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Iraqi Missile Abstracts: 1996
These abstracts are excerpted from the CNS Monitoring Proliferation Threats Missile Abstracts Database.  The material presented here is a representative sample of the material contained in the full database.  Abstracts do not include the full text of the original source, but do include all proliferation-relevant information.  CNS has made no attempt to evaluate the veracity or accuracy of the information provided by the original sources.  Access to the CNS Databases is provided on a subscription basis. For information on how to subscribe, please contact Chris Fitz at

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Catch-all Clause Debated: Commerce Wants To Name Risky Buyers

Risk Report, 1/96-2/96, pp. 1, 12 
The U.S. Commerce and Defense Departments want to alter the U.S. catch-all clause which obliges U.S. exporters to inform Commerce if they know that any of their products are destined to be used in the development of WMD, regardless of whether they are included on any of the export control lists. The Energy and State Departments are opposed to the proposed changes. The Bush administration adopted the catch-all clause following revelations that U.S. technology had contributed to Iraq's missile and nuclear projects prior to the Gulf War of 1991. 

Both Commerce and Defense want to limit the application of the catch-all clause to those products already regulated by U.S. export control lists. Although items such as oscilloscopes operating at one gigahertz or more would be subject to the clause, because they are listed as controlled for export, it is not obvious whether equipment such as electron beam welders would be subject to the catch-all rule, because they are not included on any of the control lists. Prior to the Gulf War of 1991, Iraq used imported electron beam welders to manufacture "elongated rocket casings for enhanced Scud missiles." It also remains unclear whether manufacturing machinery, specialized construction materials, and support equipment would be subject to the terms of the new proposal because they are not included on export control lists. Such materials could be used in the development of missile production facilities. Under the proposed changes to the catch- all clause, U.S. firms could knowingly export such items to missile production facilities abroad. 

Commerce and Defense also want to change the current procedure for granting export licenses under the catch-all provision. The current procedure requires licenses to be denied if an item will make a "material contribution" to the development of WMD. Commerce and Defense want to "redefine" the term "material contribution" so that it includes "more general criteria," including the equipment's capabilities, the recipient country's history of proliferation, and the recipient's general relationship with Washington. According to an anonymous U.S. official, these new criteria would put export control decisions "all over the map" because they are so vague. The official added that current criteria allow for "reasoned debate" and for "closure" because they are "quite precise." 

Iain Baird, deputy assistant secretary for export administration at the Commerce Department, said his department currently deals with between 150 and 200 catch-all clause inquiries every 12 months; between 10 and 20 percent of these inquiries result in denials. The exporter either receives a "formal denial of a license application that has been filed," or an "is informed letter" which informs them a license application is needed before the product can be exported. License application decisions are approved or denied on the basis of a consensus between the federal agencies involved in the export licensing process. The Commerce Department is campaigning to have the names of the buyers listed in these letters published in the Federal Register. The department asserts that it is not fair to prevent a firm which inquires about an end-user from selling its goods or services when those who have not been informed might "export freely to the same buyer." Commerce also asserts that if the end-user is "truly dangerous," then all U.S. firms should be barred from trading with them. The State Department, ACDA, and U.S. intelligence are concerned that publishing the names could jeopardize diplomatic relations with the end-user country's government and threaten intelligence sources. There is also anxiety that publishing such a list could be viewed as requiring U.S. exporters to obtain a license for all items destined to a named buyer, however trivial the product. One U.S. agency has suggested that the names of end-users should be given to the governments of U.S. allies so that exporters in these countries are also restricted from selling to them. This idea has been opposed by some because the information which U.S. exporters give to the U.S. government is "proprietary and confidential." The MTCR members regularly exchange data on end-users, including descriptions of any transfers which are denied. According to one anonymous official, the debate will reach the White House and the National Security Council will be forced to make the final decision. 

