October 1998

UNSCOM: CHRONOLOGY OF MAIN EVENTS

 

  • 3 Apr 1991 Security Council resolution 687 (1991), Section C, decides that Iraq shall unconditionally accept, under international supervision, the destruction, removal or rendering harmless of its weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles with a range over 150 kilometres. Requires Iraq to make a declaration, within 15 days, of the location, amounts and types of all such items.
  •                                         10 Apr 1991 Iraq accepts resolution 687 (1991).

  • 18 Apr 1991 Iraq provides initial declaration required under resolution 687 (1991), declares somec hemical weapons and materials and 53 Al-Hussein and Scud type long-range ballistic missiles. Iraq declares it has no biological weapons programme.

    16 May 1991 Iraq submits revised declarations covering additional chemical weapons and a refinement of the missile declaration.

    May 1991 Through an exchange of letters between the Secretary-General and the Foreign Minister, Iraq accepts the privileges and immunities of the Special Commission, its personnel and these include the right for "unrestricted freedom of entry and exit without delay or hindrance of its personnel, property, supplies, equipment ..."

    9 Jun 1991 UNSCOM conducts its first chemical weapons inspection.

    Jun 1991 UNSCOM/IAEA inspectors try to intercept Iraqi vehicles carrying nuclear related equipment (Calutrons). Iraqi personnel fire warning shots in the air to prevent the inspectors from approaching the vehicles. The equipment is later seized and destroyed under international supervision.

    17 Jun 1991 Security Council resolution 699 (1991), confirms that the Special Commission and the IAEA have the authority to conduct activities under section C of resolution 687 (1991).

    30 Jun 1991 UNSCOM conducts its first missile inspection.

    2 Aug 1991 UNSCOM conducts its first biological weapons inspection.

    15 Aug 1991 Security Council resolution 707 (1991), demands that Iraq provide without further delay full, final and complete disclosures, as required by resolution 687 (1991).

    6 Sep 1991 The first UNSCOM inspection team which intended to use helicopters is blocked by Iraq.

  • Sep 1991 IAEA inspectors find large amounts of documentation relating to Iraq's efforts to acquire nuclear weapons. The Iraqi officials confiscate some documents from the inspectors. The inspectors refuse to yield a second set of documents. In response, Iraq refuses to allow the team to leave the site with these documents. A four-day stand-off during which the team remained in the parking lot of the site ensues. Iraq permits the team to leave with the documents following a statement by the President of the Security Council, threatening enforcement action by members of the Council.

    11 Oct 1991 Security Council resolution 715 (1991), which approves the plans for ongoing monitoring and verification submitted by the Secretary-General (S/22871/Rev. l) and the Director General of the IAEA (S/22872/Rev.1). The Commission's plan also establishes that Iraq shall "accept unconditionally the inspectors and all other personnel designated by the Special Commission".

    Oct 1991 Iraq states that it considered the Ongoing Monitoring and Verification Plans, adopted by resolution 715 (1991) to be unlawful and states that it is not ready to comply with resolution 715.

    Feb 1992 Iraq refuses to comply with an UNSCOM/IAEA decision to destroy certain facilities used in proscribed programmes and related items. The Security Council condemns the failure of Iraq to comply with its obligations. Iraq finally agrees to the destruction of those facilities and items.

    19 Mar 1992 Iraq declares the existence of previously undeclared ballistic missiles (89), chemical weapons and associated material. Iraq reveals that most of these undeclared items were unilaterally destroyed in the Summer of 1991, in violation of resolution 687 (1991).

    Apr 1992 Iraq calls for a halt of UNSCOM's aerial surveillance flights, making reference to the possibility that the aircraft and its pilot would be endangered. The President of the Council issues a statement reaffirming UNSCOM's right to conduct such flights. Iraq affirms that it does not intend to carry out any military action aimed at UNSCOM's aerial flights.

    May 1992 Iraq provides its first Full, Final and Complete Disclosures for its prohibited biological and missile programmes. Iraq admits to having had only a "defensive" biological weapons programme.

