<DIV><DIV><B>1</B><BR> <BR><B>IRAQ, 1991–1998</B><BR> <BR><I>Unmasking a Hidden Program</I><BR> <BR>To appreciate the nuclear landscape of 2003 requires a return to the early 1990s, when two clandestine nuclear programs came to light: first, Saddam Hussein’s secret program to develop nuclear weapons, discovered in the aftermath of the 1991 Gulf War; and second, North Korea’s diversion of plutonium and concealment of nuclear facilities, which the IAEA uncovered the following year.<BR>In the case of Iraq, what the Agency knew about the country’s nuclear program at the outset of the first Gulf War was essentially limited to the Tuwaitha Nuclear Research Center, a short drive southeast of Baghdad. In its dealings with the IAEA, Iraq had declared two research reactors1 located at Tuwaitha, as well as a small fuel fabrication laboratory and a storage facility. Twice a year, the Agency inspected those facilities, to verify that none of the declared nuclear material had been diverted from peaceful use to weapons development.<BR>In the aftermath of the war, IAEA inspectors would find evidence of other, unreported nuclear activities at Tuwaitha and a series of other illicit nuclear sites across the country. The IAEA was faulted for not having detected earlier these clandestine aspects of Iraq’s nuclear program. But the blame is mostly due to the limitations placed on the IAEA’s inspection authority. The Agency was only expected to verify what a country declared. We had little authority, and few mechanisms, to search for undeclared nuclear materials or facilities.<BR>If this sounds frighteningly naïve, it was. For regimes that chose to conceal their illicit activities, the IAEA was a beat cop with a blindfold. Nonetheless, the questions multiplied: Why had the IAEA not challenged the Iraqis on the completeness of their declaration? Why had there been no calls for special inspections? How could the IAEA have “missed” Iraq’s broader nuclear ambitions?<BR>These questions have good answers. In addition to the limitations on the Agency’s authority, there was little solid intelligence at the time about Iraq’s clandestine nuclear programs—or at least, if such intelligence existed, it was not shared with the IAEA. But to truly understand the situation requires additional perspective: (1) a few points regarding the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, from which much of the IAEA’s verification authority derives; and (2) a rudimentary overview of the nuclear fuel cycle, to correct a common misconception or two.<BR>*   *   *<BR>The NPT, or the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, was brought into force in 1970. For all its faults, it remains among the most widely subscribed-to treaties in history. At the end of 2010, 189 states were party to the NPT. Only three countries—India, Pakistan, and Israel—have never been party to it, and North Korea has withdrawn.<BR>The NPT is built around three “policy pillars” agreed to by the parties to the treaty. Together, these pillars comprise a delicately balanced bargain.<BR>First, NPT member countries that do not have nuclear weapons, also known as non-nuclear-weapon states, or NNWS, pledge that they will not pursue or develop such weapons. Each such member country is obligated to conclude a legally binding bilateral agreement with the IAEA, known as a comprehensive safeguards agreement. Under this agreement, the country promises to place all its nuclear material under IAEA safeguards, to ensure through physical controls and rigorous accounting procedures that the material will not be diverted for use in nuclear weapons. The safeguards agreement gives the Agency the authority to verify the country’s compliance.<BR>Second, all NPT members pledge to pursue negotiations “in good faith” to lead toward nuclear disarmament.2 This includes, significantly, the five states that are acknowledged in the NPT as possessing nuclear weapons: China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States, referred to as nuclear-weapon states, or NWS.3 The NWS also agree that they will not in any way help NNWS acquire nuclear weapons.<BR>Third, all treaty members agree to facilitate the use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes in all member countries, and with particular consideration for the needs of developing countries. This includes exchanging relevant equipment, materials, and scientific and technological information.<BR>There are plenty of flaws with the treaty. As I have already pointed out, it is weak on execution: the IAEA for decades was expected only to inspect, or “verify,” what NPT members had declared. The disarmament aspects of the treaty are even weaker: there is no mechanism to verify the pledged progress on disarmament negotiations, nor a designated oversight body, nor a penalty for failure to comply. Finally, the treaty contains an apparent paradox: by complying with the third part of the bargain—by facilitating the exchange of nuclear equipment, materials, and information for peaceful purposes—NPT members are simultaneously increasing the capability of NNWS to pursue nuclear weapons, particularly when certain nuclear fuel cycle technology is involved.