Tracking Number:  202120

Title:  "UN Official Foresees Long Term Monitoring of Iraq." UN official Dr Robert Gallucci says that Iraqi obfuscation of the extent and existence of its nuclear, chemical and biological weapons programs requires the implementation of a strict monitoring regime for the country. (911028)

Date:  19911028


10/28/91 *

U.N. OFFICIAL FORESEES LONG TERM MONITORING OF IRAQ (Gallucci briefing at CSIS 10/28) (1020) by Norma Holmes USIA Staff Writer

Washington -- United Nations inspections teams in the past 10 days have learned of three nuclear weapons programs that Iraqi authorities originally denied existed, says an international authority on nuclear weapons destruction.

"Certainly more inspections are needed to find any weapons or components, research or production facilities for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq that we have not found," says Dr. Robert L. Gallucci. "We certainly think there is more, particularly in the nuclear area, and probably in the ballistic missile area as well."

Gallucci, who is deputy executive chairman of the U.N. Security Council's (UNSEC) Special Commission on Iraq's Chemical, Biological, Nuclear Weapons and Ballistic Missile Capability, says he is "struck by how much we didn't know about a weapons program in a country where we suspected a nuclear weapons program."

"We ought to be chastened by that, and cautious about how much confidence we have in our estimates of what is going on elsewhere," Gallucci said in an Oct. 28 briefing at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Gallucci said Security Council Resolution 687, the cease fire agreement, gave the Iraqis 15 days in which to declare all weapons of mass destruction. "In no case did these declarations stand up," he pointed out.

Gallucci, who served as the operations officer of the UNSEC team implementing the inspection, removal and demolition of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, said 20 U.N. teams have gone to Iraq since the ceasefire. Seven of these weapons inspection teams, concerned with Iraq's nuclear weapons, were lead by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The remaining 13 were concerned with the destruction of chemical and biological weapons and Iraq's ballistic missiles capability.

Their discoveries led to the October 11 United Nations Security Council Resolution 715, which adopted plans submitted by the IAEA and the Commission for future monitoring of Iraq, Gallucci said. "We are going to begin doing so immediately, and we're going to continue doing that indefinitely."

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Gallucci said Iraq violated the nuclear aspects of the ceasefire agreement not only by withholding information, but in moving equipment and digging up concrete floors in an effort to hide existing facilities.

"We have U.N. covered a hitherto secret and substantial program to produce missile material and a substantial program to produce an implosion system and actual nuclear weapon," Gallucci said. "Substantial uncertainties (remain) over a rather key question" about whether they have any accumulation of fissile material, he continued. "We simply don't know the answer to that. We have yet to define just how far we have to go. We recognize that."

Gallucci said the Iraqis declared they had "no biological weapons program." He then noted the U.N. team established, on the day they arrived, that Iraq in fact had established a biological weapons program, "a military program -- they didn't even call it a defensive program --" which started about five years ago and ended a year ago. "They did not say they produced actual weapons," he said, "but they did admit to producing a number of agents, including anthrax and botulism toxins, and in fact gave us samples."

In the ballistic missile area, Gallucci said that U.N. teams have destroyed 62 ballistic missiles that are subject under Resolution 687, as well as 18 fixed Scud launcher pads, 10 launchers, 11 dummy missiles, 32 warheads, 127 missile storage support vehicles, one 350 mm. supergun, components of a 1000 mm. supergun, rocket fuel and supergun propellant.

"We are not yet satisfied that we have accounted for all that we need to account for in the missile area," Gallucci said. "The picture of the ballistic missile situation is not as clear as it needs to be, given the amount of missiles which we calculate were obtained by Iraq, and what might have been used up."

Still more disquieting, Gallucci said, is the area of chemical weapons. "The situation is not stable; it is not safe. There are many production sites all around Iraq, and the condition of these munitions and the bulk agent is not good."

Illustrating team findings with a 30 minute slide presentation, Gallucci said 45,000 filled pieces of chemical weapons munitions and hundreds of tons of precursors now have been discovered. "There is a substantial amount of leaking of stored chemical agents with pressures developing, particularly in the bulk containers," complicating the problem of moving the stocks to a central location for destruction, he said. An added problem, he noted, is that the Iraqis did not mark their munitions to indicate the contents or whether they were

GE 3 NEA111 filled or empty. "We never know what's inside of what has been found," he said, and this caused some near fatalities in the course of destruction when the nerve agent sarin was unexpectedly found and released.

He said an added complication for the inspection teams is the problem of unexploded coalition weapons, which made all team demolition activities a "very dicey affair," because "there are many uncertainties about what is there."

In addition, he said the 115 degree August temperatures in Iraq slowed demolition progress because workers can withstand the heat only a short time in the essential protective suits which must be worn to prevent contamination.

Gallucci said many questions have yet to be answered and many solutions yet to be found to implement U.N. resolutions now in effect. Among the issues he listed are:

-- Will these materials be moved to a central location for disposal and what method of disposal will be used?

-- How active a role will Iraqi authorities play in that disposal?

-- How will the destruction of these weapons be funded?

"Everybody believes that Iraq ought to bear responsibility to pay for all of this," Gallucci said, but in the interim, the Security Council would like the special commission to be funded by voluntary contributions. NNNN

File Identification:  10/28/91, NE-111; 10/29/91, NA-204
Product Name:  Wireless File
Product Code:  WF
Languages:  Arabic
Thematic Codes:  1NE; 1AC; 1UN
Target Areas:  NE
PDQ Text Link:  202120