    Jun 1992 Iraq provides its first Full, Final and Complete Disclosure for its prohibited chemical weapons programme.

    Jul 1992 UNSCOM begins the destruction of large quantities of Iraq's chemical weapons and production facilities.

  • 6-29 Jul 1992 Iraq refuses an inspection team access to the Iraqi Ministry of Agriculture. UNSCOM had reliable information that the site contained archives related to proscribed activities. Acess was obtained only after the threat of enforcement action by members of the Council. Evidence gathered from the Ministry is consistent with the removal of items during the period the team was denied entry.

    Jan 1993 Iraq refuses to allow UNSCOM the use of its own aircraft to fly into Iraq. Furthermore, Iraq starts incursions into the demilitarized zone between Iraq and Kuwait and increases its military activity in the no-fly zones. The Security Council, in a Presidential statement, notes that Iraq's action is an "unacceptable and material breach" of resolution 687 (1991) and warns Iraq of "serious consequences", were it to continue. The statement leads to air raids on sites in southern Iraq by France, the UK and the US. On 19 January, Iraq informs UNSCOM that it will be able to resume its flights.

    Jun-Jul 1993 Iraq refuses to allow UNSCOM to install remote-controlled monitoring cameras at two missile engine test stands. The Council issues a Presidential statement, warning Iraq of the serious consequences of material breaches of resolution 687 (1991). Subsequently, Iraq agrees to the installation of the monitoring cameras.

    26 Nov 1993 Iraq accepts resolution 715 (1991) and the plans for ongoing monitoring and verification.

    June 1994 UNSCOM completes the destruction of large quantities of chemical warfare agents and precursors and their production equipment.

    Sep/Oct 1994 Iraq sets a deadline of 10 October 1994 for the implementation of paragraph 22 of resolution 687 (1991), rejects all appeals to withdraw its threat to stop cooperation with UNSCOM, and starts deploying troops in the direction of Kuwait. It leads the US to begin deploying troops to Kuwait.

    15 Oct 1994 Security Council resolution 949 (1994), which demands that Iraq "cooperate fully" with UNSCOM and that it withdraw all military units deployed to southern Iraq to their original positions. Iraq thereafter withdraws its forces and resumes its work with the Commission.

    Mar 1995 Iraq provides the second Full, Final and Complete Disclosures of its prohibited biological and chemical weapons programmes.

    1 Jul 1995 As a result of UNSCOM's investigations and irrefutable evidence, Iraq admits for the first time the existence of an offensive biological weapons programme but denies weaponization.

  • Jul 1995 Iraq threatens to end all cooperation with UNSCOM and the IAEA if there is no progress towards the lifting of sanctions and the oil embargo by 31 August 1995.

    Aug 1995 Iraq provides the third Full, Final and Complete Disclosure for its prohibited biological weapons programme.

    8 Aug 1995 General Hussein Kamel, Minister of Industry and Minerals and former Director of Iraq's Military Industrialization Corporation, with responsibility for all of Iraq's weapons programmes, leaves Iraq for Jordan. Iraq claims that Hussein Kamel had hidden from UNSCOM and the IAEA important information on the prohibited weapons programmes. Iraq withdraws its third biological Full, Final and Complete Disclosure and admits a far more extensive prohibited biological weapons programme than previously admitted, including weaponization. Iraq also admits having achieved greater progress in its efforts to indigenously produce long-range missiles than had previously been declared. Iraq provides UNSCOM and the IAEA with large amounts of documentation related to its prohibited weapons programmes which subsequently leads to further disclosures by Iraq concerning the production of the nerve agent VX and Iraq's development of a nuclear weapon. Iraq also informs UNSCOM that the deadline to halt its cooperation is withdrawn.

    Nov 1995 Iraq provides second Full, Final and Complete Disclosure of its prohibited missile programme.

    Nov 1995 The Government of Jordan intercepts a large shipment of high-grade missile components destined for Iraq. Iraq denies that it had sought to purchase these components, although it acknowledged that some of them were in Iraq. UNSCOM conducts an investigation, which confirms that Iraqi authorities and missile facilities have been involved in the acquisition of sophisticated guidance and control components for proscribed missiles. UNSCOM retrieves additional similar missile components from the Tigris river, which had been allegedly disposed of there by the Iraqis involved in the covert acquisition.

    Mar 1996 UNSCOM teams are denied immediate access to five sites designated for inspection. The teams enter the sites after delays of up to 17 hours.

  • 19 Mar 1996 The Security Council agrees to a Presidential Statement, expressing the Council's concern at Iraq's behaviour, which it terms a clear violation of Iraq's obligations under relevant resolutions. The Council also demands that Iraq allow UNSCOM teams immediate, unconditional and unrestricted access to all sites designated for inspection.

    27 Mar 1996 Security Council resolution 1051(1996), approves the export/import monitoring mechanism for Iraq and demands that Iraq meet unconditionally all its obligations under the mechanism and cooperate fully with the Special Commission and the Director-General of the IAEA.

    May-Jun UNSCOM supervises the destruction of Al-Hakam, Iraq's main facility for the

    1996 production of biological warfare agents.

    Jun 1996 Iraq denies UNSCOM teams access to sites under investigation for their involvement in the "concealment mechanism" for proscribed items.

    12 Jun 19967 Security Council resolution 1060 (1996), terms Iraq's actions a clear violation of the provisions of the Council's resolutions. It also demands that Iraq grant immediate and unrestricted access to all sites designated for inspection by UNSCOM.

    13 Jun 1996 Despite the adoption of resolution 1060 (1996), Iraq again denies access to another inspection team. The Council agrees on a Presidential Statement, which condemns the failure of Iraq to comply with that resolution. The Council also asks that the Executive Chairman visit Baghdad with a view to securing access to all sites which the Commission designates for inspection.

    19-22 Jun The Chairman visits Baghdad. UNSCOM and Iraq agree a Joint Statement and a

    1996 Joint Programme of Action. The Chairman establishes modalities for inspection of so-called "sensitive sites", in order to take into account Iraq's legitimate security concerns.

    22 Jun 1996 Iraq provides the fourth Full, Final and Complete Disclosure of its prohibited biological weapons programme.

    Jun 1996 Iraq provides third Full, Final and Complete Disclosure of its prohibited chemical weapons programme. The progress achieved in verifying this disclosure, and subsequent attachments presented by Iraq, is described in the Commission's October 1997 report to the Security Council (5/1997/774).

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  • Jul 1996 Iraq provides the third Full, Final and Complete Disclosure of its prohibited missile programme. The results achieved by the Commission verifying this disclosure, and subsequent attachments presented by Iraq, is described in the Commission's October 1997 report to the Security Council (5/1997/774).

    Nov 1996 Iraq blocks UNSCOM from removing remnants of missile engines for in-depth analysis outside Iraq. The Security Council issues a Presidential statement in December 1996, which demands that Iraq allow UNSCOM to remove the destroyed missile engines from its territory.

    Feb 1997 Iraq allows UNSCOM to remove the missile engines.

    Jun 1997 Iraq interferes with UNSCOM's helicopter operations, threatening the safety of the aircraft and their crews. The Security Council issues a Presidential statement, which deplores such incidents and demands that Iraq permit UNSCOM to carry out its air operations anywhere in Iraq without interference of any kind.

    21 Jun 1997 Iraq again blocks UNSCOM's teams from entering certain sites, which have been designated by UNSCOM for inspection.

    21 Jun 1997 Security Council resolution 1115 (1997), which condemns Iraq's actions and demands that Iraq allow UNSCOM's team immediate, unconditional and unrestricted access to any sites for inspection and officials for interviews by UNSCOM. The Council also calls for an additional report on Iraq's cooperation with the Commission and suspends the periodic sanctions reviews.

    Sep 1997 Iraq provides fifth Full, Final and Complete Disclosure for its prohibited biological weapons programme.

