Mohammed ElBaradei

March 08, 2003

The following is an excerpt of chief nuclear inspector Mohammed ElBaradei's report to the U.N. Security Council:

I am able to report today that, in the area of nuclear weapons - the most lethal weapons of mass destruction - inspections in Iraq are moving forward.

Since the resumption of inspections a little over three months ago - and particularly during the three weeks since my last oral report to the Council - the IAEA has made important progress in identifying what nuclear-related capabilities remain in Iraq, and in its assessment of whether Iraq has made any efforts to revive its past nuclear program during the intervening four years since inspections were brought to a halt.

At this stage, the following can be stated:

There is no indication of resumed nuclear activities in those buildings that were identified through the use of satellite imagery as being reconstructed or newly erected since 1998, nor any indication of nuclear-related prohibited activities at any inspected sites.

There is no indication that Iraq has attempted to import uranium since 1990.

There is no indication that Iraq has attempted to import aluminum tubes for use in centrifuge enrichment. Moreover, even had Iraq pursued such a plan, it would have encountered practical difficulties in manufacturing centrifuges out of the aluminum tubes in question.

Although we are still reviewing issues related to magnets and magnet production, there is no indication to date that Iraq imported magnets for use in a centrifuge enrichment program.

As I stated above, the IAEA will continue further to scrutinize and investigate all of the above issues.

After three months of intrusive inspections, we have to date found no evidence or plausible indication of the revival of a nuclear weapons program in Iraq. We intend to continue our inspection activities, making use of all the additional rights granted to us by resolution 1441 and all additional tools that might be available to us, including reconnaissance platforms and all relevant technologies. We also hope to continue to receive from States actionable information relevant to our mandate.

I should note that, in the past three weeks, possibly as a result of ever-increasing pressure by the international community, Iraq has been forthcoming in its co-operation, particularly with regard to the conduct of private interviews and in making available evidence that could contribute to the resolution of matters of IAEA concern.

I do hope that Iraq will continue to expand the scope and accelerate the pace of its co-operation.

The detailed knowledge of Iraq's capabilities that IAEA experts have accumulated since 1991 - combined with the extended rights provided by resolution 1441, the active commitment by all States to help us fulfil our mandate, and the recently increased level of Iraqi co-operation - should enable us in the near future to provide the Security Council with an objective and thorough assessment of Iraq's nuclear-related capabilities.

However credible this assessment may be, we will endeavor - in view of the inherent uncertainties associated with any verification process, and, particularly in light of Iraq's past record of co-operation - to evaluate Iraq's capabilities on a continuous basis as part of our long-term monitoring and verification program, in order to provide the international community with ongoing and real time assurances.

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