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Iraqi Missile Abstracts: 1997
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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Iraq Threatens To Ban Weapons Inspections

USA Today, 10/16/97 [Online] 
A UN official said on 10/16/97 that Iraq had threatened to ban UN weapons inspections and cut off all cooperation with the Security Council if further sanctions are imposed. UN officials said that Iraq appears "more upset than expected" over a report by UN chief weapons inspector Richard Butler.[1] The report states that Iraq has made progress in some areas, but also identifies problems that Butler called "numerous and grave." The report also accuses Iraq of hiding information on ballistic missiles. 

Supporting Sources: 

[1] Barbara Crossette, New York Times, "Iraq Warns UN On Weapons Inspections," [Online] un.html, 10/8/97. 

Saddam In Secret UK Arms Offensive

Sunday Times, 1/19/97, by David Leppard, Tim Kelsey, and Jason Burke, [Online] http// stinwenws01026.html?1325379 
In 1/97, the UK's Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said Iraq was covertly trying to purchase British machines which could be used in the manufacture of Scud missiles. Machine makers in London, Southampton, and Birmingham have received suspicious orders for machines and parts, which they reported to the DTI. UNSCOM confirmed that it has evidence Iraq has been placing orders through middlemen to procure equipment, technology, and supplies for its missile-related activities.[1] 

Suspicion arose when western businessmen said they had seen operational Iraqi weapon plants and documents related to the development of Scud missiles. These observers reported that British machines in the Badr missile production plant were still operating, that these machines had been used in the past for gas centrifuge production, and that Iraq would be able to begin manufacturing Scuds within a month. The report said Iraqis had given comprehensive "shopping lists" to western businessmen, detailing the items needed to upgrade and repair Matrix Churchill System 10 lathes (used in the manufacture of fuzes), among other items. 

Iraq explained that these acquisitions were for the Ababil-100, which is a 100 to 150 km-range SSM development program, permissible under UN regulations.[1] However, Rolf Ekeus, chairman of UNSCOM, pointed to Iraqi efforts to obtain gyroscopes as clear evidence that Iraq is not solely interested in shorter-range missiles.[1] 

Ekeus has otherwise downplayed the importance of press reports that Iraq is developing long-range missiles.[3] On 1/24/97, Ekeus said that as long as the UN monitoring system was in place, Iraq would not be capable of manufacturing long-range missiles, but he noted that if the monitoring system was weakened, the revival of Iraq's chemical and biological weapon programs "would become a serious matter."[3] He said that UNSCOM was confident that Iraq was not currently producing long-range missiles, nor capable of doing so.[3] 

Supporting Sources: 

[1] Jules Kagian, Middle East International, 1/10/97, p. 13, "Iraq's Hidden Missiles." [2] David Leppard, Tim Kelsey, and Jason Burke, "Saddam's Deadly Sting," Sunday Times, [Online] http// stifocnws02002.html?1325379, 1/19/97. [3] Raghidah Dirgham, Al-Hayah (London), 1/24/97, p. 1, 6; in FBIS-NES-97-016, 1/24/97, "Iraq: Ekeus Doubts Iraq's Ability To Develop Long-Range Missiles." 

Iraq Says Missile Dig Will Prove It Has No `Scuds'

Jane's Defence Weekly, 1/22/97, p. 5, by Ed Blanche 
On 1/13/97, a statement released by the Iraqi foreign ministry said that four dismantled missile engines and an undisclosed number of "wrecked missiles" had been discovered at an excavation site near Baghdad. According to the statement, the discovery confirms Baghdad's claim that all of Iraq's prohibited missiles have been destroyed. 

On 1/28/97, Roger Knight, assistant director of the UN's Ongoing Monitoring and Verification Center (OMV) in Baghdad, said UNSCOM is skeptical that Iraq has destroyed all of its banned missiles.[1] Knight said the discovery will not resolve all of UNSCOM's concerns, and the significance of the find will not become clear until an international team of experts analyzes the missile parts.[1] UNSCOM spokesman Ewen Buchanan said the discovery narrowed the gap between the information Baghdad has already provided and what UN inspectors have been able to verify. 

On 1/25/97, a 10-expert UN team under the leadership of Michael Bordin left Iraq after three weeks of supervising excavations at sites where Baghdad said it had destroyed and buried a large number of long-range missiles.[1] UNSCOM and Baghdad disagree over where and how to analyze the more than 100 missile parts that have been extracted from other sites near Baghdad.[1] Approximately 80 of these parts are stored in boxes ready for shipment abroad.[1] The remaining components and the four engines are stored in warehouses under tight UN supervision.[1] While UNSCOM insists that the items be analyzed in the US, Iraq wants them shipped to Russia or France for analysis.[1] UNSCOM wants to determine if the missile parts excavated in 1996 were substitutes for the original Scud missile engines which Iraq imported from the Soviet Union.[2] According to Knight, UNSCOM Chief Rolf Ekeus is scheduled to visit Baghdad by mid-2/97 to resolve the current disagreement.[1] 

Supporting Sources: 

[1] Leon Barkho, Reuter (Baghdad), 1/28/97; in Executive news Service, 1/29/97, UN Still Not Satisfied With Iraqi Disarmament." [2] Hassan Hafidh, Reuter, 1/12/97; in Executive News Service, 1/14/97, "UN Says Iraq Digs Up New Items At Missile Sites." 

