(Refusal is "unacceptable breach" of cease-fire)  (550)

By Judy Aita

USIA United Nations Correspondent

1nited Nations -- The U.N. Security Council told Iraq June 18 that it

must accept U.N. monitoring devices at rocket test sites and send its

chemical weapons equipment to destruction sites.

The council declared that Iraq's refusal to cooperate with the U.N. on the

weapons issues "constitutes a material and unacceptable breach" of the gulf

war cease-fire terms and it warned of "serious consequences" if Baghdad

does not comply.

Ambassador Rolf Ekeus, chairman of the U.N. Special Commission overseeing

the destruction of Iraqi weapons (UNSCOM), informed the council that

Baghdad has refused to allow UNSCOM to install remote control cameras to

monitor rocket test stands at two sites.  Nor will Iraq release to UNSCOM

the chemicals and equipment used to make mustard and nerve gas.

Under the cease-fire resolution, Iraq is barred from possessing ballistic

missiles with a range greater than 150 kilometers.  UNSCOM intended to

install highly sophisticated cameras at the two missile test sites located

near Baghdad and link them by land lines to its operations room; the sites

are used to test-fire rockets on stands without actually launching them.

Ekeus later told journalists that Iraq's actions are "very serious" because

they challenge the Council's authority as well as its resolutions to insure

"that Iraq does not acquire these prohibited weapons again."

He said that Iraqi objections to UNSCOM apparently are based on political

grounds, which Ekeus concedes is "a major problem" for the future

monitoring of Iraq's weapons capabilities.

The issue of Iraq's chemical weapons production is "of highest principal

importance," Ekeus noted, especially so since "the rest of the world is

moving toward the destruction of its own (chemical weapons) capabilities."

In a statement read by Council President Juan Yanez-Barnuevo of Spain, the

council reminded Iraq that what it said in January still applies.  It also

warned Baghdad "of the serious consequences of material breaches" of

council resolutions.

The major stand-off occurred in January when Iraq tried to prevent UNSCOM

inspectors from using U.N. aircraft to enter Iraqi airspace.  Around the

same time the United States, Britain, and France launched air strikes

against suspected Iraqi anti-aircraft missile sites in no-fly zones.

"The council reminds the government of Iraq of its obligations under

Security Council resolutions and its undertakings to provide for the safety

of inspection personnel and equipment.  The council demands that the

government of Iraq immediately comply with its obligations under

resolutions 687, 707 and 715 and cease its attempts to restrict the

commission's inspection rights and operational capabilities," the statement


Ekeus said he thinks that Iraq eventually will grasp that "there is no way

out but to comply" with the council's demand.

"Iraq has looked for a confrontation here," the UNSCOM chairman said.  "We

regret this has taken time; that we were forced to go to Security Council."

Technical talks between UNSCOM and Iraq on these issues were scheduled to

begin in the next few weeks, but Ekeus said it is clear "that it will not

be possible to carry out any serious discussion on any issue if the

challenge to the council" remains outstanding.