Iraq Pressed to Ratify IAEA Additional Protocol
March 1, 2010 · Posted in NEWS
Monday, March 1, 2010

The U.N. Security Council said Friday it could eliminate sanctions on Iraqi nuclear energy work and other programs if Baghdad ratified the Additional Protocol to its nuclear inspections agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency, Reuters reported (see GSN, July 23, 2009).

The Middle Eastern nation previously signed the Additional Protocol, which grants U.N. inspectors more extensive access to a nation’s nuclear program information and facilities. In addition, the country has pledged to honor the document on a temporary basis until it receives formal endorsement from legislators.

The Security Council placed the economic penalties on Iraq in the wake of the Hussein regime’s invasion of Kuwait. Baghdad’s nuclear and other WMD efforts are now believed to have been essentially curbed following the 1991 Persian Gulf War, and no signs of operational stockpiles or programs were discovered after the U.S.-led 2003 invasion.

The current Iraqi government, which has forsworn any development of weapons of mass destruction, has expressed interest importing in nuclear fuel and equipment for energy production as well as agricultural pesticides that could be used to build weapons (Louis Charbonneau, Reuters, Feb. 26).

Iraq now opposes the proliferation of nuclear and chemical weapons and ballistic missiles and “is committed to taking additional steps to comply with nonproliferation and disarmament standards,” Iraqi Foreign Minister Hosyar Zebari said in a January plea on the trade sanctions to the Security Council, according to the Associated Press.

The U.N. body would only consider lifting the trade restrictions after measures aimed at preventing Iraq from attaining chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear weapons are judged to be adequately strong, French Ambassador to the United Nations Gerard Araud responded on behalf of the council’s 15 member nations.

The Security council indicated it has called for a report on “the quality of Iraq’s safeguards-related cooperation” and the nation’s adherence to the Chemical Weapons Convention, the Biological Weapons Convention and the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty