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IAEA Media Advisory 2003/0901 (9 January 2003)

News Update on Iraq Inspections

2003 |UNMOVIC IAEA Press Statement on Inspection Activities in Iraq. 9 January 2003

For full coverage, see the pages on IAEA and Iraq.

9 January 2003 -- An UNMOVIC multidisciplinary team took off on three Bell-212 helicopters from the Al Rasheed Air Base in Baghdad this morning to inspect a site. Due to weather conditions in the inspection site area, the team returned without landing.

An UNMOVIC missile team visited the Al Rafah Liquid Engine Test Facility, roughly 130 km southwest of Baghdad, to witness a static test firing of the Al Samoud missile engine. The test was postponed for technical reasons.

A second team of missile inspectors traveled 40 km south of Baghdad to visit the Al Meelad Military Research and Development Company, which specializes in the design and development of missile guidance and control systems. The technical staff at the facility addressed questions regarding the status of the Al Fatah guidance and control development programme. The Al Fatah is a short-range rocket, with a maximum range of 150 km.

A third team of missile inspectors visited the Al Harith Missile Maintenance Workshop in Taji to temporarily remove UNMOVIC identification tags from 9 SA-2 missiles to facilitate required maintenance and repair. The SA-2 Surface-to-Air missiles are tagged to ensure that they are not converted into ballistic missiles capable of proscribed ranges.

An UNMOVIC biological team inspected the Central Veterinary Diagnosis Laboratory in Baghdad. The laboratory receives samples of animal blood and tissue submitted by other government veterinary agencies and analyzes these to diagnose bacterial, parasitic and viral diseases.

An UNMOVIC chemical team inspected the Al Siniya Small Refineries Project near Bayji area, approximately 200 km north of Baghdad. They are small refineries. Another chemical team inspected the Al Rayad State Company in the Taji industrial area, roughly 30 km northwest of Baghdad. This company is a research centre for materials and catalysts.

A Mosul-based multidisciplinary team inspected the General Public Health Laboratory in Mosul. The laboratory conducts basic bacteriological diagnostic tests and routine screenings.

The IAEA inspected the Baquba Electrical Plant, a State Company for Electrical Industries, approximately 60 km from central Baghdad. The company produces electrical goods, such as transformers, welding machines, electrical meters and fans for the heavy as well as light current electrical market.

Hiro Ueki
Spokesman for UNMOVIC and the IAEA in Baghdad