UNMOVIC IAEA Press Statement on Inspection Activities in Iraq. 24 December 2002

2002/2412b

An UNMOVIC team of missile inspectors inspected the Al Nidaa Factory in south Baghdad. The factory makes mechanical parts and equipment for different types of missiles. Another missile team inspected the Abdul Kareem Abass Plant, located approximately 60 km south of Baghdad. This is a site newly declared in the 1 October Iraqi declaration and the only plant in Iraq, which manufactures ammonium perchlorate, the primary ingredient used in the production of solid propellant. A third missile team went to three different sites under the control of the Taji Technical Battalion. These sites were Tarmiya, Baquba, and Taji. The team checked and applied identification tags to Al-Samoud missiles and warheads.

An UNMOVIC biological team inspected the College of Veterinary Medicine at Baghdad University in Abu Ghraib, located 25 km west of Baghdad. The College has about 1,000 undergraduate and graduate students and has limited research capability in the areas of veterinary medicine and bacteriology. The team inspected the whole site and checked previously tagged equipment. Another biological team inspected the brewery of the National Company Food Industries (NCFI), located 15 km south-southwest of Baghdad. This site has previously tagged dual-use equipment, fermenters and filter press.

An UNMOVIC chemical team inspected Hutten State Establishment (Iskandariyah Ammunition Filling Plant), located approximately 60 km south of Baghdad. This site produces conventional ammunitions. Another chemical team inspected oil facilities in the Basra region.

The IAEA inspected two sites. One team inspected the Salah al Din General Establishment (Electronics Factory) north of the town of Samara. Salah al Din produces such items as radars, fuses, and communications equipment for the military as well as some civilian products. The factory was associated with the past nuclear programme until 1990.

The other IAEA team inspected the Baghdad Technical University within the city limits of Baghdad. This is a major technical university in the Iraqi higher education system with over 9,000 students and 600 lecturers. In the course of the inspection, the team requested an interview with a particular Iraqi scientist, conducted separately from the rest of the inspection. The scientist consented to lengthy interview regarding technical activities in Iraq. The interview was conducted in a private office chosen at random, without cameras, or recordings being present. The interviewee requested an Iraqi witness to join him. This represents resumption of a regular interview programme that was interrupted in 1998.

Due to additional personnel movements, we have a total of 104 inspectors as of today. The breakdown is 98 from UNMOVIC and 6 from the IAEA.

Hiro Ueki,
Spokesman for UNMOVIC and the IAEA in Baghdad

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