the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention which bans the development,
production, stockpiling, acquisition or retention of biological weapons;
the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty which prohibits Iraq from
manufacturing or otherwise acquiring nuclear weapons.
3. UNSCR 687 obliged Iraq to provide declarations on all aspects of its weapons
of mass destruction programmes within 15 days and accept the destruction,
removal or rendering harmless under international supervision of its chemical,
biological and nuclear programmes, and all ballistic missiles with a range
beyond 150km. Iraq did not make a satisfactory declaration within the specified
Iraq accepted the UNSCRs and agreed to co operate with UNSCOM. The
history of the UN weapons inspections was characterised by persistent Iraqi
UNSCOM and the IAEA were given the remit to designate any locations for
inspection at any time, review any document and interview any scientist,
technician or other individual and seize any prohibited items for destruction.
Iraqi Non Co operation with the Inspectors
4. The former Chairman of UNSCOM, Richard Butler, reported to the UN
Security Council in January 1999 that in 1991 a decision was taken by a high
level Iraqi Government committee to provide inspectors with only a portion of
its proscribed weapons, components, production capabilities and stocks.
UNSCOM concluded that Iraqi policy was based on the following actions:
to provide only a portion of extant weapons stocks, releasing for destruction
only those that were least modern;
to retain the production capability and documentation necessary to revive
programmes when possible;
to conceal the full extent of its chemical weapons programme, including the
VX nerve agent project; to conceal the number and type of chemical and
biological warheads for proscribed long range missiles;
and to conceal the existence of its biological weapons programme.
5. In December 1997 Richard Butler reported to the UN Security Council that Iraq
had created a new category of sites, Presidential and sovereign , from which
it claimed that UNSCOM inspectors would henceforth be barred. The terms of
the ceasefire in 1991 foresaw no such limitation. However, Iraq consistently
refused to allow UNSCOM inspectors access to any of these eight Presidential
sites. Many of these so called palaces are in fact large compounds which are
an integral part of Iraqi counter measures designed to hide weapons material
(see photograph on p35).