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A frightened villager brings the lid of a barrel that contained uranium oxide (yellowcake) taken from the Tuwaitha nuclear facility, that was left unsecured by occupying forces after the fall of Saddam Hussein. The family used this radioactive barrel to store water and are complaining of rashes and skin problems.

Say no to war

Greenpeace is opposed to war, and we don't believe war is the answer to ridding the world of Weapons of Mass Destruction. That's one of the reasons why we took particular issue with the war on Iraq. We joined with people all over the world in months of global action to promote a non-violent solution to the conflict in Iraq.

We believedthe war was more about oil than about effectively dealing with weaponsof mass destruction. It would result in devastating human andenvironmental consequences, and set a dangerous (not to mentionillegal)precedent.

Though the occupyingforces were quick to secure Iraqi oil fields, they neglected tosafeguard dangerous nuclear material. Now that material has made itsway to homes and schools. Weapons of mass destruction, the alleged reason for the war in the first place, were never found.

Uranium and other nuclear material stored under UN control in Iraquntil the fall of Saddam Hussein have been stolen and local residentsare reportedly displaying symptoms of radiation poisoning. Six weeksafter the occupying forces took control of the country, the US finallyconceded that the UN nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic EnergyAgency (IAEA), could return to assess what has been stolen at part ofone site, Tuwaitha. Yet the IAEA has been refused access to the nearbypopulation or to other sites it wants to visit, in contravention of UNresolutions.

We went to Iraq in June 2003 with a small, specialist teamto examine the local environment and to assess the extent of anynuclear contamination. The team took samples of soil and water forlaboratory analysis and conducted on-site monitoring with specialistradiation detection equipment. While the extent of the Greenpeaceradiological survey will not be comprehensive, it will provide someidea of the true level of risk to the people of the area and to theenvironment.

We are calling for a full assessment of the situation at Tuwaitha and other nuclear sites in Iraq:

  • Theoccupying powers must allow the IAEA to remain in Iraq with anunrestricted mandate to test as well as document all nuclear sites.
  • Theoccupying powers must allow the IAEA to oversee an urgent medical andenvironmental assessment of the impact of the radioactive material thathas spread in the local community - a practice that would be standardin any other country and circumstance.
  • A hunt for all the industrial radioactive isotopes in Iraq must be conducted urgently - these are all potential dirty bombs.

The latest updates

 

Gezi park: equal rights, justice, the environment and a better future

Blog entry by Pinar Aksogan | 28 June, 2013

From Egypt to Spain, to Turkey to Brazil, people are demanding equal rights, justice, democracy and a better future. Maybe we all have different demands but we inspire the world and solidarity brings strength. Here in Istanbul, in...

TEPCO fails on its responsibilities from the Fukushima disaster

Blog entry by Ayako Sekine | 27 June, 2013 2 comments

I went to the TEPCO annual general meeting for its shareholders on Tuesday to create a stronger public discussion of the failure of TEPCO to live up to its responsibilities following the Fukushima nuclear disaster. First, though my...

It’s time for nuclear gamblers to settle their debts.

Blog entry by Justin McKeating | 25 June, 2013 1 comment

For sixty years the nuclear industry has gambled with the lives and safety of millions of people. It has bet that nothing will ever go wrong with their reactors. This gamble puts all the risks on the public.   In Tokyo, Greenpeace...

One year after Rio+20: The movement for a better world is growing

Blog entry by Daniel Mittler | 21 June, 2013 4 comments

One year after the biggest ever UN Summit closed at Rio de Janeiro , Brazil is in the news again. An impressive and large movement is growing as people stand up for their right to fairly-priced public transport and for a better...

Creative forces behind environmentalism, lit by the Mediterranean sun

Blog entry by Arin de Hoog | 21 June, 2013

Cannes and Greenpeace; not normally two things you'd link together. This year, however, Greenpeace made its presence known as the Southern French town glitzed and glamoured its way through summer film and media festivals. Greenpeace...

It’s time Japan's government and nuclear industry faced its responsibilities at Fukushima

Blog entry by Justin McKeating | 21 June, 2013 3 comments

Have you ever tried to dodge your responsibility for something? Maybe in a small way, many of us do. But I doubt you dodge responsibility the way the nuclear industry does or the way Japanese Prime Minister Abe does. In Tokyo...

Giving the street back to whom it belongs

Blog entry by Bernardo Camara | 19 June, 2013 1 comment

"The people finally woke up" … and they won't be going back to sleep. This phrase, heard from the four corners of Brazil this Monday, reflected a infectious sentiment felt everywhere. The hours past midnight saw thousands of people...

Gezi Park: A historic defence of democracy

Blog entry by Rex Weyler | 13 June, 2013 16 comments

"Find out just what people will submit to and you have found out the exact amount of injustice and wrong that will be imposed upon them." – Frederick Douglass, American ex-slave civil rights leader. The citizens of Istanbul now...

I am in Gezi, I am in Turkey

Blog entry by Laetitia Liebert | 7 June, 2013 10 comments

With the eyes of the world on a small park in Istanbul, a new banner message of global solidarity in defence of our fragile planet has been born: 'I am in Gezi!'. Gezi Park is a tipping point, an awakening to years of environmental...

Home at last in Istanbul

Blog entry by Jen Maman | 4 June, 2013 7 comments

I have been living in Istanbul, in Taksim, for the last year and a half. This weekend I felt at home here for the first time. Against the tense backdrop and amidst the clouds of tear gas people are being exceptionally kind. A woman...

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