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OF THE EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN OF UNSCOM
Letter dated 4 December
1991 from the Executive Chairman, Office of the Special Commission established
by the Secretary-General pursuant to paragraph 9 (b) (i) of Security Council
resolution 687 (1991), addressed to the Secretary-General
I have the honour to recall
paragraph 3 of Security Council resolution 699 (1991) of 17 June 1991,
which requests the Secretary-General to submit, every six months after
the adoption of the resolution, progress reports on the implementation
of the provisions of section C of resolution 687 (1991) relating to Iraq's
weapons of mass destruction.
You will further recall that,
on 25 October 1991, a first report by the Executive Chairman of the Special
Commission established by the Secretary-General pursuant to paragraph
9 (b) (i) of Security Council resolution 687 (1991) was circulated on
your instructions to the Security Council in document S/23165. This first
report summarized all activities undertaken by the Special Commission
and by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in the implementation
of section C of resolution 687 (1991) up to the middle of October 1991.
Additionally, at the request of the Director-General of IAEA, the reports
prepared by seven inspection teams led by the Agency have been circulated
as Security Council documents (S/22788, S/22837, S/22986 and Corr.l, S/23112,
S/23122 and S/23215). A report of the eighth IAEA-led inspection will
be circulated in the course of December.
To comply with the provisions
of paragraph 3 of Security Council resolution 699 (1991 ), I am transmitting
herewith the text of a progress report which brings up to date the first
report referred to in the previous paragraph.
I would be most grateful if
you would circulate the attached second report as a document of the Security
(Signed) Rolf Ekeus
1. The present report by the Executive Chairman of the Special Commission established by the Secretary-General pursuant to paragraph 9 (b) (i) of Security Council resolution 687 (1991 ) covers the work of the Commission for the period from 15 October to 4 December 1991. This second report is confined to operational activities and matters directly pertinent thereto as these are the areas which need to be brought up to date to provide, together with the first report by the Executive Chairman (S/23165), a comprehensive picture of the establishment and functioning of the Special Committee since the adoption of Security Council resolutions 687 (1991) and 699 (1991).
Attitude of Iraq
2. The first report by the
Executive Chairman contained, in paragraphs 16 to 19, a comprehensive
account of the attitude of Iraq. In the period under review this attitude
has not changed. In respect of sites and activities declared by Iraq and
the issue of Iraq's participation in the destruction of chemical weapons,
cooperation at the field level has been forthcoming. However, in respect
of sites designated by the Special Commission, where the Commission and
IAEA are acting on their own sources of information regarding possible
clandestine conduct of proscribed activities, non-cooperation and obstruction
continue to be encountered. There is thus no progress to report which
would indicate a change of policy on the part of Iraq to one of candour,
transparency and cooperation at all levels. As the Executive Chairman
remarked in the first report, this is probably the one single element
that could contribute most substantially to a timely and satisfactory
implementation of the mandate of the Special Commission and of IAEA.
3. The Special Commission
has had to remain vigilant in the period under review to prevent implementation
of measures proposed by Iraq which could impinge upon the facilities,
privileges and immunities of the Commission and of IAEA in matters such
as the taking into and out of Iraq of all necessary equipment, materials
and other items required for inspections and the analysis of their results
and the taking of photographs at sites under inspection. So far the strong
position taken by the Commission and the Chief Inspectors involved seems
to have been successful in preserving the rights concerned.
4. With respect to ongoing
monitoring and verification of Iraq's compliance with paragraphs 10 and
13 of Security Council resolution 687 (1991), the Special Commission has
very recently received in New York from Iraq information which the Government
states to be "the information required under resolution 687 (1991) that
comes within the mandate of the Special Commission". Until the information
is translated, the Commission cannot determine the extent to which it
meets the substantive requirements of the Special Commission's and IAEA's
plans for ongoing monitoring and verification (S/22871/Rev.l and S/22872/Rev.l
and Corr.l) which were unanimously approved by the Security Council in
its resolution 715 (1991), although it may be observed that certain procedural
requirements laid down in the plans as to time-limits and languages of
submission have not been met. If the Commission and IAEA are to be in
a position to carry out their functions in connection with ongoing monitoring
and verification, the Commission deems it to be of great importance that
Iraq expressly recognize its obligations under the two plans and Security
Council resolution 715 (1991). Such express recognition is still awaited.
