Skip to main content
CNN Europe CNN Asia
On CNN TV Transcripts Headline News CNN International About Preferences
powered by Yahoo!
Iraq Banner

U.N. official: Nuclear inspector to say Iraq fell short

ElBaradei expected to ask Baghdad to add to declaration

Story Tools

UNITED NATIONS (CNN) -- The top U.N. nuclear weapons inspector is expected to tell the Security Council on Thursday that Iraq's nuclear declaration leaves unanswered questions that inspectors plan to pursue, a United Nations official tells CNN.

Mohamed ElBaradei, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), is expected to say he will ask Iraq to provide further information in particular about allegations from the United States and Britain that Iraq has tried in recent years to acquire nuclear weapons materials.

"We will say it is incumbent upon them to come forward to exonerate themselves," said the U.N. official, who is familiar with the Iraqi document and the behind-the-scenes discussions about it.

In its not-yet-public declaration, Iraq said it is not pursuing nuclear weapons. But "the last four years are a bit of a question mark," the U.N. official said.

Washington has alleged that Iraq imported specialized aluminum tubes used to enrich uranium. Last month, Iraq told nuclear weapons inspectors that the tubes were for use in conventional missiles. Iraq's report does not include information about the aluminum tubes.

Britain has charged that Iraq has tried to import "significant quantities of uranium" from Africa for use in nuclear weapons. Although Iraq has denied that it tried to acquire uranium, the U.N. official said the IAEA would like further explanation.

"They didn't deal with the tubes or uranium in the declaration, and we wish they would have," the official said.

Last week, ElBaradei told reporters in Vienna, Austria that the Iraq declaration contains "some new information" that still needed to be assessed.

In 1998, the last year the IAEA was able to conduct nuclear inspections, it said it "found no indications that Iraq has retained the physical capability -- in terms of hardware and facilities -- to produce weapon-usable nuclear material." However, the nuclear agency also said it could not "provide absolute assurance of the absence of readily concealable items such as components of centrifuge machines."

The IAEA also remains concerned about the nuclear expertise that remains in Iraq. In a 1998 report, the IAEA said "There remains in Iraq a cadre of experienced personnel who were employed in the clandestine nuclear program."

Iraq submitted a 2,400-page nuclear declaration early this month. The report was edited of any information that could be used for weapons proliferation and for references to supplier companies, and then distributed to the U.N. Security Council.

Only the permanent, nuclear members of the council were given full, unedited versions of Iraq's nuclear declaration as well as its declaration on chemical, biological and missile weapons.

Story Tools

Top Stories
Iran poll to go to run-off
Top Stories
CNN/Money: Security alert issued for 40 million credit cards
© 2004 Cable News Network LP, LLLP.
A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines. Contact us.
external link
All external sites will open in a new browser. does not endorse external sites.