CNN.com - Transcript of Blix's remarks - Jan. 27, 2003
Resolution 687 in 1991
, like the subsequent resolutions I shall refer to, required cooperation by Iraq, but such was often withheld or given grudgingly
Unlike South Africa, which decided on its own to eliminate its nuclear weapons and welcomed the inspection as a means of creating confidence in its disarmament, Iraq appears not to have come to a genuine acceptance, not even today, of the disarmament which was demanded of it and which it needs to carry out to win the confidence of the world and to live in peace
As we know, the twin operation declare and verify, which was prescribed in Resolution 687, too often turned into a game of hide and seek
. Rather than just verify in declarations and supporting evidence, the two inspecting organizations found themselves engaged in efforts to map the weapons programs and to search for evidence through inspections, interviews, seminars, inquiries with suppliers and intelligence organizations.
As a result, the disarmament phase was not completed in the short time expected
While Iraq claims, with little evidence, that it destroyed all biological weapons unilaterally in 1991
, it is certain that UNSCOM destroyed large biological weapons production facilities in 1996. The large nuclear infrastructure was destroyed and the fissionable material was removed from Iraq by the IAEA.
One of three important questions
before us today is, How much might remain undeclared and intact from before 1991 and possibly thereafter? The second question is, What, if anything, was illegally produced or procured after 1998 when the inspectors left. And the third question is, How it can be prevented that any weapons of mass destruction be produced or procured in the future?
I'm obliged to note some recent disturbing incidents and harassment. For instance, for some time farfetched allegations have been made publicly that questions posed by inspectors were of an intelligence character.
Paragraph 9 of Resolution 1441 states that this cooperation shall be "active." It is not enough to open doors. Inspection is not a game of catch as catch can
. Rather, as I noted, it is a process of verification for the purpose of creating confidence. It is not built upon the premise of trust. Rather, it is designed to lead to trust
, if there is both openness to the inspectors and action to present them with items to destroy or credible evidence about the absence of any such items.
On 7th of December 2002, Iraq submitted a declaration of some 12,000 pages in response to paragraph 3 of Resolution 1441, and within the time stipulated by the Security Council. In the fields of missiles and biotechnology, the declaration contains a good deal of new material and information covering the period from 1998 and onward.
Regrettably, the 12,000-page declaration, most of which is a reprint of earlier documents, does not seem to contain any new evidence that will eliminate the questions or reduce their number
I shall only give some examples of issues and questions that need to be answered, and I turn first to the sector of chemical weapons.
The nerve agent VX is one of the most toxic ever developed
. Iraq has declared
that it only produced VX on a pilot scale, just a few tons, and that the quality was poor and the product unstable
Consequently, it was said that the agent was never weaponized
Iraq said that the small quantity of [the] agent remaining after the Gulf War was unilaterally destroyed in the summer of 1991.
UNMOVIC, however, has information that conflicts with this account
. There are indications that Iraq had worked on the problem of purity and stabilization and that more had been achieved than has been declared. Indeed, even one of the documents provided by Iraq indicates that the purity of the agent, at least in laboratory production, was higher than declared.
There are also indications that the agent was weaponized.
In addition, there are questions to be answered concerning the fate of the VX precursor chemicals, which Iraq states were lost during bombing in the Gulf War or were unilaterally destroyed by Iraq.
Iraq states that they were overlooked from 1991 from a batch of some 2,000 that were stored there during the Gulf War. This could be the case. They could also be the tip of a submerged iceberg. The discovery of a few rockets does not resolve, but rather points to the issue of several thousand of chemical rockets that are unaccounted for.
During my recent discussions in Baghdad, Iraq declared that it would make new efforts in this regard and has set up a committee of investigation. Since then, it has reported that it has found four chemical rockets
at a storage depot in al-Haji. I might further mention that inspectors have found at another site a laboratory quantity of ... a mustard [gas] precursor.
I turn to biological weapons. I mention the issue of anthrax to the council on previous occasions, and I come back to it as it is an important one. Iraq has declared that it produced about 8,500 liters of this biological warfare agent
, which it states it unilaterally destroyed in the summer of 1991.
Iraq has provided little evidence for this production and no convincing evidence for its destruction.
There are strong indications that Iraq produced more anthrax than it declared
and that at least some of this was retained over the declared destruction date. It might still exist.
As I reported to the council on the 19th of December last year, Iraq did not declare a significant quantity, some 650 kilos, of bacterial growth media
, which was acknowledged as reported in Iraq's submission to the Amorim panel in February 1999.
In the letter of 24th of January this year to the president of the Security Council, Iraq's foreign minister stated that, I quote, "All imported quantities of growth media were declared." This is not evidence. I note that the quantity of media involved would suffice to produce, for example, about 5,000 liters of concentrated anthrax.
In addition, Iraq has refurbished its missile production infrastructure.
Iraq has also declared the recent import of chemicals used in propellants, test instrumentation and guidance and control system. These items may well be for proscribed purposes; that is yet to be determined.
What is clear is that they were illegally brought into Iraq
; that is, Iraq or some company in Iraq circumvented the restrictions imposed by various resolutions.
Presumptions do not solve the problem; evidence and full transparency may help.
Let me be specific. Information provided by member states tells us about the movement and concealment of missiles and chemical weapons and mobile units for biological weapons production
However, Iraq has all the archives of the government and its various departments, institutions and mechanisms. It should have budgetary documents, requests for funds and reports and how they have been used. They should also have letters of credit and bills of lading, reports and production and losses of material.
The recent inspection find in the private home of a scientist of a box of some 3,000 pages of documents, much of it relating to the lacing enrichment of uranium
, support a concern that has long existed that documents might be distributed to the homes of private individuals.
On our side, we cannot help but think that the case might not be isolated and that such placements of documents is deliberate to make discovery difficult and to seek to shield documents by placing them in private homes.
Any further sign of the concealment of documents will be serious.