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Iraq Talks End in Vienna, Final Report Going to UN Security Council in New York


2 October 2002

Mohamed ElBaradei

IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei, Hans Blix (UNMOVIC) and Amir Al Sadi (Iraq) brief the press after the Vienna talks. (Photo: D.Calma/IAEA)


High-level talks between Iraq, the UN, and IAEA concluded in Vienna 1 October, with agreement reported on practical arrangements for facilitating resumed inspections under existing mandates of the Security Council. The official report on the talks is set to go to the Security Council this week.

In a press statement issued in Vienna Tuesday, the three parties reported progress through two days of meetings that were held in a "business-like and focussed manner". Key points include:

  • The Iraqi representatives declared that Iraq accepts all the rights of inspection provided for in all the relevant Security Council resolutions.
  • On the question of access, it was clarified that all sites are subject to immediate, unconditional and unrestricted access. However, the Memorandum of Understanding of 1998 establishes special procedures for access to eight presidential sites.
  • The Iraqi delegation handed over four compact discs containing the backlog of semi-annual monitoring declarations for the sites and items covered by the on-going monitoring and verification plans for the period June 1998 to July 2002.

"Under the existing mandate we have, we have now the assurances from the Iraqi side that we would have unrestricted, uninhibited, unconditional access to all sites in Iraq with the exception of the Presidential sites that are covered by the Memorandum of Understanding between the Security Council and the Government of Iraq." said IAEA Director General ElBaradei. "That assurance is very important. Of course that has to be tested when we go back to Iraq."

The meetings were held to discuss logistical, communication, transport, security and other support needs for the possible resumption of inspections in Iraq. Senior officials taking part in discussions include Dr. ElBaradei, who heads the IAEA inspectorate, Dr. Hans Blix, Executive Chairman of the United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC), and Dr. Amir Al Sadi, Special Advisor to the President of Iraq.

Reporters at the press briefing. (Credit: D.Calma/IAEA) Hans Blix

Background - UNMOVIC and IAEA

Under the relevant Security Council resolutions UNMOVIC and the IAEA have distinct and different mandates. Although they have separate inspection teams, the two organizations work closely together particularly in making use of UNMOVIC’s logistical arrangements.

UNMOVIC is responsible for the chemical, biological and missile files, while the IAEA is responsible for the nuclear file.