Courtesy Of The UK

Middle East, 1/96, pp. 12-13, by Alan George 
Between 1988 and 11/91, a U.K. trading firm run by an unnamed Iraqi-born Briton in West London transferred to Iraq approximately 6 million pounds worth of guidance systems designed and manufactured for Scud missiles. The missile guidance components were manufactured by approximately two dozen unsuspecting specialist engineering firms in London and the south-east of the U.K: the Nokes Foundry in Halstead, Essex, manufactured approximately 20 aluminum components designed for Scud missiles and even displayed a picture of one in the company's brochure; Pipco of Hounslow drew up and provided engineering drawings; and Norcroft Dynamics of Pusey in Wiltshire manufactured controls systems and also constructed the electric motors for the Scud missile's gyroscopes using components purchased from other companies. Norcroft was also provided with a Soviet Scud missile manual by the London-based trading company. All the firms delivered their components to the procurement company in London and have denied that they knew Iraq was the final destination. 

Transfers made before Iraq's invasion of Kuwait in 8/90 were shipped through the U.K.'s Heathrow airport directly to Iraq's Ministry of Industry and Military Industrialization, which was run by Saddam Hussein's son-in-law Hussain Kamal al Majid. Kamal defected to Jordan in 8/95. These transfers violated U.K. controls on trade in missile technology. After 8/90, missile gyroscope components were transported by truck from the U.K. to Vienna, Austria, before being sent to Iraq via Jordan. The Iraqi-born Briton had created a shipping company in Austria to send the components through Jordan to Iraq. To avoid U.N. trade sanctions on Iraq, the shipments were marked as dental equipment. The shipments after 8/90 also violated U.N. trade sanctions on Baghdad. 

Information about these transfers only surfaced after U.N. weapons inspectors discovered the last shipment of gyroscope components at the bottom of a canal close to Baghdad. The U.N. was later provided with information on the source of these items by Iraqi officials. 

In 2/95, U.K. Customs investigators apprehended five persons connected with the illicit transfers to Iraq, including the Iraqi-born Briton and two former directors of Norcroft Dynamics, but they were all subsequently released. No evidence has surfaced to prove that it was the firm run by the Iraqi-born Briton which actually transferred the guidance components to Iraq. The firm's records only include details of exports to Iraq of non- military items, including dental equipment. The Iraqi-born Briton has also denied participating in the illicit shipment of missile components to Baghdad. 

Austrian Customs have launched their own inquiry into the Vienna firm that transhipped the missile components from the U.K. to Iraq. Dr Walter Nemec, a Vienna-based public prosecutor, has not decided whether to prosecute the Iraqi-born Briton and three Jordanians who helped to operate the Vienna- based front company. 

Supporting Sources: 

[1] Alan George, Flight International, 11/8/95-11/14/95, p. 4, "UK Companies Breached UN Iraq Scud Embargo." 

UNSCOM Report, December 1995

Disarmament Diplomacy, 1/96, pp. 22-29 
On 12/17/95, the Executive Chairman of the United Nations Special Commission in Iraq (UNSCOM) submitted the commission's 10th report to the U.N. Security Council on the status of Iraq's WMD and ballistic missile programs. According to the report, Iraq submitted a 2,500 page report to UNSCOM on 11/16/95 including supporting documentation such as "contracts, offers, orders and minutes of meetings related to Iraq's dealings with its main foreign suppliers in the missile area." Iraq confirmed in the report that it had used a large radar destroyed by the U.N. in 1995 for prohibited purposes. Iraq had previously claimed the radar was used for legitimate purposes only and that UNSCOM's actions were unjustified. UNSCOM has begun analyzing the report to determine how fully Iraq has complied with U.N. Resolution 687 in the missile field. UNSCOM claimed the report alone will not be enough for the commission to make this assessment accurately because Iraq did not include "original documents to account for the expenditure of all imported proscribed missile systems." Baghdad's report also failed to document the production and disposal of missile systems that were reportedly produced in Iraq, although it does supply more information about rocket engines whose major components were reportedly produced in Iraq. Iraq acknowledged the production of approximately 80 Scud-type engine subsystems, 53 of which had been judged unsuitable for use, and 17 of which had been destroyed during testing. According to Baghdad, the remaining 10 engines have been destroyed, although no evidence exists to back up this claim. Iraq also claims to have produced 120 warheads, but again gave no evidence to prove this. 

Iraq's records regarding its production of guidance and control systems, liquid propellant fuels, and ground support equipment, are riddled with inconsistencies. In 10/95, Iraq gave the U.N. 18 "gyro-instruments" but failed to say why it had previously withheld them. Iraq did acknowledge the use of one of the gyro-instruments by an Iraqi missile facility. UNSCOM also possesses information that directly contradicts some aspects of the Iraqi report, or indicates that the report does not fully disclose all the facts. The information Iraq has provided on the link between its missile projects and the development of chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons has fallen short of the commission's requirements. 