US Dampens Speculation On Iraq Attack

Executive News Service, 2/5/97  

Reuter, 2/4/97, by Charles Aldinger 

The German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine reported that, according to American sources, a team of UNSCOM inspectors in Iraq from 1/5/97 to 1/23/97 discovered new evidence that Iraq was continuing to develop missiles with a range of approximately 1,000 miles (1,600 km). 

On 1/29/97, UNSCOM Chief Rolf Ekeus told the Washington Institute for Near East Policy that weakly worded statements issued by the UN Security Council have encouraged Baghdad to obstruct the commission's work in Iraq.[1] Ekeus said Iraq had become even more uncooperative since the Security Council reprimanded Baghdad on 12/30/96 for refusing to allow more than 100 missile engines to be taken abroad for expert analysis.[1] According to Ekeus, the Security Council reminded Iraq about its obligations as if Baghdad had forgotten to pay a dentist's bill.[1] Ekeus said he detected "an overall complacency" in the Security Council that "fundamentally the situation in Iraq is under control."[1] 

Supporting Sources: 

[1] Reuter, 1/29/97; in Executive News Service, 1/29/97, "UN Weakness Encourages Iraq, Ekeus Says." 

Iraqi Missile Parts Arrive In US For Tests

Arms Control Today, 3/97, p. 29 
On 3/8/97 and 3/9/97, parts from approximately 130 destroyed Iraqi missiles were shipped from Iraq through Bahrain to the United States for analysis. The parts were shipped to a US Department of Defense laboratory in Huntsville, Alabama, to determine if they came from functional Soviet-made systems, and if critical components which Iraq is unable to produce were removed before the missiles were destroyed. 

According to the German newspaper Bild, 16 German companies are currently under investigation on suspicion of supplying Iraq with Scud missile components and nuclear technology.[1] The newspaper quoted a confidential government report on illegal exports to Iraq which was presented to a parliamentary committee.[1] 

Supporting Sources: 

[1] Washington Times, 5/4/97, p. A7, "German Firms Linked To Iraqi Weapons Sales." [2] Washington Times, 3/9/97, p. A9, "Iraqi Missile Parts Shipped To US." [3] Ed Blanche, Jane's Defence Weekly, 3/5/97, p. 16, "Iraq To Ship Scrap Missile Motors For UN Analysis." [4] Thalif Deen, Jane's Defence Weekly, 3/19/97, p. 5, "USA Accuses Saddam Of Stalling On `Scud' Motors." [5] Washington Times, 2/24/97, p. A13, "Iraq Backs Down In Missile Row." 

Australian Takes Over As Iraq Watchdog

Cable News Network, 5/1/97, [Online]
On 5/1/97, Richard Butler, Australia's ambassador to the United Nations, was appointed chairman of the UN Special Commission on Iraq (UNSCOM). At a press conference in New York, departing UNSCOM Chairman Rolf Ekeus said that significant items remain unaccounted for in Iraq. Ekeus said he believes that Saddam Hussein wants to keep some of Iraq's banned weapons such as long-range Scud missiles. Nizar Hamdoon, Iraq's ambassador to the United Nations, said Iraq hopes that Butler "will expedite the work and try in the shortest time possible to close all files." On 5/1/97, the UN Security Council announced a 60-day continuation of economic sanctions on Iraq. 

Iraq: IBC Cited On "Strategic Projects," "Military Capability"

FBIS-TAC-97-253, 9/10/97  

Iraqi National Congress WWW [Online] 9/10/97 

An Iraqi Broadcast Corporation (IBC) correspondent in Baghdad reports that Iraq's Military Industrialization Organization (MIO) is involved in several strategic projects. The projects include an "anti-missile unit", operating since 1992, that can track more than one missile at a time. The system is being developed to counter cruise missiles. Another project is pursuing modification of surface-to-air missiles into surface-to-surface missiles. This project is centered at the al-Karmah facility near Baghdad. There is also a project to improve the Russian- made "Volga" [NATO designation SA-5] missile. This project, based at the al-Harith facility in Baghdad, is working to replace analog controls with digital ones. 

Russian Study Reportedly Proves Arms Deals With Iraq

FBIS-TAC-97-261, 9/18/97  

Stern (Hamburg). 9/18/97 

The Russian town of Sergeyev Posad is the home of the "Scientific Research Institute for Chemical Machine-Building," a disarmament facility for dismantling SSN-18 long-range ballistic missiles. However, evidence exists that components removed at the facility have ended up in other countries. When a 1995 UN-sponsored weapons inspection in Iraq retrieved 30 missile gyroscopes from the Tigris River, investigations established that there was a Russian connection with the Iraqi missile program. An unpublished report by Moscow's Institute for Political Studies describes the connection. According to institute head Vladimir Orlov, "We are 100 percent certain that the gyroscopes came from Sergeyev Posad." Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin said of this information, "I do not intend to comment on such stupid reports." 