    13 Sep 1997 One of UNSCOM's personnel is manhandled by an Iraqi officer on board the Commission's helicopter while the inspector was attempting to take photographs of the unauthorized movement of Iraqi vehicles inside a site that was designated for inspection. Two days later, Iraq again failed to freeze movement inside another site designated for inspection.

    17 Sep 1997 The President of the Security Council makes a statement to the media, which, inter alia, deplores the incidents and urges Iraq to cooperate fully with UNSCOM.

    17 Sep 1997 While seeking access to a site for inspection declared by Iraq to be "sensitive", UNSCOM inspectors witness and videotape the movement of files, the burning of documents and dumping of ash-filled waste cans into a nearby river.

  • Sep/Oct UNSCOM inspection teams are prevented from inspecting three sites designated

    1997 for nspection, on the basis that the sites are "presidential sites", which Iraq claims are out of bounds to UNSCOM's inspectors.

    23 Oct 1997 Security Council resolution 1134 (1997), demands that Iraq cooperate fully with the Special Commission, continues the suspension of the periodic sanctions reviews and foreshadows additional sanctions pending a further report on Iraq's cooperation with UNSCOM.

    Oct 1997 UNSCOM completes the destruction of additional, large quantities of chemical weapons related equipment and precursors chemicals. Iraq had previously denied that part of the equipment had been used for CW production. Only in May 1997, on the basis of UNSCOM's investigations, did Iraq admit that some of the equipment had indeed been used in the production of VX.

    27 Oct 1997 The Executive Chairman sends a letter to Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz, suggesting the agenda for the forthcoming meetings in Baghdad. The letter proposes that Iraq address important outstanding issues, including warheads, VX and the biological weapons area. It also mentions the need to review the "modalities for inspection of sensitive sites" to ensure that inspections are conducted in a credible manner.

    29 Oct 1997 The Deputy Prime Minister of Iraq, Mr. Tariq Aziz, sends a letter to the President of the Security Council, informing the Council of policy decisions taken by the Government of Iraq. The letter includes a decision not to deal with personnel of United States nationality working for UNSCOM, a demand that all personnel of United States nationality working with UNSCOM leave Iraq by a given deadline, and a request that UNSCOM withdraw its "cover" for the "spy plane" U-2, provided by the United States.

    29 Oct 1997 The Security Council agrees on a Presidential Statement, which condemns Iraq's decision and terms it "unacceptable". It also demands that Iraq cooperate fully, without restrictions or conditions, with UNSCOM, and warns of the serious consequences of Iraq's failure to comply immediately and fully with its obligations under relevant resolutions.

    12 Nov 1997 Security Council resolution 1137 (1997), condemns the continued violation by Iraq of its obligations, including its unacceptable decision to seek to impose conditions on cooperation with UNSCOM. It also imposes a travel restriction on Iraqi officials who are responsible for or participated in the instances of non-compliance.

  • 13 Nov 1997 Iraq requires the personnel of United States nationality working for UNSCOM to leave Iraq immediately. The Executive Chairman decides the majority of the UNSCOM personnel to withdraw from Iraq, temporarily. A skeleton staff remains in Baghdad to maintain UNSCOM's premises and equipment.

    13 Nov 1997 The Security Council adopts a Presidential Statement (S/PRST/1997/51), which condemns the unacceptable decision of Iraq in expelling personnel of UNSCOM of a specified nationality, demands Iraq to rescind its decisions of 29 October 1997 and demands that Iraq cooperate fully with UNSCOM.

    20 Nov 1997 Following intensive diplomatic action an agreement is reached between Iraq and the Russian Federation whereby Iraq accepts the return of the Commission with its full complement of staff to resume its work in Iraq. The Commission=s personnel who had been temporarily withdrawn to Bahrain return to Iraq on 21 November and resume their inspection activities the following day.

    21 Nov 1997 An Emergency Session of the Special Commission is held in New York in order to discuss and advise on ways to make the work more effective. The report of the Emergency Session was submitted to the Security Council (document S/1997/922).

