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– Hans Blix
Former IAEA Director-General

Anticipating Inspections: UNMOVIC Readies Itself for Iraq


In January, Hans Blix was appointed executive chairman of the United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC), an inspectorate established to replace the UN Special Commission (UNSCOM) and assume its task of verifying that Iraq was disarmed of all weapons of mass destruction and missiles with a range exceeding 150 kilometers.

Following UNSCOM's withdrawal from Iraq in December 1998 and amid increasing pressure to ease the sanctions that had been in place since the end of the Persian Gulf War, the UN Security Council heatedly debated how to address Baghdad's continuing noncompliance with its disarmament obligations, originally laid out in Resolution 687. In March 1999, a UN panel headed by Brazilian Ambassador Celso Amorim released a report concluding that while the bulk of Iraq's weapons programs had been dismantled by UNSCOM, a "reinforced, ongoing monitoring and verification" system was needed.

In December 1999, Security Council Resolution 1284 set up UNMOVIC and charged it with monitoring Iraq's weapons programs and identifying any "key remaining disarmament tasks." It stipulated that once Baghdad had "cooperated in all respects," sanctions would be suspended. The resolution also created the College of Commissioners, a group of diplomats and disarmament experts charged with providing "professional advice and guidance" to the executive chairman.

UNMOVIC began operation in March. To date, it has submitted an organizational plan to the Security Council, which was approved, and has met once with the College of Commissioners. The first training session for UNMOVIC staff is set to begin in New York in July, but Iraq has so far given no sign that it will allow inspectors into the country.

Born in Uppsala, Sweden, Blix pursued a distinguished career in the Swedish foreign service, culminating in his appointment as minister of foreign affairs in 1978. In 1981, he assumed the post of director-general at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), where he served until 1997. Under Blix's leadership, the IAEA, working with UNSCOM, played a crucial role in dismantling and monitoring Iraq's nuclear weapons program after the Persian Gulf War.

On June 12, Arms Control Today Editor J. Peter Scoblic and Research Analyst Matthew Rice met with Blix at UN headquarters in New York to discuss UNMOVIC's mandate, its preparations for inspections, and the prospects for beginning work in Iraq. The following is an edited version of their conversation.


ACT: Former UNSCOM executive chairmen Richard Butler and Rolf Ekeus have expressed concern as to what could have happened since inspectors left Iraq in December 1998. On the other hand, former UNSCOM inspector Scott Ritter has said that 18 months is too short a time to rebuild programs that took 20 years to set up. What could Iraq have done in this time? How worried should the international community be?

Blix: Well, I do not have any preconceived notions as to what Iraq could have done. But if I take the nuclear area, which I know best, there is no way that they could have built up an enrichment capacity in that period. Of course, it is possible that they could try to buy a nuclear weapon, but the Iraqi path in the past was one of going after enrichment, and that requires a considerable infrastructure that would be seen from satellites. We have no indications of that happening.

An area in which Iraq could have conceivably done more would be the missile program because they are permitted missiles with a range of 150 kilometers and under; so factories producing them are also permissible. A number of missile factories were apparently hit in December 1998 during the airstrikes by U.S. and British forces, but there are reports that they have been rebuilt since then. Now, what has taken place inside, under those roofs, that is not seen by the satellites. I would have to rely upon the people that know much more about missiles to make a determination, but prima facie, missiles would be an area in which Iraq could have done something. It is certainly an area that will require monitoring in the future.

Concerning chemical and biological weapons, I think that is something the weapons experts will have to determine, and we will have a lot of quite competent experts.

ACT: Are you receiving any information on the current status of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction (WMD) programs?

Blix: We should try to learn as much as possible, even without having inspections on the ground. Therefore, we have expressed gratitude to the United States for continuing to show us overhead pictures from satellites. That goes on. And of course, we are grazing the fertile ground of the media and collecting what comes from there.

We have no intelligence data, and I don't want to have any until we have our own intelligence expert on board. I've had some contact with national intelligence agencies and have had some discussions, but there has been nothing significant in this regard. What we are also focusing on is for our current staff to work on the substantial dossiers and inspection reports that we already have here. There is a lot to analyze. Clearly, however, work is not at full speed.

ACT: Is there any indication that Iraq is trying to rearm?

Blix: No, I don't think you can say that. Sometimes there are reports in the media from intelligence organizations that they are watching the procurement efforts here and there, but we have nothing to substantiate that.

ACT: Once they are in Iraq, what will be the first task for the UNMOVIC inspectors?

Blix: The first inspections will have to establish new baselines. The weapons-related facilities and weapons-capable facilities have stood there one-and-a-half years now. UNSCOM inspectors had knowledge of what they looked like in December 1998, and UNMOVIC will now go in and see if there have been any changes and, if so, what those changes suggest.

After that, we will develop a work program. Resolution 1284 demands that we come up with a work program to deal with the key outstanding disarmament issues 60 days after we have started work in Iraq. Indeed, the College of Commissioners made the point that UNMOVIC cannot very well come up with a full work program telling the Security Council what it intends to do before it has established new baselines. We need to see that rebaselining. So, work in Iraq cannot mean the moment when you send in the first inspector.

ACT: If the situation in Iraq now were the same as in December 1998, what tasks would remain in order for Iraq to be disarmed? What are the key disarmament tasks that Resolution 1284 asks you to define?

Blix: We don't know yet which particular disarmament points remain to be cleared up. It is generally believed that the biological-weapons sector has the largest number of question marks. Among the others, missiles is the most advanced in terms of being cleared up, and the nuclear is considered to have the fewest question marks. But it will be a sensitive task for us to zero in and say what the important key disarmament tasks are, as we must do under 1284.

We will also use another broader concept contained in Resolution 1284: "unresolved disarmament issues." I have already asked the current staff here what they see as unresolved disarmament issues. It is not the first time this has been done. The Amorim report listed a number of things in a condensed chapter and, in early 1999, Richard Butler issued a large report setting out what UNSCOM had achieved and what remained.

However, I do not think that I will have a final paper on the unresolved disarmament issues until the new staff is on board because the Security Council wants us to look at the issue with fresh minds. I value the experience that is here, but I also want to have new people take a look at what remains to be done. The new staff will define what they consider to be the unresolved issues. Out of those, there will be a distillation process to pick out those that are important—the key disarmament tasks. As to which issues those will be, I have no preconceived ideas.

I am sure that Iraq will be very interested to know where we are going on this matter even before they invite inspections, but as the resolution is written, they cannot. They certainly cannot have the final list. Because the report has to go to the Security Council for approval, what we say could theoretically be modified by the council. But I would imagine that our professional judgment will carry some weight with the council. At least I hope so.

ACT: The unresolved questions that are not deemed key disarmament tasks, will they fall off the work program?

Blix: No, I don't think so. Resolution 687 and its mandate of complete WMD disarmament remain in effect. But all the unresolved questions will not be relevant for the council's determination as to whether they should suspend the economic restrictions, because that only requires testimony from us about "cooperation" and "progress" on key disarmament duties.

If I take an example from the IAEA, which I still know better than the UNMOVIC area, there was a question of whether there was some foreign input into Iraq's design of a weapon. That question, I think, was never cleared up, and it was an outstanding issue for a long time. Now, you can discuss—and I'm not taking a stand on it—whether it was important to know who this foreign entity was even if you have come to the conclusion that Iraq has no nuclear infrastructure, no nuclear capacity, et cetera. Does the question of who helped them still remain a key disarmament issue? You could say that the "full, final and complete disclosure" demand of Resolution 707 is not satisfied if such an issue is still unresolved. But is it a key disarmament issue? I don't know. So, I think that's going to be an illustration of where judgment will have to be exercised.

ACT: Have former UNSCOM professionals applied for positions in UNMOVIC?

Blix: By far, the majority—two-thirds, probably more—have left. After the Baghdad operation collapsed at the end of 1998, most people left. So, a relatively small group remains here. I have said that there will be no automatic transfer of UNSCOM staff to UNMOVIC. They will have to indicate an interest to stay, and then I will have to compare their credentials with those who apply from the outside. Clearly, having been here and being knowledgeable on Iraq's weapons programs is an important factor. But it is not the only one. Some people in some governments have taken the view that we should have fresh minds all over the place, that there should be a clean slate. I have said no, there should be both innovation and institutional memory. This is what we are getting. Overall there will be a good many more people from the outside than those who remain from UNSCOM. One should remember that most of UNSCOM left earlier.

ACT: Does the fact that there could be a long wait before work begins in Iraq make recruitment any more difficult?

Blix: I haven't seen any one candidate so far in New York who has seemed worried about that. If they are sitting here for six months, then maybe it could become a problem. But that is not my hypothesis.

ACT: You have said that you intend to make full use of short-notice inspections without harassing or coercing Iraq. What did you mean by that?

Blix: We do not intend to provoke, to harass, or to humiliate Iraq with our inspections. The word "intend" is important, because I am not leaving it to Iraq to say that we cannot do something because of how they feel about it. It is UNMOVIC that will judge whether an action is provocative or humiliating in the judgment of a reasonable person. And I think I am a reasonable person.

Another adjective I will use is "correct." We don't want to have cozy relations with Iraq. We are an inspectorate, and we have the task given to us by the Security Council to solve the key disarmament questions, in addition to monitoring. This we shall do. In doing so, I would like the organization to be knowledgeable and correct.

I think we will need institutional memories. It will delay things if we were to have an all together new staff, but I want those who go in to display correct UN conduct. I'm not saying anything about the past. I am just saying that for the future, I want effective and correct inspections.

ACT: Concerning the espionage issue, you have placed a premium on maintaining what you have described as a "one-way street" of the flow of intelligence to UNMOVIC. What will you do differently than UNSCOM?

Blix: Well, I am not sure that I can tell you. I'm not exactly sure what UNSCOM did. I am following the pattern that I established myself at the IAEA. Of course, I read many allegations about what went on with UNSCOM, but I have not undertaken any investigation of UNSCOM's practices, and I don't think that I need to. I have the impression that there were many inlets for intelligence and that there were different groups handling what came in.

In our organizational diagram, which UNSCOM did not have, intelligence falls under "outside information sources." That covers both media, anything open, and other outside sources that are not so open. I will try to be firm about keeping intelligence in this area.

I have publicly taken the view that intelligence is valuable. Defectors do not come knocking at UNMOVIC headquarters. They go to governments, and it is valuable to have much of that. It can give you ideas as to where it might be useful to go or about questions that you should ask. But we also know that there is almost as much disinformation around the world as there is valid information, and I would like to have a professional in this area who would be able to assess with a critical eye what is coming in. He may have to have assistance from someone on the biological or chemical side to assess the veracity of something, but we have to be able to give assurances to those who supply us with intelligence that this is the only person who gets it, and that the providers have to decide how much further it will go. I have reserved the right to see it myself, and this person who is in charge of outside information sources should also see it all.

If we want to make use of intelligence for an inspection or for questions during an inspection, then I think the supplier should judge if such use is permissible or if it will jeopardize their source. In part, this is in order to keep the confidence of providers that their information is not going to float around freely. We are being very firm that it stays here. The providers will have to give their permission for any further dissemination. I practiced this in the IAEA, and it worked. We had intelligence from various sources. I don't think where the intelligence comes from really matters—it is the critical examination to which it is subjected that counts.

Another important point is that we are not in the intelligence-trading business. We are not an intelligence organization. We are not giving anything to suppliers in return. We are not an espionage organization, whatever Iraq has said. Now, it is conceivable, of course, that some UNSCOM staff were in double emploi, that they had two positions. That is unacceptable. All I can say is that if I find individuals working for other agencies, I will throw them out, and I think they will understand why.

However, I must also be clear that in order for us to get information that is relevant, it may well be that we will have to describe to intelligence providers what we are interested in. It is not that we are mute and governments come and offer us information. It is not that extreme.

There is an important difference between UNMOVIC and the IAEA in that the IAEA safeguards agreements specify that information that countries give shall be confidential. UNMOVIC doesn't have safeguards agreements with Iraq; we go to the Security Council and report to its members. Nevertheless, our mandate is to look for weapons of mass destruction. It is not to look for where Saddam Hussein is or where Iraq's anti-aircraft artillery is, et cetera. We should not do anything that is outside the parameters of our mandate.

ACT: What does "cooperation" mean in terms of Resolution 1284?

Blix: This may be an issue that we need to discuss with the College of Commissioners because Resolution 1284 simply says that the Security Council shall suspend economic restrictions provided that Iraq has cooperated in all respects for 120 days, and one part of that cooperation is progress with respect to the key disarmament issues. Whether UNMOVIC's judgment on such progress is the final word is a matter still for discussion.

Under Resolution 687, it is true that there was a difference between my view when I headed the IAEA and that taken by UNSCOM. I took the view, interpreting paragraph 22 of Resolution 687, that our determination on Iraq's disarmament did not automatically translate into a lifting of the sanctions, whereas the tendency in UNSCOM was to say that its determination was decisive. I was skeptical of such an attitude. It is for the Security Council to make the determination as to whether Iraq has complied with its obligations.

There will always be a residue of uncertainty, and that was a concept that eventually was accepted by the Amorim report and by the Security Council and I think by most people. There may be computer programs, engineers, scientists, and maybe even a prototype centrifuge lying around. You can never guarantee that such things do not exist. We tell the members of the council how far we have come, and it is then for them to decide whether that satisfies the resolution's articles about neutralizing Iraq's weapons of mass destruction.

Because there will always be that residue of uncertainty concerning Iraq's WMD programs, I do not think it is fair, nor was it supported by the resolution, for the IAEA or for UNSCOM to determine what level of uncertainty should be tolerated. That is for the Security Council to do. I think I am inclined to feel the same way about UNMOVIC, but there I would like to defer until there has been some discussion, because these are matters that could very well be politically sensitive.

ACT: Along those lines, Scott Ritter recently argued that UNSCOM's perceived need to account for all WMD material was partially responsible for its downfall. (See ACT, June 2000.) Are you saying that you are going to move away from that—to not needing to account for every last scrap of material and documentation?

Blix: As I said, it is for the Security Council to determine how much uncertainty they will tolerate. I often draw a comparison between Iraq and South Africa. The IAEA was in South Africa and asked to verify that they had done away with their nuclear weapons. We came in and the South Africans said, "Here is a bunch of documents. And we think they are relevant to you. If you want any other documents, just tell us, and we will give them to you. And here are the sites that we think you should visit, and if you want to go to any other sites, military or whatever, just tell us and we will take you there."

That was, of course, evidence of an attitude of cooperation. They saw inspection as an opportunity to demonstrate and convince the world that they had nothing. I am trying to suggest to Iraq: "You say that you have nothing. Here is an opportunity. Convince us by what you do, and convince us by what you give us that there is nothing left. You do not have credibility." If we are firm, we have credibility. If we are cosmetic, we too have no credibility. So, we will say if we think Iraq has cooperated. But the ultimate judge, I am inclined to think, is the Security Council.

And, of course, I still maintain that we will never come to the last nut and bolt, and I think that is accepted now. But how many missing nuts and bolts are acceptable will be determined by the Security Council. We will describe in as accurate terms as we can what we have done, where we are, and then leave final judgment to the council.

ACT: How would you describe UNMOVIC's relationship with the secretary-general and the Security Council?

Blix: In formal terms, of course, the reports of UNMOVIC are channeled to the Security Council through the secretary-general. He submits them. He can add something. In doing so, he can put his gloss on it if he likes, which was the same with UNSCOM. In addition, I trust that I can continue to look to the secretary-general for advice and discussion. I don't formally have to do that. We have a mandate of our own. However, I personally appreciate [UN Secretary-General] Kofi Annan's judgment very much, and I have an excellent relationship with him. Jayantha Dhanapala [UN undersecretary-general for disarmament affairs] and I are also old colleagues, and I appreciate his judgment too. So, I look on these relationships in practical terms more than in formal terms.