In 10/95, the Commission reported that Iraq had renewed its efforts to acquire technology from abroad for its missile development program. The commission is currently investigating a shipment of "high-grade missile components," possibly for long-range missiles, that was seized by Jordanian authorities en route to Iraq. Although Baghdad claims it did not arrange the shipment, some of the missile components made their way into Iraq. UNSCOM hopes to identify the precise type of missile components that were transferred, the origin of this shipment, the path it followed, and its final destination. Iraq has acknowledged that it has secretly continued to develop and manufacture U.N.-prohibited SSMs since the adoption of U.N. Resolution 687. In the report, Iraq failed to include information regarding tests involving specially adapted surface-to-air missiles which could potentially have a range beyond the U.N.-set limits. 

Playing Hide And Seek With Saddam

Jane's Defence Weekly, 1/3/96, pp. 15, 18-19, by James Bruce 
Note: the article includes aerial photographs of the Al Kindi missile research and development facility in Mosul, Iraq. ..... According to U.N. officials, companies from France, Germany, and Eastern Europe continue to supply Iraq with proscribed military items. U.S. sources claim that since 1990, European firms have supplied Iraq with missile guidance systems, advanced machine tools, and a specialized industrial furnace used to manufacture missile components for Scud-type missiles. Iraq's procurement effort appears to be connected to its Ababil- 100 project to produce 100-150 km-range SSMs, which are not prohibited by the U.N. In 10/95, an UNSCOM report indicated that Iraq had increased the range of some of its missiles through reverse engineering. 

Jordan Confirms Missile Parts Were Iraq-Bound

Jane's Defence Weekly, 1/3/96, p. 3, by James Bruce 
King Hussein has confirmed that Jordanian officials in Amman intercepted a shipment of Russian-made missile components, including 115 gyroscopes, destined for Iraq; the deal may have involved a Palestinean. The shipment left Moscow on a Jordanian plane on 11/10/95. According to documents obtained by the U.N., the missile parts were ordered by the Karama research center located near Baghdad, where Iraq is developing missiles with ranges of up to 150 km [1]. According to Jordanian officials, Weaam Gharbiyeh, a Palestinian who set up an import-export company in Amman after leaving Kuwait in 1990, purchased the $25 million shipment. Gharbiyeh left Amman in 9/95 or early 10/95 and is now suspected to be in Baghdad. On 12/8/95, Iraq's official news agency reported that an unnamed Jordanian offered "missile guidance and control systems" to Baghdad, but an official from Iraq's Military Industrialization Organization said that Iraq did not conclude a deal for this equipment. The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has denied any involvement in the deal [1]. 

Supporting Sources: 

[1] R. Jeffrey Smith, Washington Post, 12/15/95, p. A30, "U.N. Is Said To Find Russian Markings On Iraq-Bound Military Equipment." 

UN Uncovers Secret Iraqi Ballistic Missile Project

Flight International, 1/3/96-1/9/96, p. 17, by Alan George 
According to a report submitted to the U.N. Security Council by UNSCOM chief Rolf Ekeus, Iraq has violated U.N. Resolution 687 by pursuing the development of a long-range ballistic missile with a range greater than 150 km. The U.N. permits Iraq to produce short-range missiles with ranges no greater than 150 km. The technology used for developing and producing short-range missiles, however, is "equally applicable" to longer range missiles. According to the report, Iraq has conducted several tests with modified surface-to-air missiles (SAM) for this illegal project. Western officials assert the SAMs are probably Soviet SA-2 missiles, which have been used to develop SSMs in the past. India used SA-2 technology for its indigenous Prithvi and Agni SSMs. 

In 10/95, Jordanian officials intercepted a shipment of 115 Russian gyroscopes and accelerometers enroute to Iraq. The Iraqi shipment, which originated in Moscow and arrived in Amman, may have been arranged by Austrian middlemen. According to "well informed sources," the items are designed for use in long-range missiles, although they could also be used in medium-range missiles to obtain greater accuracies. It is not known whether the items were intended for the weapon derived from SA-2 technology. According to the report, evidence exists that the missile components were intended for use in long-range missiles. Ekeus claims this evidence indicates that Iraq is continuing to conduct missile development activities banned by the U.N. 

Matrix Churchill Helped Iraq With Nuclear Capability

Financial Times, 2/13/96, pp. 1, 16, by John Plender and Tim Laxton 
In the late 1980s, the U.K.'s Matrix Churchill provided Iraq with equipment "specifically designed for military use" but "knowingly deceived" the British government about the exports. In 1992, Matrix Churchill Managing Director Paul Henderson and two of his colleagues were acquitted of illegally exporting military-related equipment to Iraq when it emerged that the U.K. government had "implicitly encouraged" the sale of dual-use technology to Baghdad, thereby breaching its own guidelines in the process. One of the reasons British government ministers encouraged these sales was because they thought Matrix Churchill executives were giving the U.K.'s MI6 intelligence organization information on Iraq's arms build-up. 

Although an IAEA report has confirmed that the U.K.'s Matrix Churchill transferred components to Iraq's project to construct a "prototype gas centrifuge for uranium enrichment" between 11/88 and 4/90, Henderson has claimed that he was "opposed in principle" to the export of any items used in the manufacture of nuclear weapons; Matrix Churchill had suspected the parts were actually destined for Baghdad's K-1000 missile-related project. Although the U.K's MI6 intelligence organization says Henderson withheld "the complete truth" about his company's contract with Iraq, Henderson claims that he "preferred not to give information to MI6 about the K-1000 project" until he was "satisfied that he could give full and detailed particulars." 

Matrix Churchill also misled the U.K.'s Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) over a contract to construct lathes for Iraq. The lathes were designed to machine helical fin stabilizers onto 155 mm artillery shells in order to improve their accuracy and range. The artillery shells had a longer range than anything possessed by the U.K. or NATO at that time. Matrix Churchill used a false description of the lathes in its application for an export license and concealed that the items were destined for an Iraqi arms factory. DTI subsequently determined that an export license was not needed for the lathes. 

Missile Plans By Iraq May Aim At Europe

Washington Times, 2/16/96, pp. A1, A19, by Stewart Stogel 
On 2/14/96, UNSCOM Chief Rolf Ekeus answered questions about Iraq's potential development of a long-range missile "during a closed-door session with the Security Council." U.N. inspectors suspect Iraq is attempting to develop a longer range version of the Al-Hussein missile, with a range in excess of 2,000 miles. According to a senior U.N. official, such a missile would be capable of reaching London, Paris, and Moscow. Another U.N. official "familiar with the investigation" said that such a missile would "make the Europeans think twice before going to war." 

Although U.S and U.N. officials are concerned that Iraq's missile program may be more advanced than previously thought, one U.S. intelligence source said that any program involving missiles capable of reaching European capitals is in its "rudimentary stages." According to an official from the Russian Foreign Ministry, Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz was questioned about the long-range missile program during his visit to Moscow in 1/96. The Russian official said Aziz "denied any knowledge of the program." 

In 12/95, UNSCOM discovered a batch of new gyroscopes in the Tigris River near Baghdad. According to the commission, the gyroscopes were "of a type normally used in long-range missiles." UNSCOM also said the gyroscopes were suited for missiles with ranges of 1,200 miles. According to the U.N. official "familiar with the investigation," it was not clear whether the gyroscopes were to be used in a missile prototype or if they were destined to be taken apart "to study the technology." The U.N. official added thatIraq has experienced difficulties in developing guidance systems and fuel for the long-range missile. 

International concern over Iraq's long-range missile program has been exacerbated because Baghdad has failed to provide documentary evidence to prove that it destroyed 2,000 pounds of anthrax bacteria. According to one UNSCOM inspector, if Baghdad developed a means to deliver this anthrax, "it would be a very dangerous development." 

2 Iraqi Defectors Slain On Return

New York Times, 2/24/96, pp. A1, A5, by Douglas Jehl 
On 2/23/96, Lieut. General Hussein Kamel al Majid and Colonel Saddam Kamel al-Majid were killed when their house in Baghdad was reportedly stormed by members of their own family. The two men had recently returned to Iraq after defecting to Jordan in 8/95. Hussein Kamel was the former head of Iraq's clandestine weapons program, while his brother Saddam Kamel was the former head of the Iraqi secret police. There is "little doubt" that the killings were sanctioned by the Iraqi regime because Hussein Kamel promised in the summer of 1995 to help topple Saddam Hussein. The Iraqi News Agency labelled the two men as "disappointed traitors." 

