About 90 of 353 sites in Iraq containing dual-use equipment and materials that can be used for either peaceful ends or acquiring weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) have been looted or razed, according to the latest report of the United Nations commission that was in charge of disarming Iraq of such arms. The UN Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC), which withdrew from Iraq on the eve of the United States-led invasion two years ago, reached this conclusion based on continuing examination of imagery from sites that were subject to monitoring, it writes in its latest quarterly report to the Security Council.
As part of its ongoing investigation into the removal of items, equipment and materials, mainly as scrap, that were subject to UNMOVIC monitoring, the Commission notes that four of Iraq’s neighbours – Jordan, Turkey, Kuwait and Syria – have replied to its queries on whether such materials found their way into or through their territory, the latest being Syria’s negative response. Iran and Saudi Arabia have yet to reply.
The report also states that the question of the continued existence of “seed stock,” the reference strains of micro-organisms that can be used in the future production of biological weapons agents, remains “part of the residue of uncertainty.”
“Given its unresolvable nature, the issue could best be dealt with through monitoring to detect inter alia any possible future activity associated with biological weapon agent production or significant laboratory research work,” it says.
From United Nations