Work & Results

INVO in Iraq

Nuclear Verification

The Iraq Nuclear Verification Office (INVO) is responsible for the implementation of the IAEA's mandate in Iraq as defined by the United Nations Security Council in Resolutions 687, 707, 715, 1051, 1284 and 1441. Through INVO, and its predecessor Iraq Action Team, the IAEA has successfully removed from Iraq all weapons-grade nuclear material, i.e. highly enriched uranium and plutonium; has taken custody of all known remaining uranium compounds; has destroyed and rendered harmless all known dedicated facilities and associated equipment; and has monitored all known dual-use equipment while in Iraq.

Ongoing Monitoring and Verification (OMV)

The IAEA has maintained a permanent presence in Iraq when conditions allowed to implement its Ongoing Monitoring & Verification (OMV) Plan, approved by the Security Council in 1991. The overall goal of ongoing monitoring and verification is to provide reaffirmation that Iraq's clandestine nuclear programme has been neutralized and is not being reconstituted. The OMV plan is designed to provide timely detection of indications of any attempt by Iraq to reconstitute its clandestine nuclear program, or more specifically, to give assurance of the absence of prohibited equipment, materials and activities.

The OMV Plan -- in its Annex 3 -- includes a list of items subject to declaration by Iraq. The list covers nuclear and nuclear-related items which are either prohibited to Iraq or are subject to certain controls (including reporting to the IAEA by Iraq and reporting by any State exporting such items to Iraq).

Under Security Council Resolution 1409, INVO staff reviewed contract applications to ensure no nuclear related or duel use items were sold to Iraq. During the period between the inception of the programme and its completion in March 2003 the IAEA completed the review of nearly 10000 contract applications.

Monitoring equipment

INVO maintains an extensive database that describes the facilities, location of nuclear materials and equipment that could be potentially diverted to prohibited activites. Field inspections provide the greatest deterrent to unauthorized activities. These inspections coupled with the use of sensitive radiation monitoring equipment and environmental sampling techniques provide a credible assurance that Iraq is complying with the demands of the Security Council.

When it is not possible to conduct field activities, INVO concentrates on maintaining its extensive collection of information on Iraq, analysing relevant data, and developing equipment and inspection techniques. Development efforts include the design and implementation of a new geographical information system (GIS) to better access information resources, and the testing of automated air samplers. The situation in Iraq is continuously monitored through the analysis of satellite imagery, the collection and analysis of open source information, and contact with Member States.

INVO continues to update its equipment and procedures and remains ready to resume its verification activities in Iraq, subject to Security Council guidance.


INVO - Iraq Nuclear Verification Office

INVO - Iraq Nuclear Verification Office