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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. Most recently, 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 believed the war was more about oil than about effectively dealing with weapons of mass destruction. It would result in devastating human and environmental consequences, and set a dangerous (not to mention illegal) precedent.

Though the occupying forces were quick to secure Iraqi oil fields, they neglected to safeguard dangerous nuclear material. Now that material has made its way 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 Iraq until the fall of Saddam Hussein have been stolen and local residents are reportedly displaying symptoms of radiation poisoning. Six weeks after the occupying forces took control of the country, the US finally conceded that the UN nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), could return to assess what has been stolen at part of one site, Tuwaitha. Yet the IAEA has been refused access to the nearby population or to other sites it wants to visit, in contravention of UN resolutions.

We went to Iraq in June 2003 with a small, specialist team to examine the local environment and to assess the extent of any nuclear contamination. The team took samples of soil and water for laboratory analysis and conducted on-site monitoring with specialist radiation detection equipment. While the extent of the Greenpeace radiological survey will not be comprehensive, it will provide some idea of the true level of risk to the people of the area and to the environment.

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

  • The occupying powers must allow the IAEA to remain in Iraq with an unrestricted mandate to test as well as document all nuclear sites.
  • The occupying powers must allow the IAEA to oversee an urgent medical and environmental assessment of the impact of the radioactive material that has spread in the local community - a practice that would be standard in 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

 

Month In Pictures - September

Slideshow | 4 October, 2014

World Peace Day 2014: Working towards true (energy) security

Blog entry by Jen Maman | 21 September, 2014

As the world marches to stop climate change we must also remember that the 21st of September marks the International Day of Peace. With millions suffering around the world, in internal or interstate violence, this has not been a good...

There are no human rights on a dead planet

Blog entry by Kumi Naidoo | 16 April, 2014 5 comments

Yesterday I spoke at the International Association of Democratic Lawyers congress in Brussels. In the audience there were over 500 hundred progressive lawyers from over 50 countries. Many of these lawyers focus on human rights issues...

Divert excessive weapon spending to achieve clean energy future

Blog entry by Jen Maman | 14 April, 2014 2 comments

According to new figures released on Monday, last year a whopping US$1747 billion was spent on armies across the world. Modest decreases in spending in austerity hit Western Europe and reduced spending in the US, which is still the...

Civil Disobedience: Why direct action is necessary

Blog entry by Rex Weyler | 27 February, 2014 4 comments

On Monday, February 24, Greenpeace International's Executive Director Kumi Naidoo presented a lecture at the Oxford Martin School in the UK on civil disobedience. History shows us that civil disobedience is often necessary when the...

2013: The Year In Photos

Feature story | 24 December, 2013 at 13:30

The year 2013 has been very eventful for Greenpeace on all points of the compass. Whether it be turning around a cargo container filled with fin whale meat in Hamburg, getting the palm oil industry to think twice about deforestation in Indonesia,...

2013: The Year In Photos

Slideshow | 24 December, 2013

The man who showed us all the true threat in the Arctic

Blog entry by John Novis, Head of Photography, Greenpeace Int'l | 27 September, 2013 10 comments

A photo is key when it comes to bearing witness and Greenpeace has been a leading organization in visuals for over forty years. We go to the frontline of environmental issues to see for ourselves what is happening so that we can show...

Climate change and conflict: a controversy and a call to action

Blog entry by Jen Maman | 12 September, 2013 3 comments

What did increased domestic violence in India and Australia, a spike in assaults and murders in the US, ethnic violence in Europe and land invasions in Brazil have in common? According to new research , published last month,...

7 things you missed from Kumi Naidoo’s AMA on Reddit

Blog entry by Kumi Naidoo | 12 August, 2013

Ask me anything, as Reddit arranges is a risky proposition, one that I relished, but that also made me a little nervous. Smart, funny and incisive questions came in fast and furious. It was a struggle to keep up. I did my best and...

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