<BR>This dilemma relates to the dual potential of nuclear science and technology and lies at the heart of nuclear diplomacy. Nuclear science is an extreme example of a classical quandary: human societies are able to use their technological advances for good or ill. Whether the end use is a mushroom cloud or a cancer-curing medical isotope, much of the underlying science and technology is the same. It is the intent that differs: Will the acquired nuclear knowledge be used for military aggression and vast destruction? Or for the host of nuclear benefits that citizens of industrialized countries take for granted: energy and medicine, for example, or agricultural productivity, pest control, groundwater management, or industrial testing? It is one thing to deny additional countries nuclear weapons; but denying them the use of nuclear science for peaceful ends has no justification, and it would have meant no NPT at all.<BR>*   *   *<BR>Now for the nuclear fuel cycle. Terms such as <I>enrichment</I>, <I>uranium conversion</I>, and <I>plutonium separation</I> have slipped into the common lexicon, cropping up in mainstream press articles and public policy documents. Yet I constantly run into misconceptions regarding the nature, intent, and legality of these nuclear processes. To understand the stakes involved in the nuclear diplomacy of recent years, a layperson should have at least a rudimentary grasp of the overall fuel cycle and which parts of it are most vulnerable to weapons proliferation.<BR>That said, it is a risky proposition for even the most well-versed lawyer to expound on nuclear technology, so I will confine my explanation of the nuclear fuel cycle to a simple series of steps.<BR><B>1. Mining:</B> Uranium ore is extracted from the ground. As it occurs in nature, uranium is predominantly made up of the uranium-238 isotope. Only about 0.7 percent is uranium-235, which is “fissile,” meaning it can sustain a nuclear chain reaction.<BR><B>2. Milling:</B> The ore is processed, by grinding and chemical leaching, to produce “yellowcake,” a uranium concentrate.<BR><B>3. Conversion:</B> The yellowcake is transformed, through a series of chemical processes, to uranium hexafluoride (UF6) gas, the feedstock for centrifuge enrichment. The UF6 at this stage is still considered “natural uranium,” since the relative concentrations of U-238 and U-235 have not changed.<BR><B>4. Enrichment:</B> As the UF6 is fed through centrifuges, the concentration of U-235 is increased, correspondingly decreasing the concentration of U-238. Enrichment makes the uranium more capable of generating nuclear energy.<BR><B>5. Fuel fabrication:</B> The enriched uranium is converted into powder, processed into ceramic pellets, and inserted into fuel rods, which are then arranged into fuel assemblies that will power a reactor core.<BR><B>6. Storage:</B> After being used in the reactor, the depleted nuclear fuel—now mostly U-238, with not enough U-235 remaining to sustain the reaction—is usually stored in a “spent fuel pool.” Depleted fuel also contains about 1 percent of fissile plutonium, created as a by-product in the reactor.<BR><B>7. Reprocessing:</B> Since only a small percentage of the nuclear energy is used up in a normal reactor cycle, some countries recycle the spent fuel, recovering (or “separating”) the uranium and plutonium for reuse.<BR>The gas centrifuges used in uranium enrichment4 resemble tall, skinny metal cylinders with inlet and outlet piping attached. They spin at enormous speeds—more than twenty thousand revolutions per minute, fast enough that the atoms of uranium-238, three nucleons heavier than uranium-235, move to the outside of the tube and can be separated out as they exit. When multiple centrifuges are lined up in a row, or in a “cascade,” the UF6 gas passes from one to the next and is gradually “enriched” to a higher percentage of U-235. Since U-235 makes up only a tiny percentage of natural uranium, it takes a very large volume of incoming feed material to produce even a very small volume of enriched product. This requires the centrifuges to spin for weeks and months at a time, which means they are not easy to design or construct and can be made only of special metals that can withstand the stresses.<BR>Most light water reactors, which use nuclear fuel to produce electricity, require uranium enriched to about 3.5 percent U-235. “High-enriched uranium,” or HEU, refers to any enrichment level above 20 percent. Uranium enriched to 90 percent or greater is usually considered weapons grade; however, many research reactors worldwide also use 90 percent enriched uranium fuel for peaceful purposes, such as to produce medical isotopes.<BR>Contrary to the most common misconception, steps 1–7 are all elements of a peaceful nuclear fuel cycle. Despite what is at times implied in the press, uranium enrichment (or, for that matter, plutonium separation) does not inherently signal the intent to develop nuclear weapons. Since plutonium and HEU are the nuclear materials that can be used most directly in nuclear weapons, the two most proliferation-sensitive aspects of the fuel cycle are correspondingly reprocessing, in which plutonium is separated, and enrichment, which can make HEU. But both HEU and plutonium can also be used in reactor fuel, to generate electricity. Thus none of these fuel cycle operations is “illegal”; they are all within the rights of any member of the NPT. There are, of course, caveats: the relevant facilities and activities must be “declared,” or reported, to the IAEA, and safeguards must be in place to verify that the nuclear material involved is accounted for and has not been diverted for use in weapons.