined to
comment specifically on the declaration until after chief U.N. weapons
inspector Hans Blix briefs the Security Council on Thursday.

But Sen. Richard C. Shelby of Alabama, the top Republican on the Senate
Select Committee on Intelligence, called the Iraqi declaration "a bogus

"I don't know how you could put any credibility in any of it," he said.

Sen. Richard G. Lugar, Indiana Republican and incoming chairman of the
Senate Foreign Relations Committee, called the inspections a "palliative"
for countries that oppose intervention in Iraq.

Without being told where Iraq's biological and chemical weapons are stored,
"There's just not a whole lot of confidence in the ability of these people
to get the job done," Mr. Lugar told reporters in Washington.

The inspections, he said, are more of "a palliative for many countries who
don't want to do anything. It's a time-consumer in a way."

Iraq says it has no biological, chemical or nuclear weapons and that it has
no programs to build them.

The U.N. chief of nuclear-weapons safeguards also criticized Iraq's filing,
saying most of the document's section dealing with nuclear weapons appeared
to be recycled information.

Mohamed ElBaradei, director-general of the U.N. International Atomic Energy
Agency (IAEA) characterized the 2,100-page section on atomic programs as
"material we already had before."

Mr. ElBaradei said he hoped for new information in the roughly 300 pages now
being translated from Arabic.

He said it could take a year for inspectors on the ground to determine
whether Iraq is free of nuclear weapons, and he made an appeal for patience
that appeared at odds with Washington's desire for a quick determination of
whether Iraq has honored U.N. demands that it disarm.

"It will take us something like a year before we can come to any credible
conclusion," Mr. ElBaradei told reporters at IAEA's Vienna, Austria,

"Iraq has said they have not taken part in any nuclear-weapons activities.
Of course, we must verify that statement. The process will take time, but
you need to bear with us because if successful, this is the best way of
ensuring that Iraq disarms," he said.

In its Nov. 8 resolution authorizing weapons inspectors to return to Iraq
after a four-year absence, the Security Council demanded a current and
comprehensive accounting of Iraq's chemical, biological and nuclear weapons.

U.N. experts have begun translating and analyzing the report submitted last
weekend and expect to have a "sanitized" version ready by Tuesday, when it
will be given to the council's 10 elected members.

The five permanent members ‹ the United States, Britain, China, France and
Russia ‹ already have a complete copy of the declaration and are performing
their own analyses.

The edited document is expected to be somewhat less than 3,000 pages of
narrative and will not include appendices that make up the bulk of the


by John Hooper in Berlin and Suzanne Goldenberg in Washington
The Guardian, 18th December

Iraq has identified Germany as the country whose companies did most to help
Baghdad in its drive to acquire weapons of mass destruction, said a German
newspaper yesterday.

The leftwing Berlin daily, die tageszeitung, said it had obtained a copy of
part of the document handed by Baghdad to the UN earlier this month which
supplied details of its weapons programmes. The extract included a list of
foreign companies, of which more than half - 80 - were German.

It was also said to contain the names of several private and state research
laboratories as well as numerous individuals from Germany.

Die tageszeitung said the list featured British companies, too, although it
did not say how many or name them.

It said there were 24 companies from the US - the second-highest tally.

It was not clear which companies were claimed to have sold what and whether
they had knowingly or unknowingly contributed to Saddam Hussein's search for
weapons of mass destruction. Nor was it clear which sales to Iraq were said
to have been made in violation of arms control sanctions imposed by Germany
after 1980.

Die tageszeitung's report nevertheless added an explosive new dimension to
the crisis in German-US relations, stirred by Berlin's opposition to an
American-led invasion.

Citing sources close to Dick Cheney, the US vice-president, the report said
that the Bush administration hoped to show that German companies were
continuing to cooperate with Saddam Hussein's regime.

US efforts were focussing on a German microelectronics firm about whose
activities Berlin was apparently told about in 1999. Die tageszeitung said
that some of the businesses listed had been dealing in conventional arms
with Iraq until at least 2001.

The report also blew apart an unwritten agreement between the UN,
governments and industry that companies which contributed, wittingly or
unwittingly, to Iraq's arms build-up should not be named. The UN weapons
inspection mission in New York spent several days purging the Iraqi
declaration of company names.

Die tageszeitung cited 27 companies, including some of the best-known names
in German industry such as Daimler-Benz (which merged with Chrysler of the
US four years ago), MAN and Siemens.

A spokesman for Siemens said: "We really do not want to comment."

Representatives of Daimler-Chrysler and MAN agreed that their companies had
had business ties with Iraq, but said they dated from a time when Iraq was
an ally of the west.

American companies named by die tageszeitung included Hewlett Packard,
Honeywell, Rockwell, Bechtel, ICS and Unisys.

In a dispatch from Geneva, the newspaper said the copy of the Iraqi report
which it had obtained was made from the original handed over by the
authorities in Baghdad and shipped to New York via Cyprus.

One UN diplomat who had read the report said that the German correspondent
must have at least seen parts of the Iraqi declaration, which was supposed
to remain secret after it was handed over on December 7. Officially, only
Iraq and the five permanent members of the security council have seen the
12,000-page declaration in its entirety.

There were suspicions among UN diplomats of an American-inspired leak
designed to embarrass Germany. "This is not news," the diplomat said. "One
would guess that this is more mischievous than generally revealing."

Mark Hibbs, Asia and Europe editor of Nucleonics Week, said: "If the Iraqis
are still getting assistance, the last thing they are going to do is name
the companies that are providing it."

Iraq buried purchases related to its weapons programmes in larger, seemingly
innocuous orders from suppliers. It spent vast sums during the 1980s in
pursuit of such weapons, said an Iraqi scientist who worked in Baghdad's
nuclear programme for 17 years.

