News

DATE=7/27/1999 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT TITLE=U-N - IRAQ - V-X (L - ONLY) NUMBER=2-252219 BYLINE=MAX RUSTON DATELINE=UNITED NATIONS CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: The United Nations Security Council today (Tuesday) allowed an international weapons team to proceed with the destruction of V-X nerve gas samples in Baghdad. The decision to allow destruction of the samples was made despite protests from Russia, China and France. More from our U-N correspondent Max Ruston. TEXT: Efforts to postpone destruction of the seven V-X nerve gas samples were led by Russia, which said they should first be analyzed. Diplomats say Russia, Iraq, China and France suspect that analysis of the samples will result in evidence against the U-N Special Commission - UNSCOM - which carries out weapons monitoring and inspections in Iraq. Baghdad has suggested that UNSCOM used the samples to plant false evidence at weapons sites in Iraq -- a charge UNSCOM denies. UNSCOM says the samples were used to calibrate testing equipment at its laboratory in Baghdad. UNSCOM officials say they have never made any attempt to hide information concerning the samples. Diplomats say the Security Council, in discussions Tuesday, failed to reach a consensus on the issue. Britain and the United States supported destruction of the samples, as did a majority of the other members of the Council. Therefore existing plans for the destruction of the samples were not altered. Diplomats say that as part of a compromise agreement, UNSCOM has agreed to answer a series of questions from the Security Council concerning its testing laboratory in Baghdad. (Signed) NEB/MPR/TVM/pt 27-Jul-1999 17:54 PM LOC (27-Jul-1999 2154 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .