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Report of Hans Blix on Iraqi Disarmament - March 7, 2003


Following is the summary of the report delivered by UNMOVIC Hans Blix to the UN on March 7, 2003, regarding Iraqi disarmament. The summary shows that some progress has been made, but US is angry that Blix buried information about some alarming weaponry finds in the body of the main document (much longer than this one) and also claims that Iraq is removing the engines of Samoud II missiles and hiding them before destroying the missiles.

Full text of Blix [summary] report
[ITV] 7 Mar 2003


This is the full text of Dr Hans Blix's statement [March 7] to
the UN Security Council in New York.

Mr President, For nearly three years, I have been coming to the
Security Council presenting the quarterly reports of UNMOVIC.
They have described our many preparations for the resumption of
inspections in Iraq.

The 12th quarterly report is the first that describes three
months of inspections. They come after four years without
inspections. The report was finalised 10 days ago and a number of
relevant events have taken place since then.

Today's statement will supplement the circulated report on these
points to bring the council up-to-date.

Inspection process:

Inspections in Iraq resumed on 27 November 2002. In matters
relating to process, notably prompt access to sites, we have
faced relatively few difficulties and certainly much less than
those that were faced by UNSCOM in the period 1991 to 1998. This
may well be due to the strong outside pressure.

Some practical matters, which were not settled by the talks Dr
ElBaradei and I had with the Iraqi side in Vienna prior to
inspections or in resolution 1441 (2002), have been resolved at
meetings, which we have had in Baghdad.

Initial difficulties raised by the Iraqi side about helicopters
and aerial surveillance planes operating in the no-fly zones were

This is not to say that the operation of inspections is free from
frictions, but at this juncture we are able to perform
professional no-notice inspections all over Iraq and to increase
aerial surveillance.

American U-2 and French Mirage surveillance aircraft already give
us valuable imagery, supplementing satellite pictures and we
would expect soon to be able to add night vision capability
through an aircraft offered to us by the Russian Federation.

We also expect to add low-level, close area surveillance through
drones provided by Germany. We are grateful not only to the
countries, which place these valuable tools at our disposal, but
also to the states, most recently Cyprus, which has agreed to the
stationing of aircraft on their territory.

Documents and interviews:

Iraq, with a highly developed administrative system, should be
able to provide more documentary evidence about its proscribed
weapons programmes.

Only a few new such documents have come to light so far and been
handed over since we began inspections. It was a disappointment
that Iraq's Declaration of 7 December did not bring new
documentary evidence.

I hope that efforts in this respect, including the appointment of
a governmental commission, will give significant results.

When proscribed items are deemed unaccounted for it is above all
credible accounts that is needed - or the proscribed items, if
they exist.

Where authentic documents do not become available, interviews
with persons, who may have relevant knowledge and experience, may
be another way of obtaining evidence.

UNMOVIC has names of such persons in its records and they are
among the people whom we seek to interview. In the last month,
Iraq has provided us with the names of many persons, who may be
relevant sources of information, in particular, persons who took
part in various phases of the unilateral destruction of
biological and chemical weapons, and proscribed missiles in 1991.

The provision of names prompts two reflections: The first is that
with such detailed information existing regarding those who took
part in the unilateral destruction, surely there must also remain
records regarding the quantities and other data concerning the
various items destroyed.

The second reflection is that with relevant witnesses available
it becomes even more important to be able to conduct interviews
in modes and locations, which allow us to be confident that the
testimony is given without outside influence.

While the Iraqi side seems to have encouraged interviewees not to
request the presence of Iraqi officials (so-called minders) or
the taping of the interviews, conditions ensuring the absence of
undue influences are difficult to attain inside Iraq.

Interviews outside the country might provide such assurance. It
is our intention to request such interviews shortly.

Nevertheless, despite remaining shortcomings, interviews are
useful. Since we started requesting interviews, 38 individuals
were asked for private interviews, of which 10 accepted under our
terms, seven of these during the last week.

As I noted on 14 February, intelligence authorities have claimed
that weapons of mass destruction are moved around Iraq by trucks
and, in particular, that there are mobile production units for
biological weapons.

The Iraqi side states that such activities do not exist. Several
inspections have taken place at declared and undeclared sites in
relation to mobile production facilities.

Food testing mobile laboratories and mobile workshops have been
seen, as well as large containers with seed processing equipment.
No evidence of proscribed activities have so far been found. Iraq
is expected to assist in the development of credible ways to
conduct random checks of ground transportation.

Inspectors are also engaged in examining Iraq's programme for
Remotely Piloted Vehicles (RPVs). A number of sites have been
inspected with data being collected to assess the range and other
capabilities of the various models found. Inspections are
continuing in this area.

There have been reports, denied from the Iraqi side, that
proscribed activities are conducted underground. Iraq should
provide information on any underground structure suitable for the
production or storage of WMD.

During inspections of declared or undeclared facilities,
inspection teams have examined building structures for any
possible underground facilities.

In addition, ground penetrating radar equipment was used in
several specific locations. No underground facilities for
chemical or biological production or storage were found so far.

I should add that, both for the monitoring of ground
transportation and for the inspection of underground facilities,
we would need to increase our staff in Iraq.

I am not talking about a doubling of the staff. I would rather
have twice the amount of high quality information about sites to
inspect than twice the number of expert inspectors to send.

Recent developments:

On 14 February, I reported to the Council that the Iraqi side had
become more active in taking and proposing steps, which
potentially might shed new light on unresolved disarmament

Even a week ago, when the current quarterly report was finalised,
there was still relatively little tangible progress to note.
Hence, the cautious formulations in the report before you.

As of today, there is more. While during our meetings in Baghdad,
the Iraqi side tried to persuade us that the Al Samoud 2 missiles
they have declared fall within the permissible range set by the
Security Council, the calculations of an international panel of
experts led us to the opposite conclusion.

Iraq has since accepted that these missiles and associated items
be destroyed and has started the process of destruction under our
supervision. The destruction undertaken constitutes a substantial
measure of disarmament - indeed, the first since the middle of
the 1990s.

We are not watching the breaking of toothpicks. Lethal weapons
are being destroyed. However, I must add that no destruction has
happened today. I hope it's a temporary break.

Al Samoud missiles:

To date, 34 Al Samoud 2 missiles, including four training
missiles, two combat warheads, one launcher and five engines have
been destroyed under Unmovic supervision.

Work is continuing to identify and inventory the parts and
equipment associated with the Al Samoud 2 programme. Two
"reconstituted" casting chambers used in the production of solid
propellant missiles have been destroyed and the remnants melted
or encased in concrete.

The legality of the Al Fatah missile is still under review,
pending further investigation and measurement of various
parameters of that missile. More papers on anthrax, VX and
missiles have recently been provided.

Many have been found to restate what Iraq had already declared,
some will require further study and discussion.

There is a significant Iraqi effort underway to clarify a major
source of uncertainty as to the quantities of biological and
chemical weapons, which were unilaterally destroyed in 1991.

A part of this effort concerns a disposal site, which was deemed
too dangerous for full investigation in the past. It is now being

To date, Iraq has unearthed eight complete bombs comprising two
liquid-filled intact R-400 bombs and six other complete bombs.
Bomb fragments were also found. Samples have been taken.

The investigation of the destruction site could, in the best
case, allow the determination of the number of bombs destroyed at
that site.

It should be followed by a serious and credible effort to
determine the separate issue of how many R-400 type bombs were
produced. In this, as in other matters, inspection work is moving
on and may yield results.

Iraq proposed an investigation using advanced technology to
quantify the amount of unilaterally destroyed anthrax dumped at a

However, even if the use of advanced technology could quantify
the amount of anthrax, said to be dumped at the site, the results
would still be open to interpretation.

Defining the quantity of anthrax destroyed must, of course, be
followed by efforts to establish what quantity was actually

With respect to VX, Iraq has recently suggested a similar method
to quantify a VX precursor stated to have been unilaterally
destroyed in the summer of 1991.

Iraq has also recently informed us that, following the adoption
of the presidential decree prohibiting private individuals and
mixed companies from engaging in work related to WMD, further
legislation on the subject is to be enacted.

This appears to be in response to a letter from Unmovic
requesting clarification of the issue. What are we to make of
these activities? One can hardly avoid the impression that, after
a period of somewhat reluctant cooperation, there has been an
acceleration of initiatives from the Iraqi side since the end of

This is welcome, but the value of these measures must be soberly
judged by how many question marks they actually succeed in
straightening out. This is not yet clear.

Against this background, the question is now asked whether Iraq
has cooperated immediately, unconditionally and actively - with
Unmovic, as required under paragraph 9 of resolution 1441 (2002).

The answers can be seen from the factual descriptions I have
provided. However, if more direct answers are desired, I would
say the following: The Iraqi side has tried on occasion to attach
conditions, as it did regarding helicopters and U-2 planes.

Iraq has not, however, so far persisted in these or other
conditions for the exercise of any of our inspection rights. If
it did, we would report it.

It is obvious that, while the numerous initiatives, which are now
taken by the Iraqi side with a view to resolving some
long-standing open disarmament issues, can be seen as "active",
or even "proactive", these initiatives three to four months into
the new resolution cannot be said to constitute "immediate"

Nor do they necessarily cover all areas of relevance. They are
nevertheless welcome and Unmovic is responding to them in the
hope of solving presently unresolved disarmament issues.

Other resolutions:

Mr President, Members of the council may relate most of what I
have said to resolution 1441 (2002), but UNMOVIC is performing
work under several resolutions of the Security Council.

The quarterly report before you is submitted in accordance with
resolution 1284 (1999), which not only created UNMOVIC but also
continues to guide much of our work.

Under the time lines set by the resolution, the results of some
of this work is to be reported to the council before the end of
this month. Let me be more specific.

Resolution 1284 (1999) instructs UNMOVIC to "address unresolved
disarmament issues" and to identify "key remaining disarmament
tasks" and the latter are to be submitted for approval by the
council in the context of a work programme.

UNMOVIC will be ready to submit a draft work programme this month
as required.

UNSCOM and the Amorim Panel did valuable work to identify the
disarmament issues, which were still open at the end of 1998.

UNMOVIC has used this material as starting points but analysed
the data behind it and data and documents post 1998 up to the
present time to compile its own list of "unresolved disarmament
issues" or, rather, clustered issues.

It is the answers to these issues which we seek through our
inspection activities.

It is from the list of these clustered issues that UNMOVIC will
identify the "key remaining disarmament tasks". As noted in the
report before you, this list of clustered issues is ready.

UNMOVIC is only required to submit the work programme with the
"key remaining disarmament tasks" to the council. As I understand
that several council members are interested in the working
document with the complete clusters of disarmament issues, we
have declassified it and are ready to make it available to
members of the council on request.

In this working document, which may still be adjusted in the
light of new information, members will get a more up-to-date
review of the outstanding issues than in the documents of 1999,
which members usually refer to.

Each cluster in the working document ends with a number of points
indicating what Iraq could do to solve the issue. Hence, Iraq's
co-operation could be measured against the successful resolution
of issues.

I should note that the working document contains much information
and discussion about the issues which existed at the end of
1998 - including information which has come to light after 1998.

It contains much less information and discussion about the period
after 1998, primarily because of paucity of information.
Nevertheless, intelligence agencies have expressed the view that
proscribe programmes have continued or restarted in this period.