UNMOVIC is a subordinate organ of the Security Council. Therefore, all of our allegiance is to the council; we take our instructions from it. Resolution 1284 is the absolute guideline for me, and nothing else. If any one member of the Security Council wants me to do something other than what is called for in Resolution 1284, I would say that I am not obliged to do so. At the same time, I think there is a clear attitude in the council that they do not want us to come running to them for help and instruction all the time. They have other things to do. I also think that we should have informal contacts with the president of the Security Council. So far, I have met with every monthly president of the Security Council, so we have a channel in that direction. What our relationship with the council will be like if the situation with Iraq gets hot, I don't know.

ACT: Does the Security Council have the political will to push this issue with Iraq, to get UNMOVIC into the country?

Blix: It is more a question that there are different wills in the council. My overall impression has been that when the Security Council stands united, the power and influence it has is considerable, but where they have divided views, even though they might only be expressed in abstentions, the influence is much more limited. This leads me to the conclusion that UNMOVIC should act in such a way as, at the very least, to avoid widening the differing views that exist there and, if possible, to help them converge.

Once again, I refer to Resolution 1284 for absolute guidance. That is a valid resolution. It was accepted—though weakened somewhat by the four abstentions—and we can see how some of the reservations of those who abstained continue to guide their attitudes. The resolution would have been stronger if there had been unanimity. On the other hand, it is still a valid resolution, and it is binding not only on Iraq, but on all of the members of the Security Council as well. So that is what we have to go by.

But for us, there is a great advantage if the members of the Security Council are agreed. I think that the College of Commissioners may be able to help because it has individuals from the permanent five members of the Security Council and other professionals, and it will permit a freer discussion then you can have in the Security Council.

ACT: Describe your interactions with the Russians, French, and Chinese over the past few months. Are they accepting Resolution 1284 as valid, and are you receiving their full support?

Blix: I have no doubt that on two principal points they are united and there is no dissent in the Security Council. One is the wish that Iraq retain no weapons of mass destruction and that it not revive any WMD programs. The other is a view that UNMOVIC shall have all of the rights of inspection that the prior organizations had—that is, immediate, unrestricted, and unconditional access. I don't think they waver on that.

But there are clearly other differences among them on Iraq policy, some not relating to Resolution 1284. There is the view among some that the current bombing [in the no-fly zones] is not sanctioned by the Security Council and should not take place. There is the view of some that the no-fly zones do not have a basis in Security Council resolutions and should not exist. Council members have not yet defined what kind of financial control regime they should have once they determine to suspend the economic restrictions; so there are unresolved matters relating to the full implementation of the resolution.

Resolution 1284 resolved a number of things, but not all, and we should try, if possible, to reduce the number of differences rather than exacerbate them. So far, we have done reasonably well. The organizational plan was successfully approved by the Security Council, with some reservations by the Russians. Nevertheless, they accepted that the plan was in line with the resolution. At this point, the Russians have said that they do not want to pass any judgment until they have seen how UNMOVIC develops and implements the plan. They will hold their card until they have seen that. And there were somewhat softer but similar attitudes by a few of the others.

The Russians also had some reservations because they wanted to have a special group dealing with potential frictions with Iraq, a group of political advisers within UNMOVIC. I have not included such a group in the organizational structure. I have said that I will have a group of senior advisers and that it will include staff that know something about the positions of Washington, Moscow, Beijing, and other places. I will listen to them, but if they are not agreed, clearly I will have to fall back on my own judgment. UNMOVIC is not operating by voting. The same applies to the College of Commissioners. If they seek and come out with some consensus and thereby facilitate consensus in the Security Council, that is fine. But there is no guarantee that they can do this. In the end, I have to do what the resolution puts me in this position to do.

So, there were some reservations over the organizational plan. Some would say that the organizational plan was the design of the ship and that now we are recruiting the sailors and developing the navigational charts. We are now in the process of hiring the crew, and the resolution talks about broad geographical recruitment, and so it shall be. It will be very broad. Of course, there are a number of areas of the world that do not have expertise in weapons of mass destruction, notably Africa. It will be much more difficult to find people from there. But there will be a broad geographical recruitment. The Security Council knows pretty well who the senior officials will be, and I have had no criticism of that. UNMOVIC's top echelon has been accepted, and I hope that we can continue with that and get a crew with good credentials and good geographic representation.

The third step will be defining the operational rules—how we will go about the inspections. We are in the beginning of that process, and we had early input from the College of Commissioners. I hope that in the summer we can go further, and that at the next meeting of the college, which will be in August, we will be able to define that even more and get their advice. Sometime later, we will see if Iraq is favorable at all.

ACT: Let's talk about that for a minute. Iraq has given no indication that they intend to cooperate. Have you seen anything different? Do you expect them to cooperate?

Blix: No, I have not seen anything different, and yes, I expect them to cooperate.

ACT: How does one move them from their present position to one that allows you and your inspectors to begin work?

Blix: I think the Iraqis should move themselves. I think that the most important thing for them is to study and assess what is in Resolution 1284 for them. Resolution 687 is still there, which speaks about lifting sanctions when there has been neutralization of all WMD and ongoing monitoring is in place. Resolution 1284 is an additional path for them to follow. Here, the criteria are different. They can have a suspension of the economic restrictions provided that there is cooperation and resolution of some key disarmament issues. I guess that they are assessing how valuable it would be for them to have a suspension of the restrictions, and exactly what suspension means. I cannot tell them; it is for members of the Security Council to decide, and I am sure that they have had preliminary discussions about that already.

Although Iraq is now rejecting Resolution 1284 and the commission, I am sure they are watching what the architecture of it is. I am sure they are watching to see whether UNMOVIC will be a true international body or if it will be a group of seconded state representatives, which is how they tended to regard UNSCOM. And they are probably interested to see how we will define the inspection procedures. Lastly, they will be interested in what things we consider unresolved disarmament issues and key disarmament tasks.

I think this will take some time. People ask me sometimes if I am trying to initiate any contact with Iraq. The answer is no. My door is open to all ambassadors, including the Iraqis, but why should they make contact at a time when their position is that the commission is irrelevant and they reject Resolution 1284? Discussion with me would not be consistent with that position.

ACT: Iraq has flat-out refused to cooperate, but you seem to be suggesting that Baghdad is considering the ramifications and potential benefits of Resolution 1284. Do you think that their public refusal is simply a ploy and that they are seriously weighing their options and considering cooperation?

Blix: No, I think they probably say to the world what they mean—that they would like to see a termination of the bombing, that they would like to see a termination of the no-fly zones, and that they would like to see a termination of the sanctions. That is their bid to the Security Council. They also seem to say that they could accept some inspections should these things happen. That is their position. What their position will be in two or four months time, I don't know. I am the servant of the Security Council. If the council assumes that UNMOVIC will go in, then who am I to depart from that assessment? I was hired on the assumption that Iraq will allow inspectors into the country, and therefore I assume that myself.

I may add that in my personal view it would be in Iraq's interest to accept 1284. I am sure that they are looking around the horizon. They have one very firm view now, but the waters under this ship will be moving, not standing still.

ACT: You are optimistic. Do you have any sort of time frame?

Blix: We have a time frame. We are moving as fast as we can to do what the Security Council has instructed us to do with the organization, the recruitment, the training, et cetera. We could not possibly do any inspections until the end of August. Toward the end of autumn, we will be up and running, as they say. I hope by that time the government of Iraq will have warmed to the idea that this commission is one with which they are ready to cooperate and they will have found that the economic restrictions will not be lifted except in fulfillment of Resolution 1284.

ACT: Do you think there is any flexibility in the Security Council about amending the sanctions sections of Resolution 1284 to induce Iraqi cooperation?

Blix: I don't see any indication in that direction. I think every comma will remain.

ACT: Do you think you can demonstrate, in the process of assembling and training the UNMOVIC team, that UNMOVIC will be a different organization from UNSCOM and thereby gain the further support of the Security Council and the cooperation of Iraq? Or will that not be apparent until your inspectors begin work in Iraq?

Blix: Well, it's not just organization and recruitment and training. It's also the other two elements we have talked about: the definition of our inspection procedures and of the remaining outstanding disarmament issues. I don't know whether those elements will be enough. I think these are part of what Iraq is going to look at. But I think that Iraq is perhaps even more interested in the paragraphs about suspension of sanctions and the financial provisions, as well as the bombing. They will look at all these things, and then we'll see.

I think it is important that they know in advance what inspection procedures we will want to follow. I don't think that there is any room for negotiation about that because the procedures are laid down by the Security Council. Those are the parameters under which we operate—neither expanding them nor reducing them. We do not expand them to cover anything but the weapons of mass destruction. We are not looking at their anti-aircraft artillery; we are looking for missiles.

But nor are we entitled to reduce and surrender anything that the Security Council has laid down. I've been saying that it is the Security Council's role to implement the resolution, and we are a part of that. It is not my task to persuade the Iraqis in any sense. It is my personal view that it would be advantageous for them, but I have not been asked by the Security Council to sell the resolution, nor am I entitled to give any discount on it. That leaves very little wiggle room to meet them. We will have to tell them how we intend to go about the inspections. The more that they know about that in advance, the better. It might encourage cooperation if they can say, "Well, fair enough, we know what you intend to do." I think that will hopefully be a way to reduce potential frictions.

But clearly, on some minor points, Iraq can suggest that it might be more practical to do something this way or another way—where the Iraqi escorts meet you in Baghdad, what time do you give them a telephone call, et cetera. There are minor points within what the Security Council has laid down, but I do not foresee myself sitting in long discussions with Iraq about how inspections are to be run. The Security Council has laid down our responsibility, and I feel no freedom to deviate from that. And I hope the Iraqis do not feel that I have that freedom.

ACT: The Iraqis have said that the burden of proof is on the international community to demonstrate that Iraq still has weapons of mass destruction. How do you respond?

Blix: This reasoning is misplaced. The argument comes from criminal procedure, where the prosecutor has to prove the guilt of the accused, and if the prosecutor doesn't do that, then there is a presumption of not guilty. However, we are not interested in that here. We are in a situation where the world wants to have confidence that Iraq does not retain or rebuild the capacity for weapons of mass destruction. You do not build confidence by presumptions. You build it by demonstrating cooperation.

It is true that the IAEA, UNMOVIC, and Iraq cannot prove the absence of the smallest pieces of things. But it is less difficult for Iraq, who sits on all of the documentation and all of the personnel, to come up and demonstrate something than it is for UNMOVIC or the IAEA to do so. Therefore, I think it is legitimate to ask them that they do that. And if, unlike in the case of South Africa, you get to a site in Iraq and you see them running out of the site with briefcases of documents, that is not likely to lead to increased confidence.

Iraq cannot prove—no one can prove—that a big country is free of everything that could be relevant. I would agree that this is not feasible. But the name of the game is to re-establish confidence. To do that, Iraq needs to do precisely what Resolution 1284 mandates: namely, cooperate.

Anticipating Inspections: UNMOVIC Readies Itself for Iraq

The Case for Iraq's Qualitative Disarmament

June 2000

By Scott Ritter

Efforts to resume weapons inspections in Iraq have long been at an impasse.It has been 18 months since inspectors from the United Nations Special Commission (UNSCOM) were withdrawn from Iraq and six months since the Security Council created a successor organization to assume UNSCOM's mantle. Resolution 1284 established the United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC) in December 1999 and tasked it with verifying Iraq's elimination of its weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and ballistic missiles with a range greater than 150 kilometers.

Resolution 687, which had originally spelled out this obligation, was viewed by many in the Security Council (including Russia, France, and China) as no longer viable given UNSCOM's untidy link to Operation Desert Fox, the 72-hour aerial bombardment of Iraq conducted in December 1998. At that time, the United States and the United Kingdom had used an UNSCOM report to the Security Council that laid out the record of Iraqi non-compliance with inspections as justification for the bombing—before the Security Council had any chance to deliberate on the report and without any authorization from that body. The unfortunate fallout from this military action was that Iraq not only refused to allow the UNSCOM inspectors to return, but also rejected any future cooperation with the organization. The inspection process was dead.

In April 2000, the Security Council approved the organizational plan for the new inspectorate, in theory setting the stage for the return of weapons inspectors to Iraq. However, Iraq refuses to cooperate with either UNMOVIC or its executive chairman, Hans Blix, on the grounds that this new inspection regime is merely a repackaged version of UNSCOM. Furthermore, Resolution 1284 reduced Iraq's incentive to cooperate, stating that the Security Council would only suspend sanctions once Baghdad had complied with inspections, rather than lift them as agreed in Resolution 687. Iraq has made clear that it will never agree to anything less than the lifting of sanctions.

As the situation stands today, Iraq and the Security Council are deadlocked. There is no hope for the return of inspectors to Iraq anytime soon. With each passing day, concern increases over the status of Iraq's WMD programs because there are no inspectors in place to monitor them. Unless the Security Council can come up with a compromise, the situation will only continue to deteriorate.

What is often overlooked in the debate over how to proceed with Iraq's disarmament is the fact that from 1994 to 1998 Iraq was subjected to a strenuous program of ongoing monitoring of industrial and research facilities that could be used to reconstitute proscribed activities. This monitoring provided weapons inspectors with detailed insight into the capabilities, both present and future, of Iraq's industrial infrastructure. It allowed UNSCOM to ascertain, with a high level of confidence, that Iraq was not rebuilding its prohibited weapons programs and that it lacked the means to do so without an infusion of advanced technology and a significant investment of time and money.

Given the comprehensive nature of the monitoring regime put in place by UNSCOM, which included a strict export-import control regime, it was possible as early as 1997 to determine that, from a qualitative standpoint, Iraq had been disarmed. Iraq no longer possessed any meaningful quantities of chemical or biological agent, if it possessed any at all, and the industrial means to produce these agents had either been eliminated or were subject to stringent monitoring. The same was true of Iraq's nuclear and ballistic missile capabilities. As long as monitoring inspections remained in place, Iraq presented a WMD-based threat to no one.

The success of the UNSCOM monitoring regime may hold the key to unlocking the current stalemate between Iraq and the Security Council. The absolute nature of the disarmament obligation set forth in Resolution 687 meant that anything less than 100 percent disarmament precluded a finding of compliance. There was no latitude for qualitative judgments. As such, the world found itself in a situation where the considerable accomplishments of the UNSCOM weapons inspectors—the elimination of entire categories of WMD and their means of production—were ignored in light of UNSCOM's inability to verify that every aspect of these programs was fully accounted for. Quantitative disarmament (the accounting of every last weapon, component, or bit of related material) took precedence over qualitative disarmament (the elimination of a meaningful, viable capability to produce or employ weapons of mass destruction).

If the Security Council redefines Iraq's disarmament obligation along more meaningful—and politically and technically viable—qualitative standards, UNMOVIC should be able to reconstitute UNSCOM's monitoring program and rapidly come to closure on all outstanding disarmament issues. If such a disarmament program is linked with the lifting of economic sanctions upon a finding of compliance, Iraq will almost certainly agree to cooperate.1


Disarming Iraq: 1991-1998

Verifying Iraq's complete disarmament was complicated by the fact that in the summer of 1991 Iraq, disregarding its obligation to submit a complete declaration of its WMD programs, undertook a systematic program of "unilateral destruction," disposing of munitions, components, and production equipment related to all categories of WMD. When Iraq admitted this to UNSCOM, it claimed it had no documentation to prove its professed destruction.

