UN interviews senior Iraqi engineer on aluminium tubes as inspections continue

UN interviews senior Iraqi engineer on aluminium tubes as inspections continue

As United Nations officials conducted another interview with an Iraqi citizen today, UN weapons monitors carried out inspections at several facilities throughout the country.

According to a UN spokesman in Baghdad, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) conducted a private interview with a senior engineer connected to Iraq's utilization of aluminium tubes.

Meanwhile, an IAEA team conducted a car-borne radiation survey at the Saddam facility and in the Falluja area, 50 kilometres west of Baghdad. A second IAEA team performed an inspection at the Ibn Al-Haytham north of Baghdad.

In other inspection activities, a chemical team from the UN Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC) continued the destruction of chemical ammunitions filled with mustard gas at Al Mutanna. "The team started to detoxify mustard from some of the shells by chemical means," said spokesman Hiro Ueki.

One UNMOVIC missile team visited the Al Feda Factory, which is involved in the production of missiles launchers, while another inspected the Bader State establishment, which manufactures dies and moulds for missile components.

About 45 kilometres north of Baghdad, an UNMOVIC biological team inspected an airfield as another team held discussions at the Iraqi National Monitoring Directorate (NMD) relating to documents supplied by Iraq to UNMOVIC Executive Chairman Hans Blix during his latest visit last weekend.

An UNMOVIC multidisciplinary team inspected the Ibn-Roshd State Company, a quality control centre, adjacent to the Mechanical Engineering Design Centre. "The team continued to verify Iraq's declarations and to determine any cooperation for the military industry," Mr. Ueki said.