The latest round of talks between Secretary-General Kofi Annan and senior representatives of the Government of Iraq conclude 5 July 2002 at the United Nations offices in Vienna. Also participating are IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei and Hans Blix, the Executive Chairman of the United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC). The talks aim to foster Iraq's compliance with relevant Security Council resolutions, including the return of UN weapons inspectors to the country.
Under Security Council resolutions, the IAEA, through its Iraq Action Team, has the responsibility for conducting nuclear inspections in Iraq; these inspections ceased in December 1998.
Implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolutions Relating to Iraq -- Excerpt from IAEA Director General's Statement to the Agency's Board of Governors in June 2002
The Agency has not been in a position since December 1998 to implement its verification mandate in Iraq pursuant to relevant Security Council resolutions. Early last month in New York, I participated - with the Chairman of the United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC) - in the second round of talks between the United Nations Secretary General and Iraq. It is to be hoped that the next round of talks, which is scheduled to be held here in Vienna on 4 and 5 July, would lead to the resumption of inspections in Iraq. The Agency remains prepared to resume its Security Council mandated verification activities in Iraq at short notice.
I should note in this regard that Resolution 1409, adopted by the Security Council last month, requested the IAEA, in consultation with UNMOVIC, to evaluate applications submitted to the Office of the Iraq Programme in New York related to the export of products and commodities to Iraq, in order to identify nuclear related items referred to in paragraph 24 of Resolution 687 (1991) or in the Goods Review List referred to in Resolution 1409, to determine whether such items are either prohibited or require prior approval by the Sanctions Committee. Since the adoption of the resolution, the Agency has already received over 400 such applications.