UN experts visit industrial sites in Iraq seeking evidence of weapons manufacture

Experts from the UN Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC) inspected the Nassr Company for Mechanical Industries. Located nearly 50 kilometres northwest of Baghdad, the company is engaged in the production of steel structures, forging casts, and moulds and fixtures for different industrial uses. “All key buildings were inspected and a number of tagged dual-use items of equipment were identified,” UN spokesman Hiro Ueki reported, referring to those goods that could have either civilian or military applications.UNMOVIC germ warfare experts inspected the Bakery Yeast Factory in Mosul, where yesterday they had visited the Ninevah Pharmaceuticals Company.In addition, an UNMOVIC team of missile inspectors visited the site of the former Taji Project 144, “where prohibited missile items were previously excavated and are now stored,” Mr. Ueki explained. A second missile team travelled to a former destruction area for gyroscope parts on the Al Saklawiya River.Chemical warfare experts from UNMOVIC inspected Modern Paints Industries, a site located in the southern outskirts of Baghdad. “This is a previously inspected site but has not been included in the recent Iraqi declarations,” Mr. Ueki said. “The site comprises several production buildings, stores and supporting facilities, and mainly uses imported chemicals.”Meanwhile, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which is actively probing Iraq’s nuclear ambitions, continued to inspect facilities in the Mosul region today, according to the spokesman. Another IAEA team inspected three sites in the Baghdad area: the Saidiya Specialized Institute for Engineering Industries, the Hydraulics Factory, and the Daura Industrial Engine Factory.