"What we are talking about is a $10bn expense over 10 years," said the
scientist, who was in charge of procurement for the nuclear programme during
the 1980s. "I would spend $10 just to get $1 of equipment that I needed."

by Dafna Linzer
Washington Times, 18th December

NEW YORK (AP): Dozens of suppliers, mostly in Europe, the United States and
Japan, provided the components and know-how Saddam Hussein needed to build
an atomic bomb, according to Iraq's 1996 accounting of its nuclear program.

The secret declaration is virtually identical to the one submitted to U.N.
inspectors Dec. 7, according to U.N. officials. The reports have not been
made public to prevent nuclear know how from falling into the wrong hands
and to protect the names of companies that wittingly or unwittingly supplied
Iraq with the means to make nuclear weapons.

U.N. officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the only
difference between the two reports is that the latest has a 300-page section
in Arabic on civilian nuclear programs and a slightly larger typeface that
stretches it to 2,100 pages.

It has long been known that foreign companies helped Iraq, and some of them
have been identified, but the Iraqi account is the most exhaustive list so
far of companies involved.

Iraq's report says the equipment was either sold or made by more than 30
German companies, 10 American firms, 11 British companies and a handful of
Swiss, Japanese, Italian, French, Swedish and Brazilian firms. It says more
than 30 countries supplied its nuclear program.

It details nuclear efforts from the early 1980s to the Gulf war and contains
diagrams, plans and test results in uranium enrichment, detonation,
implosion testing and warhead construction.

In one chapter, Iraq admits to having a pilot plan in September 1990 ‹ one
month after it invaded Kuwait ‹ to increase the enrichment of recovered
uranium to 93 percent using centrifuges. The process is a complicated
extraction and purification method that at full scale requires thousands of
connected, high-speed centrifuges.

According to Iraq's report, the most detailed account of its former
nuclear-weapons program, it was also pursuing electromagnetic isotope
separation as another method to enrich uranium, the key ingredient for an
atomic explosion.

The Iraqis had everything they needed to make nuclear weapons, said Gary
Milhollin, director of the Wisconsin Project, a Washington-based think tank
on nuclear-arms control. "They weren't missing any components or any
knowledge," he said in a phone interview. "It was simply a matter of time."

Mr. Milhollin said that had it not been for the 1991 Gulf war, Iraq would
have had nuclear weapons by now, thanks to hundreds of suppliers who sold it
an impressive array of equipment and expertise, often with their
governments' approval and without being aware of the ultimate purpose.

According to the Iraqi account, induction and electron-beam furnaces, which
could be used in shaping uranium parts for an atomic bomb, came from Consarc
Corp. of Rancocas, N.J. The company says the items were never delivered,

Newport of Irvine, Calif., is listed as a supplier of optical fiber, a
product with uses ranging from communications to medical equipment. But the
company said it doesn't carry the model listed in the declaration.

EEV, based outside New York City, is listed as a supplier of a thyratron,
which the company says is used in medical-imaging equipment. It could not
immediately verify the sale of the item.

Motorola was listed as the seller of fast photodetectors, but company
spokeswoman Jennifer Weyrauch said she found no record to support the claim.
"A photodetector product is not part of Motorola's current portfolio," she

Most of the sales were legal and often made with the knowledge of
governments. From 1985 to 1990, the Commerce Department, for example,
licensed $1.5 billion in sales to Iraq of American technology with potential
military uses. Iraq was then getting Western support for its war against

by Pepe Escobar
Asia Times, 19th December

After considerable haggling, 300 Iraqi opposition delegates gathered in
London, under a US initiative, have released a political declaration vowing
to create a "parliamentary, pluralist, federal" post-Saddam Hussein
democratic state in Iraq. This ideal future Iraq will be "de Baathized": the
ruling Baath party will be extinguished, and Iraq will in theory be a
federal state protecting the rights of all its minorities.

A so-called committee of 65 sages will guide the transition. Ahmed
al-Bayati, a representative of the Supreme Council for the Islamic
Revolution in Iraq, says that the committee is composed of 66 percent Arabs
(33 percent Shi'ites and the other 33 percent "nationalists and democrats",
whatever that means precisely), 25 percent Kurds, 6 percent Turkmen and 3
percent Assyrians. A few Islamist parties denounced the Shi'ite
representation as a sham. Baghdad predictably prophesizes the "traitors"
will rot in the dustbin of history.

This Brave New World version of Iraq, duly validated by the US, may already
be signed and sealed, but the question is to deliver. According to UN
Resolution 1441, nothing substantial should happen before January 27, the
date when the chiefs of both UN inspection agencies should come up with
their first official impression on the existence of Iraqi weapons of mass

Israel's Defense Ministry knows very well that Iraq has no nuclear weapons,
has maybe a small chemical weapons cache, and has very few bacteriological
heads, as well as extremely limited means to deliver them. Anthony
Cordesman, an influential researcher at the Center for Strategic and
International Studies in Washington, wrote in a September report that "we
don't have any means whatsoever to determine the lethality of Iraqi
biological weapons ... Iraq cannot test such arms in a massive way ... We
will only find out how dangerous Iraq is when it uses its arms". Or when it

There's a fragile consensus among diplomats at the UN in New York and also
in Geneva that in theory nothing could happen before January 27 to force the
inspectors to quit Iraq so the country could be attacked. The key word is

The road from here to January 27 is a minefield. On Tuesday, December 17,
the Iraqi declaration was delivered to the non-permanent members of the
Security Council. This is an edited version, compared to the original
(11,807 pages), a reading privilege of the five permanent Security Council
members (US, Russia, China, France and Britain). Asia Times Online learned
from different sources that this edited version is at least 3,000 pages
shorter than the original. UN inspectors were the editors of the original
text. But the changes were directed by the Big Five. Their logic rules:
recipes to cook weapons of mass destruction should not fall into the wrong
hands - meaning countries like Syria, Colombia or Norway.

