U.N. Missile Inspectors Finishing Groundwork For Monitoring
MANAMA, Bahrain (AP) _ A team of U.N. missile inspectors flew Monday to Baghdad to complete the groundwork for long-term monitoring of Iraq’s missile systems.
The six-member team will spend six days in Iraq, said Roald Opsahl, Bahrain-based regional chief for the special U.N. commission in charge of monitoring Iraq’s weapons capabilities.
Information gathered by the inspectors will be used for comparison during long-term monitoring, intended to make sure Iraq doesn’t try to revive its banned weapons programs.
Another team is cataloguing data collected earlier on facilities that Iraq could use to clandestinely develop long-range missiles. Later this month, that team will recommend where television surveillance cameras should be set up.
The monitoring of Iraq’s military facilities to prevent Baghdad from resuming production of weapons of mass destruction is a key condition for ending the U.N. embargo on Iraq’s oil sales.
Oil exports, the lifeline of Iraq’s economy, have been banned since Iraq invaded Kuwait in August 1992.
In the last three years, more than 70 U.N. teams made up of hundreds of multinational inspectors have dismantled and destroyed Iraq’s prohibited weapons programs.