Vienna, Austria | Informal Briefing of the United Nations Security Council
- On 8 December 2002, the IAEA received at its Headquarters in Vienna, under cover of a letter dated 7 December 2002 from Dr. Amir Al Sa'adi, Advisor to the Office of the Presidency of Iraq, the nuclear-related declaration submitted by Iraq in response to paragraph 3 of resolution 1441 (2002). The declaration consists of seven volumes: the first six are entitled "The past Iraqi nuclear programme" and cover Iraq's nuclear activities prior to 1991; the seventh is entitled "Nuclear programme from 1991 up to 2002". The six volumes of the first part are predominantly in the English language; the seventh volume is largely in Arabic.
- The Security Council has before it an edited copy of the Iraqi declaration. As explained in the cover letter to the President of the Security Council conveying the edited version of the declaration, the IAEA excised aspects of the declaration which included:
- information which related to weapons technology or nuclear weaponization processes;
- information describing Iraq's attempts to develop nuclear weapons technology, weaponization processes or sensitive fissile material production equipment or technology; and
- information which would provide a "shopping list" of sensitive equipment or a "guide" as to where to purchase it.
- The IAEA's editing of Iraq's declaration prior to providing it to the Security Council has been minimal consistent with the principle that proliferation sensitive information should not be released. The IAEA has attempted to balance what should be deleted to prevent the dissemination of sensitive information with the aim of providing as much information as possible to Members of the Security Council.
- In carrying out its preliminary assessment of the Iraqi declaration, the IAEA has concentrated on:
- A comparison of Iraq's current declaration regarding its nuclear programme prior to 1991 with the "Full, Final and Complete Declaration" (FFCD) provided by Iraq in April 1998; and
- The review of Iraq's declaration regarding its nuclear programme over the period 1991 to 2002, with particular emphasis on Iraqi activities since late 1998.
- Iraq's overall conclusion with respect to its nuclear programme is as follows:
"No activities of any substance related to the former INP were carried out during and beyond April 1991. All nuclear program activities were practically terminated and abandoned during April 1991 and only reports of previous accomplishments and new missions (non-proscribed) were issued later." (Extended Summary, page 86/113)
- Iraq's current declaration of its nuclear programme prior to 1991 contains no substantive changes from the FFCD provided to the IAEA in 1998. The declaration does contain numerous clarifications, but does not include any additional documentation related to areas which were identified in previous IAEA reports as requiring further clarification, particularly weapons design or centrifuge development.
- Iraq states that its nuclear activities from 1991 to 2002 have been limited to the use of radioisotopes for non-proscribed purposes (e.g. medical, agricultural and industrial uses), in conformity with Security Council resolution 707 (1991). The remainder of the declaration covering the post-1991 period is devoted to a description of the activities conducted at current and former Iraqi Atomic Energy Commission (IAEC) sites, at locations established since 1991 to which a number of former IAEC personnel were transferred, and at other industrial locations that had supported the weapons development programme.
- The IAEC sites were heavily damaged during the Gulf War. IAEA inspection teams, pursuant to the Security Council mandate in resolution 687 (1991), eliminated all remaining weapons development infrastructure at these sites. In its CAFCD, Iraq has declared that the current and former IAEC sites, as well as the locations to which former IAEC personnel were transferred, are now devoted to the conduct of non-nuclear commercial activities. The other support locations are declared as being involved in a variety of industrial and military applications. All of these sites and locations were subject to on-going monitoring and verification prior to 1998.
