UN experts press forward with inspection activities in Iraq

UN experts press forward with inspection activities in Iraq

United Nations biological, chemical and nuclear experts today continued their probe of Iraq's weapons programme, visiting sites connected with the country's military ambitions as well as civilian facilities suspected of covert activities.

A team of germ warefare specialists from the UN Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC) inspected the “Al Taji Single Cell Protein (SCP) Plant,” which is located within a liquid propane gas filling company, according to UN spokesman Hiro Ueki.

An UNMOVIC missile team inventoried storage buildings at the Al Kadhimiya Plant and at Shumouk Stores, while chemical experts from the Commission inspected the Basra State Establishment for Paper Industry, he said.

Meanwhile experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) visited three sites, including the sprawling Hatteen Fateh Explosives Factory, which Mr. Ueki described as “a very large complex that produces explosives for military bombs, shells and rockets.” The team focused attention on changes at the site in the last four years that could aid a nuclear programme, he added.

IAEA experts also inspected the Um Al Maarik Factory, which produces metal parts for military programmes, as part of “an ongoing attempt to monitor the production of indigenous components of possible dual use,” Mr. Ueki said, referring to items that could have either civilian or military applications.

“In a cooperative venture, the IAEA team joined with Iraqi auditors at the Al Qa Qaa explosives plant,” he reported, adding that item counts were made of hundreds of “important dual-use materials” there.