This Thursday, December 19, UN inspection mission chief Hans Blix and
International Atomic Energy Agency director-general Mohammed Al-Baradei
deliver to the Security Council their preliminary analysis of the Iraqi
declaration. The world already knows what America thinks about it. Secretary
of State Colin Powell said "there are problems with the declaration". The
British were "disappointed". The Americans and British want to know about
"holes". They want to know, for instance, what happened to 500 R-400 bombs
filled with biological agents that the UN inspectors have been trying to
locate for 10 years now. From now on, "holes" (an official American term
referring to the declaration) like these are bound to deeply divide the
Security Council. At the end of this week comes the word - the American
final judgment on the declaration, after everyone has listened to the
careful preliminary assessment by Hans Blix. But should Iraq be accused of
omitting information, it is still not enough to accuse Saddam Hussein's
regime of "material breach" - the code name for war. According to Resolution
1441, what is necessary is one omission plus lack of cooperation. So in this
case, the inspections will accelerate - the inspectors are already visiting
around 10 sites a day - to a situation where the emphasis will be on
verifying bits and pieces of information.

Enter the American-inspired concept of "commando inspections".

But "commando inspections" will not be enough without crucial interviews
abroad of Iraqi scientists. Hans Blix has already set a deadline of the end
of December to receive the complete list of Iraqi scientists who worked or
still work in the arms industry. But he is definitely not convinced that
scientists' defections can be successfully staged - and that is exactly the
reason why he is being so vilified by large sections of the American media.

That's where another new idea from Washington pops in: to issue judicial
convocations to the UN. It's one more clever mechanism to trap Iraq: either
Saddam Hussein allows scientists requested by the UN to leave the country,
or Iraq suffers the consequences.

This coming Friday is the deadline set again by the US - and nobody else -
to reach an agreement at the UN over the re-examination of the list of
products Iraq has no right to import without authorization, as part of the
humanitarian "oil for food" program. Asia Times Online confirmed on the
ground months ago how everybody in Iraq - from ministers and professors to
the man in the street - hates the oil for food program, widely accused of
being an American tool to starve the general population.

This negotiation about the new product list is absolutely crucial. Last
week, the US presented to the other 14 countries at the Security Council a
list of 36 new products that should be prohibited to Iraq. Asia Times Online
has learned that the list contains products like antibiotics, hydraulic
systems, radars to monitor the weather, flight simulators and small boats.
The official deadline for the list to be reviewed is January 4. UN diplomats
say off the record that the express purpose of this additional list is to
weaken Iraq even more before the almost inevitable war.

Finally, on January 1, the one-month rotating presidency of the UN Security
Council shifts from Colombia to France. And this is the key reason why the
US is positioning itself with magnum force before Christmas and New Year:
France will refuse to bow under tremendous pressure, as Colombia did. But by
all means Iraq continues to be encircled from all sides. Santa Claus is
coming to Washington, but does not seem to be coming to Baghdad.

Times of India (from AP), 19th December

UNITED NATIONS: Syria said it will return its sanitized version of Iraq's
weapons declaration to the Security Council on Wednesday, insisting it is
entitled to the 12,000-page uncensored copy the United States and other
permanent members received.

Syria and the nine other non-permanent members of the council finally got a
chance to see an edited version of Iraq's weapons declaration, just ahead of
Thursday's preliminary assessment of the document by the top U.N.

The five permanent members who are all nuclear powers - the United States,
Russia, China, Britain and France - received the uncensored declaration of
Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's nuclear, chemical, biological, and
long-range missile programs over a week ago.

The non-permanent members, who are elected for two-year terms, received
edited copies with all information that could be used to build weapons of
mass destruction removed. They got about 3,500 pages on Iraq's chemical,
biological and missile programs and 2,000 pages on its nuclear program.

Syria's U.N. Ambassador Mikhail Wehbe said the sanitized text violated
Resolution 1441, which states the council should receive the declaration -
not a censored document.

To the surprise of many nations, Syria, the only Arab member of the council,
joined in supporting the resolution, making the vote unanimous and giving it
additional clout.

Wehbe said giving the non-permanent members a censored document threatened
council unity and the resolution's credibility.

"Resolution 1441 is very clear," he said. "This declaration should be
delivered to all countries. That's it."

The return of the declaration would be mainly symbolic, since Syria picked
up its copy Tuesday evening and could have copied it.

Initially, the Security Council agreed that all 15 council members should
receive a sanitized version.

But the United States decided it wanted the entire uncensored version.
Colombia's U.N. Ambassador Alfonso Valdivieso, the current council
president, decided on Dec. 8 - when the declaration arrived in New York - to
give the uncensored text to the five permanent members.

The move angered several non-permanent members, including Syria, Mexico and


Financial Times, 19th December

DAMASCUS (Reuters) - Syria says it has instructed its representatives at the
United Nations in New York to boycott Security Council talks on Iraq's arms
declaration in protest against receiving an excised copy of the text.

"The foreign ministry asked its permanent delegation in New York not to
participate in the Security Council discussion regarding the Iraqi
declaration on weapons of mass destruction after Syria returned yesterday
the abridged copy," the official SANA news agency said on Thursday.

Syria sent an excised copy of Iraq's arms declaration back to U.N.
inspection commissions on Wednesday, saying it wanted the same uncensored
12,000-page version the five permanent Security Council members had
received, after getting only about 3,500 pages.

A U.N. resolution passed last month gave Baghdad until December 8 to declare
any weapons of mass destruction it may possess and detail its weapons
programmes. The United States has vowed to disarm Iraq by force unless it
complied with the United Nations.