While UNSCOM was able to verify that Iraq had in fact destroyed significant quantities of WMD-related material, without any documents or other hard evidence, it was impossible to confirm Iraq's assertions that it had disposed of all its weapons. UNSCOM's quantitative mandate had become a trap. However, through its extensive investigations, UNSCOM was able to ensure that the vast majority of Iraq's WMD arsenal, along with the means to produce such weaponry, was eliminated. Through monitoring, UNSCOM was able to guarantee that Iraq was not reconstituting that capability in any meaningful way.

Ballistic Missiles

UNSCOM achieved its most dramatic success in the field of ballistic missiles. In his December 1992 report to the Security Council, then-Executive Chairman Rolf Ekeus noted,

All ballistic missiles and items related to their production and development, identified as requiring destruction...have been destroyed...considerable progress has been made in obtaining information from Iraq about its operational use of missiles since 1980 and the importation of missile components, and hence in establishing a material balance for these missiles. If analysis of this data does not reveal inconsistencies and if the information provided is not refuted by new evidence from reliable sources, the Commission would appear to have a practically complete picture of Iraq's past SCUD-derivative missile programs.

Over the next six years, UNSCOM continued to investigate Iraq's proscribed missile programs, and while much new information was obtained, nothing ever altered the final conclusion of Ekeus' report.

Because of its success in tracking down Iraq's proscribed missile program, UNSCOM was able to turn its attention toward monitoring Iraq's indigenous missile research, development, and manufacturing capabilities a full year before any of the other weapons disciplines. As a direct result of this early foray into monitoring, UNSCOM was able to fully assess Iraq's capabilities in the field. The March 1993 inspection report of the first monitoring team spelled out the true extent of Iraq's capabilities:

There is no capability to mass produce missiles at the Centre2 and very little capability to produce prototypes...lack of missile design and testing experience, qualified personnel, raw materials and equipment will significantly delay the near-term development of an Iraqi produced missile system. The Team predicts that even under conditions in which they would have sufficient amount of raw material and necessary equipment it will take several years for the Centre to successfully design, produce and test a prototype missile system (solid-unguided rocket) in preparation for mass production.3

Over the years, Iraq made several efforts to acquire the additional technology needed to improve its ballistic missile capabilities. Secret deals with Russia on guidance and control equipment, with Ukraine on rocket-propulsion technology, and with Romania on guidance and control and rocket-propulsion technology were all uncovered by UNSCOM before reaching fruition. All of these covert procurement efforts, although illegal, were in support of a permitted missile system, the 150-kilometer-range Al Samoud, rather than a reconstitution of Iraq's prohibited long-range missile programs.4 UNSCOM's ability to detect and interdict these transactions only underscores the viability of its monitoring regime. Of note is the fact that once sanctions were lifted, such transactions would be legal as long as they were declared under the provisions of the export-import control regime set forth in Security Council Resolution 1051. Iraq would then have no reason to continue to pursue such covert (and illegal) procurement routes.

Chemical Weapons

Through its inspection activities, UNSCOM obtained reasonable information concerning Iraq's chemical weapons (CW) activities from 1981 to 1987, with the exception of data on the use of CW against Iran. Iraq consistently refused to provide details to UNSCOM regarding such use, probably because of the political fallout that such an admission would cause. While this refusal prevented a full accounting of Iraqi CW, Iraq could not still have viable CW from that period because the chemical agent would have long since deteriorated. As an internal UNSCOM working paper noted, an Iraqi declaration of CW use during the war with Iran was not required for any meaningful verification: "Taking into consideration the conditions and the quality of CW-agents and munitions produced by Iraq at that time, there is no possibility of weapons remaining from the mid-1980's."5

The same level of confidence did not exist concerning Iraq's CW activities during the final three years of its chemical weapons program, 1988-1991. The Iraqi leadership took a strategic decision in 1988 to improve its CW capabilities, resulting in the reorganization of the CW program. Iraq transferred precursor-chemical and CW-agent production capability from its premier production site, the Muthanna State Establishment, to alternative civilian sites in an effort to conceal its continued CW activities within Iraq's legitimate civilian chemical industry.

At the inception of the UNSCOM weapons inspection regime, Iraq put forward inaccurate and misleading declarations concerning this latter phase of CW activity. These false declarations were designed to understate the actual level of CW activity that transpired in Iraq from 1988 to 1991 and enable Iraq to retain a significant CW production capability regardless of its disarmament obligation.

UNSCOM inspectors were eventually able to uncover Iraq's incomplete declarations and track down much of the missing information regarding this critical period of Iraq's CW program. However, according to an UNSCOM presentation to the Security Council in early June 1998, there remained several priority issues that needed to be addressed before UNSCOM could issue a judgment on Iraqi compliance:

• the accounting for CW warheads for the Scud missile;

• the material balance for other Iraqi CW munitions;

• a full accounting of Iraq's attempt to produce VX nerve agent; and

• the material balance for equipment used to produce CW agent.6

These were technically valid issues that needed to be addressed in order to declare a full, quantitative disarmament. But given the Iraqi record of half-truths and outright false statements, UNSCOM had difficulty accepting any declaration by Iraq that was not backed up with documents or other verifiable evidence. The fact that Iraq maintained it did not have such documents meant that UNSCOM was faced with trying to prove a negative, which in and of itself is an almost impossible task.

What was overlooked in 1998 was the extent to which UNSCOM had actually eliminated Iraq's CW capability. The Muthanna State Establishment and most of Iraq's associated production equipment had been destroyed, either through aerial bombardment during Operation Desert Storm or under the supervision of UNSCOM inspectors. Iraq's stockpiles of CW agent had either been destroyed in the same manner or could be assumed to have deteriorated.

The two potential exceptions were VX nerve agent and mustard agent that had been loaded into 155 mm artillery shells. Iraq lied to UNSCOM about having a VX program until confronted in 1995 with irrefutable evidence that it had developed a capability to produce VX. In 1996, Iraq turned over specialized glass-lined production equipment associated with its VX program, which UNSCOM then destroyed.

The remaining question over Iraq's VX program hinges on the discovery of chemical traces unique to stabilized VX on several destroyed Scud warhead fragments that were excavated by UNSCOM in early 1998. Iraq disputes this finding, admitting that while it did succeed in producing stabilized VX on a laboratory scale, it never weaponized stabilized VX. The Iraqi argument appears to be valid. Producing significant stocks of VX for use on weapons that would still be viable today would have required an advance in CW technology that Iraq did not demonstrate.

Indeed, the glass-lined production equipment turned over to UNSCOM by Iraq in 1996 was intended for large-scale VX production, but it had never been used. In addition, the fact that UNSCOM conducted numerous inspections of ammunition depots, chemical production plants, and potential storage areas, using some of the most sensitive chemical detection technology available, and found no trace of CW agent minimizes the likelihood that Iraq maintains any significant stockpile of VX weapons.

The other issue is the mustard-filled artillery shells. Iraq declared to UNSCOM that it had a stockpile of 13,500 such shells on the eve of the Persian Gulf War. UNSCOM supervised the destruction of 12,747 of these shells, and Iraq declared that the remaining shells had been destroyed by aerial bombardment of two storage sites during Desert Storm. UNSCOM could find no evidence of any destroyed 155 mm shells at the main storage area, but it did discover four intact artillery shells lying on the ground in one of the storage sites. The mustard was tested and found to be 94-97 percent pure—a viable weapon. Given the purity of the mustard, UNSCOM made finding the remaining shells a priority.

Iraq denies having retained these shells; but regardless, a few hundred 155 mm mustard shells have little military value on the modern battlefield. A meaningful CW attack using artillery requires thousands of rounds. Retention of such a limited number of shells makes no sense and cannot be viewed as a serious threat.

Far more important to assuring Iraq's qualitative disarmament is disabling its production capability—a task that at first glance seems almost impossible. A 1998 UNSCOM document laid out all the possible ways Iraq could conceal a CW production capability.7 The document noted that Iraq could either bury precursor chemicals or distribute them throughout its commercial chemical industry to disguise their true use. Likewise, it could distribute empty dual-use munitions to depots under the cover of legitimate use, bury them, or continuously move them around in trucks. The documents required to resume CW activity could, if microfilmed, be stored in a single briefcase.

Even more disturbing, the 1998 UNSCOM document noted that Iraq could readily distribute the main pieces of equipment needed for CW production throughout its commercial facilities, meaning that equipment that had a legitimate use in commercial chemical-related activity could also be used for CW manufacture. As long as this equipment was maintained at legitimate facilities, any hidden intent by Iraq to use it for illicit purposes would go undetected. "There is no single-use CW equipment, all pieces are dual use and could be justified at different locations," the document noted.

There was absolutely no evidence that Iraq was trying to hide CW production equipment. In its monitoring capacity, UNSCOM carried out extensive inspections of all of Iraq's civilian chemical manufacturing infrastructure and found no evidence of illicit stores of CW precursor chemicals. Precursor chemicals are difficult to hide from inspectors because the minimum amount required for any viable CW-agent production run is several hundred tons. Inspections of dozens of Iraqi munitions depots by UNSCOM also failed to turn up any illicit unfilled munitions.

However, the key to the qualitative argument is that individual pieces of CW production equipment are worthless unless they are assembled in a specific configuration, a unique combination that would be readily discernible to weapons inspectors. "Only the proper combination of different pieces of equipment in a particular configuration gives to...these pieces of equipment the status of a CW production facility," the UNSCOM document noted. The point is that all of UNSCOM's speculative fears concerning reconstitution of an Iraqi CW capability can be laid to rest as long as a viable monitoring inspection regime, one that would detect any specialized configuration of dual-use equipment, is in place—the kind of regime that existed prior to the withdrawal of inspectors in December 1998.

Biological Weapons

Perhaps the most misunderstood member of Iraq's WMD family, the biological weapons (BW) program has been described by Richard Butler, UNSCOM's executive chairman from July 1997 to June 1999, as "a black hole."8 One of the principal reasons for such a bleak assessment is the prevailing atmosphere of mistrust that has clouded the issue from the start. Iraq denied having a BW program until June 1995, when UNSCOM confronted Baghdad with evidence of massive procurement of growth media that could not otherwise be explained. Even so, Iraq refused to admit it had an offensive BW program until after the 1995 defection of Hussein Kamal, the son-in-law of Saddam Hussein and former head of Iraq's WMD programs. At that time, Iraq admitted to having weaponized 25 Scud warheads and 157 bombs.

Despite the fact that UNSCOM destroyed the totality of Iraq's declared production facilities, equipment, and raw material associated with BW in 1996, UNSCOM experts, backed up by panels of qualified scientists from around the world, found Iraq's declarations regarding BW to be inadequate "scientifically, technically, militarily, and managerially."9 The primary point of contention was the inability of the experts to verify, based upon the available documentation, most of the declarations made by Iraq concerning both the scope of the Iraqi BW program and what the Iraqis maintained they unilaterally destroyed in 1991. Inspectors could not account for the material balance for supplies, equipment, and material for the BW program, the production of BW agent, and the production of munitions (i.e., the filling of empty munitions with BW agent). The most frustrating aspect of this issue was that unlike the CW inspectors, who had hard facts contradicting the Iraqi position on VX, the BW inspectors had no evidence of Iraqi non-compliance; they simply refused to accept the Iraqi declaration as valid without records, documents, and physical evidence.

Because of this lack of substantive information, the BW inspection group implemented the most intensive of all UNSCOM's monitoring regimes, drawing in dozens of sites ranging from those involved in vaccine and pharmaceutical work to university-level research laboratories to beer-brewing factories and animal-feed production plants (which could conceivably be converted to mass-produce BW agent). Detailed protocols for each site were developed, and teams of highly trained biologists combed these sites repeatedly for any sign of wrongdoing by Iraq. But while UNSCOM and Iraq faced off over the inadequacies of the Iraqi BW declaration, the biologists responsible for monitoring Iraqi compliance found exactly that—compliance. In all of their inspections, the monitors could find no meaningful evidence of Iraqi circumvention of its commitment not to reconstitute its BW program.

Even "spectacular" finds, such as the widely publicized surprise inspection of the National Food and Drug Examination Laboratory in September 1998, which resulted in exposing the existence of "Staff 7" (also known as the Biological Activities Staff) of the Special Security Organization, turned out to be more ordinary than originally thought. "Staff 7" was responsible for testing the food and other material brought in contact with Saddam Hussein and other senior government officials, nothing more.

One of the conclusions drawn from the extensive monitoring of Iraq's biological capabilities carried out by UNSCOM was that the overall level of Iraq's biological capability, in terms of available infrastructure, was very low. Vaccine and pharmaceutical development and manufacture had deteriorated dramatically because of the continued economic sanctions, and without a massive infusion of money and technology, they would continue to do so. The reality of the situation was that, regardless of UNSCOM's ability to verify Iraq's declarations regarding its past BW programs, the major BW production facility at Al Hakum had been destroyed, together with its associated equipment, and extensive monitoring of Iraq's biological infrastructure could find no evidence of continued proscribed activity. If weapons inspectors were once again allowed back into Iraq to resume monitoring along the lines carried out by UNSCOM, there is no reason to doubt that similar findings would be had, with the same level of confidence.

Nuclear Weapons

Under the arrangements set forth in Resolution 687, responsibility for overseeing the disarmament of Iraq's nuclear weapons capability was given to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Often overlooked in the debate about Iraq's nuclear capabilities is just how effective the IAEA was at destroying, dismantling, or rendering harmless Iraq's nuclear weapons capability. Despite every attempt by Iraq to retain some level of nuclear weapons capability, the massive infrastructure Baghdad had assembled by 1991 to produce a nuclear bomb had been eliminated by 1995. Al Atheer, the nuclear weaponization facility, had been destroyed—blown up under IAEA supervision—and all other major facilities related to Iraq's nuclear weapons program had either been dismantled or were subjected to one of the most stringent forms of ongoing monitoring and verification inspections ever implemented under a disarmament accord.

By 1996, the IAEA had established a seamless monitoring-based inspection regime that provided absolute certainty Iraq would not be able to reconstitute its nuclear weapons program short of acquiring a complete nuclear weapon abroad. While black-market transactions relating to the proliferation of nuclear weapons material is a serious issue, it is well beyond the mandate of IAEA inspections inside Iraq. There has been no evidence provided of any attempt by Iraq to acquire a nuclear weapon or major related components since 1991. (Iraq has attempted to acquire some dual-use items, fueling speculation about its intent, but all items were minor and would not have had any meaningful impact on a full-scale nuclear weapons effort.) Furthermore, given the high quality of the IAEA monitoring approach in Iraq, any such items, if not detected outright by IAEA inspectors, would have to be hidden by the Iraqis in a fashion that would preclude their use in any covert rearmament activity because any attempt at rearmament would be discovered by the monitoring inspections.

Despite the effectiveness of the IAEA at eliminating Iraq's nuclear capabilities, rumors of Iraq possessing a nuclear device persist. The main cause of such speculation is information provided by an Iraqi defector from the security services who fled Iraq in 1995 and came to the attention of UNSCOM in early 1997. The defector, to whom UNSCOM gained access through cooperation with supporting governments, possessed information pertaining to the methods and units used by Iraq to conceal its retained proscribed weapons from UNSCOM and the IAEA.

