Iraqi weapons declaration arrives in New York
UNITED NATIONS — Iraq’s massive dossier detailing its chemical, biological and nuclear programs arrived Sunday in New York, where U.N. weapons inspectors plan to comb through the voluminous report to determine whether Baghdad is complying with Security Council resolutions.
Two copies of the 12,000-page dossier arrived at John F. Kennedy International Airport on a Lufthansa flight from Frankfurt, Germany, at 7:45 p.m.
The nuclear component of the declaration arrived earlier Sunday in Vienna, Austria, where the International Atomic Energy Agency is based. The chemical, biological and missile components of the dossier will be analyzed and translated by U.N. inspectors based in New York.
One copy of the declaration is for the Security Council and the other is for the U.N. Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission, known as UNMOVIC, which oversees the search for biological and chemical agents.
Mohamed ElBaradei, the IAEA’s director-general, said analysts in Vienna began work immediately on the declaration, “including the painstaking and systematic cross-checking” of the information it contains. Iraq’s account will be compared with intelligence provided by other nations and with data from past and present inspections, he said.
The IAEA hopes to provide the Security Council with a preliminary analysis within 10 days and a more detailed analysis when it reports back to the council at the end of January, ElBaradei said.
Hans Blix, the chief U.N. weapons inspector, will meet with the Security Council on Tuesday to update them on how long it will take his team to sift through its sections of the documents, translate the Arabic portions and even remove so-called sensitive material which could get into the wrong hands.
Iraq insists it has no programs for developing nuclear, biological or chemical weapons. It turned over the declaration to U.N. officials in Baghdad on Saturday — a day before the United Nations’ deadline.
The complete declaration, in Arabic and English with an 80-page summary, was contained in at least a dozen bound volumes accompanied by computer disks. It covers such subjects as the 1990s U.N. weapons inspection regime in Iraq, when many arms and much production equipment were destroyed, and “dual-use” industries that can serve both civilian and military purposes.
EDITORS: Associated Press Writer Sara Kugler contributed to this report.