<BR>Roughly a dozen countries have significant nuclear fuel cycle operations. A fair number of non-nuclear-weapon states therefore have stockpiles of plutonium (separated out through reprocessing spent nuclear fuel), or HEU, which could readily be applied to a nuclear weapons program. And as more countries industrialize and nuclear knowledge spreads, still more governments are likely to consider the economic and other strategic advantages that come with owning the nuclear fuel cycle.<BR>This is where the plot thickens. With the spread of nuclear technology comes an increased proliferation risk. Thus those states that already have the nuclear fuel cycle do not want to give it up but would prefer that no other countries acquire it. The have-nots resent this stinginess. And indeed, under the NPT bargain, the haves who possess peaceful nuclear knowledge and technology are obliged to share it. The have-nots resent, most of all, that the nuclear-weapon states have failed to keep their part of the bargain, to negotiate “in good faith” and “at an early date” toward nuclear disarmament. The haves enjoy a status that other countries might well envy, since nuclear weapons have become synonymous with political clout and power and an insurance against attack.<BR>In hindsight, the emergence of the first clandestine nuclear programs in Iraq and North Korea in the early 1990s perhaps should have been no surprise. With the cold war winding down, the balance of power between the Soviet Union and the United States could no longer be relied on to maintain a relative peace. Countries not explicitly protected under a “nuclear umbrella,” such as that provided to members of NATO or other U.S. allies, might understandably have been experiencing an increasing sense of insecurity. What better insurance policy than to develop nuclear weapons in secret?<BR>*   *   *<BR>This was the context in which Iraq’s nuclear program was discovered at the end of the 1991 Gulf War. While the United States had mentioned Iraq’s emerging nuclear ambitions as one of many reasons for military action,5 in fact very little was known about Iraq’s actual nuclear capabilities before the war. Some in the U.S. intelligence community reportedly presumed that Iraq had nuclear weapons ambitions—based on, among other indications, attempts made by Iraq to acquire nuclear enrichment components and other nuclear technology from a number of European countries.6 No such information, however, had been presented to the IAEA. In the month or two before the war, a number of media outlets began making wild and unsubstantiated reports about Iraq’s specific nuclear capabilities.7 But perhaps the best indication of the extent of prewar Western intelligence is that the United States was reported to have had only two nuclear sites on its list of targets to bomb, whereas, in the postwar inspection, as many as eighteen nuclear sites would be identified by the IAEA. In fact, it was Saddam Hussein’s invasion and occupation of Kuwait that provided the primary justification for the U.S.-led coalition to invade.<BR>On April 3, 1991, less than two months after the end of the war, the UN Security Council issued a sweeping set of terms with which Iraq was to comply. Naturally, this included obligations such as respecting the Iraq-Kuwait boundary, returning Kuwaiti property, and compensating Kuwait for injury, damage, and loss. But a major part of the resolution was devoted to the council’s demands that Iraq rid itself of weapons of mass destruction.<BR>In the nuclear arena, Resolution 687 called on Iraq to come clean—to declare fully all of its nuclear facilities and its weapons-grade nuclear material. It asked the IAEA Director General to carry out immediate inspections based on Iraq’s declarations and to develop a plan within forty-five days to destroy or remove from Iraq any nuclear-weapon-related capabilities. The resolution also established UNSCOM, the United Nations Special Commission, which was charged with a similar mission related to Iraq’s biological and chemical weapons programs and long-range missile delivery systems.8<BR>Both the IAEA and UNSCOM were given carte blanche “anytime, anywhere” authority to search out and eliminate Iraq’s WMD programs. From an inspector’s perspective, this sounded idyllic. But it worked only because Iraq was a freshly defeated country, with no military recourse. No other country would have accepted such conditions.<BR>The first IAEA inspection team, led by Chief Inspector Demetrius Perricos, landed in Baghdad on May 14, 1991, and headed directly for the Tuwaitha nuclear site. Aerial photographs had led the team to anticipate a scene of destruction, in the wake of the Gulf War. And indeed, every major building at Tuwaitha had received a direct hit from the bombing.