This information, especially as pertaining to the Military Industrial Commission Security Service, proved to be unerringly accurate and established the defector as a valid and potentially valuable source.10 Based upon the defector's proven credibility, when he later provided UNSCOM with secondhand information about Iraq's continued possession of "a 20-kiloton nuclear bomb," UNSCOM had no choice but to take the allegation seriously. According to the defector, Iraqi security forces maintained a fleet of some 150 Mercedes trucks that were dedicated to transporting material associated with the Iraqi nuclear weapons program. These trucks were maintained in at least five depots around the Baghdad area. The defector provided detailed descriptions of the vehicles, including color schemes and license plate numbers, as well as information on convoy movement and the vehicle makeup of convoys associated with the movement of the "bomb."

Rolf Ekeus decided the defector's report should be thoroughly investigated. At the same time, the IAEA was involved in ongoing technical discussions with their Iraqi counterparts about gaps in the information provided by Iraq concerning its nuclear program. It was thought that the defector's report might also help answer some of the IAEA's remaining questions.

Of particular concern was incomplete information on the status of the final Iraqi design for a nuclear bomb and the disposition of design drawings and molds for the manufacture of the high-explosive lenses needed for an implosion device. The IAEA noted that several critical drawings were missing and that there was an inconsistency in the Iraqi story about the lens program. Iraqi authorities at first stated that, because their final nuclear weapon design called for the outer dimensions of the device to be reduced from 120 centimeters to less than 80 centimeters (in order to fit in the warhead of a Scud-type missile), the effort never went beyond the design stage as Iraqi engineers struggled to shrink the weapon. The Iraqis then conceded that they had in fact cast some lenses for testing purposes, and the IAEA and UNSCOM speculated that it was possible Iraq had manufactured three or four sets of high-explosive lenses.

Coordination between UNSCOM and the IAEA on this issue during the summer of 1997 resulted in the dismissal of the basic premise that Iraq had a "20-kiloton nuclear bomb." All evidence, including testimony from Hussein Kamal, clearly established that Iraq had not manufactured a nuclear weapon by the time of the Gulf War. In response to a question from the IAEA as to whether Iraq had tried to produce a bomb and whether such efforts were ongoing, Hussein Kamal replied,

Yes, but not now, before the Gulf War. First they studied 12 ton, then 9 ton and then 5 ton. These are weights of a device which they would make suitable for delivery. These were only studies…. All the time they worked to make it smaller but had never reached a point close to testing.11

Nevertheless, continued inconsistencies in the Iraqi story, combined with the refusal of the Iraqi side to provide the IAEA with an overall design concept of the nuclear device, made it prudent to examine every report that hinted at continued concealment activities on the part of Iraq. However, both UNSCOM and the IAEA were in agreement that for the defector's report to be credible, the material in question could only be components of a 20-kiloton device, not an actual bomb. Since 1998, the IAEA has gained access to additional documentation, in the form of log books pertaining to the production of high-explosive lenses, that further clarifies the issue of high-explosive lens manufacture by Iraq, thus eliminating one of the main concerns fueling ongoing speculation that Iraq continues to possess major nuclear weapon components.12

In conclusion, it is highly unlikely that the defector's claims concerning an Iraqi nuclear bomb are accurate. Unfortunately, speculation that Iraq has retained some nuclear capability simply will not go away. It is conceivable that Iraq could have retained certain components of a nuclear device. However, there is no credible evidence of this, and even if such material were retained, it would be of no use to Iraq, given the extent to which Iraq's nuclear program was dismantled by the IAEA. The best way to ensure that Iraq does not reconstitute its nuclear weapons program is to get IAEA inspectors back into Iraq, where they can resume their task of monitoring Iraqi compliance.


Iraq Today

The absence of weapons inspectors in Iraq since December 1998 has created a vacuum of available data on which to base an assessment of Iraq's current activities. Rushing to fill this void have been a series of speculative reports that have attributed certain capabilities to Iraq that are incompatible with what UNSCOM learned from eight years of experience with Iraq's WMD programs. The truth of the matter is, devoid of weapons inspections, no one knows for sure what has transpired in Iraq since the last inspectors were withdrawn. Conjecture aside, however, there is absolutely no reason to believe that Iraq could have meaningfully reconstituted any element of its WMD capabilities in the past 18 months.

From a WMD perspective, Iraq today is not the Iraq of 1991. What took Iraq decades to build through the expenditure of billions of dollars could not, under any rational analysis, have been reconstituted since December 1998. Iraq's nuclear enrichment infrastructure has been reduced to zero, and Iraq lacks the funding, technology, and time required to reconstitute it. In theory, some practical work could have been carried out in the field of high-explosive lens development, but any serious effort would require the diversion of controlled stocks of specialized explosives that had been used for manufacturing the lenses, something that would be readily discerned once IAEA inspectors return to work.

In addition to the fact that UNSCOM was thoroughly monitoring all activity related to the Al Samoud missile project, the major facilities related to the development efforts of this permitted missile system were bombed and either destroyed or heavily damaged during Operation Desert Fox. When, in the summer of 1999, the CIA detected signs of reconstruction at these facilities, the Clinton administration immediately warned of an imminent threat. However, such assessments were not shared by the scientists and technicians of UNSCOM, who knew Iraq's capabilities better than anyone. One study, prepared in July 1996 by a British missile expert, set the tone for all reports that followed:

Even given a relaxation of the sanctions program, if there are no quantum jumps in the level of technology available to [Iraq], it should be many years before an indigenously designed, 150 kilometer range, Iraqi missile has the integrated range/payload/accuracy to militarily threaten even the immediate region.13

Nothing has transpired since 1996 that could remotely be construed as a "quantum jump" in Iraq's ballistic missiles capabilities.

Some U.S. government officials, media pundits, and former UNSCOM staff (including Rolf Ekeus and Richard Butler) fear that Iraq, if it indeed retained all the material that some in UNSCOM believe possible, could readily reconstitute its chemical- and biological-agent production capabilities. However, manufacturing CW would require assembling production equipment into a single integrated facility, creating an infrastructure readily detectable by the strategic intelligence capabilities of the United States. The CIA has clearly stated on several occasions since the termination of inspections in December 1998 that no such activity has been detected. The Iraqis do have enough equipment to carry out laboratory-scale production of BW agent. However, without an infusion of money and technology, expanding such a capability into a viable weapons program is a virtual impossibility. Contrary to popular belief, BW cannot simply be cooked up in the basement; it requires a large and sophisticated infrastructure, especially if the agent is to be filled into munitions. As with CW, the CIA has not detected any such activity concerning BW since UNSCOM inspectors left Iraq.

CIA assessments alone cannot certify that Iraq has no weapons of mass destruction; national intelligence systems have failed to detect WMD efforts in Iraq in the past. But because of the work carried out by UNSCOM, it can be fairly stated that Iraq was qualitatively disarmed at the time inspectors were withdrawn. While no one can say for certain what has transpired inside Iraq since then, the resumption of monitoring-based inspections would easily determine if Iraq had made any effort to reconstitute its WMD programs.


Moving Forward

Iraq has not fully complied with the provisions of Security Council Resolution 687. On this there is no debate. However, this failure to comply does not automatically translate into a finding that Iraq continues to possess weapons of mass destruction and the means to produce them. Resolution 687 demanded far more than the dismantling of viable weapons and weapons-production capabilities. Most of UNSCOM's findings of Iraqi non-compliance concerned either the inability to verify an Iraqi declaration or peripheral matters, such as components and documentation, which by and of themselves do not constitute a weapon or program. By the end of 1998, Iraq had, in fact, been disarmed to a level unprecedented in modern history, but UNSCOM and the Security Council were unable—and in some instances unwilling—to acknowledge this accomplishment.

Unfortunately, the quantitative standards for Iraqi compliance set forth in Resolution 687 are still in place today in the form of Resolution 1284, which emphasizes verifying material balance over resuming viable monitoring activities. This is a formula for disaster, perpetuating the cycle of conflict with Iraq that led to the discrediting of UNSCOM. UNMOVIC will meet the same fate unless the Security Council takes measures to refocus the inspection regime on disarmament issues related to viable weapons and weapons-production capability, instead of engaging in a never-ending effort to account for every last vestige of Iraq's former WMD programs. UNMOVIC should move rapidly to the more important task of monitoring Iraq to ensure that its dismantled weapons programs are not reconstituted.

In this vein, Hans Blix should target his inspections carefully. Blix has made clear his desire to continue the same inspection tactics employed by UNSCOM, including no-notice inspections and aerial surveillance. While such rights are at the core of any credible on-site inspection regime, UNMOVIC's no-notice inspections should focus on facilities that have a legitimate bearing on WMD research, development, and manufacture. Blix should avoid pressure to continue aggressive inspections aimed at Iraqi presidential and security sites. Such inspections have historically produced little to do with disarmament, and given the misuse of sensitive information gathered by UNSCOM from such sites in the past, they would be viewed with mistrust not only by Iraq, but also by many members of the Security Council.14

One serious obstacle to the reformulation of Iraq's disarmament obligation by the Security Council is the current U.S. policy of removing Saddam Hussein from power, codified in the Iraqi Liberation Act of 1998. That law has so far failed to threaten Saddam Hussein in any meaningful way, but it has succeeded in precluding any significant diplomatic initiative by locking the United States into a unilateral policy that makes cooperation with Iraq impossible. If the United States is serious about disarming Iraq, it should repeal the Iraqi Liberation Act and work within the framework of the Security Council to formulate a policy that results in the rapid reintroduction of meaningful, monitoring-based weapons inspections into Iraq.

That will require the lifting, not simply the suspension, of sanctions. While it is true that the sanctions have retarded Iraq's ability to acquire technology that could aid any WMD reconstitution effort, Resolution 687 stated that a finding of compliance would trigger the lifting of sanctions. Sanctions are thus not an open-ended option. At some point, they will need to be lifted, and if a finding of qualitative disarmament, backed with the implementation of viable monitoring-based inspections, can be achieved, then there is no reason to keep sanctions in place.

The Security Council must also follow through on the promise it made in paragraph 14 of Resolution 687, which speaks of regional disarmament. While monitoring-based inspections in Iraq must be expected to last indefinitely, they cannot be expected to last in a vacuum. Unless arrangements are made to address WMD programs in Iran and Israel, as well as the regional proliferation of advanced conventional weaponry, Iraq will never accept perpetual disarmament.

What is needed is a Security Council resolution that concludes Resolution 687, supersedes Resolution 1284, and redefines the disarmament obligations of Iraq to meet more realistic qualitative benchmarks. In addition to verifying Iraqi compliance with these new benchmarks, the resulting inspectorate, whether a revamped UNMOVIC or a new agency, would be tasked with implementing a monitoring regime similar to the one UNSCOM had in place prior to its withdrawal from Iraq. Once Iraq's disarmament along clearly defined qualitative standards had been verified by weapons inspectors, and after a viable monitoring regime was in place to detect and deter any attempt at reconstituting its WMD programs, the Security Council would lift, not suspend, economic sanctions.

Refocusing inspection goals and objectives would not only capitalize on UNSCOM's many accomplishments in rooting out and disposing of Iraq's prohibited weapons, it would also help the Security Council regain some of its lost credibility and resume its role as a viable overseer of international peace and security. It also meets the original intent of the Security Council to eliminate Iraq's weapons of mass destruction programs, not its leadership. Such a policy, built on the precepts of diplomatic engagement, would promote peace and security more than any other alternative policy currently being considered. And that, of course, is what arms control and disarmament are all about.


1. Author conversations with Iraqi government officials in 1999 and 2000.

2. The Ibn Al Haytham Missile Research and Design Center, which took over responsibility for Iraq's permitted ballistic missile programs in the aftermath of the Gulf War.

3. Azad Vekilov, "Ibn Al Haytham Missile Research and Development Center MT-1 (UNSCOM 49) Report on Interim Monitoring," March 22, 1992. UNSCOM document.

4. Resolution 687 permits Iraq to possess ballistic missiles with a range of 150 kilometers or less, as well as the means to produce them.

5. Igor Mitrokhin, "Concealment Aspect—Chemical Weapons," January 20, 1998. UNSCOM document.Igor Mitrokhin, "Concealment Aspect—Chemical Weapons," January 20, 1998. UNSCOM document.

6. Presentation by UNSCOM to the Security Council, June 3, 1998.

7. Mitrokhin, op. cit.Mitrokhin, op. cit.

8. Richard Butler, The Greatest Threat: Iraq, Weapons of Mass Destruction and the Growing Crisis in Global Security, Public Affairs: New York, 2000, p. 81.

9. Richard Spertzel, "Presentation of Biological Weapons Related Issues to the Security Council," June 3, 1998.

10.The Military Industrial Commission Security Service, also known as the Amn al Tasnia, is responsible for military-industrial facility and personnel security.

11."Conversation tete-a-tete with Lieutenant General Hussein Kamal Hassan al-Majid, 22 August 1995, 1:00-3:00 p.m., Amman, Jordan," UNSCOM document.

12.A separate investigation concerning the existence of a hide site near the Iraqi city of Najaf used to store materials relating to Iraq's dismantled centrifuge enrichment program was carried out by the IAEA and UNSCOM using information from the same defector—information that was, if anything, more detailed than that of the truck convoys. This investigation refuted the defector's information, casting a shadow over the viability of his other information.

13. UNSCOM ballistic missile team, "A Note on the Capabilities of Iraqi Machine Tools and Production Processes," July 8, 1996. UNSCOM document.

14. Operation Desert Fox made extensive use of information gleaned from UNSCOM inspections in targeting presidential palaces and security and military facilities throughout Iraq.

Scott Ritter, former weapons inspector and chief of the concealment unit for UNSCOM, is the author of Endgame: Solving the Iraq Problem—Once and for All.

The Case for Iraq's Qualitative Disarmament

Blix Assumes Charge of UNMOVIC; Security Council Debates Oil-for-Food

Matthew Rice

WITH NO END in sight to Iraq's opposition to renewed arms inspections, Hans Blix, executive chairman of the United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC), assumed his post March 1 and began work on an organizational plan for the fledgling organization. At a press conference the same day, Blix offered some details about the organization's potential makeup and his approach to re-establishing the inspections regime.

According to Blix, UNMOVIC will not adopt a less aggressive monitoring posture at the expense of onsite inspections. "The Security Council confirmed the right of UNMOVIC to unrestricted access to sites and to information and, indeed, I intend to exercise that," he said. The role of surprise inspections may be smaller, however. "I am also determined that our role is not to humiliate the Iraqis," Blix said.

Blix maintained that none of the weapons files are closed, but noted that while chemical and biological weapons issues have the most discrepancies to be accounted for, "total clarification" would be impossible. "There will always be a small residue of uncertainty…in a vast country there is no way you can be sure," he said.

Blix also clarified his position on hiring personnel from UNMOVIC's predecessor, the UN Special Commission on Iraq (UNSCOM), for his own staff. The likelihood that some UNSCOM inspectors would be included on the UNMOVIC team was high, he said, citing the necessity of retaining UNSCOM's institutional memory. But the positions will be open to outside competition and will require complete allegiance to UNMOVIC and the United Nations, eventually eliminating UNSCOM's practice of "borrowing" experts from member governments.

While the decision on the composition of the staff must await Blix's submission of an organizational plan, several faces were added to the UNMOVIC roster with the March 8 announcement of the organization's college of commissioners. (See listing.) The 17 commissioners (16 appointees plus Blix as chairman) will review UNMOVIC reports before they are submitted to the Security Council. In a shift from the composition of the UNSCOM college of commissioners, who were primarily experts on technical aspects of the verification process, the new body also includes several career diplomats. Blix emphasized that the college was an advisory body and that he would make all final decisions.