5. Two more inspections were completed (IAEA 7/UNSCOM 19 and IAEA 8/UNSCOM 22), one each in October (11 to 22 October) and November (11 to 18 November), since the sixth nuclear inspection summarized in the previous report. In addition to the successful removal of unirradiated fuel from Iraq, the inspection teams focused much of their inspection activity on a number of sites associated with (a) Iraq's programme to design and develop the non-nuclear components of a nuclear weapon and (b) centrifuge component manufacture.
6. Significantly, Iraq provided for the first time to the seventh nuclear inspection team formal though incomplete written acknowledgement of its nuclear weapons programme:
"Various research and studies of the sort to which you refer as 'weaponization' have been carried out. The objective in carrying out such research and studies was to establish the practical, technical and scientific requirements for a programme of this nature in the event that a political decision were to be taken to proceed in that direction,"
7. The extensive and detailed documentation of the nuclear weapons programme that was obtained by the sixth inspection team, and its removal from Iraq only after that team's detainment in a parking lot for four days, preceded the Iraqi admission to the seventh team of having conducted research and studies on nuclear weapons. In fact, the seventh and eighth inspection teams visited designated facilities judged to be directly associated with the testing and development of the high-explosive components of the implosion system of a nuclear weapon. The characteristics of these facilities were considered inconsistent with Iraq's explanations of their purpose. Thus, Iraq's position that it conducted studies but had no programme to develop nuclear weapons is inconsistent with both documents and inspection results that reveal a well-funded and broadly based programme involving sophisticated facilities for nuclear weapons development.
8. In the area of fissile material production, important questions put to Iraq remain unanswered. While much of the electromagnetic isotope separation (EMIS) equipment has been turned over for destruction, the critical collector pockets which would permit confirmation of Iraq's assertions that only low levels of enrichment were achieved have not been produced for analysis. Substantial uncertainties also remain over the centrifuge programme where Iraq has produced some but not all parts and materials, and failed to reveal the sources of its supply of critical parts and materials. Even less information has been produced by Iraq on their efforts in the diffusion and chemical separation processes. All this is especially troubling in the light of preliminary results of sampling accomplished at Al Tuwaitha, and noted in the IAEA seventh inspection report (S/23215), that provide evidence of uranium enriched to 93 per cent in the isotope U235. Additional sampling was undertaken by the seventh and eighth inspection teams. Analysis and further investigation are clearly required.
9. Iraq's recent record in the nuclear area is consistent with, if less dramatic than, its actions over the last six months that included the concealment of evidence of plutonium separation, of uranium enrichment, and of nuclear weapons development, of refusal to permit inspection teams to enter some sites and exit others, and confiscation of documents from inspectors in the course of an inspection. In sum, Iraq has not cooperated in the critical area of nuclear-weapons-related activity and the Special Commission and IAEA are some distance from achieving the transparency which is sought.
10. Since the first report was prepared, two further chemical inspections have been completed, one being the long and detailed inspection of the Al Muthanna State Establishment (7 October to 8 November 1991 ) while the other visited a series of declared chemical munitions storage sites (22 October to 2 November 1991). There has also been a combined chemical and biological weapons inspection which visited (17 to 30 November 1991), at very short notice, a number of sites designated by the Special Commission as being of potential chemical weapons and/or biological weapons interest in addition to revisiting the original site at Salman Pak.
11. The technically very successful inspection of Al Muthanna (UNSCOM 17) compiled a comprehensive and detailed inventory of the site, including facilities, munitions, agents, agent condition, precursors and intermediates. Among the salient findings were the discovery of small quantities of the nerve agents sec.butvl sarin. n-butyl sarin and ethyl sarin, although Iraq has disputed the identification of the latter two agents. While the quantities found were of no direct military significance, the relevance of the finding lies in the fact that Iraq clearly had carried out research on nerve agents other than those previously declared.
12. Although the mustard agent
at Al Muthanna was generally of good quality (typically 90 per cent),
the nerve agents were found to have undergone extensive degradation and
the agent content was very low, generally below 10 per cent and in some
cases below the 1 per cent level. This new information may have significant
repercussions for the process finally selected for the destruction of
the nerve agents as well as for the safety hazards likely to be encountered
during destruction; both aspects will need further consideration.
13. In general, the findings
of the inspection at Al Muthanna were in substantial agreement with Iraq's
declaration, although in the case of the 122 mm rockets a precise and
full count was not possible as the rockets generally were found to be
in a very dangerous condition. Explosive demolition was considered to
be the safest means of achieving their destruction since opening and draining
operations would be particularly hazardous.
