Baghdad asks IAEA to identify areas of Iraq hit by depleted Uranium

Published March 22nd, 2001 - 02:00 GMT

Iraq urged the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Wednesday to identify zones in the country that were allegedly hit with depleted uranium (DU) during the 1991 Gulf War. 

 

"We are calling on the IAEA to send a team of experts to determine the affected zones," said Naji al-Hadithi, the Iraqi representative to the Vienna-based organization, quoted by the official Iraqi News Agency. 

 

He said the IAEA should obtain "maps and the necessary technical assistance" from Iraq's archfoes the United States and Britain to examine the soil and water in areas in the south of the country which Baghdad says were hit by uranium weapons. 

 

Hadithi also called on the IAEA to provide medical supplies to authorities to handle "thousands of cases of cancer among the population." 

 

He said Baghdad "has asked the IAEA many times over the past years to help fight the consequences of the uranium, but to no avail." 

 

Baghdad, protesting that cancer rates have quadrupled in areas of southern Iraq bombed by the allied forces, said in January that the United States and Britain fired more than 940,000 DU weapons during the 1991 Gulf War. 

 

Earlier this year, Klaus Toepfer, executive director of the UN Environment Program, said it was possible UN experts would investigate the alleged use of depleted uranium during the conflict.—AFP. 

©--Agence France Presse 2001. 

 

© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)

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