Supporting Sources: 

[1] Douglas Jehl, New York Times, 2/21/96, pp. A1, A5, "Iraqi Defector Goes Home Again With A Father-In-Law's Blessing." [2] Amy Dockser Marcus, Wall Street Journal, 2/23/96, p. A6, "Iraqi Defector Returns With Hise Secrets." 

Back to Baghdad, Part 3-Armed And Dangerous

CNN Presents, Transcript #1, 2/25/96, pp. 2-3 
According to CNN correspondent John Holliman, in late 1995 Jordanian authorities seized over 100 sets of missile guidance parts that were en route from Russia to Iraq. The shipment included gyroscopes and accelerometers designed for a Russian SLBM, but reportedly capable of guiding Iraqi missiles to targets "as far away as London." Holliman said Iraqi officials repudiated the story in 12/95, claiming a Palestinian businessman was responsible for the $25 million shipment of Russian equipment and that the Iraqi government knew nothing about it. Additional gyroscopes were subsequently discovered some weeks later in the Tigris River near Baghdad. UNSCOM Chief Rolf Ekeus said the Iraqi government claimed it did not want the components, and asked the person who had imported them to take them back. According to Ekeus, Iraq asserted that when the importer did not do so, the gyroscopes were thrown in the canal. Ekeus interpreted this incident as a "very powerful warning signal" that Iraq has not ceased in its attempts to produce long-range missiles. Holliman cited CNN reports that the U.N. possesses documents which prove an Iraqi official ordered the gyroscopes. UNSCOM official Charles Duelfer called this "the most serious violation in the area of ongoing activities that we have seen," and said Iraq had conceded that its missile design center had engineered the deal. Former U.N. weapons inspector David Kay has described hearing repeated lies from Iraq, despite physical evidence to the contrary. According to Kay, "you knew they were lying, they knew you knew they were lying and they kept on lying." 

After his defection to Jordan from Iraq in 8/95, Saddam Hussein's son-in- law General Hussein Kamel Magid surrendered information on Iraq's weapons program. According to Kamel, Iraq's goal was to produce a nuclear warhead weighing no more than 500 kg and possibly as little as 300 kg, so that it could be carried on missiles or airplanes. Kamel also asserted that "the Iraqi head of state" directly ordered the destruction and concealment of files and documentation concerning Iraq's weapons program. According to Holliman, Kamel's defection was followed by the sudden discovery of "140 steel boxes crammed with documents, drawings and components of Iraq's weapons programs," inside a chicken coop on Kamel's property. Former weapons inspector Robert Kelley said Iraqi scientists claimed Kamel had prevented them from disclosing the truth earlier. According to Duelfer, the Iraqis demonstrated a pattern of withholding the truth until the facts could no longer be denied. Holliman described Kamel's defection and the flood of information that followed as "a gold mine," which was still being itemized and assessed by the U.N. 

Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz denied that Iraq was withholding documents sought by the U.N. Aziz said that whenever there is a document available "we will give it to you and we have proved that." According to Holliman, the U.N. has established a monitoring system to observe former weapons plants and scientists in Iraq because it is believed that Baghdad continues to conceal "bombs and missile warheads filled with nerve gas and lethal germs." Holliman claims Iraq's admission of complicity in ordering the missile guidance systems raises "a whole new set of questions, and possibly a whole new set of lies." 

Iran Studies Iraqi Missiles

Iran Brief, 5/6/96, p. 1 
According to an unnamed source in Iran's Revolutionary Guard, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) acquired "at least" three Iraqi Al- Hussein surface-to-surface missiles (SSM) following the 1990-91 Gulf War. Iran used these SSMs to enhance production, training, and research at the IRGC Land Force Missile & Artillery Training Center in Isfahan. Iran's Defense Industries Organization (DIO) and the IRGC Self Sufficiency Department use the center for research and production purposes, while the IRGC Land Force and Air Force train SSM and SAM crews at the center. According to the source, two Russian missile experts and 10 Chinese artillery experts are employed as instructors at the Center. 