14. The inspection of the
remaining declared storage sites (UNSCOM 20) was likewise a successful
operation. All the declared sites, some of them distant from Baghdad and
therefore requiring the use of United Nations helicopter transport, were
inspected, the chemical weapons munitions verified, counted and recorded;
where it was safe to transport the munitions to Al Muthanna the necessary
instructions to this effect were given to Iraq. At Al-Tuz, Khamisiyah
and Muhammadiyat numbers of munitions were discovered, including but not
restricted to 122 mm rockets, which were considered to be in too unsafe
a condition to move and for which a drilling and draining operation would
be very hazardous. A recommendation was made on safety grounds that these
items should be destroyed in situ by explosive demolition. In a few cases,
due to extensive destruction by coalition bombing, it was not possible
to observe and count all munitions; when the damage had been less extensive
the number and types of munitions observed accorded well with the Iraqi
15. The combined chemical
and biological weapons inspection (UNSCOM 21), except for the revisit
to Salman Pak, concentrated on short notice inspection of undeclared sites
designated by the Special Commission; some 13 sites were inspected.
16. The inspection was completed
only very recently and the full official report is therefore not at present
available. Field reporting, however, indicates that no chemical- or biological-weapons-related
activities were associated with any of the designated sites. In the course
of the inspection a small sub-team was dispatched to Al Muthanna to witness
an Iraqi experiment with a simulant to prove the use of the modified pilot
plant for exploratory work on the destruction of nerve agents; this was
17. Since the first report was prepared a small (4 person) mission has visited Iraq for detailed technical discussions (11 to 15 November 1991) with Iraqi counterparts on various of the issues related to the destruction of chemical weapons and agents, with particular emphasis on the direct involvement of Iraq in this process and on safety aspects. Issues discussed and on which the Special Commission team made recommendations included an Iraqi design for a mustard agent incinerator, the destruction of nerve agents by caustic hydrolysis, and the breaching and draining of munitions.
18. When, in the very near future, all the data compiled by UNSCOM 17 at the Al Muthanna State Establishment have been analysed, the Special Commission will have a very good understanding of Iraq's declared major primary chemical weapons site. Furthermore, the discussions on the destruction of chemical weapons and agents have resulted in a considerable improvement in technical understanding by both sides, particularly as regards the potential hazards involved in some operations and of the technologies potentially available for implementing the various destruction processes. Commencement of the destruction process early in 1992 can thus be confidently expected.
missiles and long-range guns
19. With respect to ballistic
missiles, by the end of 1991 two additional Special Commission ballistic
missile inspections (UNSCOM 23 and UNSCOM 24) are expected to have been
completed. To date, Special Commission inspection teams have, according
to the latest revised data, supervised the destruction of 62 ballistic
missiles, 18 fixed missile launch pads, 33 ballistic missile warheads,
127 missile storage support racks, a substantial amount of rocket fuel,
an assembled 350 mm supergun, components of two 350 and two 1,000 mm superguns,
and I tonne of supergun propellant.
20. So far, no information
has come to light which clearly contradicts Iraq's disclosure of 5 July
1991 with respect to the status of its ballistic missile force. Nevertheless,
the fact that Iraq continued to fire ballistic missiles throughout the
Gulf war and still had a portion of its force following that war, despite
what were, by all public accounts, the intensive efforts of coalition
forces to find and destroy them, attests to the relative ease with which
they could be concealed even in war. Special Commission inspection teams
have found undeclared ballistic missile support equipment and noted Iraqi
attempts to reuse previously destroyed missile transport vehicles.
21. The Special Commission
is seeking further information, analysis of which may allow a more comprehensive
understanding of this issue and increase confidence in any assessments
which may emerge. At the present time, however, as pointed out in the
first report, important questions still remain unresolved, namely, whether
Iraq continues to have any ballistic missiles in its possession, and its
plans and progress in future ballistic missile development. The two ballistic
missile inspections which are being undertaken this month should shed
additional light on these questions.
23. In the previous report, the full support of the Security Council, Governments, the Secretary-General and the Secretariat of the United Nations were identified as being of crucial importance in the carrying out of the mandate laid down in section C of Security Council resolution 687 (1991). This will certainly remain to be the case as the Special Commission and IAEA confront the difficult issues which will arise in connection with the destruction, removal or rendering harmless of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction and the facilities for their production and as the plans for ongoing monitoring and verification are put into full effect. Experience to date has shown that results can be achieved only where resolute stands are taken in response to challenges by Iraq to the implementation of various aspects of the mandate of the Special Commission and IAEA. Such resolute stands can be based only on the full support of the United Nations as a whole and its Member Governments in achieving all the basic objectives of section C of Security Council resolution 687 (1991).
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