Looming over UNMOVIC's preparatory activities in New York is the question of when, if ever, Iraq will accept Security Council Resolution 1284, which established UNMOVIC and offers sanctions relief in exchange for Iraqi cooperation on arms inspections. (See ACT, December 1999.) During the press conference, Blix refused to speculate under what conditions, if any, Iraq would cooperate, stating simply that it was not UNMOVIC's role to "tempt" the Iraqis into allowing inspectors to start their work. Sanctions relief alone should be enough of an inducement, he said.

Other experts expressed less confidence in the wait-and-see approach. Asked whether UNMOVIC was likely to begin inspections in the near future, Charles Dulfer, former deputy chairman of UNSCOM, told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on March 22, "Frankly no…. Iraq got a clear message that there is no strong consensus in the council on this…[and] if they don't believe the council is serious, they're not going to comply."

The clearest evidence of rifts remaining in the Security Council continues to be the disagreement over sanctions and the humanitarian situation in Iraq. On March 24, the council engaged in a rancorous debate on the efficacy of the oil-for-food program, the poor state of Iraq's oil production infrastructure, and the role of the UN Sanctions Committee, which reviews requests from Iraq for dual-use items.

While the debate did not break significant new ground in either strengthening or weakening the regime the U.S. representative, James Cunningham, asked the council not to ignore continuing U.S. efforts to improve the responsiveness of the oil-for-food program despite Iraqi intransigence and oil smuggling. Responding to charges that the United States places undue holds on dual-use contracts, Cunningham said, "In reviewing oil-for-food contracts, the United States has acted, and will continue to act, strictly and objectively in accordance with the arms control policies defined by the council…. Our holds are not politically motivated, nor are they driven by calculations of commercial prospect or gain."

UNMOVIC College of Commisioners

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Hans BLIX, Sweden, executive chairman, UNMOVIC

Gunterio HEINEKEN, Argentina, technical adviser, Applied Chemistry Department, Technical and Scientific Research Institute of the Armed Forces

Roque MONTELEONE NETO, Brazil, technical adviser on the Biological Weapons Convention

Ronald CLEMINSON, Canada, former UNSCOM commissioner

Cheikh SYLLA, Senegal, ambassador to Burkina Faso

CONG Guang, China, deputy director, Political Division, Department of International Organizations and Conferences, Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Takanori KAZUHARA, Japan, former ambassador

Malmi Marjatta RAUTIO, Finland, former UNSCOM


Thérèse DELPECH, France, director for strategic affairs, Atomic Energy Commission

Reinhard BÖHM, Germany, chair of environmental and animal hygeine, University of Hohenheim

Annaswamy Narayana PRASAD, India, former director, Bhabha Atomic Research Center

Adigun Ade ABIODUN, Nigeria, senior special assistant to the president on space, science, and technology

Yuriy FEDOTOV, Russia, director, International Organizations Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Kostyantyn GRYSHCHENKO, Ukraine, member, UN Advisory Board on Disarmament Matters; ambassador to the United States

Robert EINHORN, United States, assistant secretary for nonproliferation, Department of State

Hannelore HOPPE, Germany, senior political affairs officer, UN Department for Disarmament Affairs

Paul SCHULTE, United Kingdom, director, Proliferation and Arms Control, Ministry of Defense

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Blix Assumes Charge of UNMOVIC; Security Council Debates Oil-for-Food

Iraq Again Rejects 1284 While Pressures Build on Sanctions

Matthew Rice

AMID GROWING INTERNATIONAL concern about the humanitarian situation in Iraq, Baghdad reiterated its rejection of the UN Security Council's new weapons inspection organization, the United Nations Monitoring, Inspection and Verification Commission (UNMOVIC), which was created last December under Resolution 1284. On February 10, Iraqi Vice President Taha Yassin Ramadan declared, "The so-called inspection teams would not be allowed to return to Iraq because we rejected spies entering under such cover," according to the official Iraqi News Agency.

The statement was made during the visit of Russian envoy Nikolai Kartuzov, former ambassador to Iraq, who reportedly attempted to persuade Iraq to accept the Security Council mandate. Russia, Iraq's strongest ally on the Security Council, had previously stated that its abstention from voting on Resolution 1284 relieved it of the obligation to ensure its full implementation.

In a flurry of interviews over the next few days, Nizar Hamdoon, undersecretary of the Iraqi Foreign Ministry, was slightly more conciliatory than Ramadan. "Compromise will only be done when the council itself gets engaged with Iraq in a discussion," Hamdoon told the CNN on February 11.

UN officials did not appear concerned by the Iraqi statements, noting that Hans Blix, the newly appointed executive chairman of UNMOVIC, has yet to begin work. "There isn't an inspection mechanism up and functioning at the moment, knocking on the door, asking to go into Iraq," said John Mills, associate spokesman for the office of the UN secretary-general. Once Blix assumes his post on March 1, he will have 45 days to submit an organizational plan for UNMOVIC to the secretary-general and the Security Council.

Sanctions Regime Targeted

The profile of the humanitarian crisis in Iraq was raised this month when two high-level UN officials in charge of administering the humanitarian program in Iraq resigned. Hans von Sponeck, UN humanitarian coordinator for Iraq, and Jutta Burghardt, Iraq representative for the World Food Program, both announced their resignations in mid-February, complaining that improving the lives of Iraqis was impossible under the continuing sanctions regime. Von Sponeck also announced his intention to submit a report detailing the impact of the continuing U.S.-British bombing operations on the Iraqi people. A February 1999 report on the same subject brought harsh criticism from the United States, which accused von Sponeck of blindly accepting Iraqi statistics.

In the United States, 70 congressmen sent a letter to President Clinton on February 1 urging him to "de-link" military and economic sanctions on Iraq, noting that they have "failed to remove Saddam Hussein from power or even ensured his compliance with his international obligations, while the economy and people of Iraq continue to suffer." State Department spokesman James Rubin dismissed the suggestion that the sanctions were to blame. "They should direct their concern and their blame-casting at the Iraqi regime, which refuses day after day, time after time, to spend its hard currency helping its own people," he said.

The United States also dismissed suggestions, reported in The Washington Post on February 25, that the growing international attention and domestic pressure was pushing the administration to reconsider its hard line on dual-use imports. In its role on the UN sanctions committee, which reviews and may refuse Iraqi import requests, the United States has often denied Iraq's applications for dual-use items. "We are working constantly on using the oil-for-food program to provide humanitarian relief…. We will not clear what we view as dangerous dual-use products to Iraq. That policy has not changed; that policy is not under review, as is our sanctions policy not under review," White House spokesman Joe Lockhart said.

Shifting Priorities: UNMOVIC and the Future of Inspections in Iraq: An Interview With Ambassador Rolf Ekeus

Rolf Ekeus, Sweden's ambassador to the United States and former executive chairman of the United Nations Special Commission on Iraq (UNSCOM), was in the headlines this January when UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan nominated him to head the newly created United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC). Despite strong support by the United States, his nomination did not receive the approval of the Security Council, whose members finally settled on Hans Blix, former director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, to lead the new organization. (See ACT, January/February 2000.)

Ekeus led UNSCOM from its inception at the end of the Persian Gulf War until mid-1997, when he stepped down to assume his current post. UN Security Council Resolution 687, adopted at the conclusion of the war, had created the inspection body and charged it with discovering and destroying Iraq's weapons of mass destruction programs. The organization operated until December 1998, when all inspections were suspended following the U.S.-British airstrikes against Iraq. After a year of negotiations, the Security Council adopted Resolution 1284 on December 17, 1999, replacing UNSCOM with UNMOVIC and opening the door for new inspections and the possibility of sanctions relief. (For the full text of the resolution, see ACT, December 1999.)

On February 24, Arms Control Today Editor J. Peter Scoblic and Research Analyst Matthew Rice met with Ekeus in Washington to discuss Resolution 1284, Iraq's weapons programs, the humanitarian situation in Iraq, and the political climate in the Security Council. The following is an edited version of their conversation.

ACT: How would you characterize the differences between UNMOVIC and UNSCOM?

Rolf Ekeus: Resolution 687 outlined two principal tasks. One was for Iraq to declare, and for UNSCOM to verify and supervise the elimination of, its prohibited weapons. To make it more clear, it was a sort of search and destroy mission. Iraq's capabilities should be found and should be eliminated. That was task number one. Equally important was task number two—to establish some monitoring of Iraq's capabilities so that no new WMD [weapons of mass destruction] capabilities would be created.

The new resolution refers back to 687, so the elimination element is still there, but the emphasis is now on monitoring. Resolution 1284 gives the impression that the matter of past weapons, which was the focus of 687, is no longer as significant. The new resolution doesn't indicate that there are any existing weapons in Iraq. The emphasis is on monitoring, and by implication that gives the impression that the Security Council is no longer concerned with existing capabilities but more concerned about Iraq's intentions.

ACT: Do you think the Security Council is right to make the assumption that the existing programs are no longer a threat? Absent inspections, what do we know about the nature of Iraq's activities?

Ekeus: UNSCOM was highly successful in identifying and eliminating Iraq's prohibited weapons—but not to the degree that everything was destroyed. The loopholes in the presentation by Iraq and the contradictions in Iraq's declarations mean there is reason to be careful. Iraq did not make a coherent presentation in the biological field or in the chemical field. There was a slightly better one in the missile field, and there was a coherent presentation with regard to the nuclear program.

Without inspectors one cannot be sure. But there is recent information that gives one the impression that something is going on. First of all, the UNSCOM inspectors have solid knowledge of the structure of Iraq's programs and the personnel involved. They are also aware of what was not sorted out in the Iraqi presentations.

You then add information from at least two types of sources. First, new information about procurement efforts by Iraq. The procurement efforts at least indicate in which direction Iraq is looking: what type of items, what type of equipment, what type of machinery, and what type of commodities they are buying or asking for. You get a pattern of what the procurement efforts are.

Secondly, there have been a number of people leaving the country, individuals who in their earlier activity have been involved in Iraq's program. Useful information has been picked up from them. These are the two main sources.

To that there can be added more marginal sources—overhead imagery and so on. If we take all of these data together and put good analytical minds to work, then we have at least a pattern that could be interpreted by people with experience.

That doesn't mean that one knows enough. In the long run, it is unsatisfactory, and it is a problem that there are no inspectors inside Iraq. But important conclusions can be drawn from the continued systematic work that UNSCOM has been doing. UNMOVIC, which according to Resolution 1284 is supposed to take over the assets of UNSCOM, will have access to all of this. I hope that UNMOVIC is wise enough to take on these capabilities and assets for the new organization.

In my view, there are no large quantities of weapons. I don't think that Iraq is especially eager in the biological and chemical area to produce such weapons for storage. Iraq views those weapons as tactical assets instead of strategic assets, which would require long-term storage of those elements, which is difficult. Rather, Iraq has been aiming to keep the capability to start up production immediately should it need to.

ACT: Given that assessment of the program, should the new organization have a stronger mandate than simply monitoring?

Ekeus: As Resolution 1284 is written, it is possible to carry out both elimination and monitoring tasks. It is just that the resolution is written in a way that gives the perception that one of the tasks, elimination, is not that important. In doing so, the resolution sends signals from the council to the new chairman indicating he shouldn't worry that much about it. But it is definitely not prohibited for UNMOVIC to search actively for prohibited capabilities. It is just so that the resolution stresses a strengthened monitoring system. The chairman will probably draw his conclusions when the first inspectors have made their first rounds.

ACT: As UNMOVIC begins work, one of the biggest points of contention will be the determination of disarmament tasks for Iraq. What do you think they will be?

Ekeus: The members of the Security Council appear to have different views. Some will say the tasks should be written in very general terms, say Iraq shall declare fully its past and ongoing biological, chemical and missile activities. Others will say that is too general. One should be more precise. The Security Council has had the same quarrel before. Even during my time, there were efforts by some permanent members to demand tasks that were more limited, time-wise and quantity-wise. I resisted a specific definition, which was also what Iraq wanted because it would make the tasks easier to fulfill. The problem with being too specific is that during the inspection process you detect new facts—the landscape changes with your investigation—so you can't say when you start out on your inspection trip exactly where it will lead you. With Resolution 1284, the Security Council is trying to force the organization to be more precise.

ACT: Some analysts have argued that in trying to resolve the Iraq situation we should not let the perfect be the enemy of the good, while others have said that watered-down inspections are worse than no inspections at all. Where do you fall in that argument?

Ekeus: It is important that high-quality, professional, competent inspectors carry out the work. In other words, one should not be sloppy. And the reason why is that we're talking about some of the most dangerous weapons—long-range missiles and warheads with biological and chemical agents. There is nothing humane in being generous to Iraq. You must have in mind the potential victims—there were victims of Iraqi chemical weapons before—the Iranians and the Kurds. So a humane position and sense of responsibility toward human suffering demands that you be strict and firm with regard to these capabilities. There is nothing won in being loose and incomplete in inspections.

ACT: Do you worry that if UNMOVIC adopts a monitoring posture instead of a search and destroy posture, it could generate a false sense of security that could actually be more dangerous than a stalemate in the Security Council?

Ekeus: Iraq has been stating that it has declared everything, that there is nothing of the prohibited capabilities left, that UNSCOM was 100 percent successful. UNSCOM people do not boast quite as much about what we did. We believe we did a good job, but I don't think that we were 100 percent successful. As I said, Resolution 1284 evokes that perception a little. However, I believe that one can do a full job of inspections within the parameters of the resolution, including search and supervised elimination. I don't think that it is correct to say 1284 is only about monitoring.

UNSCOM's monitoring operations, which were extensive, formed a highly effective system and did not really lead to any confrontations with Iraq. Monitoring had a routine character. You went to a facility you had been to many, many times before. The facility was known in detail. The production records were available, the inspectors had a detailed list of machines and machine tools, they knew the personnel, and they came and checked off that everything was normal. They looked upon the input and the output, they looked at the raw materials brought in as to how they had been disposed, and if they saw some new engineers or some engineers missing, for instance, they would inquire.

The confrontations were related to UNSCOM's search operations. Under these, UNSCOM inspected new facilities not declared by Iraq. When UNSCOM wanted to investigate the correctness of statements and investigate mobile capabilities and undeclared facilities, confrontations with Iraq occurred, as Iraq hindered the inspectors. The complaints and the difficulties with Iraq came out of the search and destroy task, while there were relatively few complaints about the daily monitoring.

So if you avoid those type of investigative inspections, you will probably have few problems, suggesting good cooperation, which will give the impression that the monitoring system is functioning well.

It is striking that 1284 says nothing about investigation and elimination. The words "elimination" and "destruction" don't appear at all. The reference to Resolution 687 in the beginning of 1284, however, means that everything is possible—by implication, all the rights and duties are the same—but 1284 is very polite. If it had mentioned elimination, it would have implied that there was something to be eliminated. The resolution is very careful not to upset and is phrased in a friendly fashion. It is not confrontational. Resolution 687 really implied that there was something wrong that had to be bettered. Resolution 1284 has no indication that there is anything missing.

ACT: Given the different tenor of Resolution 1284 as compared to Resolution 687 and given that the unity in the Security Council that existed at least early on in your tenure has disappeared, how is the role of the new executive chairman going to be different?

Ekeus: The chairman will have a very difficult task to start with because Iraq has not readmitted inspectors, so the key is to convince Iraq to allow inspectors to enter the country. And there I hope he will have the backing from the council—you have to recall that three permanent members abstained from voting on the new resolution. But I understand that they have declared that they intend to support the implementation of the resolution.

ACT: The secretary-general apparently considered some 25 or 30 names when he was trying to pick an executive chairman and either rejected them himself or was told by the Security Council that they would not be acceptable. Obviously your name was on that list. Why was it so difficult to find someone who would be acceptable?