Chief U.N. weapons inspector Hans Blix, in his first assessment of Iraq's
weapons declaration, is expected to tell the Security Council on Thursday
that Baghdad has left questions unanswered.

"The Syrian Arab Republic announces that it will not be a party to the
conclusions that will be reached in the Security Council since it has not
looked at the full copy of the Iraqi declaration," SANA said.

The council's five permanent members -- the United States, China, Russia,
Britain and France -- obtained the full document more than a week ago.

But the other 10 elected council members received a report with material
deleted that could contribute to building weapons of mass destruction and
the names of foreign companies that had helped Iraq build its arsenal.

Syria's deputy U.N. ambassador, Fayssal Mekdad had been among the first 10
non permanent council members to collect the redacted version of the Iraqi
document on Tuesday from the U.N. Monitoring, Verification and Inspection
Commission and the International Atomic Energy Agency.

On Wednesday, Syrian diplomats returned it.

"This is an unacceptable discrimination," Mekdad told reporters at the time.
"Either we take a full copy or we don't take anything."

He said the decision made by the council president, Alfonso Valdivieso,
Colombia's U.N. ambassador, at the request of the United States was "illegal
and against the procedures of the council."

"We want everybody to know we are unhappy with what happened," he said.

by Edith M. Lederer
News & Observer, 19th December

UNITED NATIONS (AP) - Disappointed U.N. weapons inspectors reported Thursday
that Iraq's new arms declaration contained inconsistencies and
contradictions and didn't answer key questions about its nuclear, chemical
and biological programs.

The United States accused Baghdad of "omissions, evasions and untruths" and
said that the declaration put Iraq in "material breach" of U.N. Security
Council resolutions - a possible first step to war.

Iraq's deputy U.N. Ambassador Mohammed Salmane dismissed the U.S. charges as
"baseless." He said the Iraqi declaration was "complete and comprehensive"
and could be verified on the ground by U.N. inspectors.

Britain and France supported the inspectors' preliminary views on the
declaration, but neither used Washington's diplomatically-loaded language.
Russia's U.N. Ambassador Sergey Lavrov, Iraq's most important council ally,
said pointedly that "it is not up to individual members to make this
judgment" of material breach - but to the full 15-nation council on the
basis of the weapons inspectors' reports.

In a much awaited briefing, chief U.N. inspector Hans Blix and Mohamed
ElBaradei, head of the U.N. nuclear control agency, confirmed earlier
assessments by U.S. and British officials that the declaration mainly
rehashed old reports.

"An opportunity was missed in the declaration to give a lot of evidence,"
Blix said. "They can still provide it and I hope they provide it to us
orally, but it would have been better if it had been in the declaration."

ElBaradei said they would go back to Iraq in search of information. "We will
clearly ask a lot of questions. We will expect that we will get answers and
hopefully additional evidence."

The Security Council asked the inspectors to give an updated report in early

In his first appraisal, Blix noted that Iraq continued to maintain it had no
weapons programs "and that none have been designed, procured, produced or
stored," since the last inspections regime ended four years ago.

"While individual governments have stated that they have convincing evidence
to the contrary," Blix said, inspectors are currently not in a position "to
confirm Iraq's statements, nor in possession of evidence to disprove it."

In preparing its declaration, Iraq had a list of outstanding questions from
inspectors. Blix reported that many of those questions remain unanswered.

He noted inconsistencies in Iraq's biological declaration. For example, the
declaration did not include a 1999 list of Baghdad's purchases of material
used to grow biological warfare agents including anthrax, he said.

Iraq also didn't provide sufficient information about its production of
"training" missile engines, 50 conventional warheads it claims were
destroyed but haven't been recovered, 550 mustard gas shells declared lost
after the 1991 Gulf War, production and weaponization of the deadly VX nerve
agent, and its unilateral destruction of biological warfare agents, he said.

He pointed to new information in the declaration that needs to be

Iraq declared that it had repaired chemical equipment destroyed by
inspectors in the 1990s and was testing a new version of its al-Samoud
missile that in test flights had exceeded the range permitted under U.N.
resolutions, Blix said.

In a few cases, Blix said, "there is information in our possession that
would appear to contradict Iraq's account."

He pointed to Iraq's reporting of its destruction of anthrax supplies from
1988-1991, which he said "may not be accurate." Iraq declared earlier that
it produced 2,210 gallons of anthrax, but inspectors have estimated it could
have been as much as 6,240 gallons. Baghdad hasn't accounted for the
destruction of everything that was produced, he said.

Blix cited some new material in the report: a further account of precursors
for chemical warfare agents, reports of new missile engines and guidance
systems that need to be investigated, and a recently provided Air Force
document on chemical munitions used in the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war that could
resolve some questions about chemical weapons.

Iraq also provided information on a short-range rocket manufactured using 81
mm aluminum tubes. He said the information wasn't new, but could be relevant
to recent reports of Iraq importing aluminum tubing.

After a comparison of the new declaration with Iraq's old reports, ElBaradei
said IAEA inspectors had determined that it contains "numerous
clarifications" but no new documents on key areas identified in previous
IAEA reports, "particularly weapons design or centrifuge development."

"The key outstanding issue for the IAEA is the accuracy and completeness of
Iraq's declaration that there have been no material changes in its nuclear
program since 1998 and that its nuclear activities have been limited to the
non-proscribed use of radioisotopes," he said. Radioisotopes are radioactive
versions of elements.

The Scotsman, 20th December

SOON after Colin Powell, the US secretary of state, spoke yesterday, the
United States released a list of alleged gaps in Iraq's declaration of
weapons of mass destruction to the United Nations.