<BR>The inspectors’ first objective was to locate and secure the high-enriched uranium fuel designated for the two research reactors. The Iraqi technical experts appeared eager to assist. As it turned out, to the inspectors’ surprise, the irradiated fuel had been moved at the height of the bombing, according to the Iraqis. They had reburied it in hastily constructed concrete pits, in featureless farmland in the nearby Garf al Naddaf district, to avoid the fuel being destroyed and radioactivity dispersed. With the Iraqis’ assistance, the inspectors were readily able to locate and begin verifying nearly all the nuclear material in question, based on the declared prewar inventories.<BR>However, achieving the second primary objective—to uncover any previously undeclared nuclear activities—would prove far less straightforward. It appeared that, beyond the destruction inflicted by the bombing, the Iraqis had done even more to dismantle the buildings. Some appeared to have been stripped of equipment. There were signs that operational records and other documentation had been burned. Verifying the purpose of the Tuwaitha facilities that had not been covered under previous IAEA inspections was difficult.<BR>Similar observations were made at another site, north of Baghdad, Tarmiya, where nuclear activity was rumored. The Iraqis said the Tarmiya facilities were used to manufacture electrical transformers. But in the judgment of the IAEA team, this explanation did not match certain facts: for example, the massive electrical loads Tarmiya had required, and the volume and arrangement of electrical distribution equipment. When these discrepancies were pointed out, the Iraqi counterparts could not or would not offer plausible explanations.<BR>Even during this first inspection, the challenge facing the Agency safeguards inspectors was beginning to take shape.<BR>Here, again, it is important to correct a common misconception. IAEA inspectors are not detectives, nor are they security officers or police. They are accustomed to looking for and pointing out quantitative and qualitative discrepancies—including deliberate cover-ups—and they do not shrink from confronting the party under inspection with the evidence. But their style is respectful, whether the country being inspected is Canada or South Africa, Japan or the Netherlands—or, in this case, Iraq. For my part, I firmly believe that this respectfulness, a hallmark of IAEA inspections, has repeatedly proven to be a key Agency asset.<BR>Furthermore, the IAEA is not a spy agency. Our inspectors do not engage in espionage or use deception to get at the truth. We do not have access to the databases of police forces, Interpol, or national intelligence agencies, unless these organizations choose to make relevant information available. Nor do we provide the confidential results of our inspections to these agencies. The information is disseminated within the IAEA, on a need-to-know basis.<BR>In the early 1990s, in Iraq, North Korea, and elsewhere, the relationships between the intelligence agencies and the international inspection organizations took on the look and feel of an awkward dance. In exchange for sharing their privileged information with the IAEA and UNSCOM, the intelligence agencies wanted as quid pro quo to have privileged access to the inspection results. It was perfectly clear why they might want this: the IAEA and UNSCOM inspectors had much greater on-the-ground access and were therefore able to make highly efficient use of the intelligence, uncovering and reporting the facts in a way that the intelligence agencies could not. But the IAEA would not agree to such an arrangement. The flow of information was, by necessity, one way: to maintain its integrity and legitimacy, the IAEA could not afford to pass privileged information as a favor to a national intelligence organization.<BR>The Agency was adamant about its independence, which sometimes put it at odds with individual states. This was evident during the negotiation of Security Council Resolution 687, when the United States had tried to place UNSCOM in the driver’s seat of the inspections, over the Agency. To me, the motives were transparent. UNSCOM was new; by necessity, it would be an ad hoc body, a subsidiary organ of the Security Council, whose major players would be able to exercise a good deal of influence over its operations. UNSCOM’s inspectors were culled rapidly from national government agencies and laboratories, where the necessary skills (familiarity with biological and chemical toxins and with long-range missile technology) resided. UNSCOM would thus be easier to infiltrate than the IAEA, an established organization with independent nuclear expertise.