    3 Dec 1997 The Security Council endorses the conclusions and recommendations of the Emergency Session of the Commission (document S/PRST/1997/54).

    17 Dec 1997 The Executive Chairman returns to New York from Iraq and reports, inter alia, to the Council that Iraq would not permit the Commission=s inspectors into a category of sites (Presidential and Sovereign) hitherto unrecognised by the Council or the Commission (document S/1997/987).

    22 Dec 1997 The Council issues a statement (document S/PRST/1997/56) calling upon the Government of Iraq to cooperate fully with the Commission and stresses that failure by Iraq to provide immediate, unconditional and unrestricted access to any site is an unacceptable and clear violation of the relevant resolutions of the Council.

    13 Jan 1998 The Executive Chairman reports to the Council that during the first day of an inspection, Iraq announced that it was withdrawing its cooperation with the inspection team on the pretext that the inspection team had too many individuals of US or UK nationality (document S/1998/27 of 13 January 1998).

    14 Jan 1998 Iraq continues to block the work of the inspection team. In response, the Council issues a statement terming Iraq=s actions unacceptable and a clear violation of therelevant resolutions and reiterated its demand that Iraq cooperate fully and immediately without conditions (document S/PRST/1998/1).

  • 22 Jan 1998 Following a visit to Iraq, the Chairman reports to the Council that despite the Council=s statement on the need for unrestricted access to all sites, the Deputy Prime Minister of Iraq continues to assert that Iraq would not permit access to eight so-called Presidential sites (document S/1998/58).

    Early Feb Two technical evaluation meetings (TEM) take place in Baghdad reviewing the

    1998 position withrespect to the chemical weapons agent VX and missile warheads. The report of the outcome of the meetings is submitted to the Council (document S/1998/176). In the main, despite Iraq=s assertions and having had a full opportunity to present its views on all matters pertaining to the two issues, the teams of international experts and UNSCOM personnel conclude unanimously that Iraq has still not provided sufficient information for the Commission to conclude that Iraq had undertaken all the disarmament steps required of it in these areas. The Commission=s experts provide the Council with an oral briefing of the outcome of these two TEMs in March 1998.

    15-18 Feb In order to understand the scope (size and perimeters) of the eight Presidential

    1998 sites which Iraq had decided to declare off-limits to the Commission=s inspectors, the Secretary-General decides to despatch a technical survey team to Iraq. The report of this mission is forwarded to the Council under cover of a letter from the Secretary-General to the President of the Council (S/1998/166 Add.1).

    20-23 Feb The Secretary-General visits Iraq. As a result of his meetings, the United Nations

    1998 and the Republic of Iraq agree the terms of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) (document S/1998/166) which was signed on 23 February. The Secretary-General secures Iraq=s reconfirmation of its acceptance of all relevant resolutions of the Council and the reiteration of its undertaking to cooperate fully with the Commission and the IAEA. In the Memorandum, Iraq also undertakes, to accord to UNSCOM and the IAEA immediate, unconditional and unrestricted access in conformity with the resolutions of the Council. For its part, the United Nations reiterates the commitment of all member States to respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Iraq. The Memorandum also includes an undertaking by the Commission to respect the legitimate concerns of Iraq relating to national security, sovereignty and dignity. The Memorandum also provides for the establishment of special procedures which would apply to initial and subsequent entries for the performance of the tasks mandated at the eight Presidential sites. The MOU also makes provisions for the appointment of a Commissioner to head the Special Group established for the mandated tasks at Presidential sites. Mr. Jayantha Dhanapala is appointed to this position by the Secretary-General.

    2 Mar 1998 Security Council resolution 1154 (1998) endorses the provisions of the MOU.

    9 Mar 1998 In pursuance of the MOU, procedures for initial and subsequent entry to the sites are drawn up and presented to the Council (document S/1998/208).

  • 20-27 Mar The Commission and Iraq conduct a further technical evaluation meeting (TEM)

    1998 in Vienna dealing with all aspects of Iraq=s biological weapons programme.