The state department fact sheet said the declaration fell short on the
following counts:

It does not account for at least 4,752lb of biological growth media
identified by UNSCOM, the UN inspection commission which worked in Iraq
until 1998.

The fact sheet said this growth media could have produced 6,760 gallons of
anthrax, three times the amount Iraq declared, 312 gallons of botulinum
toxin and 1,430 gallons of clostridium perfrigens, 16 times the amount Iraq

But the fact sheet did not say the US had evidence Iraq ever used the growth
media in this way.

Iraq has disclosed manufacturing new fuels suited only to a class of missile
to which it does not admit.

The US does not believe that a "larger diameter missile" that Iraq has
flight-tested falls within the range limit of 94 miles set by the United

It does not provide additional and credible information about production of
the nerve agent VX, as UNSCOM and international inspectors requested in

The declaration ignores alleged Iraqi efforts to procure uranium from Niger.

It does not provide credible evidence that 550 artillery shells filled with
mustard gas and 400 aerial bombs capable of delivering biological weapons
had been lost or destroyed.

It does not adequately account for hundreds, possibly thousands, of tons of
chemical precursors.

It does not adequately account for nearly 30,000 empty munitions that could
be filled with chemical agents.

Iraq denies any connection between programmes to make unmanned aerial
vehicles and dispersal of any chemical or biological agents.

But Iraq admitted in 1995 that a MiG-21 remote-piloted vehicle tested in
1991 was to carry a biological weapon spray system.

The declaration provides no information about Iraq's mobile biological
weapon agent facilities. Instead, it insists that these are "refrigeration
vehicles and food testing laboratories".

The fact sheet said: "None of these holes and gaps in Iraq's declaration are
mere accidents, editing oversights or technical mistakes: they are material

by James Bone in New York
The Times, 20th December

A PAKISTANI scientist approached Iraq soon after the 1990 invasion of Kuwait
to offer nuclear weapon designs and help in procuring bomb components,
according to a document found by United Nations weapons inspectors.

The revelation, which provoked an inconclusive inquiry by inspectors, has
raised new concerns about Pakistan's role in the proliferation of nuclear
technology. It follows allegations that Pakistan helped North Korea to
develop a nuclear bomb and that Pakistani nuclear scientists met Osama bin
Laden and the Taleban leader, Mullah Muhammad Omar, in Afghanistan.

The offer by the Pakistani scientist, found in Iraqi archives, was made in
October 1990 as a US-led coalition prepared to repel the August invasion of
Kuwait. Iraq had already embarked on a crash programme to develop a nuclear
bomb, but told the UN it had not pursued the scientist's offer ‹ a claim UN
investigators are inclined to believe. The document revealing the contact
between the scientist and Iraq is referred to twice in the Iraqi declaration
of its nuclear capability, which The Times has obtained.

The file first came to the attention of UN weapons inspectors after the 1995
defection of President Saddam Hussein's son-in-law, General Hussein Kamel,
who was in charge of Iraq's secret weapons programmes. After he defected to
Jordan, Iraqi officials led UN inspectors to a cache of 1.5 million pages of
documents hidden in packing crates at General Kamel's chicken farm in Iraq,
the Haider House Farm, in an apparent effort to get rid of incriminating
evidence that they assumed he would provide to Western intelligence.

Among them was a file of correspondence between Iraq's Mukhabarat secret
service and Department 3000 of the Iraqi Atomic Energy Commission (IAEC), a
secret Iraqi nuclear programme that was codenamed Petro-Chemical 3.

"Included was a few pages relating to an approach made by a foreign national
who offered assistance, for financial reward, in nuclear weapon design and
in the procurement of material that may be required," Iraq's declaration
says. "The Iraqi team pointed out to the International Atomic Energy Agency
Action Team (IAEA AT) that no external assistance was received by the former
Iraqi nuclear programme, other than that already declared to the (team) and
is documented."

A source familiar with the case said that the document identified the
scientist as a Pakistani. The handwritten paper seems to be a record of a
meeting between him and an Iraqi contact. "He made the unsolicited offer to
a contact of the Mukhabarat procurement network and there was a
communication between the Mukhabarat and Department 3000, where IAEC
procurement was handled," the source said.

The document triggered an investigation by UN nuclear inspectors, who
approached Pakistan. Islamabad told them it could not identify the
scientist, but some UN Security Council diplomats suspect that Pakistan does
know who it is. Inspectors thought that the matter was important enough to
brief the five permanent members of the Security Council ‹ Britain, China,
France, Russia and the United States ‹ on their 1997 inquiry. Evidence of
contact between a Pakistani scientist and Iraq will only fuel fears that
Pakistan is willing to share its technology with so-called "rogue nations".
The US suspects Pakistan of having supplied North Korea with gas centrifuge
technology to make weapons-grade uranium for its nuclear bomb in 1997/98.

News & Observer, 20th December

(AP) - Remarks by Secretary of State Colin Powell on Thursday declaring that
Iraq's arms declaration fails to meet a U.N. Security Council resolution, as
transcribed by eMediaMillWorks Inc.:

The United Nations Security Council responded to the challenge issued by
President Bush in his 12 September speech to the United Nations General
Assembly. On that day, the Security Council unanimously passed Resolution
1441 requiring Iraq to disarm itself of its weapons of mass destruction and
to disclose all of its nuclear, chemical, biological and missile programs.

Resolution 1441 was the latest in a long string of Security Council
resolution since Iraq's invasion of Kuwait. Previous resolutions, which
included requirements to disarm and to end the cruel repression of the Iraqi
people, have all been defied or ignored by Iraq.

Resolution 1441 recognized that Iraq, quote, "has been and remains in
material breach of its obligations," unquote, but gave the Iraqi regime,
quote again, "a final opportunity to comply with its disarmament

Iraq's answer came on December 7 in a 12,200-page document submitted to the
Security Council. Resolution 1441 required Iraq to submit a declaration on
all its mass weapons programs of destruction, a declaration that was
currently accurate, full and complete, in the words of the resolution.

