UNMOVIC IAEA Press Statement on Inspection Activities in Iraq. 15 January 2003

2003/1501

Dr. Hans Blix, the Executive Chairman of the UN Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC), and Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei, the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) are expected to arrive in Baghdad mid-day on 19 January. They will fly in on a UN aircraft from Larnaca, Cyprus. They will hold talks with Iraqi officials on both 19 and 20 January. They are tentatively scheduled to give a press conference at the Canal Hotel before their departure in mid-afternoon of 20 January.

There have been some personnel movements over the last week. As of today, we have a grand total of 264 persons working for UNMOVIC and the IAEA in Iraq. The total number of inspectors is 114 (105 from UNMOVIC and 9 from the IAEA). UNMOVIC’s number is the highest since the resumption of inspections in November. We also have 150 support staff, including 53 aircrew members.

The seventh basic training course will start on 20 January in Vienna. It is a three-week course to end on 7 February. At this moment, we have invited 58 persons to attend the course. They are coming from 21 countries. There are 6 persons from 3 Arab countries.

All eight helicopters based at the Al Rasheed Air Base are now functional. We undertook the fourth air-born inspection today, employing two Bell-212 helicopters and three MI8-MTVs.

Today’s inspections:

An UNMOVIC multidisciplinary team inspected Government office buildings adjacent to a Presidential compound in Baghdad. The team did not go inside the Presidential compound.

Another multidisciplinary team went to the north of Tiklit by helicopter to inspect the Tiklit Munitions Depot.

An UNMOVIC chemical team inspected three sites: the Saad State Company in west Baghdad, which is a design centre for refineries; the Khan Dari Stores, a storage facility, 60 km northwest of Baghdad; and the Nassr Al Adheem State Company, which is a heavy equipment manufacturer, 16 km west of Baghdad.

An UNMOVIC biological team inspected an agricultural site south of Baghdad. The site is a privately owned farm. Several doors were sealed, as keys to the rooms were not available. After keys were found, the team returned to the site several hours later to inspect these rooms. Another biological team visited four colleges at Anbar University in Ramadi, approximately 150 km west of Baghdad. These included the College of Education for Women, Biology Department; the College of Science, the College of Education, and the College of Medicine.

An UNMOVIC missile team traveled 130 km south of Baghdad to inspect the Al Ameen Factory, one of the plants belonging to the Al Rasheed State Company. The factory was involved in the BADR 200 solid propellant missile project before 1991, and has since been responsible for the fabrication of motor cases and nozzles for Iraq’s other solid propellant missiles. The team then split into two sub-teams to verify information provided by Al Ameen staff during technical discussions. One sub-team visited the Al Rasheed SC Headquarters, about 30-minute drive from Al Ameen, while the other sub-team drove to the Al Zafaraniya Military College of Engineering, near the Al Rasheed Air Base.

The IAEA inspected three sites: the Isakandariya State Enterprise for Mechanical Industries, the Al Mutaz Technical Institute, both approximately 70 km south of Baghdad and the Hatteen State Company approximately 80 km southeast of Baghdad. The Isakandariya State Enterprise is a general-purpose heavy equipment engineering plant. The Al Mutaz Technical Institute specializes in mechanical engineering, and the Hatteen State Company is an ammunitions and armourments organization.

P.S. Today’s inspection activity in Mosul will be reported tomorrow.

Hiro Ueki
Spokesman for UNMOVIC and the IAEA in Baghdad

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