The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Two projects in particular stand out. They are the development of a liquid-fuelled missile named Al-Samud II (ph) and a solid propellant missile called Al-Fatam (ph). Both missiles have been tested to arrange in excess of the permitted range of 150 kilometres, with the Al-Samud II being tested to a maximum of 183 km and the Al-Fatam to 161 km. Some of these missiles have already been provided to the Iraqi armed forces, though it is sta- ted that they are still undergoing development. The Al-Samudís diametre was incr- eased from an earlier version to the present 760 millimetres. This modification was made despite a 1994 letter from the executive chairman of United Nations special commission, directing Iraq to limit its missile diametre to less than 600 mm. Furthermore, a November 1997 letter from the executive chairman of UNSCOM to Iraq prohibited the use of engines from certain surface-to-air missiles in ballistic missiles.

During my recent meeting in Baghdad, we were briefed on these two programmes. We were told that the final range for both systems would be less than the permitted maximum of 150 km. These missiles might well represent prima facie cases of proscribed systems. The test ranges in excess of 150 km are significant, but some further technical considerations need to be made before we reach a conclusion on this issue. In the meantime, we have asked Iraq to cease flight tests of both missiles.

In addition, Iraq has refurbished its missile production infrastructure. In particular, Iraq reconstituted a number of casting chambers which had previously been destroyed under UNSCOM's supervision. They had been used in the production of solid fuel missiles. Whatever missile system these chambers are meant for, they could produce motors for missiles capable of ranges significantly greater than 150 km.

Also the import, over the last two years, of a number of items despite the sanctions, including as late as December 2002. Foremost among these are 300 rocket engines which may be used for the Al-Samud II.

Iraq has also declared the recent import of chemicals used in propellants, test instrumentation and guidance and control systems. 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.

Mr President, I have touched upon some of the disarmament issues that remain open and that need to be answered if dossiers are to be closed and confidence is to arise...Our Iraqi counterparts are fond of saying that there are no proscribed items and if no evidence is presented to the contrary, they should have the benefit of doubt; be presumed innocent. The UN monitoring verification and inspection commission, is not presuming that there are proscribed items and activities in Iraq. But nor is it, or I think anyone else after the inspections between 1991 and 1998, presuming the opposite, that no such items and activities exist in Iraq. Presumptions do not solve the problem; evidence and full transparency may help... Information from member-states tells us about the movement and concealment of missiles and chemical weapons and mobile units for biological weapons production. We shall follow-up any credible leads given to us and report what we might find, as well as any denial of access.

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