The inspectors told the Security Council this morning that the declaration
fails to answer many open questions. They said that in some cases they even
have information that directly contradicts Iraq's account.

Our experts have also examined the Iraqi document.

The declaration's title echoes the language of Resolution 1441. It is called
"Currently Accurate, Full and Complete Declaration." But our experts have
found it to be anything but currently accurate, full or complete. The Iraqi
declaration may use the language of Resolution 1441, but it totally fails to
meet the resolution's requirements.

The inspectors said that Iraq has failed to provide new information. We
agree. Indeed, thousands of the document's pages are merely a resubmission
of material it gave the United Nations years ago, material that the U.N. has
already determined was incomplete.

Other sections of the Iraqi declaration consist of long passages copied from
reports written by the United Nations and the International Atomic Energy
Agency. The only changes the Iraqi regime made were to remove references
critical to its own conduct.

The declaration totally fails to address what we had learned about Iraq's
prohibited weapons programs before the inspectors were effectively forced
out in 1998.

And let me just touch on a few examples, and we'll be giving out a fact
sheet later with additional examples.

Before the inspectors were forced to leave Iraq, they concluded that Iraq
could have produced 26,000 liters of anthrax. That is three times the amount
Iraq had declared.

Yet the Iraqi declaration is silent on this stockpile, which alone would be
enough to kill several million people.

The regime also admitted that it had manufactured 19,180 liters of a
biological agent called botulinum toxin. The U.N. inspectors later
determined that the Iraqis could have produced 38,360 additional liters.
However, once again, the Iraqi declaration is silent on these missing

The Iraqi declaration also says nothing about the uncounted, unaccounted
precursors from which Iraq could have produced up to 500 tons of mustard
gas, sarin gas and VX nerve gas.

Nor does the declaration address questions that have arisen since the
inspectors left in 1998.

For example, we know that in the late 1990s, Iraq built mobile biological
weapons production units. Yet the declaration tries to wave this away,
mentioning only mobile refrigeration vehicles and food testing laboratories.

We also know that Iraq has tried to obtain high strength aluminum tubes,
which can be used to enrich uranium in centrifuges for a nuclear weapons
program. The Iraqi regime is required by Resolution 1441 to report those
attempts. Iraq, however, has failed to provide adequate information about
the procurement and use of these tubes.

Most brazenly of all, the Iraqi declaration denies the existence of any
prohibited weapons programs at all.

The United States, the United Nations and the world waited for this
declaration from Iraq, but Iraq's response is a catalogue of recycled
information and flagrant omissions.

It should be obvious that the pattern of systematic holes and gaps in Iraq's
declaration is not the result of accidents or editing oversights or
technical mistakes. These are material omissions that, in our view,
constitute another material breach.

We are disappointed, but we are not deceived. This declaration is consistent
with the Iraqi regime's past practices. We have seen this game again and
again; an attempt to sow confusion to buy time, hoping the world will lose

This time the game is not working. This time the international community is
concentrating its attention and increasing its resolve as the true nature of
the Iraqi regime is revealed again.

On the basis of this declaration, on the basis of the evidence before us,
our path for the coming weeks is clear.

First, we must continue to audit and examine the Iraqi declaration to
understand the full extent of Iraq's failure to meet its disclosure

Second, the inspections should give high priority to conducting interviews
with scientists and other witnesses outside of Iraq where they can speak
freely. Under the terms of Resolution 1441, Iraq is obligated - it is their
obligation to make such witnesses available to the inspectors.

Third, the inspectors should intensify their efforts inside Iraq. The United
States, and I hope other council members, will provide the inspectors with
every possible assistance, all the support they need to succeed in their
crucial mission.

Given the gravity of the situation, we look forward to frequent reports from
Dr. Blix and Dr. ElBaradei.

Finally, we will continue to consult with our friends, with our allies and
with all members of the Security Council on how to compel compliance by Iraq
with the will of the international community.

But let there be no misunderstanding. As Ambassador John Negroponte said
earlier today, Saddam Hussein has so far responded to this final opportunity
with a new lie.

The burden remains on Iraq - not on the United Nations, not on the United
States - the burden remains on Iraq to cooperate fully and for Iraq to prove
to the international community whether it does or does not have weapons of
mass destruction.

We are convinced they do until they prove to us otherwise.

Resolution 1441 calls for serious consequences for Iraq if it does not
comply with the terms of the resolution. Iraq's noncompliance and defiance
of the international community has brought it closer to the day when it will
have to face these consequences. The world is still waiting for Iraq to
comply with its obligations. The world will not wait forever.

Security Council Resolution 1441 will be carried out in full. Iraq can no
longer be allowed to threaten its people and its region with weapons of mass

It is still up to Iraq to determine how its disarmament will happen.
Unfortunately, this declaration fails totally to move us in the direction of
a peaceful solution.


Times of India (from AFP), 15th December

BAGHDAD: British and US warplanes struck civilian sites in southern Iraq on
Saturday, the official INA agency quoted an Iraqi military spokesman as

"Enemy warplanes bombed civilian installations in the Wasset, Missan and Zi
Qar provinces before fleeing towards their bases in Kuwait under
anti-aircraft and missile fire," the spokesman said.

In Washington, the US Central Command said US and British planes patrolling
southern no fly zones had struck three military targets after its aircraft
were threatened.

Iraq does not recognise the northern and southern air exclusion zones, which
have been enforced since the end of the 1991 Gulf War without being
explicitly sanctioned by any UN resolution.

