Global perspective Human stories

UN experts visit suspected missile sites in Iraq

UN experts visit suspected missile sites in Iraq

Teams of experts in Iraq from the United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspections Commission (UNMOVIC) today inspected two separate locations involved in missile activity.

One team went to the Tho Al Fekar factory, which is concerned with the manufacture of mechanical parts for several solid propellant rockets. The other team inspected the Al Mutassem Solid Rocket Plant, which is owned by the Military Industrialization Corporation. Located approximately 90 kilometres west of Baghdad, the facility carries out the final assembly of the Ababil and Al Feta'h solid propellant rockets.

Meanwhile, chemical warfare experts from UNMOVIC continued inspection of the Al Qa Qaa complex, updating information about selected facilities, namely a sulfuric acid plant, an explosives production plant and storages, according to UN spokesman Hiro Ueki. "Inspection focused on a new production unit, which was built in the period between 1998 and 2002," he said.

The UNMOVIC biological team inspected the Al Amiryah Serum and Vaccine Institute on the western outskirts of Baghdad. "All buildings, including new constructions, were inspected," Mr. Ueki said.

In a related development, two teams from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which is mandated to scrutinize Iraq's nuclear programmes, today carried out inspections at Al Maarik, a facility involved in the manufacture of a number of civil and military engineering projects. The teams also inspected the nearby sites providing engineering support to the military in a number of areas, and Badr, a facility that was previously involved in the centrifuge programme prior to 1991 and now provides general engineering capability.

"At all three sites inspections were carried out to review the activities of personnel and departments since 1998 [when the UN probe was suspended], and to review the disposition and use of a number of dual-purpose machine tools," Mr. Ueki said.

Two further IAEA teams travelled to Ramadi, approximately 100 kilometres west of Baghdad, to inspect the Glass and Ceramic Company. A Gamma Survey team, accompanying the main team, carried out measurements in the Ramadi area, Mr. Ueki reported, adding that an IAEA team visited Tuwaitha and parts of north Baghdad to obtain water and silt samples for radiological analysis.