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Chronology of IAEA Inspections and Key Events

(January - August 2002)

AUGUST 2002

6, Tuesday: Iraq Links Inspections to Sanctions. Iraq's foreign minister Naji Sabri said that UN arms inspectors would be readmitted only as part of a wider plan involving the end of economic sanctions.

4, Sunday: Blix Rejects Baghdad Talks. Hans Blix, Executive Director of UNMOVIC, rejected the Iraqi request that he travel to Baghdad for technical talks, saying he would not do so until Saddam Hussein approved the return of weapons inspectors.

1, Thursday: Iraq Invites Blix. Iraq said that UNMOVIC Head Dr. Hans Blix is welcome in Baghdad for "technical talks."

JULY 2002

5, Friday: UN-Iraq Talks in Vienna. The latest round of talks between Secretary-General Kofi Annan and senior representatives of the Government of Iraq concluded 5 July 2002 at the United Nations offices in Vienna. Also participating were IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei and Hans Blix, the Executive Chairman of the United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC). The talks aimed to foster Iraq's compliance with relevant Security Council resolutions, including the return of UN weapons inspectors to the country.

MAY 2002

14, Tuesday: UN Security Council Adopts New Sanctions System. The Security Council adopted resolution 1409. It defines a new system for the sale or supply of commodities and products to Iraq, through the adoption of the Goods Review List (GRL) and associated procedures. Sanctions were first imposed against Iraq 11 years ago at the end of the Gulf War. The 15-member Council voted unanimously to replace a blanket ban on a whole range of goods with "smart" sanctions, which are specifically targeted at military and dual-use equipment.

1-3, Wednesday to Friday: UN-Iraq Talks. The first talks since December 1998 between the UN Iraq inspectorate and Iraqi officials take place at a technical level in New York. IAEA Director General ElBaradei joins UN Secretary-General Annan and UNMOVIC Executive Chairman Hans Blix for meetings with Iraq's delegation.

APRIL 2002

10, Wednesday: IAEA Report to Security Council. The IAEA submitted its 13th consolidated report on verification in Iraq to the UN Security Council. The report states that the Agency is not in a position to offer any assurance of Iraq's compliance.

FEBRUARY 2002

13, Wednesday: Iraq Sees No Need for Inspections. Iraq says that it will not allow UN arms inspectors to return to Iraq. Iraqi Vice President Taha Yassin Ramadan states, "There is no need for the spies of the [U.N.] inspection teams to return to Iraq since Iraq is free of weapons of mass destruction."

JANUARY 2002

29, Tuesday: US President Cites "Axis of Evil". In his State of the Union Address to Congress, US President Bush identified Iraq, Iran and North Korea as constituting an "axis of evil". He stated that the United States "will not permit the world's most dangerous regimes to threaten us with the world's most destructive weapons."

26-30, Saturday to Wednesday: IAEA Safeguards Inspection in Iraq. An IAEA team of seven experts carried out inspections of safeguarded nuclear material at the Tuwaitha facility in Iraq. The inspections were under Iraq's safeguards agreement with the IAEA, which was concluded pursuant to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). The team's activities were limited to verifying stocks of nuclear material sealed under IAEA safeguards. The safeguarded material is low-enriched, natural, and depleted uranium.

Responsible/Contact: Division of Public Information | Last update: 17 November 2009