It has also accused the US administration of seeking to use Security Council
Resolution 1441, under which arms inspections resumed in Iraq last week, as
a cover for attack by claiming that Iraqi firing on coalition aircraft might
put Baghdad in material breach of the resolution.

Almost daily incidents currently oppose Iraqi forces and allied planes in
the country's north and south.

Times of India (from AFP), 16th December

WASHINGTON: Warplanes from the US-British coalition have struck targets in
southern Iraq for a second day in a row, after encountering hostile fire
during one of their patrol missions, the US Central Command said.

It said the fighter jets used precision-guided munitions to hit an Iraqi
mobile radar and cable repeater sites located near the cities of An
Nasiriyah, approximately 160 km southeast of Baghdad, and Basra.

The strikes occurred at approximately 1500 hrs IST, and military experts
were still assessing the damage, the command said.

"Coalition strikes in the no-fly zones are executed as a self-defence
measure in response to Iraqi hostile threats and acts against coalition
forces and their aircraft," the command stated.

"The coalition executed today's strike after Iraqi surface-to-air artillery
fired on coalition aircraft and the presence of the mobile radar in the
southern NFZ."

In Baghdad, the official Iraqi news agency INA quoted an unnamed military
spokesman as saying the allied planes bombed "civilian installations" in the
southern Zi Qar and Wasset provinces.

But the Central Command argued that US and British aircraft "never target
civilian populations or infrastructure and go to painstaking lengths to
avoid injury to civilians and damage to civilian facilities."

On Saturday, coalition planes hit the Iraqi bases near Al Kut, Qal'at Sukkar
and Al Amarah located in the southern no-fly zone.;jsessionid=HVPMXRSZYDJCGCRBAEZSFF

by Charles Aldinger
Reuters, 17th December

WASHINGTON: American and British warplanes attacked air defences in southern
Iraq for the third successive day on Monday in response to attempts to shoot
down the planes policing a "no-fly" zone, the U.S. military said.

In Baghdad, an Iraqi military spokesman, quoted by the Iraqi News Agency,
said U.S. and British planes attacked civilian installations in the southern
province of Dhi Qar. Iraqi anti aircraft and missile batteries fired back.

The Iraqi spokesman said the planes carried out 67 sorties from bases in
Kuwait and flew over the southern cities of Nasiriya, Kut, al Salman, Qalat
Suker, Qurna, Kerbala and Qalat Saleh. He said the sorties started at 11
a.m. (3:00 a.m. EST/0800 GMT).

The U.S. Central Command said in a release from its headquarters in Tampa,
Florida, that the planes dropped precision bombs on a military
communications site south of Al Kut, approximately 160 kms southeast of

Sunday Western aircraft also attacked an Iraqi mobile radar and a cable
relay communications target in the southern no-fly zone, the Central Command
said. Saturday, warplanes hit multiple communications facilities.

The Central Command also said that Western warplanes dropped 480,000
leaflets at six areas in southern Iraq on Monday, warning the military to
stop targeting aircraft and repairing previously bombed targets such as
fiber-optic cable communications facilities.

It was the seventh such drop of hundreds of thousands of Arabic language
warning leaflets at sites in the southern no-fly zone in the last three

Monday's bombing attack occurred shortly before 2 p.m. Iraq time (6 a.m.
EST/1100 GMT), the command said.


by Stefano Ambrogi
The State, from Reuters, 17th December

LONDON - The U.S. Navy's Fifth Fleet accused a Dubai-based ferry operator
Tuesday of breaking U.N. sanctions by smuggling banned chemicals into Iraq
that it said could be used to make high-grade explosives.

It said the industrial-grade alcohol and polymers, which can also be used
for industrial cleaning agents and cosmetics, could also be used to
manufacture chemical weapons agents.

Naif Marine Services had been caught shipping the chemicals aboard ferries
it operates into Umm Qasr, close to the Kuwaiti border in recent months,
said Fifth Fleet public affairs officer Lt. Garret Kaspar.

"In the wrong hands, quantity aside, they can be used to make a bomb,"
Kaspar said, speaking from fleet headquarters in Bahrain.

He said the company was on an "unofficial list" of some 10 firms that had
violated U.N. sanctions and that were being watched closely.

"Without getting into intelligence gathering, this company is one of the
agencies that has been shipping banned chemical substances into Iraq -- they
are blatantly being shipped," he told Reuters from Bahrain.

He said the ferries, which operate a regular service between Dubai and Iraq,
had been routinely boarded and searched and found to be carrying banned
chemicals in 50-gallon drums which did not have official U.N. approval or

Under U.N. rules a manifest specifying goods to be transported must also
carry a letter of approval.

"These goods were transported to Iraq without official documentation. They
are prohibited under U.N. sanctions," he said.

He said the navy had photographic evidence and other intelligence about the
shipments which he said were conclusive.

Kaspar said he could not comment on the quantity that had been stopped from
getting into Iraq or on the volume that had been smuggled through.

He said the firm had been publicly named by Vice Admiral Timothy Keating,
commander of Naval Forces Central Command and the Fifth Fleet, at a Maritime
Liaison Office industry conference in Dubai last Wednesday.

"When a three-star admiral stands up and names a company among its peers I
think it is clear the evidence he has speaks for itself," Kaspar said.

Michael Nye, general manager of Naif Marine Services, a private company
registered in the United Arab Emirates, said it was aware of the navy's
allegations and of Keating's remarks.

"I have heard about the statement made by (Vice) Admiral Keating but I
haven't seen it in writing and until we get this written confirmation we are
not prepared to make a comment at this time," he said, speaking to Reuters
from Dubai Tuesday.

Nye said he had written to the Navy for clarification on the issue but had
not received a reply.

Charles Garth-Whitty of the London-based Royal United Services Institute for
Defense Studies said the by-passing of official channels looked "highly
suspicious" but said there might be understandable reason, such as cutting
down on red tape.