Ekeus: This job, as it has turned out, is one of the most important in the international multilateral scene. It is of great significance to the UN's status and its role in the future. A failure would harm the organization. A wise decision with regard to the post of chairman is the first challenge.

But, secondly, the job is so difficult that no one wants it. With other high posts in the multilateral system—the heads of the World Health Organization, the UN Human Rights Commission or the World Bank—there is a tremendous line of candidates. Governments present their own best names, and they fight to get their choice into that job. With UNMOVIC, there were 25 names, say. Only one was proposed by his own government. Instead, governments pointed to people from other countries. The Swedish government didn't propose a Swede. The Dutch government didn't propose a Dutch. It showed how difficult this task is considered. It's so difficult that you don't want it. There was no candidate stepping up saying, "I would like the job," as you have on all other positions.

It's a special job because of its non-UN tradition, its non-UN culture. Namely, it has an element of enforcement. With the UN, almost everything—even 99 percent of Security Council work—is to serve the membership. For the International Labor Organization or the World Health Organization, your purpose is to help people. You help them with labor, you help them with food, you help them with medicine. What you're doing is positive. Even peacekeeping forces go in because both sides accept the peacekeepers. But UNSCOM was a counterculture operation. You implement and you enforce—that was Resolution 687. Of course, now the hard edges of 687 are taken away with 1284, but still the enforcement idea lingers.

The secretary-general's concern was also in light of the resolution, that he understands how important a successful dealing with the Iraq issue is. And how difficult it is politically, physically and in many other respects. But still it is important to the UN to demonstrate that it can handle this new task, that it can move into the new era that has such difficult jobs. The proliferation of weapons of mass destruction is a threat to international peace and security, and the UN should, in my opinion, have a major role in dealing with this threat.

The secretary-general's step in first proposing such an UNSCOM name was in a sense counter to the style of the resolution. He was trying to demonstrate that he didn't want the new organization to be less than UNSCOM was. Iraq is still a serious problem and must be dealt with in a serious manner. And I think he succeeded. I think people understood that he takes Iraq very seriously.

ACT: Why do you think that your nomination was not ultimately accepted?

Ekeus: Well, it is not for me to identify arguments against something containing my name. I can imagine some arguments that could be advanced. Some arguments were wrong, other arguments one can understand. There were many considerations. There was a new resolution and especially a new organization. Why then go back and take an UNSCOM hat? The nomination of Hans Blix, who was an excellent choice, brings someone very strongly associated with the old UNSCOM, but not totally an UNSCOM personality.

ACT: Would you have accepted the job?

Ekeus: I asked Kofi Annan not to put forward my name. But then he outlined what I just said. He said that it is so important that we succeed. In support of the secretary-general, I would have accepted it if the Security Council went along. But with the nomination of Hans Blix, who did an excellent job as director-general of the IAEA [International Atomic Energy Agency] and who has also been in Iraq, UNMOVIC got someone who also has been around before and has some battle scars.

ACT: One of the reasons for making Resolution 1284 less confrontational was to create consensus within the Security Council. But France, China and Russia all abstained. Why did they do that, and do you think that abstention is the closest to consensus that the Security Council is going to get?

Ekeus: The abstention was a little odd because since the vote was taken, all of them have said that they support the resolution and that they will assist in its implementation. But I think the main problem for them was not the arms control aspect of the resolution but the link to the lifting of sanctions—it was not clear enough. They wanted to have language that was more distinct with regard to the lifting of sanctions. They had hardly any problem with the weapons part. My conviction is that these three major abstaining states all have serious concerns about Iraq's weapons. The Russian military is concerned—there is no Russian wish to have an Iraq with nuclear weapons. The French are concerned about weapons of mass destruction capabilities in Iraq. And the Chinese, too. The three of them all have a concern with Iraq's weapons. However, they also have a wish to get the sanctions lifted.

ACT: You said that Russia, China and France have said that they will help implement the resolution, but Russia has also said that it's not bound to help enforce the provisions of 1284 and the Chinese have said that, in the end, the Security Council is not going to be able to implement this resolution. Given those attitudes, what is the likelihood that there will be full implementation of Resolution 1284?

Ekeus: Even if you abstain on a Security Council vote, you are still bound by a Chapter 7 resolution. My sense is that their intention is to back it. Then it becomes a question of how strongly. And how much clout do they have in Baghdad—how much will their support matter? We don't know where Baghdad will end up, but it will probably begin bargaining over conditions for entering Iraq, and maybe the countries that abstained can help there.

ACT: So you think that Iraq will work with this resolution, that it will not just flatly refuse to accept 1284, which is what it has done publicly to date?

Ekeus: First of all, I believe that Iraq will accept 1284 after some friendly—or less friendly—persuasion from members of the Security Council. It depends a little bit on how Iraq interprets the idea of working with 1284. There is one distinct advantage in 1284. It takes away the ceiling on oil exports.

But Iraq is still not happy with the sanctions aspects of 1284, which do not speak of lifting sanctions but of suspending them. This will create problems for the Iraqi authorities' ability to plan ahead. The language of suspension injects an element of instability and insecurity. That is probably the major reason why Iraq has been withholding its approval of the resolution. In that respect, 1284 is not better than 687. From an Iraqi perspective, that part of the resolution is more negative than 687, which talked about lifting the sanctions. Now it discusses only suspension.

What is positive from Iraq's view is the softer language on the arms position. But, as I have said repeatedly, it is softened language, but that does not mean UNMOVIC is prevented from doing what is necessary because the references back to the old resolution and to the weapons issues give UNMOVIC considerable rights and capabilities to act.

Iraq is again confronted with a choice: does it get anything for cooperation, and is it worth cooperating if you don't get any positive fallout? If the suspension language is deemed okay by the leadership, Iraq will probably cooperate.

ACT: Hans Blix has said that UNMOVIC will be more of a "UN-style" organization. What does this mean?

Ekeus: I don't understand. UNSCOM was a creation of the UN Security Council after the Gulf War. It was a UN operation. Everything was operated under UN resolutions. The staff was, to a high degree, on loan from member governments. This had to do with not wanting to create a permanent bureaucracy. The Security Council wanted to have an efficient, cost-effective, high-quality operation. The people who came in were contracted by me as chairman and had exactly the same obligations under the contract as all other UN field operations staff. UNSCOM was financed in the beginning by frozen Iraqi assets and later by Iraqi money generated by oil sales. No resources were provided from the ordinary UN budget. And there are still not. UNMOVIC will not see one cent from the UN. Everything will come from Iraqi oil money. The new resolution states that the funding should come exclusively from Iraq—from oil money taken from the escrow account. UNMOVIC is identical to UNSCOM in this sense. So, we can say that it is a UN operation. But one should not say that it is more of a UN operation.

ACT: Earlier you said that the traditional UN culture was more cooperative than the culture of UNSCOM. Could Blix have been indicating that UNMOVIC was going to be more cooperative than confrontational?

Ekeus: Yes. Formally, there is no difference. But politically it can be a whole different thing. UNSCOM had the task to control, supervise and somewhat enforce the elimination of WMD capabilities. UNMOVIC is not directly asked to look for WMD. As I said, the language of Resolution 1284 is the language of no suspicion.

ACT: Do you think that it is important to include current UNSCOM inspectors in the new organization?

Ekeus: It is up to Hans Blix. There are those who are advising him not to take any UNSCOM inspectors, and there are those who are advising him to take all of UNSCOM. I can only say that I know the UNSCOM personnel, and they are of the highest quality imaginable. In talking about how staff is to be recruited, Resolution 1284 mentions experience, which suggests UNSCOM.

ACT: Since your tenure at UNSCOM, there has been an increasing attention to the humanitarian impact of the economic sanctions on the Iraqi population and in the last week, two top UN officials have resigned, saying the sanctions are hurting the Iraqi people. If Iraq does not cooperate with Resolution 1284, will the oil-for-food program and the other humanitarian programs in Iraq be sufficient?

Ekeus: There were a few reasons for the imposition of sanctions after the Gulf War. In 1991, we all felt that it was important that Iraqi oil go back on the market, but on the other side, it was felt that the Iraqis, with their gross violation, could not go on as if nothing had happened.

There was deep concern about the Iraqi weapons capability, and that concern only deepened because the problem turned out to be worse than we had expected. Sanctions were the way to convince Iraq to cooperate with inspectors. Why should Iraq have cooperated with inspectors if there was no carrot and no stick? And in this case it was a combined carrot-and-stick approach. Keeping the sanctions was the stick, and the carrot was that if Iraq cooperated with the elimination of its weapons of mass destruction, the Security Council would lift the sanctions. Sanctions were the backing for the inspections, and they were what sustained my operation almost for the whole time.

But there was care taken in humanitarian respects. Witness the resolutions opening up oil sales for food and medicine. The only problem was that Saddam and the Iraqi leadership didn't go along with it. It was offered, it was presented, it was asked, begged. I really have to salute [former UN Secretary-General Boutros] Boutros-Ghali. During his tenure, he spent several years trying to convince Saddam to accept the system of selling oil to buy food. He succeeded in the end, but the delay was exclusively Iraq's fault. I think it is important to remember that.

Under the sanctions as they function today, Iraq is allowed to sell unlimited amounts of oil, probably even if it has not accepted Resolution 1284. Theoretically, even under the earlier resolutions, it is $5.26 billion per six months, let's say $11 billion per year. But Iraq can get, just by saying yes, unlimited sales, as the market permits. But the thing is that payment for the oil sales goes into an escrow account, and from there Iraq can use money to import with some restrictions. The question is then if you lift the sanctions, and give the funds directly to the leadership of Iraq, does it mean that Iraq will use this for food and medicine for its people? I haven't met anyone who believes that the money will be used for the same purpose as dictated by the UN. And that is the message for those who are critical of the sanctions. They have to make the case that if you lift the sanctions system, the Iraqi people will be better off. That the $11 billion will be used to get food and medicine to the people. That is the problem.

It is a problem to get Iraq back to being a normal country. It is an enormous problem, but in the meantime, it is not humane to cancel the oil-for-food program.

ACT: For years, UNSCOM was held up as a model for what collective security and intrusive inspections could accomplish for arms control. But UNSCOM's use as a model seems to have been tarnished by Iraq's apparent ability to outlast the Security Council just in terms of sheer political will. What lessons can we draw from that and apply to UNMOVIC?

Ekeus: There is a simple reason why UNSCOM was a success. The success was due to the quality of the people and to the political element. So that is how it worked: the combination of high-quality practice methods, high technology, wonderful personnel and science. It was the brainpower, not muscles, plus the political backing that gave results. What in the end created problems was not the professional quality of UNSCOM, but problems on the political side. That is the single, dominant and only reason that it failed.

The unity of the Security Council was the political fact that sustained the UNSCOM operation and helped its success. The failure to maintain that unity undermined it. Now the Security Council members are trying to restore unity. The adoption of Resolution 1284 was a first step. The implementation of it will be the first test.

Interviewed by J. Peter Scoblic and Matthew Rice

Toward a Consensus on Iraq

How to deal with a scofflaw Iraq remains a pivotal issue in determining the future of the nuclear non-proliferation regime. Saddam Hussein's flagrant violation of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) prior to the Persian Gulf War and his subsequent failure to comply with UN Security Council resolutions mandating the verified destruction of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, culminating in his refusal to accept inspectors from the United Nations Special Commission on Iraq (UNSCOM), constitute a brazen challenge to both the NPT and the Security Council. After almost a year of heated bickering, the Security Council has agreed to replace UNSCOM with a new organization, the United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC). Unless the new organization succeeds, Saddam will have shown the world that even in defeat a nation can successfully flaunt its legal obligations under the NPT and Security Council resolutions.

In dealing with the new organization, the United States must recognize that a successful policy toward Iraq demands achieving a broad consensus, including among the five permanent Security Council members, on objectives and tactics. Without such a consensus, sanctions cannot be successfully enforced or more forceful actions contemplated.

To this end, the United States should make preventing Iraq from attaining the capability to use nuclear weapons or other weapons of mass destruction its primary objective-a goal that serves the security interests of the other permanent members and all other states of the region. This objective, while more important, is less demanding than the requirement in Security Council Resolution 687 calling for the verified complete elimination of Iraq's former programs to develop weapons of mass destruction. Although Resolution 687 is recognized in UNMOVIC's charter, it is probably unattainable without complete Iraqi cooperation, which is unlikely, and should not be allowed to prevent fulfillment of the more fundamental objective of containing Iraq's future capabilities.

The argument is made that Saddam will never accept UNMOVIC inspections, and this may well be the case. However, in the absence of a new organization, Saddam would certainly not accept inspectors and would rely on hiding behind differences among the permanent members. But, if France, Russia and China can persuade Saddam to accept the new arrangement, the broader objective will be greatly facilitated; if they fail, there will be a new rationale for enforcing sanctions and ultimately employing force if evidence of capabilities to use weapons of mass destruction becomes apparent.

The suggestion has been made that even if Saddam accepts inspections, they would be worse than useless because, in the absence of complete transparency, he could manipulate access to create the illusion of compliance. In the real world, so much is known about the Iraqi programs from UNSCOM and U.S. national intelligence that the inspection of selected suspicious sites would reveal ongoing programs; and if inspections were denied, it would provide cause for further action.

The fact that the new organization will be under the UN secretary-general, and therefore elicit greater international participation, should be looked on as a positive move toward strengthening the international consensus, which was weakened by charges of U.S. domination. While not as closely tied into day-to-day operations, the United States can continue to make information available, as is done with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), without creating the destructive perception that the inspection process is being used by the United States to collect information for its own purposes.

After a difficult selection process, the Security Council wisely agreed upon Hans Blix, former head of the IAEA, to lead UNMOVIC. Charges that he was responsible for the failure to discover Iraq's nuclear program are absurd. At the time, the IAEA was essentially constrained to the inspection of declared facilities. Although special inspections were possible in principle, the United States had apparently chosen not to share its extensive pre-Gulf War knowledge of the Iraqi nuclear program with the IAEA. Subsequently, utilizing U.S. intelligence, Blix brought North Korean violations of the NPT to the Security Council's attention and championed the IAEA's "93+2" improvement program, which confirms the agency's access to suspect sites as well as its use of national intelligence.

The international community has agreed that it must deal with Iraq's transgressions. The administration must now make every effort to assist the new organization as a multinational effort and not compromise it by attempting to micromanage or overburden its operation. The objective now is not to find the last piece of undeclared equipment, but to build a strong international consensus that Iraq will not be allowed to emerge as a nuclear threat to its region and the world.

Toward a Consensus on Iraq

Toward a Consensus on Iraq

Wade Boese

FEWER COUNTRIES VOLUNTEERED reports on their exports and imports of major conventional weapons to the 1998 UN Register of Conventional Arms than in any previous year of the register's operation. Yet, the register, dated August 13 with an addendum of October 7, covered much of the 1998 arms market, as most major arms exporters, with the key exception of China, submitted weapons trade data. (Russian data, submitted October 15, was not yet available.) The United States accounted for nearly half of all reported 1998 arms exports worldwide.

Aimed at revealing build-ups of conventional arms, the voluntary register calls on countries to annually report their imports and exports of tanks, armored combat vehicles (ACVs), large-caliber artillery, combat aircraft, attack helicopters, warships and missiles and missile launchers. Countries may also provide information on their military holdings and domestic weapons procurement, as well as relevant arms trade policies. Iraq's acquisition of large stocks of conventional weapons prior to its invasion of Kuwait and the subsequent 1990-91 Persian Gulf War served as the impetus for establishing the register in January 1992.

Annual register participation has generally exceeded 90 countries, but this year only 74 have reported to date. Many of the countries not participating in the 1998 register that have in previous years are those that submit "nil" reports for both imports and exports. Some are suspected of merely being late with their replies, which is common. Bangladesh and the Dominican Republic participated for the first time.

Only two countries, Israel and Iran, reported from the Middle East, while Lesotho, Madagascar and South Africa were the only African countries to take part. Arab states typically boycott the register, charging that it is inadequate because it fails to account for weapons of mass destruction. African states, on the other hand, largely abstain from the register for its lack of small arms categories. In addition, less than a third of Latin American and Caribbean states reported on their arms deals or lack thereof.

China suspended its register participation indefinitely last year to protest U.S. inclusion of arms shipments to Taiwan, which Beijing considers a renegade province. For 1998, Washington reported 355 weapons exports to Taipei.


A total of 22 countries, including 18 European states, reported 5,622 exports, the lowest export total during the register's seven years of operation. The lack of Russian and Chinese data and the completion of most of the arms deliveries for agreements signed during the post-Gulf War weapons-buying boom account for much of the reduced export total from past registers, which generally totaled more than 7,500 weapons.

The United States ranked first with 2,713 exports, equaling the combined export totals for the next 10 highest weapon suppliers. (The United States revised its data upward from the original submission of 2,700 exports made in May.) Poland moved into second place with a total of 1,018 exports, which was a shipment—initially imported from Bulgaria—comprising 18 120mm mortars and 1,000 mortar rounds to the Congo. The United Kingdom held the third spot with 594 exports, 416 of which were cruise missiles to the United Arab Emirates.

Exporter data revealed Europe as the top destination of arms shipments with a total of 1,625, while the Middle East, including Egypt, received a total of 1,423 weapons. Five exporters—the United States, Britain, France, the Netherlands and Canada—accounted for all the reported exports to the Middle East. Iran claimed 11 weapon imports from Russia.

Missiles and missile launchers (2,465) accounted for 43 percent of the reported weapons exports. In the Middle East, missile deliveries to eight countries accounted for two-thirds of reported arms shipments. Missile systems, according to exporter data, also constituted approximately 55 percent of all Asian and European imports.


Thirty-nine countries reported more than 4,866 total arms imports. (Australia and Singapore listed "several" for their missile imports.) Discounting Poland, which exported its import of 1,018 artillery items, Bangladesh ranked as the top importer with 825 weapons. Bangladesh cited Italy, Yugoslavia, China and France with supplying a total of 465 artillery pieces and China with 232 tanks. Other leading importers included South Korea, which totaled 530 missile systems from the United States, Thailand (359 imports) and Chile (330 imports).

As in past years, little of the exporting and importing data corresponded. For example, the United States claimed exporting only 27 missiles to South Korea. Many of the discrepancies stem from a lack of importing data or differing national accounting procedures for imports and exports. Whereas some countries count an export as physical departure from its territory, others may base it on title transfer.

UN Security Council Says 'No' to Ekeus, Agrees on Blix to Head UNMOVIC

A quarreling United Nations Security Council finally came to a consensus on an executive chairman to lead the newly created UN Monitoring, Verification and Inspections Commission (UNMOVIC), unanimously supporting the nomination of Hans Blix, former director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Richard Holbrooke, the U.S. representative to the UN and the council's acting president, made the announcement January 26, ending an impasse over the previous nominee, Rolf Ekeus.

The selection of an executive chairman was the first step toward implementation of the most recent Security Council resolution on Iraq. Resolution 1284, adopted unanimously but with key abstentions by Russia, China and France, authorized the creation of UNMOVIC to replace the embattled UN Special Commission on Iraq (UNSCOM) while promising relaxation of economic sanctions for demonstrated Iraqi cooperation. (See ACT, December 1999.)

The January 17 nomination of Rolf Ekeus, former head of UNSCOM, concluded a grueling month of consultation between UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and members of the Security Council over the selection of an agreeable candidate. A UN source said that "lacking consensus on any of the 25 names submitted to the Security Council, the secretary-general nominated the man that he felt was the best for the job." As its executive chairman from 1991-1997, Ekeus directed the lion's share of UNSCOM's identification and destruction of prohibited weapons activities in Iraq.

The Ekeus nomination was short-lived, however. Representatives from Russia, China and France each registered their disapproval of Annan's choice. Noted Qin Huasun, China's permanent representative to the UN, "Candidates from developing countries, who may be better positioned to convince Iraq to cooperate with the council, should be given more attention and consideration." Other members offered less explanation for their opposition. Sergey Lavrov, the Russian representative, stated simply, "The Russian Federation cannot agree with the proposal." Overriding concerns appeared to be a desire to make a clean break from UNSCOM and the likelihood of an Iraqi refusal to cooperate with an UNMOVIC headed by Ekeus.

U.S. officials derided the notion of an "Iraqi veto" over the process, expressing strong support for the confirmation of Ekeus as late as January 24. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, criticizing council resistance, said, "We consider Ambassador Ekeus as so qualified, as somebody who knows the issues very well...and has the respect of the international community."

The Security Council never officially rejected Ekeus, but in subsequent discussions Blix emerged as a compromise acceptable to all sides. With his announcement of the nomination, Holbrooke made clear that the U.S. supported the Blix nod: "As the American representative, let me make clear that we are pleased with his nomination. We think he is an excellent choice." Holbrooke also emphasized that council unanimity should push Iraq closer to cooperation instead of the "very dangerous and ultimately self-damaging role" that it has played in the past.

Hans Blix, longtime Swedish diplomat, headed the IAEA from 1981 to 1997 and has extensive first-hand experience with the Iraq problem, having overseen the first six years of IAEA investigations into Iraq's nuclear program at the conclusion of the Persian Gulf War. During his tenure, the IAEA came under fire after the discovery of an extensive Iraqi crash program to build nuclear weapons that had gone undetected by annual IAEA inspections before the war. The IAEA safeguards system has since been strengthened.

Blix's first task is to develop an organizational plan for UNMOVIC and prepare to begin work in Iraq within 45 days after officially assuming his role as executive chairman. Important decisions will need to be made about the composition of the UNMOVIC team and the degree to which it will rely on the expertise of former UNSCOM staff. Perhaps the most challenging hurdle will be to outline the commission's work plan and the key disarmament tasks for Iraq to address before UN sanctions can be lifted. Because each step requires the approval of the Security Council, the battle over UNMOVIC's executive chairman may foreshadow additional struggles as the fledgling organization attempts to define itself.

In addition, though Iraq is legally obligated to comply with Resolution 1284, UNMOVIC's work ultimately depends on Iraqi accession to additional inspections. While Iraq did not condemn Blix with the same ferocity that it rejected the nomination of Ekeus, Iraqi UN Representative Saeed Hassan immediately dismissed the possibility of change in the Iraqi position. "Devil or angel, the new chairman will not change much.... This resolution is not implementable, is not working and will not work," he said. Iraq has long demanded a lifting of sanctions as a prerequisite to future cooperation with disarmament teams.

Iraq Accepts IAEA Inspection Team

However, Iraq did allow the first inspections of any kind since the U.S. and British airstrikes in December 1998, granting an IAEA inspection team access to Iraqi nuclear facilities from January 22-25. As a party to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), Iraq has agreed to allow annual inspections of its declared nuclear facilities to ensure compliance with the treaty's prohibitions on nuclear weapons programs. A source close to the UN emphasized that there was no connection between Iraqi acceptance of limited IAEA nuclear inspections and the broader question of accepting UNMOVIC's more intrusive mandate.

The inspection team visited the Iraqi nuclear site at Tuwaitha, a facility containing low-grade nuclear material that housed uranium enrichment and reprocessing facilities prior to the Gulf War. The IAEA reported that Iraq "provided the necessary cooperation for the inspection team to perform its activities effectively and efficiently," but noted that the limited nature of its mandate under the NPT Safeguards Agreement "cannot serve as a substitute for the IAEA's activities under the relevant Security Council resolutions."

A 1997 IAEA report to the Security Council stated, "There are no indications that there remains in Iraq any physical capability for the production of amounts of weapon-usable nuclear material of any practical significance."

Security Council Replaces UNSCOM; Paves Way for Inspections, Sanctions Relief

NEARLY A YEAR to the day after Iraq ended its cooperation with UN weapons inspections following the initiation of punitive air strikes by the United States and Britain, the Security Council paved the way for renewed inspections and a measured suspension of economic sanctions, in place since the end of the Persian Gulf War in 1991. Resolution 1284, adopted on December 17 after months of diplomatic squabbling, outlines in broad terms a plan that proponents hope will promote Iraqi cooperation and defuse the rising tension between ensuring the complete destruction of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction programs and growing concern about the humanitarian impact of the sanctions regime.

The resolution broadly outlines the structure and responsibility for a new inspection organization, to be known as the United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC), to replace the now all-but-defunct United Nations Special Commission on Iraq (UNSCOM). Iraq is instructed to allow UNMOVIC "immediate, unconditional and unrestricted access to any and all areas, facilities, equipment, records and means of transport which they wish to inspect." (See full text of the resolution.)

While UNMOVIC will be charged with the same tasks as its predecessor, namely overseeing and verifying Iraq's compliance with the previous Security Council resolutions that specify its disarmament responsibilities, the particulars of the leadership, organization and mission of the new inspection group were left deliberately ambiguous and will be worked out in the coming months. On December 15, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan began a search, which must be completed by January 17, for an executive chairman to head up the organization. Once appointed, the executive chairman will have 45 days to develop and submit an organizational plan to the Security Council. Details of the work program and the "key disarmament tasks to be completed by Iraq" will be concluded in cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) once inspectors are on the ground.

The definition of "key disarmament tasks" is certain to be a point of contention. Critics of UNSCOM argued that there would be little incentive for Iraq to cooperate if it could not, as Chinese Representative Qin Huasun put it, "see the light at the end of the tunnel." The key disarmament tasks, while not changing Iraq's disarmament responsibilities as defined by Resolution 687, are intended to set milestones by which Iraq's cooperation with the UNMOVIC inspectors can be measured. One concern is how to define the tasks with enough specificity to convey the Security Council's expectations while leaving flexibility for inspectors should they encounter unforeseen situations.

A second issue regards the transfer of expertise from UNSCOM to its successor. UNSCOM experts continue to work to make data collected during their tenure useful for the new monitoring team, but there are worries that the ability to identify disparities in Iraqi declarations will suffer with the loss of UNSCOM's institutional memory. While it remains to be seen whether UNSCOM inspectors will be hired to the UNMOVIC team, language explicitly allowing their employment was removed from the final draft of Resolution 1284. UNSCOM relied on arms and intelligence experts on loan from and paid by member states, but concerns spawned by allegations last year of improper dissemination of UNSCOM-collected intelligence may encourage a staff comprised of UN-payrolled inspectors.

Finally, the resolution calls for the creation of a "College of Commissioners" to advise UNMOVIC, review the organization's progress and "provide professional advice and guidance" to the executive chairman. The size and composition of this committee will largely determine its impact. One possibility is that the commissioners will serve as envoys between council members and the commission, defusing potential conflicts before they reach the council floor and possibly providing a way for the Security Council to directly influence UNMOVIC activities.

Resolution 1284 also moves further toward the relaxation of economic sanctions. The resolution lifts the $5.26 billion cap on oil sales under the oil-for-food program, simplifies the approval process for the purchase of most humanitarian goods and outlines conditions for the temporary but renewable relaxation of economic sanctions, contingent on Iraqi cooperation with the arms verification process. Once Iraq has cooperated for 120 days with both UNMOVIC and the IAEA, the sanctions may be lifted for 120 days. Continued progress toward defined disarmament goals will allow sanctions relief to continue in 120-day increments. These extensions are subject to veto by any of the permanent Security Council members, and sanctions relief may end within days if UNMOVIC reports Iraqi non-compliance.


Uncertainties Remain

The resolution passed unanimously (11-0), but the abstention of key members critical of the sanctions regime—Russia, France and China—raises questions about the prospects for full implementation of the council's mandates. Following the vote, Ambassador Peter Burleigh, the U.S. deputy permanent representative to the UN, said that "no council member would say that Iraq has met its obligations...we expect all members of the council, regardless of their vote on this resolution, to join in pressing Iraq for full and immediate implementation." But Sergey Lavrov, Russia's representative to the Security Council, stated that Russia's abstention "should not be taken to indicate that we are obliged to play along with attempts to impose its forceful implementation." Chinese Representative Qin concurred: "The implementation of this draft resolution before us is highly questionable."

Early reactions from Baghdad to the resolution have not been encouraging. Tariq Aziz, Iraq's deputy prime minister, said that the Security Council's "rewriting of Resolution 687" fell short of "Iraq's legitimate demand to lift the embargo." Iraq has insisted upon an easing of sanctions prior to the readmission of UN inspectors, but given its history of slow acceptance of Security Council resolutions (Iraq waited a year before accepting the oil-for-food program), Iraq's initial posturing has not been taken as a sign of permanent rejection.

Security Council Replaces UNSCOM; Paves Way for Inspections, Sanctions Relief

UN Resolution 1284

After months of diplomatic bickering over the appropriate next step in United Nations policy toward Iraq, the Security Council adopted Resolution 1284 (1999) on December 17 by a vote of 11-0-4. (Russia, France, China and Malaysia abstained.) The resolution outlines in broad terms a compromise between those who have insisted that Iraq fulfill its previously imposed disarmament obligations (primarily the United States and Britain) and those who have called for lifting the economic sanctions that have been in place since the end of the Gulf War (primarily France and Russia). The resolution authorizes the creation of a new inspection organization, the UN Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC), to replace the UN Special Commission (UNSCOM) and details the conditions upon which the council will consider the temporary relaxation of economic sanctions. (See news story.)

While the process by which the organization is to be created and by which Iraqi cooperation is to be judged are relatively clear, the definition of several key terms, including "key remaining disarmament tasks" (paragraph 7) and "cooperated in all respects" (paragraph 33), have been left for future discussions and will dramatically affect the resolution's impact on the verification of Iraq's compliance and on the prospects for the lifting of sanctions. The following is the unabridged text of the resolution.