In addition to the missiles, Iranian military intelligence reportedly transported documents pertaining to the missiles out of Iraq, in an operation conceived by "Iraqi opposition elements and some Iraqi army officers who were eager to have some extra money." 

Iraq: Oppositionist Claims To Reveal `Truth' About Iraq CBW

FBIS-NES-96-122, 6/21/96  

Al-Sharq Al-Awsat (London), 6/21/96, p. 6, by 'Imad al-Furayh 

On 6/20/96, Major General Wafiq al-Samarra'i, former director of Iraqi military intelligence, told the Al-Sharq Al-Awsat newspaper's bureau in Amman, Jordan, that Baghdad still possessed "scores of surface-to-surface missiles in the prohibited range." Al-Samarra'i cited "reliable information" that Iraq still possessed 40 Al-Hussein SSMs, 25 of which were "in a disassembled form," and 200 military germ substances. The former head of Iraqi military intelligence said that Iraq was hiding "very important" documents related to its weapons programs in the Republican Palace and in camps of the Special Guard and the Republican Guard. Al-Samarra'i also said he had "reliable information" regarding houses in which documents were kept, and added that some documentation was stored in armored personnel carriers and tanks. 

Iraq May Have 16 Banned Missiles

Washington Times, 7/2/96, p. A12 
On 7/1/96, UNSCOM Chief Rolf Ekeus told a news conference in Kuwait City that Iraq may be concealing between six and 16 long-range ballistic missiles capable of delivering conventional, biological, or chemical warheads. Ekeus said Iraq claimed it destroyed the missiles in 1991, but had failed to provide evidence proving this.[1] According to Ekeus, UNSCOM was concerned that Iraq continued to conceal prohibited items and to give the commission false information. Ekeus emphasized that UNSCOM will increase its scrutiny of Iraq if Baghdad does not cooperate.[1] 

During his visit to Kuwait, Ekeus met with the Emir of Kuwait, Jabir al- Ahmad al-Sabah, Prime Minister Sa'd al-'Abdallah al-Sabah, and several other officials, to discuss recent developments concerning Iraq's WMD program.[2] 

Supporting Sources: 

[1] Kuna (Kuwait), 7/1/96; in FBIS-NES-96-128, 7/1/96, "Kuwait: Rolf Ekeus Says Iraq Still Possesses Long-Range Missiles." [2] Sulayman al-'As'usi, MBC Television (London), 7/1/96; in FBIS-NES-96- 128, 7/1/96, "Kuwait: Ekeus Sets Conditions For Lifting Iraqi Embargo." [3] Al-Quds Al-'Arabi (London), 7/2/96, p. 15; in FBIS-NES-96-129, 7/2/96, "Iraq: Ekeus Missile Claim Said Part Of U.S. Plan To Starve Iraqis." [4] Reuter, 7/1/96; in Executive News Service, 7/2/96, "Iraq May Still Be Hiding Prohibited Arms-Ekeus." [5] Reuter, 7/1/96; in Executive News Service, 7/2/96, "Iraq May Have Up To 16 Banned Long-Range Missiles." [6] Reuter, 7/1/96; in Executive News Service, 7/2/96, "Iraq May Have Upto 16 Banned Missiles-U.N. Official." 

Exile Says Iraqis Are Fooling U.N. On Missile Count

Washington Times, 7/31/96, p. A15, by Paige Bowers 
In a 7/96 interview with The Washington Times, General Wafiq al-Sammara'i, former head of Iraqi external military intelligence who defected to Syria in 11/94, said Iraq possessed approximately 40 Scud surface-to-surface missiles, and not six to 16 as UNSCOM had estimated. 

Al-Sammara'i said Iraq's Special Security Apparatus purchased 50 flatbed trucks in 7/96 to move physical evidence away from areas where UNSCOM inspectors might discover it. UNSCOM spokesman Ewen Buchanan said the UN knew Iraq was using flatbed trucks to conceal banned material. According to al-Sammara'i, Iraq would remain a threat even if UNSCOM eliminated all of its prohibited weapons because the country would retain the manufacturing facilities for them. 