<BR>As the Agency’s legal adviser at that time, I was in New York during the negotiation of the resolution. I had several meetings with Robert Gallucci, a sharp, smooth American diplomat and academic and future deputy executive director of UNSCOM. The IAEA tried hard to insist on its independence in handling the nuclear file. For the most part, we succeeded. Gallucci later admitted that there was some internal disagreement in certain U.S. government circles where great anxiety was expressed about whether the IAEA was up to the task. Others, by contrast, worried that giving UNSCOM primary authority would damage the IAEA’s credibility.9The compromise language in the resolution sounded quite mild: the IAEA was to accomplish its mission “with the assistance and cooperation of the Special Commission.” But in Gallucci’s view, the language ensured that UNSCOM would have its “camel’s nose under the tent” of the IAEA.10<BR>Of course it was important that the two agencies cooperate, particularly on logistics. Since many of the facilities we needed to inspect had been bombed, there were safety hazards associated with unexploded ordnance. UNSCOM had hired explosive ordnance disposal experts to accompany teams from both agencies. For its part, it had much to learn from the organization and discipline of the IAEA teams, who had been working together for years and, in some cases, were familiar with their Iraqi counterparts and Iraqi ways of doing business.<BR>The personalities involved undoubtedly influenced the relationship between the agencies. Hans Blix, at that time Director General of the IAEA, was a former Swedish foreign minister. Rolf Ekeus, who was appointed as the director of UNSCOM, was also a Swedish diplomat. In foreign service terms, Blix outranked Ekeus, and he clearly did not appreciate receiving instructions from Ekeus in areas where UNSCOM had been given the lead. Nor did it help that UNSCOM was based in New York, where they received the bulk of the media attention, while the IAEA was rather obscure at that time. Relations were eased, in part, by Maurizio Zifferero, a congenial Italian scientist who served as head of the IAEA’s Iraq Action Team and who was effective at smoothing difficulties between the two organizations.<BR>*   *   *<BR>By the time of the second Iraq inspection, from June 22 to July 4, 1991, the stage was set for drama. An intelligence agency had shared reconnaissance photographs with the IAEA showing a surge of Iraqi activity immediately after the departure of the first inspection team, in an area just outside the Tuwaitha site. A number of large metallic discs had been unearthed from where they apparently had been buried and taken to a new location.<BR>Information had surfaced also about an alleged enrichment program the Iraqis had been conducting in secret, through a technique called electromagnetic isotope separation, or EMIS. This method used a machine called a calutron: a type of mass spectrometer positioned between oversize electromagnets, invented at the University of California. The process is not very efficient, and it consumes enormous amounts of electricity. Specialists with insight into the calutron program of the Manhattan Project11 had evaluated the IAEA inspectors’ photographs and reports from the Tarmiya site and believed the evidence pointed to EMIS enrichment operations.<BR>The Iraqis were continuing to deny that they had an undeclared uranium-enrichment program, so it was important to track down the equipment as evidence. Early on, the second inspection turned into a chase. The new location of the unearthed discs, which were suspected to be magnets for the EMIS process, was said to be a specific military camp. When the IAEA team arrived, as scheduled, they were denied access. Protests were made to the upper echelons of the Iraqi government, and three days later, access was authorized. By then, however, the equipment was gone.<BR>Three days after that, the team received word of the new location: another large military camp. This time a group of IAEA inspectors showed up without warning. Admission was again refused at the gate. But two members of the team climbed the outside ladder of an adjacent water tower; from the top, they could see a convoy of trucks moving off from the rear exit of the camp. Two other members of the team gave chase in a UN vehicle, weaving chaotically through local markets until they could find the proper highway. Their persistence was rewarded: when they found the convoy, they discovered close to a hundred vehicles loaded with what appeared to be nuclear equipment, much of it not even covered in the haste to escape. Catching the Iraqis in this blatant attempt at concealment was a significant breakthrough.<BR>In early July, Blix and I made a trip to Baghdad. We were part of a high-level delegation put together by the UN secretary-general, Javier Pérez de Cuéllar. The delegation was headed by Ekeus, much to Blix’s displeasure. Our goal was to pressure the Iraqi government to stop obstructing the inspection process and to come clean with a full declaration of its nuclear program.<BR>Initially, the Iraqis continued their denial. The chairman of Iraq’s Atomic Energy Committee, Dr. Human Abdel Khaliq Ghaffour,12 urged Blix and me to accept what the Iraqis were saying. Riding in the car together, he swore to us—despite the mounting evidence to the contrary—that Iraq had conducted no undeclared enrichment activities. Iraq’s nuclear program, he insisted, was entirely peaceful.<BR>But international pressure was growing. The UN Security Council set a deadline, making clear they were ready to authorize additional action. Still another IAEA inspection team had arrived, ready to pursue new leads.