Tracking Number:  190494

Title:  "Editorial: Iraqi Nuclear Threat." The US finds Iraqi explanations for not allowing UN inspectors to fully verify Iraqi arms control compliance unacceptable, as are Iraqi attempts to attain a nuclear capacity, and the US is deadly serious when it comes to preventing Iraq from developing nuclear weapons. (910715)

Date:  19910715



N(Following is an editorial, broadcast by the Voice of America July 13, reflecting the views of the U.S. government.)

TAggressive governments and nuclear weapons are an extremely dangerous combination. Vice President Dan Quayle warned of this danger shortly after Iraq's unprovoked invasion of Kuwait last August. He said, "Imagine how different today's crisis would look if Saddam Hussein's already formidable arsenal of mass destruction also included nuclear weaponry."

Fortunately for the rest of the world, Iraq did not have nuclear weapons to use in its unsuccessful attempt to maintain its illegal occupation of Kuwait. Kuwait is now liberated, and much of Iraq's capacity for waging aggressive war has been destroyed. In order to ensure that Iraq would never again be a threat to its neighbors, the United Nations demanded that Iraq dispose of all of its weapons of mass destruction. U.N. Security Council Resolution 687 calls for the destruction, removal or rendering harmless of all chemical, biological and nuclear weapons in Iraq, as well as ballistic missiles that could be used to deliver them. The resolution also covers materials that could be used to make nuclear weapons, and research and production facilities associated with such materials.

Several teams of international inspectors have already visited Iraq, but the Iraqi government has not fully cooperated with them. In the most blatant case, Iraqi forces fired shots into the air to discourage inspectors from photographing the movement of suspected nuclear materials. After the U.N. Security Council condemned the Iraqi actions, the Iraqi government submitted a letter in which it admitted that equipment had been hidden from the inspectors. But the letter claimed that the Iraqi nuclear program was for peaceful purposes only.

The United States finds the Iraqi explanation unacceptable. Iraq had an unsafeguarded, covert uranium-enrichment program that it failed to declare to international authorities and which it hid from inspectors. This constitutes a clear violation of U.N. Security Council Resolution 687, as well as a violation of Iraq's obligations under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Furthermore, the extent of Iraq's program, along with information from numerous sources, indicates that Iraq has a program to develop nuclear weapons. It is imperative that Iraq declare all of its nuclear weapons-related activities and prove immediate, complete and unconditional access to international inspectors.

This week, President George Bush made it clear that the United States will remain alert "and not be lulled by some letter or some very belated offering from Saddam Hussein that he is now willing to do that which he should have done a long time ago." When it comes to preventing Iraq from developing nuclear weapons, said President Bush, the United States is "deadly serious." NNNN

File Identification:  07/15/91, TX-103; 07/15/91, AX-108; 07/15/91, AR-111; 07/15/91, PX-103; 07/15/91, EU-127; 07/15/91, AS-105
Product Name:  Wireless File; VOA Editorials
Product Code:  WF; VO
Languages:  Spanish
Document Type:  EDI
Thematic Codes:  1NE; 1UN; 1AC
Target Areas:  AF; AR; EA; EU
PDQ Text Link:  190494; 190262