Al-Sammara'i said he was part of the Iraqi opposition movement before he defected to Damascus from Iraq. A US government official said that al- Sammara'i was not a central figure in the Iraqi opposition movement and that he was attempting to build a future for himself. However, the official admitted that al-Sammara'i was one of numerous Iraqis the US government consulted about weapons information and that he was "in a position to know a lot of things." The official added that there was a great amount of uncertainty over exactly what Iraq was hiding. 

In an interview with the London-based Al-Majallah newspaper, al-Sammara'i said Iraq might be able to conceal Scud missiles by burying them in containers after detaching sensitive components because "it is not possible to scan the entire territory for radioactivity" using satellites.[1] Al- Sammara'i said many of Iraq's missiles are armed with chemical or biological warheads.[1] Al-Sammara'i told the newspaper that the Soviet Union exported approximately 1,000 Scud R17 missiles to Iraq and the range of these missiles was increased from 300 to 600 km to produce modified versions known as Al-Hussein and Al-Abbas.[1] According to al-Sammara'i, Iraq later indigenously produced these missiles and their engines.[1] 

Al-Sammara'i said Iraq's possession of a small number of long-range missiles confirmed Saddam Hussein's desire to possess biological weapons.[1] According to al-Sammara'i, Iraq will be capable of producing long-range missiles once UNSCOM inspectors have been withdrawn from the country for a prolonged period.[1] Al-Sammara'i added that the regime's relations with the Western firms that provided Iraq with WMD-related technology and materials "are essentially there." He added that the Iraqi regime would resume these contacts once the necessary funds became available.[1] 

On 7/7/96, al-Sammara'i told London-based MBC television that Iraq's 40 Al- Hussein missiles are armed with conventional, chemical, and bacteriological warheads, and that Iraq possessed 250 biological shells.[2] He added that UNSCOM inspectors had approached him more than once, and that the Iraqi opposition movement will do anything "to rescue the region from all these dangers and from despotism."[2] 

Supporting Sources: 

[1] Ghalib Darwish, Al-Majallah (London), 7/28/96-8/3/96, pp. 30-31; in FBIS-NES-96-149, 8/3/96, "Iraq: Al-Samarra'i Assesses Saddam's Position." [2] Nicole Tannuri, MBC Television (London), 7/7/96; in FBIS-NES-96-131, 7/7/96, "Iraq: Defector Claims Regime Has 40 Missiles, Biological Shells." 

Israel: Experts Believe Iraq Has 50-200 Poorly Maintained SCUD Bs

FBIS-NES-96-172, 9/4/96  

Ha'aretz (Tel Aviv), 9/4/96, p. A6, by Yosi Melman 

Yiftah Sapir, who heads the military balance project at the Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies at Tel Aviv University, Israel, said Iraq is hiding between 50 and 200 Al-Hussein ballistic missiles. According to Sapir, this estimate of Iraq's inventory of 600 km-range Al-Hussein missiles was "based on various assessments." 

UNSCOM inspectors reached their conclusion on Iraq's missile capabilities by deducting from the number of missiles that the Soviet Union exported to Iraq the more than 200 missiles Iraq fired at Iran, about 80 missiles Iraq fired against Saudi Arabia, and the 39 missiles Iraq launched at Israel. Also deducted from the total were the 80-90 missiles which UNSCOM confirmed Iraq destroyed after the 1990-91 Gulf War and the several dozen missiles destroyed by UN inspectors in 1992-93. 

It is assumed that Iraq's remaining missiles are hidden along with conventional warheads, but without the fuel needed to launch them. Although most of Iraq's chemical warheads were destroyed by UN inspectors, the hidden missiles could be fitted with chemical warheads because the manufacture of the gas for these warheads is not a complicated process, and Iraq has already demonstrated an ability to do this. Sapir believes the Iraqi missiles will not be well maintained because they are concealed in places difficult to access. According to Sapir, it would take a well organized army like Syria's six hours to prepare a missile for launch or one day for a barrage of missiles. It would take Iraq much longer because its missiles are poorly maintained, the Iraqi army is in a poor condition, and Baghdad needs to keep its missiles hidden. It could take Iraq several days to prepare a missile for launch. Experts do not know if Iraq has hidden missiles at locations along its border with Jordan so they can be launched against Israel. 


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