<BR>On July 7, the Iraqi authorities yielded, providing the IAEA with an extensive new list of equipment and its location. This new declaration covered not only EMIS enrichment, but also centrifuge and chemical enrichment activities and the reprocessing they had conducted to separate out a few grams of plutonium. The declaration also gave a list of manufacturing and support facilities. It revealed the existence of almost four hundred tons of non-enriched uranium, some of which had been imported from Brazil, Niger, and Portugal, but which had never previously been declared to the IAEA.<BR>One scene from that visit stands out vividly. Blix and I had accompanied members of the inspection team, including both UNSCOM and IAEA personnel, to a location in the middle of the desert. The Iraqis were showing us what they claimed was calutron equipment they had destroyed and buried, to avoid detection. We were well into the Iraqi summer, and temperatures were through the roof; it was clear that our inspectors, measuring and cataloguing these huge chunks of metal, faced a grueling task.<BR>Rather abruptly, David Kay13—a former mid-level manager in the IAEA’s Technical Cooperation Program, with little to no prior experience in safeguards inspection—decided that one of the senior Iraqi scientists should be interrogated on the spot. Raising his arm melodramatically, he shouted, “Let the investigation begin!” Blix and I were embarrassed. We promptly called Kay aside, to let him know that this was not the way we performed inspections. Our aim, in this case, was to work toward full cooperation on the part of the Iraqis. Intimidation and humiliation were not, in our view, useful tactics.<BR>Kay’s appointment as an IAEA safeguards inspector was at that time a mystery to me. He had, to my knowledge, no scientific or technological expertise; his educational background was in international affairs. I knew him as a bright, courteous, and articulate person. But once the IAEA assigned him to its Iraq Action Team, he seemed to undergo a metamorphosis. We had traveled together to New York at the time that the implementation of Resolution 687 was under discussion. Without consulting me or letting me know, Kay had scheduled his own meetings with U.S. officials, a sharp and noticeable departure from normal IAEA practice.<BR>In retrospect, it is quite possible that U.S. intelligence was working through Kay to pass along information, to be acted on by the IAEA’s Iraq Action Team. His assignment to the IAEA team was initially for administrative and managerial purposes, yet somehow he was asked to lead two of the more crucial inspections. Whether Blix or Zifferero knew of any ties Kay may have had to U.S. intelligence I do not know.<BR>Kay’s inspection style—which even Robert Gallucci referred to as that of a “cowboy”14—was fortunately uncommon among the IAEA inspectorate, but the case was different with UNSCOM. On the same trip to the desert, I witnessed a senior Iraqi scientist weeping in frustration at the treatment he was receiving from an UNSCOM inspector who had accused him publicly of lying. Later, on the bus ride back from the desert, I took a look around. The bus was full of Americans. Many of them had come from U.S. national labs. They were highly qualified technically, but they had no clue about how to conduct international inspections or, for that matter, about the nuances of how to behave in different cultures. From their brash conversation, it was clear they believed that, having come to a defeated country, they had free rein to behave as they pleased.<BR>I spoke to some of the people sitting next to me on the bus. I explained the basics of the IAEA’s approach: professionalism marked by tenacity and respect. I noted that this professionalism was characteristic of our inspectors and had been developed over years of experience. I was critical of UNSCOM’s abrasive behavior.<BR>The result was stunning. A distorted version of the conversation was passed along and gained traction. Eventually, it made its way into the <I>New Yorker</I>, as a purportedly factual account in an article by Gary Milhollin, the director of the Wisconsin Project on Nuclear Arms Control:<BR>ElBaradei, fresh on the scene, embodied the tradition of the IAEA. Before an incredulous group of inspectors, he declared, as Kay recalls it, “The Iraqis do not have a uranium enrichment program. I know so, because they are my friends and they have told me that they don’t.” ElBaradei was wrong, of course. But he was following the line laid down by his IAEA superiors.15<BR>I had said no such thing. The Iraqis had already begun to admit to their work with calutrons, and we had just been returning from seeing what they claimed were buried calutron components. Evidence of Iraq’s enrichment-related components and facilities was beginning to show up from multiple angles. I would have to have been rather thickheaded to insist that these programs did not exist. But this did not affect what was published or the spin-off stories that alleged IAEA incompetence.