"With dual-use items the fact that they have by-passed the system is wrong
but it could be understandable if there are long delays," he said.

He said approval had to go through the U.N. Sanctions Committee and that
could take up to seven months.

"Prior to the Gulf War there were some pretty clever routes for equipment
into Iraq -- so it comes as no surprise. But the problem with a lot of these
chemicals is they do have dual use," said Garth-Whitty, who served as chief
inspector of Iraq's chemical weapons destruction program in 1992.

Naif Marine has been operating three ferries, Jebel Ali-1, 2 and 3, out of
Dubai to Umm Qasr up to three times a week. The service, which began in
1998, was approved by the U.N. Sanctions Committee.

Times of India (from AFP), 18th December

BAGHDAD: Iraq's anti-aircraft defences opened fire on Tuesday on US and
British warplanes in its southern airspace, an Iraqi military spokesman

"Our heroic missile forces and brave ground-to-air defences confronted" the
planes that returned to their bases in Kuwait, an air defence command
spokesman told the official INA news agency.

He said US and British planes carried out 24 sorties over southern Iraq on

On Sunday, Foreign Minister Naji Sabri accused Britain and the United States
of waging an "undeclared war" on Iraq, in a letter to UN Secretary General
Kofi Annan.

Sabri also attacked Kuwait for hosting coalition aircraft which patrol a
no-fly zone over southern Iraq.

Baghdad has long opposed the air-exclusion zones which the two Western
allies enforce over southern and northern Iraq since the 1991 Gulf War
without the sanction of a specific UN resolution.

The patrols have resulted in almost daily clashes with Iraqi air defences.;jsessionid=GFZPTHDKWPKRICRBAE0CFF

Reuters, 19th December 

WASHINGTON: Warplanes from a U.S.-British operation patrolling southern Iraq
fired on air defences in southern Iraq on Wednesday after Iraqi forces moved
a mobile radar system into a "no-fly" zone, the U.S. military said.

An Iraqi military spokesman in Baghdad, quoted by the Iraqi News Agency,
said U.S. and British planes attacked civilian installations in the southern
province of Wasit. Iraqi anti- aircraft and missile batteries fired back.

The Iraqi spokesman said the planes carried out four sorties from bases in
Kuwait and flew over the southern cities of al- Shatra, al-Kut, Qalat Suker,
al-Hay and Nu'maniya. He said the sorties started at 11:55 a.m. (0855 GMT).

It was the fourth attack in five days by planes monitoring the zone and
coincided with a U.S. military build-up in the region in case of possible
war against Iraq to eliminate banned weapons programmes.

The U.S. Central Command, in a statement released from its headquarters in
Tampa, Florida, said the planes used precision-guided weapons to target an
Iraqi military air defence radar site located south of al-Kut, about 100
miles (160 km) southeast of Baghdad.

Central Command said the strike occurred at about 12:30 p.m. (0930 GMT). It
did not say specifically whether American or British planes were engaged in
the strike.


by Peter Graff
Yahoo, 19th December

ON BOARD HMS CARDIFF, Dec 19 (Reuters) - Ramping up military pressure on
Baghdad, British Royal Marine commandos are working deep in Iraqi
territorial waters to enforce U.N. trade sanctions and choke off illegal oil

The British marines rotate this duty around the clock with Australian
sailors and U.S. Coast Guard paramilitary patrols.

The patrols are part of an overhauled sanctions interdiction effort to stop
the trade of what was once millions of barrels of oil illegally exported
outside the U.N. oil-for-food programme.

At some point over the last year, the United States and its allies quietly
decided to ignore Iraq's sea border and drive their sanctions-busting
patrols deep into Iraqi territory.

HMS Cardiff is at the sharp end of the enforcement effort.

"Dhow activity at buoy nine," said an officer's voice in the darkness on the
bridge of the guided-missile cruiser this week.

"We suspect a cargo breakout and are sending the boats."

A team of heavily armed Royal Marine commandos boards two inflatable
speedboats and zoom off into the night.

"Buoy nine" is a marker at the mouth of the Khor Abd Allah, the wide,
shallow estuary formed as the great rivers of Iraq spill across salt marshes
into the Gulf. It is deep within Iraqi territorial waters.

"We go just about as far up the estuary as we can," says the Cardiff's
Captain Tim Fraser.

The change in enforcement tactics, which would probably be seen as illegal
by some members of the U.N. Security Council, was never formally announced
and has not been widely reported.

"We just got smarter, I guess," a U.S. navy spokesman said by telephone from
fleet headquarters in Bahrain.

The United States and its allies say they believe Security Council
resolutions have always given them the right to operate in Iraqi waters
without asking permission. But until this year, they did not do so.

Before, Western ships hunting sanction-busters waited until their targets
sailed into international waters. Smugglers could escape by slipping past or
by veering into Iranian waters and sailing along the coast.

Year after year, ships carrying millions of barrels slipped through, earning
vast illegal revenues for smugglers and for the Iraqi authorities.

Now, with Western destroyers and frigates in Iraqi waters south of the
estuary and their patrol boats driving straight up to the estuary mouth, the
patrols' success rate is almost total.

The only ships that try to get through without proper U.N. documents are
small, wooden hulled dhows which make the run unlit at night.

Western naval officials say by October, Iraq had all but stopped loading
illegal oil at estuary terminals, accepting that the illegal trade was

There is little Iraq can do about the new intrusions. Its navy consists of a
handful of lightly armed patrol boats, which steer clear of the Western
forces working in its territory.

"They haven't given us any trouble. They keep to themselves," says Captain
Chris Samuel, 26-year-old head of the Cardiff's eight-man Royal Marine
commando squad.

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