Iraq Gains Russian Missile-Guidance System 

Flight International,09/30/97, p. 8 
United Nations inspectors in Iraq were prevented from entering two compounds near Baghdad on 9/13/97. While they were being detained, inspectors saw trucks, which may have contained secret documents, leaving the compounds. During a previous inspection, in 6/97, similar Iraqi attempts to bar inspectors from sites they had chosen resulted in a UN threat to impose further sanctions. 

Doc. Code : 7687 

Middle Eastern security sources said that Iraq has obtained guidance technology from the Russian RSM-50 (SS-N-18, Stingray) submarine-launched ballistic missile. Iraq acquired the technology to develop intermediate-range ballistic missiles. The RSM-50s are being destroyed under the terms of the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty I (START). 

Loopholes Let Military 'Salvage' Into Iraq 

FBIS-TAC-97-294, 10/21/97  

by Mariya Samuilovna, Moscow Nezavisimoye Voyennooye Obozreniye 

On 9/12/95, divers employed by the UN Special Commission on Iraq (UNSCOM), recovered gyroscopes from the bed of the Tigris River near Baghdad. Estimates range from nine to 115-120 gyroscopes. 

In February 1996, UNSCOM chairman Rolf Ekeus arrived in Moscow for talks at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. After the talks, the Russian government agreed the "Iraqi gyroscopes" were Russian but insisted that the Russian government had no knowledge of the transaction. 

Experts questioned why Iraq needed Russian gyroscopes, since Iraq is unable to use the gyroscopes, which had been re-cycled from Russian SLBMs by a Lebanese businessman, in their Scuds and shorter-range missiles. Ekeus said Iraq intended to use the Russian gyroscopes "for methodological and training purposes." 

UNSCOM, along with US specialists, concluded that Iraq is attempting to acquire guidance systems in order to manufacture its own long-range missiles independently. 

"PA Hiding Saddam's Arms Secrets"

The Jerusalem Post, 11/6/97, by Jay Bushinsky [Online] 
Members of the "Iraqi opposition" said on 11/5/97 that the Palestine Authority's embassy in Baghdad was being used to hide documents related to Iraq's buildup of weapons of mass destruction (WMD). Opposition sources said that diplomatic immunity at the embassy prevented UN arms inspectors from having access to the material. A "senior figure" in the opposition movement said the documents deal with the purchase of raw material to be used in Iraq's WMD program, and that his knowledge came from "sources inside Iraqi intelligence."[1] 

Supporting Sources: 

[1] Christopher Walker, The Times (London), 11/7/97 [Online], "Iraqi Papers `Kept In Arafat Embassy.'" 

Iraqis May Be Acting To Avoid Surveillance

Washington Post, 11/6/97, by John M. Goshko [Online] idx.html 
UNSCOM chief Richard Butler said on 11/5/97 that Iraq may be using the break in UN inspections to move equipment that could be used to manufacture missiles out of range of cameras set up to monitor the equipment. According to a report Butler filed with the UN Security Council, Iraqi officials appear to have moved "significant pieces of dual-capable equipment, subject to monitoring by the commission's remote camera monitoring system, out of view of the cameras." That equipment includes balancing equipment used to balance precision gyroscopes that could be used in ballistic missiles. Moving the equipment "without prior notification is prohibited under the commission's monitoring plan and the equipment concerned is subject to continuous camera monitoring, precisely because of its easy adaptation of prohibited activities." said Butler. The report states that some cameras appear to have been tampered with, lenses covered, and lighting turned off in areas subject to camera monitoring. 

If inspections were to resume immediately, inspectors would still need to reset security cameras, and recheck the machines or stocks they watch, according to Butler's report.[1] In the meantime, inspectors would be unsure whether equipment had been used to produce prohibited arms or components, and then "carted away to hiding places." 

Supporting Sources: 

[1] Barbara Crossette, "UN Told Iraq Is Tampering With Arms-Monitoring Effort," New York Times [Online], 11/6/97. 

After 7 Years Of Evasion, Iraq Has Tons Of Illicit Arms

New York Times International, by Tim Weiner, 11/11/97, [Online] 
United States officials said that if political and economic sanctions are lifted, the Iraqi President, Saddam Hussein could manufacture destructive arsenal independently. Officials added that Hussein could produce this arsenal with the material and expertise that has been concealed from weapons inspectors for the last seven years. 

Gary Milhollin, a private analyst of weapons proliferation, said, "Hussein's production capability has been put on hold" since the gulf war. "But his research effort has gone forward. We have to assume his scientists have progressed in understanding how to make better weapons of mass destruction." 

US Defense Secretary William Cohen said that ever since the Gulf war, Iraq "has continued to try to develop chemical and biological weapons, and possibly even acquire nuclear materials," while "playing a hide and seek game" with the United Nations inspectors. 

The Iraqis presented to the United Nations last month a declaration of "full, final and complete disclosure" of the biological warfare program. The United Nations said," the report fails to give a remotely credible account" of the program. 


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