Iraq gives UN list of scientists involved in producing weapons of mass destruction

Iraq gives UN list of scientists involved in producing weapons of mass destruction

The United Nations today received from Iraq's National Monitoring Directorate a list of names of personnel associated with the country's chemical, biological, nuclear and ballistic missile programmes, according to a UN spokesman in Baghdad.

"The list contains over 500 names in the chemical, biological, nuclear and missile areas," said Hiro Ueki, recalling that the Executive Chairman of the UN Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC), Hans Blix, had requested the compilation in a letter sent on 12 December to Iraqi General Amir Al-Saadi.

With the arrival of one more UNMOVIC inspector yesterday, the UN now has 105 experts in Iraq: 99 from the Commission and 6 from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which is probing the country's nuclear programmes.

New equipment is also being brought in, according to Mr. Ueki, who reported that three additional helicopters were recently airlifted to Baghdad. "They were assembled at the Saddam International Airport and then flew to the Al Rasheed air base yesterday," he said. "Our helicopter crews are now conducting training flights."

Inspectors continued their work today, with an UNMOVIC multidisciplinary team visiting the Hadre Air Force Munitions Test Site, located close to Mosul. An UNMOVIC biological team inspected the National Food Industries Co., also known as the Yaffa Juice Plant, located in Baghdad. "It is a previously declared and monitored site, due to the presence of some dual-use equipment," Mr. Ueki noted, referring to items that could have either civilian or military applications.

Another biological team returned to the Al Kindi Veterinary Vaccines site as a follow-up to a previous inspection carried out there earlier this month, while an UNMOVIC team of missile inspectors inspected the Al Qaib Warhead-Filling Factory of the Al Qa Qaa complex.

Chemical experts from UNMOVIC, supported by several members of the missile and biological teams, inspected the Ibn Younis Centre, which Mr. Ueki described as "a mechanical design establishment in Baghdad." While there, they also inspected the Ibn Rasheed Company, which maintains fire-fighting equipment and conducts water analyses and quality control of construction materials, as well as the General Automobile Company and a regional Bath Party office.

Meanwhile, the IAEA inspected the offices of a private trading company that handles procurement matters for the Military Industrial Corporation of Iraq. "The IAEA specialists were able to review many files concerning procurements and offers from abroad," Mr. Ueki said, adding that a team from the Agency also went to the last known address of another private trading company, located at a now-abandoned building.