10. Iraq has yet to provide any documents concerning production of agent and
subsequent weaponisation. Iraq destroyed, unilaterally and illegally, some
biological weapons in 1991 and 1992 making accounting for these weapons
impossible. In addition, Iraq cleansed a key site at al Muthanna, its main
research and development, production and weaponisation facility for chemical
warfare agents, of all evidence of a biological programme in the toxicology
department, the animal house and weapons filling station.
11. Iraq refused to elaborate further on the programme during inspections in 1997 and
1998, confining discussion to previous topics. In July 1998 Tariq Aziz personally
intervened in the inspection process stating that the biological programme was
more secret and more closed than other mass destruction weaponry programmes.
He also played down the significance of the programme. Iraq has presented the
biological weapons programme as the personal undertaking of a few misguided
12. At the same time, Iraq tried to maintain its nuclear weapons programme via a
concerted campaign to deceive IAEA inspectors. In 1997 the IAEA Director
General stated that the IAEA was severely hampered by Iraq's persistence in a
policy of concealment and understatement of the programme's scope .
13. Despite the conduct of the Iraqi authorities towards them, both UNSCOM and
the IAEA Action Team have valuable records of achievement in discovering and
exposing Iraq's biological weapons programme and destroying very large
quantities of chemical weapons stocks and missiles as well as the infrastructure
for Iraq's nuclear weapons programme.
14. Despite UNSCOM's efforts, following the effective ejection of UN inspectors in
December 1998 there remained a series of significant unresolved disarmament
issues. In summarising the situation in a report to the UN Security Council, the
UNSCOM Chairman, Richard Butler, indicated that:
contrary to the requirement that destruction be conducted under
international supervision Iraq undertook extensive, unilateral and secret
destruction of large quantities of proscribed weapons and items ;
and Iraq also pursued a practice of concealment of proscribed items,
including weapons, and a cover up of its activities in contravention of
Council resolutions .
Overall, Richard Butler declared that obstructive Iraqi activity had had a
significant impact upon the Commission's disarmament work .