<BR>Some UNSCOM inspectors would continue to use their authority excessively, without regard for religious and cultural sensitivities. They barged into mosques and churches, without evidence, to inspect for concealed WMDs. They inspected on local religious holidays, when there was no urgency to do so. They later insisted on inspecting Saddam Hussein’s palaces, not because of solid intelligence leads, but apparently just to show that they could. I sometimes wondered how they would have felt if the tables had been turned.<BR>Although the majority of Iraqis loathed Saddam Hussein for his ruthless governing style, they saw these actions—as did much of the Arab world—as an affront to Iraqi dignity and a humiliation. Far from encouraging cooperation in Iraq, the inspectors’ invasive “cowboy” behavior naturally caused a buildup of resentment on the part of the Iraqis, particularly since these arbitrary intrusions never yielded any results.<BR>As the summer of 1991 wore on, we still had no hard evidence of Iraqi nuclear weapons intentions. That Iraq had concealed their uranium enrichment and plutonium separation activities was clear. But they continued to claim that their program was peaceful.<BR>The turning point came in late September, during the IAEA’s sixth inspection. Once again, useful intelligence information had been passed along, this time pinpointing two buildings in the center of Baghdad, offices of the Ministry of Industry and Military Industrialization. A security lapse on the part of the Iraqis had left a sizable cache of records in these buildings. When the inspectors showed up unannounced, they were able to view, and take possession of, many of these documents.<BR>The Iraqis refused to let the team leave the site with the papers, however. The inspectors, led by David Kay of the IAEA and Robert Gallucci of UNSCOM, refused to give in, camping out in the parking lot. The standoff lasted three days and nights and was broadcast on live television. The scene became famous as the “parking lot” confrontation.<BR>In the end, the Iraqis yielded. The seized documentation included a progress report that outlined the Iraqi efforts in weapons development. While it showed them to be still a year or two away from constructing a nuclear weapon, it demonstrated clearly the intent of the Iraqi government and proved that this aspect of their nuclear program was extensive, well organized, and well funded.<BR>Later in the year, when Kay received an Agency award, the Iraqi ambassador to the IAEA, Dr. Rahim al-Kital, submitted a formal complaint to Blix. The complaint alleged a range of specific actions—for example, throwing official documents on the floor and treading on them, or threatening to call in U.S. warplanes. According to al-Kital’s memo, members of the inspection team were said to have broken down fences, cut telephone lines, and “appeared nude in the yard of the building in full view of the surrounding residential apartments.”16<BR>These accusations were never corroborated. But it was clear that Kay and others on the team believed they needed to be aggressive to get the Iraqis to cooperate. While in the case of the parking lot confrontation, it could be argued that a certain degree of intimidation was warranted, and effective, in general I believe that the use of such tactics is ultimately counterproductive. An aggressive, overbearing approach destroys cooperation in the long run. Irrespective of its motive, the team’s behavior left an enduring impression, particularly in Iraq and in the Muslim world. The Iraqis, having just lost a war, had no choice but to accept these behaviors.<BR>However, the most damaging action was the decision of Kay and Gallucci to send the critical papers to the U.S. State Department before either the IAEA or UNSCOM had received them. Gallucci insisted that they did so because that line of communication was “more reliable.”17 But the result hurt the reputation of both the IAEA and UNSCOM, not only in the eyes of the Iraqis, who accused the Agency of turning into “an intelligence body in a scientific guise under the tutelage of the United States and its allies,” but also throughout the international community. Despite broad international support for the inspections, Member States were paying close attention to how the inspections were being conducted, and many were very sensitive to any implication that the international inspectors were in cahoots with U.S. or other national intelligence agencies. This perception would continue to plague UNSCOM, in particular, and eventually would lead to its downfall.<BR>The ensuing series of Iraq nuclear inspections ran along three parallel tracks. One sought to flesh out our understanding of the weapons aspects of Iraq’s nuclear program, including identification of intended high-explosive test sites. A second track began preparing for the removal of high-enriched uranium from Iraq.18 A third track focused on the destruction of the accumulated enrichment equipment. Centrifuge rotors were crushed. Magnets were cut into pieces using specialized plasma cutting tools. Devices used to handle nuclear material, such as hot cells and glove boxes, were rendered useless with the severing of control cables and the filling of the containers with cement.