UNMOVIC/IAEA Press Statement on Inspection Activities in Iraq, 12 December 2002

2002/1212

An UNMOVIC team attended a test launch of a short-range ballistic missile being developed by Iraq. The test took place at a test range approximately 200 km west of Baghdad. The missile is a modified version of a missile already owned by Iraq. The missile range falls within that allowed under the UN resolutions. The UNMOVIC team was able to examine the missile before launch to verify its configuration.

Another UNMOVIC team visited the Arab Company for Antibiotics Industry (ACAI) located 30 km southeast of Baghdad off Kut Highway. The site is a pharmaceutical plant engaged in formulation and packaging of antibiotics. Upon arrival, the team found that the site was not operating today since it operates Saturday through Wednesday. However, a detailed inspection of all buildings was carried out to verify the declaration. The team successfully completed the inspection objectives.

The IAEA conducted inspections at five facilities. Two IAEA teams visited Al Nida, an engineering facility and Al Zawraa, an electronics fabrication facility, both in the vicinity of Baghdad. The inspection of these facilities was made in order to review the activities and personnel at these sites since 1998 and to review the disposition and use of dual-purpose machine tools and equipment formerly known to the IAEA.

Two IAEA teams inspected the Al Mutasim facility, which is a missile plant occupying the grounds of the former Al Athear nuclear facility. The teams inspected new and destroyed former nuclear buildings. Observations were also made, with the assistance of an experienced UNMOVIC missile specialist, of rocket production facilities. The team also visited the Al Hatteen firing range to inventory equipment previously monitored by the IAEA.

Two IAEA teams visited Ibn Sina, formally known as Tarmiya. This was to conduct a follow-up visit to this former uranium enrichment plant to undertake a full inspection of the production and laboratory facilities, including a car-borne Gamma survey of the site and surrounding areas.

On 10-11 December the IAEA conducted a two-day inspection of the Al Qaim Chemical and Al Qaim Cement facilities located near the Syrian border. Al Qaim was a producer of uranium "yellow cake" prior to 1991. The facility was frequently visited by the IAEA prior to 1998 and its processes at that time were well understood. This inspection covered all buildings on this large complex site and included appropriate sampling of raw materials, ore and concentrates.

28 inspectors from UNMOVIC arrived in Baghdad this afternoon, bringing the total of UNMOVIC and IAEA inspectors to 98. The breakdown of inspectors is 71 inspectors from UNMOVIC and 27 inspectors from the IAEA.

Hiro Ueki
Spokesman for UNMOVIC and the IAEA in Baghdad

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