It is further contended that proscribed programmes and items are
located in underground facilities, as I mentioned, and that
proscribed items are being moved around Iraq.

The working document contains some suggestions on how these
concerns may be tackled.

Mr President, Let me conclude by telling you that UNMOVIC is
currently drafting the work programme, which resolution 1284
(1999) requires us to submit this month.

It will obviously contain our proposed list of key remaining
disarmament tasks; it will describe the reinforced system of
ongoing monitoring and verification that the council has asked us
to implement; it will also describe the various subsystems which
constitute the programme, eg for aerial surveillance, for
information from governments and suppliers, for sampling, for the
checking of road traffic, etc.

How much time would it take to resolve the key remaining
disarmament tasks?

While co-operation can and is to be immediate, disarmament and at
any rate the verification of it cannot be instant. Even with a
proactive Iraqi attitude, induced by continued outside pressure,
it would still take some time to verify sites and items, analyse
documents, interview relevant persons, and draw conclusions.

It would not take years, nor weeks, but months. Neither
governments nor inspectors would want disarmament inspection to
go on forever.

However, it must be remembered that in accordance with the
governing resolutions, a sustained inspection and monitoring
system is to remain in place after verified disarmament to give
confidence and to strike an alarm, if signs were seen of the
revival of any proscribed weapons programmes.

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Replies: 5 comments

No matter what the UN found, Bush is determined to go to war anyway. It did not help the credibility of the UN for Blix to bury info in the report and I think he did this to avoid war. (I'm not a UN fan by any means but it seems to be the best we humans can do right now)
The UN for the US was just a formality so Bush could say he had tried, sure he would have been happy to get support but that will not affect his predetermined decison.

Posted by Karen @ 03/14/2003 01:15 PM CST

I think bush is doing ok. Did you forget 911 Karen . The U>N> told him to disarm and he is laughing at them .He could disarm way before now... The only reason way France is blocking it is because Iraq owes them a lot of in the billions......Bush had to do what he is doing...IF WE NEVER HAD 911 IT CHANGE THE WORLD........IF WE DON'T DO SOMETHING THEY WILL DO IT ANOTHER 911 BUT WROST

Posted by vicki @ 03/18/2003 06:12 AM CST

Yes I remember 9/11. And I don't believe that France's motives are anything but cynical & self-serving. But Iraq was not behind 9/11, they cannot find connections with Iraq & 9/11...the people behind 9/11 are religious fanatics like the Saudi govt., not secular govts. like Saddam.
That is why a lot of American families are suing the Saudi govt. (read royal family dictatorship) for 9/11.


Posted by Karen @ 03/19/2003 03:26 AM CST

Guys - think carefully as if in hindsight! Answer these questions for me
a) What would you do WHEN Sadamm decied to unleash his arsenary on the Western World Who would you seek help from and more importantly - WHERE would you seek help from?
b)What would be your reaction to the murderous attrocites being perpertrated on your own flesh and blood - where would your humanitarian beliefs lie then?
C0 can anyone truly answer as to why the Arab states have not done anything to reign in the likes of Hussein? Are they weak? Are they powerless? Why is it that America must lead the way? Is it a case of the Arab states being very clever and getting America to do their dirty work for them?
Food for thought!

Posted by Robyne @ 03/22/2003 12:44 PM CST

I am Turkish and live in Istanbul. None of Americans can know what it is to be near war having planes filled with bombs going over you. Think of this please. Father of Bush has won a victory over Saddam Hussein once and the same country left Saddam in charge of Iraq. Why did he wait so much? Is changing the regime a reason?
Is bombing civilians a way?
I think that this is not a peaceful action to bring democracy to a country. And please marke these words. We Turkish People had a lot of terrorist action whic was supported by the Kurds, and your USA is now supporting the same ones now in Iraq. One day they will surely point their weapons at you by terrorism.

Posted by Hakan @ 03/28/2003 07:19 PM CST

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