Greenpeace scientist Dr. Rianne Teule measures radioactive levels of a device from the nearby Tuwaitha nuclear facility. The device, abandoned on a roadside, contains uranium oxide powder that is 1000 times background levels of radiation.
Even the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), when asked
to comment on Friday, stated that it has not been given a copy of
the classified report or the detailed findings of the US team. Like
the rest of us, the IAEA has access only to Kay's public testimony
to Congress, as posted on the CIA's web site.
The United Nations still has an inspection mandate in Iraq under
the terms of Security Council Resolution 1441 and the terms of the
Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), which means the US is
required to provide all information regarding weapons of mass
destruction in Iraq to the IAEA.
Mark Gwozdecky, a spokesman for the IAEA, stated: "We cannot
comment on Dr. Kay's report without access to the detailed findings
of his group".
Gwozdecky further stated that: "We therefore expect that Dr.
Kay's findings will be shared with us in accordance with paragraph
10 of Security Council resolution 1441 and this will enable us to
fulfil our responsibilities".
Iraq's failure to comply with Security Council resolutions, and
its alleged failure to reveal information concerning weapons of
mass destruction, were among the top reasons given by the US as
justifications for invading Iraq.
Dr. Hans Blix, former head of the UN's hunt for chemical and
biological weapons in Iraq, has warned against "another epidemic of
spin" by the US and UK on the heels of the Kay report. Commenting
to The Independent newspaper, Blix said that nothing found
by the Iraq Survey Group validated the "serious and current threat"
presented by the US and UK before going to war.
The continuing exclusion of the IAEA from Iraq by the USA
represents a major breach of international law and exacerbates a
dangerous situation. A Greenpeace mission to Baghdad in June
revealed the US had been criminally lax in securing nuclear
materials from looting. Near the Tuwaitha nuclear installation, we
found 4-5 kilograms of uranium oxide (yellow cake)-- incapable of
being used in nuclear weapons but a radioactive hazard -- alongside
a roadway, radiation sources 3000 times above normal "background"
levels near schools, and individual homes with radiation "sources"
up to 10,000 times over normal.
Impoverished local residents had taken 55-gallon drums from the
facility to use as stoves and for water storage, in some cases
dumping out nuclear materials unaware that dangerous radioactivity
US efforts to secure oil wells were far more intensive than
those to protect the IAEA-monitored nuclear facility, which went
unguarded in the immediate aftermath of the invasion.
"The US government is exhibiting extreme schizophrenic behaviour
with regards to weapons of mass destruction" said Tom Clements of
Greenpeace. "They're violating UN Security Council resolutions by
refusing access to UN inspection teams, basically doing a very good
imitation of the behaviour of Saddam Hussein. On top of that,
Bush's own provocative rush to create new weapons of mass
destruction is proceeding through the Congress".
The US Senate recently approved research to proceed on "bunker
busters" -- earth-penetrating mini-nukes -- one-fifth the size of
the Hiroshima bomb of 20,000 tonnes of dynamite. At the same time,
lawmakers also voted to allow the US Department of Energy to get
ready for nuclear testing at the Nevada Test Site and to continue
planning for a new factory that would build the plutonium "pits,"
or cores of all nuclear weapons.
The nuclear arms race is back, thanks to George Bush's decision
to break into a sprint. And it won't be long until the rest of the
pack decides it needs to keep up. Russian Defence Minister Sergei
Ivanov stated last
week that Russia "would not rule out a pre-emptive military
strike anywhere in the world if the national interest demands it,"
confirming that the US precedent of embracing pre-emptive
war-fighting strategies has now become the worldwide standard.
David Kay's unclassified public statement of the Iraq
IAEA web site on Iraq & the search for WMD,
including Security Council resolutions.
sheet on plans for a new nuclear bomb factory ("Modern Pit
Facility") and the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) now being
prepared on it.
Mission Iraq: weblog of Greenpeace's
journey to Tuwaitha
Bunker busters: a whole new nuclear ballgame.
Tell US Secretary of State Colin Powell that it's time the US
honoured Security Council Resolution 1441 and allowed UN weapons
inspectors back into Iraq. Given that David Kay's Iraq Survey Group
has failed to find any sign of weapons of mass destruction, UN
inspectors should be allowed immediately back in to proceed with
their work and report on their findings. Failure to allow the UN
inspectors back in will further erode US credibility and raise
legitimate questions about why the US is afraid to let the UN's
work be concluded.
Leave a message asking the return of UN weapons inspectors at
the State Department.