    4 Apr 1998 The initial entry to the eight Presidential sites is completed by mission UNSCOM 243.

    8 Apr 1998 The report of the biological weapons TEM is transmitted to the Council (document S/1998/308). As with the other TEMs, the experts unanimously conclude that Iraq=s declaration on its biological weapons programme is incomplete and inadequate.

    15 Apr 1998 The report of the Special Group on the visit to Presidential sites is submitted to the Council by the Secretary-General (document S/1998/326).

    16 Apr 1998 The Commission=s latest semi-annual consolidated report is submitted to the Council (document S/1998/332).

    6 May 1998 The Executive Chairman informs the Council (document S/1998/377) that its requirements with respect to access to sites are sufficiently implemented to allow for the termination of the travel ban called for in resolution 1137 (1998).

    3-4 Jun 1998 At the Council=s request, experts from the Commission=s New York Headquarters staff provide a technical briefing to Council members in informal session. At the conclusion of the meeting the Executive Chairman circulates to Council members for information an informal paper of disarmament issues which the Commission deemed necessary to be completed and verified for the formulation of a report pursuant to paragraph 22 of Security Council resolution 687 (1991).

  • 14 Jun 1998 The Executive Chairman agrees a schedule for work on certain outstanding disarmament issues with the Deputy Prime Minister covering the following six weeks (see document S/1998/529 reporting the outcome of the visit).

    3 Aug 1998 During his visit to Baghdad, the Executive Chairman is told by the Deputy Prime Minister that he must certify to the Security Council that the requirements of section C of resolution 687 (1991) have been met. The Chairman responds that he is not in a position to do so. The Deputy Prime Minister suspends the talks.

    5 Aug 1998 The Revolutionary Command Council and the Ba=ath Party Command decide to halt cooperation with UNSCOM and the IAEA pending Security Council agreement to lift the oil embargo (as a first step towards ending the sanctions), reorganize the Commission and move it to either Geneva or Vienna. In the interim, Iraq would permit monitoring under resolution 715 (1991).

  • 6 Aug 1998 The Executive Chairman briefs the Security Council on Iraq=s position and the results of his talks in Baghdad(document S/1998/719). The Security Council=s President terms Iraq=s actions Atotally unacceptable@.

    12 Aug 1998 The Executive Chairman informs the Security Council (document S/1998/767) that in addition to halting all disarmament, Iraq=s actions with respect to monitoring have impinged on the effectiveness of the monitoring system and the Commission cannot, therefore, continue to provide the Security Council with the same level of assurances of Iraq=s compliance with its obligations not to reestablish its proscribed weapons programmes.

    18 Aug 1998 In a letter from the President of the Council (S/1998/769), the Security Council reiterates its support for UNSCOM in the full implementation of its mandate and notes that Iraq is obliged to provide UNSCOM with cooperation necessary for it to undertake activities, including inspections.

    19 Aug 1998 The Executive Chairman proposes, in a letter to the Deputy Prime Minister that Iraq and the Special Commission resume the full range of activity. This is rejected by the Deputy Prime Minister in remarks to the press stating that Iraq does not trust the Executive Chairman or the elements dominating UNSCOM and that it does not believe that there is any use in resuming work with them.

    3 Sep 1998 The Executive Chairman briefs the Security Council on the status of UNSCOM=s work in Iraq, including three incidents where Iraq has placed further limits on the Commission=s rights and activities with respect to monitoring.

    9 Sep 1998 Security Council resolution 1194 (1998) unanimously condemns Iraq=s decision to suspend cooperation with UNSCOM, terming Iraq=s actions a totally unacceptable contravention of Iraq=s obligations; demands Iraq=s rescind its decision and decides not to conduct the 60-day sanctions reviews until Iraq rescinds its 5 August decision and the Commission reports to the Council that it is satisfied that it has been able to exercise its full range of activities, including inspections.

    6 Oct 1998 The Commission submits its semi-annual report to the Security Council (S/1998/920).

    13 Oct 1998 The Executive Chairman briefs the Council on the Commission=s semi-annual report.