Inspections resumed as Iraq set to meet U.N. deadline
UN arms experts resumed inspections in Iraq after a two-day break on Saturday, visiting military and nuclear research facilities south of Baghdad.
The visits came shortly before an expected Iraqi declaration on its weapons programs on Saturday to meet a Sunday deadline set last month by the UN Security Council
One team of experts revisited Iraq's main nuclear research facility while a second team examined a new military industrial research center, Reuters reported.
A team of inspectors from the UN Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC) examined a compound housing the al-Quds (Jerusalem) General Company in the town of al- Iskandariyah, 40 km south of Baghdad.
The company is part of Iraq's state Military Industrialization Commission (MIC). Officials said it focuses mainly on research and it was established after UN weapons inspectors left Iraq in 1998.
Experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) drove to al-Tuweitha nuclear facility, 20 km south of the Iraqi capital.
Iraq is to hand over more than 10,000 pages detailing its chemical, biological and nuclear programs, including sensitive material that will not be shared with the U.S. or other governments, chief U.N. weapons inspector Hans Blix said.
The United States and other Security Council members decided Friday that the material — which could include recipes for chemical and biological weapons — should be kept secret even from the council itself.
The declaration is expected to be delivered to inspectors in Baghdad on Saturday and then couriered to U.N. headquarters in New York on Sunday, the deadline for its arrival.
Iraqi Ambassador Mohammed Al-Douri said the report would reflect Iraq's long-standing claims that it is free of weapons of mass destruction although it will also contain some "new elements." (Albawaba.com)
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