- It should be noted that, in the course of the meeting that took place in Baghdad on 19 November 2002, the Iraqi counterpart, referring to a number of published reports, acknowledged that Iraq had made several unsuccessful attempts since 1991 to import high-strength aluminum tubing, but stated that the tubing had been intended for the manufacture of 81-millimetre rockets and not for the enrichment of uranium. These attempts are not mentioned in the Iraqi declaration covering post-1991 activities, although the IAEA understands that it is referred to in the part of the declaration that deals with missiles. The IAEA intends to pursue this matter further with Iraq. In addition, during that same meeting in Baghdad, the Iraqi authorities, referring again to published reports, denied any efforts to import uranium after 1991. The declaration makes no mention of this issue, but the matter will be pursued further by the IAEA. As previously reported to the Council by the IAEA, all nuclear material known to exist in Iraq (mostly natural uranium) remains under IAEA control at a storage location in Iraq, and has been subject to periodic verification since 1998 pursuant to Iraq's Safeguards Agreement under the Treaty on the Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT).
- As a result of our assessment to date of the Iraqi declaration, the following preliminary conclusions can be drawn:
- Iraq's declaration concerning its past nuclear programme contains no substantive differences from the 1998 FFCD; accordingly, like the FFCD, the recent declaration appears to be consistent with the coherent picture of the Iraqi nuclear weapons programme drawn by the IAEA (as reported to the Security Council in S/1997/779) and its conclusions with respects to that programme. These conclusions were refined through additional analyses carried out by the IAEA after 1997 and last reported to the Security Council in October of this year (S/2002/1150).
- The Iraqi declaration concerning its programme between 1991 and 1998 is also consistent with the conclusions drawn by the IAEA on the basis of its verification activities conducted throughout that period and regularly reported to the Security Council.
- The key outstanding issue for the IAEA is the accuracy and completeness of Iraq's declaration that there have been no material changes in its nuclear programme since 1998 and that its nuclear activities have been limited to the non-proscribed use of radioisotopes.
- A detailed assessment of Iraq's CAFCD is underway. This will involve an extensive comparison of the CAFCD with all information available to the IAEA, including that which may be provided by States as requested by the Security Council in paragraph 10 of resolution 1441 (2002), information derived from past inspections and analyses, and information which is being acquired through present verification activities in Iraq.
Resumption of Inspections
- Following the Security Council approval of resolution 1441 (2002), an advance team of IAEA and UNMOVIC personnel, including the Director General of the IAEA and the Executive Chairman of UNMOVIC, visited Baghdad on 18 November 2002 for a meeting with their Iraqi counterparts to establish logistical arrangements and to re-instate the inspectorates' office in Baghdad. IAEA inspections began on 27 November 2002 and have been ongoing since then. The IAEA's presence in Baghdad was increased to about 30 inspectors, and this level will be by and large maintained through at least the period required for the assessment of Iraq's CAFCD.
- Since the resumption of Security Council mandated activities in Iraq, the IAEA has conducted sixty-eight inspections, including inspections at a Presidential Site and at six sites that had not previously been inspected. Inspections have been carried out without prior notification to Iraq except where notification was necessary to ensure that specific support from the counterpart would be available at the facility (e.g. a crane for the removal of Agency air samplers), and immediate access has been provided by the Iraqi authorities. No evidence of prohibited activities has been detected, though the results of the collection of environmental samples are not yet available.
- The objective of current inspections, beyond gaining assurance that Iraq is not carrying out prohibited activities, is to re-establish knowledge of Iraqi nuclear capabilities, including the identification of the location of major equipment and of key technical personnel. In the coming weeks, the scope of the inspections will be expanded to include a detailed investigation of Iraq's activities over the last four years, the follow-up of issues identified as a result of our analysis of the CAFCD, and the seeking of additional clarifications on certain aspects of Iraq's past nuclear weapons programme.
- The verification activities carried out by the IAEA in Iraq will involve exercising all of the IAEA's rights under relevant Security Council resolutions, including resolution 1441 (2002). These activities will include: follow-up with Iraqi authorities on CAFCD related issues; on-site inspection activities; the collection of environmental samples at known and new locations; satellite imagery analysis; gamma radiation monitoring; and interviews with Iraqi officials and other persons, subject to modalities and at locations deemed appropriate by the IAEA.
- A detailed assessment of the CAFCD and of the results of two months of inspections will be undertaken expeditiously and progress achieved will be described in the IAEA's update report to the Council in January 2003.