As United Nations experts today continued their inspections throughout Iraq, they interviewed another key Iraqi scientist about the country's suspected weapons programme.
Members of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) interviewed a metallurgist from a high-visibility state company, according to a spokesman for the Agency and the UN Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC).
"He provided technical details of a military programme," spokesman Hiro Ueki said in Baghdad. "This programme has attracted considerable attention as a possible prelude to a clandestine nuclear programme. The answers will be of great use in completing the IAEA assessment."
Meanwhile, an UNMOVIC biological team inspected the Modern Chemical Industries in Hay Babil, a private company that produces industrial alcohol, medicinal-grade alcohol, arak, whiskey and gin from dates.
“The company is a declared and previously monitored site, due to the presence of dual-use equipment,” Mr. Ueki said. “The site was closed for the Christmas holiday but access was granted to the offices, production areas and a laboratory the team wanted to inspect for which keys were available.”
Two UNMOVIC teams visited the Al Nasser Al Athim (Al Adheem) State Company in Baghdad, a facility for heavy engineering, according to the spokesman. "Although it was a Friday inspection, access to the facility as well as all the buildings designated for inspection was granted," he added.
As one group of UN inspectors continued their “re-baselining” of the site, a team of missile experts held discussions with site personnel, while others inspected buildings on the facility, which undertakes a wide range of metal working for both civilian and military purposes.