FILE ID:95101901.POL




(Foreign Policy Series: Sanctions on Iraq) (1130)

By Judy Aita

USIA United Nations Correspondent

(Following is another in a series on U.S. initiatives on major

international issues.)

United Nations -- The last six months have gone a long way to

vindicate the stand taken by the United States and other countries on

the U.N. Security Council not to ease sanctions, especially the oil

embargo, on Baghdad until the Iraqi regime fully discloses its

chemical, biological, nuclear, and ballistic weapons programs.

The U.S. has been adamant on that since the Gulf War ended. U.S.

Ambassador Madeleine Albright framed the position succinctly in March


"As the leader of the coalition that restored Kuwait's independence,

and with American men and women standing guard in the Gulf today, the

United States is not prepared to see Iraq regain the ability to export

oil until it has established its peaceful intentions by meeting the

obligations the Security Council has established....Our objective is

no more and no less than to see Iraq do what the U.N. has said it must

do in relevant Security Council resolutions."

Now, a new report of its work in the past six months by the U.N.

Special Commission (UNSCOM), which has overseen the destruction of

Iraq's weapons since the cease-fire agreements, reveals a deliberate

policy by the Iraqi government to hold onto the weapons it agreed to

give up at the end of the war.

Caught by the August defection of General Hussein Kamel Hassan, who

headed its weapons programs, Iraq for the first time has disclosed a

much more extensive program than it had in its earlier so-called

"complete disclosures." It has admitted weaponization of biological

agents immediately prior to the outbreak of the Gulf War, including

the insertion of deadly Botulinin and anthrax agents -- never before

used in war -- into 166 bombs and 25 Al-Hussein missile warheads.

It had a crash program to build a nuclear weapon in 1990-91. Iraq also

had begun producing SCUD-type missile engines from both imported and

locally produced parts, according to the new information. Both missile

and biological programs were much larger than previously thought.

Much of the new information contradicts Iraq's earlier declarations.

Iraq had omitted information "on major militarily significant chemical

weapons capabilities, such as additional types of warfare agents,

advanced agent and precursor production, stabilization and storage

technologies, new types and numbers of munitions, field trials, and

additional sites involved in the program," the report said.

The new records indicate that at least 100 million dollars of supplies

remains unaccounted for, UNSCOM said. In addition, during June and

July two pieces of chemical weapons equipment at two monitored sites

were moved and used until UNSCOM ordered Iraq to return them to their

original sites.

UNSCOM has learned that only 83 missiles were destroyed by Iraq in

1991 without UNSCOM supervision. "The figure was inflated by Iraq to

89 in order to conceal its indigenous production of engines for

SCUD-type missiles," UNSCOM Chairman Rolf Ekeus says.

And UNSCOM doubts that the million pages of material in 150 crates and

eight shipping containers turned over in August is everything. "Much

more documentation must still exist, particularly in certain

significant areas such as production records, Iraq's procurement

networks, and sources of supply," Ekeus says.

Under Security Council resolutions 687, 707, and 715 of 1991 Iraq is

obliged to provide full information on all aspects of its weapons

programs -- all associated items, levels of technology attained by

Iraq, procurement methods and routes, and full accounting of the

materials, items and equipment. Destruction of the items are to be

done under UNSCOM supervision. Iraq is also to allow long-term

monitoring to ensure that the banned weapons are not produced again.

"For the most part, Iraq has provided new data only when there were

clear indications that the commission possessed information from other

sources," Ekeus reports.

The chemical weapons are still presenting an "extremely complex and

difficult problem" for UNSCOM, Ekeus says. "We know Iraq acquired huge

amounts of precursors that can be transformed into the nerve agent

VX...a very, very potent agent....We know instructions were given on

how the precursors were to be kept so they could be available for

immediate military use.

"We have concerns about the delivery of bombs filled with such agents.

Iraq has aircraft to deliver such bombs. We know if there are missile

warheads left in Iraq, Iraq has been seriously misleading us."

One U.S. official noted that "the report shows essentially how far

away Iraq is from cooperating with the United Nations. Essentially

what we learned we learned through a defection which was not,

obviously, expected, so it casts even greater doubt about what we now

know...and suggests that we need to tighten the monitoring system once

we clarify what we learned."

"The U.N. -- UNSCOM -- is not in a position to close the files on any

category of weapons of mass destruction -- chemical, nuclear,

biological, and missiles," the U.S. official said. "Some were trying

to get the U.N. to do that. Some in the council were working with Iraq

to pressure UNSCOM to declare a baseline for these categories. We

resisted that, and it proved to have been wise."

In Albright's words, "All indications show that Iraq has cheated and

lied in terms of its dealings with the United Nations and the

international community. Given this record of double dealing...I would

be very surprised if they had given up their desire to have weapons of

mass destruction or their habit of lying and cheating to the

international community.

"If they wish to be respected ever again by the international

community it behooves them to cooperate."

Ekeus, who has been to Baghdad many times and has dealt with the top

Iraqi officials as well as met with Kamel Hassan in Jordan, says he

feels that the sanctions, intense scrutiny by the U.N. and the

political solidarity of the Security Council have had an effect in

Iraq and helped bring Baghdad's continuing weapons program to light.

One of the reasons for Kamel Hussein's defection and the subsequent

release of the weapons documents "was the sense that Iraq has nowhere

to go because of the (U.N.) controls system," Ekeus says. "There were

probably other political and psychological reasons, but definitely one

of the main elements was that our consistency brought the Iraqi

government into an untenable situation, at least as Hussein Kamel

explained it. One of the fundamental reasons for his departure was

that he saw the impossibility of pursuing a policy in the face of the

activities of the special commission."