Adopted by the Security Council at its 4084th meeting, on 17 December 1999

The Security Council

Recalling its previous relevant resolutions, including its resolutions 661 (1990) of 6 August 1990, 687 (1991) of 3 April 1991, 699 (1991) of 17 June 1991, 707 (1991) of 15 August 1991, 715 (1991) of 11 October 1991, 986 (1995) of 14 April 1995, 1051 (1996) of 27 March 1996, 1153 (1998) of 20 February 1998, 1175 (1998) of 19 June 1998, 1242 (1999) of 21 May 1999 and 1266 (1999) of 4 October 1999,

Recalling the approval by the Council in its resolution 715 (1991) of the plans for future ongoing monitoring and verification submitted by the Secretary-General and the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in pursuance of paragraphs 10 and 13 of resolution 687 (1991),

Welcoming the reports of the three panels on Iraq (S/1999/356), and having held a comprehensive consideration of them and the recommendations contained in them,

Stressing the importance of a comprehensive approach to the full implementation of all relevant Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq and the need for Iraqi compliance with these resolutions,

Recalling the goal of establishing in the Middle East a zone free from weapons of mass destruction and all missiles for their delivery and the objective of a global ban on chemical weapons as referred to in paragraph 14 of resolution 687 (1991),

Concerned at the humanitarian situation in Iraq, and determined to improve that situation,

Recalling with concern that the repatriation and return of all Kuwaiti and third country nationals or their remains, present in Iraq on or after 2 August 1990, pursuant to paragraph 2 (c) of resolution 686 (1991) of 2 March 1991 and paragraph 30 of resolution 687 (1991), have not yet been fully carried out by Iraq,

Recalling that in its resolutions 686 (1991) and 687 (1991) the Council demanded that Iraq return in the shortest possible time all Kuwaiti property it had seized, and noting with regret that Iraq has still not complied fully with this demand,

Acknowledging the progress made by Iraq towards compliance with the provisions of resolution 687 (1991), but noting that, as a result of its failure to implement the relevant Council resolutions fully, the conditions do not exist which would enable the Council to take a decision pursuant to resolution 687 (1991) to lift the prohibitions referred to in that resolution,

Reiterating the commitment of all Member States to the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of Kuwait, Iraq and the neighbouring States,

Acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations, and taking into account that operative provisions of this resolution relate to previous resolutions adopted under Chapter VII of the Charter,

A. 1. Decides to establish, as a subsidiary body of the Council, the United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC) which replaces the Special Commission established pursuant to paragraph 9 (b) of resolution 687 (1991);

2. Decides also that UNMOVIC will undertake the responsibilities mandated to the Special Commission by the Council with regard to the verification of compliance by Iraq with its obligations under paragraphs 8, 9 and 10 of resolution 687 (1991) and other related resolutions, that UNMOVIC will establish and operate, as was recommended by the panel on disarmament and current and future ongoing monitoring and verification issues, a reinforced system of ongoing monitoring and verification, which will implement the plan approved by the Council in resolution 715 (1991) and address unresolved disarmament issues, and that UNMOVIC will identify, as necessary in accordance with its mandate, additional sites in Iraq to be covered by the reinforced system of ongoing monitoring and verification;

3. Reaffirms the provisions of the relevant resolutions with regard to the role of the IAEA in addressing compliance by Iraq with paragraphs 12 and 13 of resolution 687 (1991) and other related resolutions, and requests the Director General of the IAEA to maintain this role with the assistance and cooperation of UNMOVIC;

4. Reaffirms its resolutions 687 (1991), 699 (1991), 707 (1991), 715 (1991), 1051 (1996), 1154 (1998) and all other relevant resolutions and statements of its President, which establish the criteria for Iraqi compliance, affirms that the obligations of Iraq referred to in those resolutions and statements with regard to cooperation with the Special Commission, unrestricted access and provision of information will apply in respect of UNMOVIC, and decides in particular that Iraq shall allow UNMOVIC teams immediate, unconditional and unrestricted access to any and all areas, facilities, equipment, records and means of transport which they wish to inspect in accordance with the mandate of UNMOVIC, as well as to all officials and other persons under the authority of the Iraqi Government whom UNMOVIC wishes to interview so that UNMOVIC may fully discharge its mandate;

5. Requests the Secretary-General, within 30 days of the adoption of this resolution, to appoint, after consultation with and subject to the approval of the Council, an Executive Chairman of UNMOVIC who will take up his mandated tasks as soon as possible, and, in consultation with the Executive Chairman and the Council members, to appoint suitably qualified experts as a College of Commissioners for UNMOVIC which will meet regularly to review the implementation of this and other relevant resolutions and provide professional advice and guidance to the Executive Chairman, including on significant policy decisions and on written reports to be submitted to the Council through the Secretary-General;

6. Requests the Executive Chairman of UNMOVIC, within 45 days of his appointment, to submit to the Council, in consultation with and through the Secretary-General, for its approval an organizational plan for UNMOVIC, including its structure, staffing requirements, management guidelines, recruitment and training procedures, incorporating as appropriate the recommendations of the panel on disarmament and current and future ongoing monitoring and verification issues, and recognizing in particular the need for an effective, cooperative management structure for the new organization, for staffing with suitably qualified and experienced personnel, who would be regarded as international civil servants subject to Article 100 of the Charter of the United Nations, drawn from the broadest possible geographical base, including as he deems necessary from international arms control organizations, and for the provision of high quality technical and cultural training;

7. Decides that UNMOVIC and the IAEA, not later than 60 days after they have both started work in Iraq, will each draw up, for approval by the Council, a work programme for the discharge of their mandates, which will include both the implementation of the reinforced system of ongoing monitoring and verification, and the key remaining disarmament tasks to be completed by Iraq pursuant to its obligations to comply with the disarmament requirements of resolution 687 (1991) and other related resolutions, which constitute the governing standard of Iraqi compliance, and further decides that what is required of Iraq for the implementation of each task shall be clearly defined and precise;

8. Requests the Executive Chairman of UNMOVIC and the Director General of the IAEA, drawing on the expertise of other international organizations as appropriate, to establish a unit which will have the responsibilities of the joint unit constituted by the Special Commission and the Director General of the IAEA under paragraph 16 of the export/import mechanism approved by resolution 1051 (1996), and also requests the Executive Chairman of UNMOVIC, in consultation with the Director General of the IAEA, to resume the revision and updating of the lists of items and technology to which the mechanism applies;

9. Decides that the Government of Iraq shall be liable for the full costs of UNMOVIC and the IAEA in relation to their work under this and other related resolutions on Iraq;

10. Requests Member States to give full cooperation to UNMOVIC and the IAEA in the discharge of their mandates;

11. Decides that UNMOVIC shall take over all assets, liabilities and archives of the Special Commission, and that it shall assume the Special Commission's part in agreements existing between the Special Commission and Iraq and between the United Nations and Iraq, and affirms that the Executive Chairman, the Commissioners and the personnel serving with UNMOVIC shall have the rights, privileges, facilities and immunities of the Special Commission;

12. Requests the Executive Chairman of UNMOVIC to report, through the Secretary-General, to the Council, following consultation with the Commissioners, every three months on the work of UNMOVIC, pending submission of the first reports referred to in paragraph 33 below, and to report immediately when the reinforced system of ongoing monitoring and verification is fully operational in Iraq;

B. 13. Reiterates the obligation of Iraq, in furtherance of its commitment to facilitate the repatriation of all Kuwaiti and third country nationals referred to in paragraph 30 of resolution 687 (1991), to extend all necessary cooperation to the International Committee of the Red Cross, and calls upon the Government of Iraq to resume cooperation with the Tripartite Commission and Technical Subcommittee established to facilitate work on this issue;

14. Requests the Secretary-General to report to the Council every four months on compliance by Iraq with its obligations regarding the repatriation or return of all Kuwaiti and third country nationals or their remains, to report every six months on the return of all Kuwaiti property, including archives, seized by Iraq, and to appoint a high-level coordinator for these issues;

C. 15. Authorizes States, notwithstanding the provisions of paragraphs 3 (a), 3 (b) and 4 of resolution 661 (1990) and subsequent relevant resolutions, to permit the import of any volume of petroleum and petroleum products originating in Iraq, including financial and other essential transactions directly relating thereto, as required for the purposes and on the conditions set out in paragraph 1 (a) and (b) and subsequent provisions of resolution 986 (1995) and related resolutions;

16. Underlines, in this context, its intention to take further action, including permitting the use of additional export routes for petroleum and petroleum products, under appropriate conditions otherwise consistent with the purpose and provisions of resolution 986 (1995) and related resolutions;

17. Directs the Committee established by resolution 661 (1990) to approve, on the basis of proposals from the Secretary-General, lists of humanitarian items, including foodstuffs, pharmaceutical and medical supplies, as well as basic or standard medical and agricultural equipment and basic or standard educational items, decides, notwithstanding paragraph 3 of resolution 661 (1990) and paragraph 20 of resolution 687 (1991), that supplies of these items will not be submitted for approval of that Committee, except for items subject to the provisions of resolution 1051 (1996), and will be notified to the Secretary-General and financed in accordance with the provisions of paragraph 8 (a) and 8 (b) of resolution 986 (1995), and requests the Secretary-General to inform the Committee in a timely manner of all such notifications received and actions taken;

18. Requests the Committee established by resolution 661 (1990) to appoint, in accordance with resolutions 1175 (1998) and 1210 (1998), a group of experts, including independent inspection agents appointed by the Secretary-General in accordance with paragraph 6 of resolution 986 (1995), decides that this group will be mandated to approve speedily contracts for the parts and the equipments necessary to enable Iraq to increase its exports of petroleum and petroleum products, according to lists of parts and equipments approved by that Committee for each individual project, and requests the Secretary-General to continue to provide for the monitoring of these parts and equipments inside Iraq;

19. Encourages Member States and international organizations to provide supplementary humanitarian assistance to Iraq and published material of an educational character to Iraq;

20. Decides to suspend, for an initial period of six months from the date of the adoption of this resolution and subject to review, the implementation of paragraph 8 (g) of resolution 986 (1995);

21. Requests the Secretary-General to take steps to maximize, drawing as necessary on the advice of specialists, including representatives of international humanitarian organizations, the effectiveness of the arrangements set out in resolution 986 (1995) and related resolutions including the humanitarian benefit to the Iraqi population in all areas of the country, and further requests the Secretary-General to continue to enhance as necessary the United Nations observation process in Iraq, ensuring that all supplies under the humanitarian programme are utilized as authorized to bring to the attention of the Council any circumstances preventing or impeding effective and equitable distribution and to keep the Council informed of the steps taken towards the implementation of this paragraph;

22. Requests also the Secretary-General to minimize the cost of the United Nations activities associated with the implementation of resolution 986 (1995) as well as the cost of the independent inspection agents and the certified public accountants appointed by him, in accordance with paragraphs 6 and 7 of resolution 986 (1995);

23. Requests further the Secretary-General to provide Iraq and the Committee established by resolution 661 (1990) with a daily statement of the status of the escrow account established by paragraph 7 of resolution 986 (1995);

24. Requests the Secretary-General to make the necessary arrangements, subject to Security Council approval, to allow funds deposited in the escrow account established by resolution 986 (1995) to be used for the purchase of locally produced goods and to meet the local cost for essential civilian needs which have been funded in accordance with the provisions of resolution 986 (1995) and related resolutions, including, where appropriate, the cost of installation and training services;

25. Directs the Committee established by resolution 661 (1990) to take a decision on all applications in respect of humanitarian and essential civilian needs within a target of two working days of receipt of these applications from the Secretary-General, and to ensure that all approval and notification letters issued by the Committee stipulate delivery within a specified time, according to the nature of the items to be supplied, and requests the Secretary-General to notify the Committee of all applications for humanitarian items which are included in the list to which the export/import mechanism approved by resolution 1051 (1996) applies;

26. Decides that Hajj pilgrimage flights which do not transport cargo into or out of Iraq are exempt from the provisions of paragraph 3 of resolution 661 (1990) and resolution 670 (1990), provided timely notification of each flight is made to the Committee established by resolution 661 (1990), and requests the Secretary-General to make the necessary arrangements, for approval by the Security Council, to provide for reasonable expenses related to the Hajj pilgrimage to be met by funds in the escrow account established by resolution 986 (1995);

27. Calls upon the Government of Iraq:

(i) to take all steps to ensure the timely and equitable distribution of all humanitarian goods, in particular medical supplies, and to remove and avoid delays at its warehouses;

(ii) to address effectively the needs of vulnerable groups, including children, pregnant women, the disabled, the elderly and the mentally ill among others, and to allow freer access, without any discrimination, including on the basis of religion or nationality, by United Nations agencies and humanitarian organizations to all areas and sections of the population for evaluation of their nutritional and humanitarian condition;

(iii) to prioritize applications for humanitarian goods under the arrangements set out in resolution 986 (1995) and related resolutions;

(iv) to ensure that those involuntarily displaced receive humanitarian assistance without the need to demonstrate that they have resided for six months in their places of temporary residence;

(v) to extend full cooperation to the United Nations Office for Project Services mine-clearance programme in the three northern Governorates of Iraq and to consider the initiation of the demining efforts in other Governorates;

28. Requests the Secretary-General to report on the progress made in meeting the humanitarian needs of the Iraqi people and on the revenues necessary to meet those needs, including recommendations on necessary additions to the current allocation for oil spare parts and equipment, on the basis of a comprehensive survey of the condition of the Iraqi oil production sector, not later than 60 days from the date of the adoption of this resolution and updated thereafter as necessary;

29. Expresses its readiness to authorize additions to the current allocation for oil spare parts and equipment, on the basis of the report and recommendations requested in paragraph 28 above, in order to meet the humanitarian purposes set out in resolution 986 (1995) and related resolutions;

30. Requests the Secretary-General to establish a group of experts, including oil industry experts, to report within 100 days of the date of adoption of this resolution on Iraq's existing petroleum production and export capacity and to make recommendations, to be updated as necessary, on alternatives for increasing Iraq's petroleum production and export capacity in a manner consistent with the purposes of relevant resolutions, and on the options for involving foreign oil companies in Iraq's oil sector, including investments, subject to appropriate monitoring and controls;

31. Notes that in the event of the Council acting as provided for in paragraph 33 of this resolution to suspend the prohibitions referred to in that paragraph, appropriate arrangements and procedures will need, subject to paragraph 35 below, to be agreed by the Council in good time beforehand, including suspension of provisions of resolution 986 (1995) and related resolutions;

32. Requests the Secretary-General to report to the Council on the implementation of paragraphs 15 to 30 of this resolution within 30 days of the adoption of this resolution;

D. 33. Expresses its intention, upon receipt of reports from the Executive Chairman of UNMOVIC and from the Director General of the IAEA that Iraq has cooperated in all respects with UNMOVIC and the IAEA in particular in fulfilling the work programmes in all the aspects referred to in paragraph 7 above, for a period of 120 days after the date on which the Council is in receipt of reports from both UNMOVIC and the IAEA that the reinforced system of ongoing monitoring and verification is fully operational, to suspend with the fundamental objective of improving the humanitarian situation in Iraq and securing the implementation of the Council's resolutions, for a period of 120 days renewable by the Council, and subject to the elaboration of effective financial and other operational measures to ensure that Iraq does not acquire prohibited items, prohibitions against the import of commodities and products originating in Iraq, and prohibitions against the sale, supply and delivery to Iraq of civilian commodities and products other than those referred to in paragraph 24 of resolution 687 (1991) or those to which the mechanism established by resolution 1051 (1996) applies;

34. Decides that in reporting to the Council for the purposes of paragraph 33 above, the Executive Chairman of UNMOVIC will include as a basis for his assessment the progress made in completing the tasks referred to in paragraph 7 above;

35. Decides that if at any time the Executive Chairman of UNMOVIC or the Director General of the IAEA reports that Iraq is not cooperating in all respects with UNMOVIC or the IAEA or if Iraq is in the process of acquiring any prohibited items, the suspension of the prohibitions referred to in paragraph 33 above shall terminate on the fifth working day following the report, unless the Council decides to the contrary;

36. Expresses its intention to approve arrangements for effective financial and other operational measures, including on the delivery of and payment for authorized civilian commodities and products to be sold or supplied to Iraq, in order to ensure that Iraq does not acquire prohibited items in the event of suspension of the prohibitions referred to in paragraph 33 above, to begin the elaboration of such measures not later than the date of the receipt of the initial reports referred to in paragraph 33 above, and to approve such arrangements before the Council decision in accordance with that paragraph;

37. Further expresses its intention to take steps, based on the report and recommendations requested in paragraph 30 above, and consistent with the purpose of resolution 986 (1995) and related resolutions, to enable Iraq to increase its petroleum production and export capacity, upon receipt of the reports relating to the cooperation in all respects with UNMOVIC and the IAEA referred to in paragraph 33 above;

38. Reaffirms its intention to act in accordance with the relevant provisions of resolution 687 (1991) on the termination of prohibitions referred to in that resolution;

39. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter and expresses its intention to consider action in accordance with paragraph 33 above no later than 12 months from the date of the adoption of this resolution provided the conditions set out in paragraph 33 above have been satisfied by Iraq.


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