<BR>After less than a year on the ground, the fulfillment of the IAEA mandate in Iraq under Resolution 687 was well under way. The origins of Saddam Hussein’s nuclear weapons program had become clear—as had, in large part, the motivations. The clandestine aspects of the program had begun in 1982, shortly after Israel’s 1981 bombing of Iraq’s research reactor at Osirak, which was under IAEA safeguards before it started operation. Whatever prior inclination Hussein and his colleagues might have had to pursue WMD had only been intensified by the humiliation of that experience. The perceived security imbalance in the region, with Israel as the only possessor of nuclear weapons, was starkly highlighted. The Security Council’s condemnation of Israel’s action as a clear violation of international law had resulted in no follow-up whatsoever. Israel merely ignored the council’s demands that it provide Iraq with compensation and that Israel place its own nuclear facilities under IAEA safeguards. So Saddam Hussein had taken it upon himself to address the problem. We were witnessing the result.19<BR>*   *   *<BR>In the aftermath of the discovery of Iraq’s clandestine nuclear program, I made a couple of visits to Washington, meeting with many people from Congress and the executive branch. The question on everyone’s mind was why, over the years, had the IAEA missed the buildup of Iraq’s undeclared nuclear program. I was candid about the flaws in the system. I emphasized the Agency’s need for additional legal authority. The time was ripe. Nobody could argue that the NPT safeguards system was working properly. Iraq’s program had been uncovered only after a military defeat.<BR>Back in Vienna, at the IAEA Secretariat, we had begun work on the concept of a Model Additional Protocol to make the Agency’s in-country verification authority more robust and explicit. As conceived, the Additional Protocol would be an add-on to the safeguards agreement each NPT member country was required to make with the IAEA.<BR>It was a complex endeavor: a mix of technical, legal, and policy considerations. A frequent focus of discussion was how much inspection Member States would tolerate. This was not a new question. At the time of negotiating the NPT, a key sticking point had been the unwillingness of countries to give the IAEA too much oversight authority.20 The deliberate deception carried out by Iraq had made clear that conducting international safeguards by “honor code” was no longer adequate; nor was it enough to inspect only what a country declared; nor was the IAEA authority sufficient. But these realities, while widely recognized, gave us no guarantee that Member States would subject themselves to more intrusive oversight.<BR>Unfortunately, the process of developing the Model Additional Protocol led to a disagreement between Hans Blix and me. I argued for the involvement of Member States. Blix favored keeping the development of the protocol in the hands of the Secretariat. We had the necessary expertise, he argued. The IAEA staff should write the draft, bring it for consideration to the Board of Governors—comprised of representatives of thirty-five Member States—and continue a review and revision process until it was approved. Blix believed that putting the initial drafting in the hands of Member States meant that the protocol would go nowhere.<BR>It soon became apparent that Blix’s approach was not working. In order to gain Member State buy-in for the Additional Protocol concept, they needed to be involved in its creation. I proposed to Blix that we create a working group, with Board member involvement. Blix was completely resistant to the idea.<BR>A number of Member States began to see their exclusion as a lack of openness on the part of the IAEA in developing what would clearly become a critical and influential policy mechanism. Representatives from a group of ten Western countries, a group we referred to as the “white angels” because of their staunch support for nonproliferation, came to see me. They asked me to tell Blix to let go of the Secretariat’s “hold” on the Additional Protocol and to allow the Board to get engaged. Of course I spoke to Blix about it, and of course he did not appreciate that they had not come to him directly.<BR>This rather trivial incident marked the beginning of palpable tensions that would continue between the two of us. Perhaps he thought that I was working behind his back. In any case, it was unfortunate—especially since it had been Blix who had first recruited me to work for the Agency and under whom I quickly moved through the ranks from legal adviser to assistant director general for external relations.<BR>The struggle continued behind closed doors. Eventually, the chairman of the Board at that time, Canadian ambassador Peter Walker, simply informed Blix that he was taking over the task and asked for the Secretariat’s support. Richard Hooper, a director in the Safeguards Department who was quite adept on safeguards concepts, was made the lead technical person. I was made the lead on legal and policy issues. The Board chairman also chaired the working group. Blix did not attend any of the sessions. It was a long and complicated exercise, with many governments on the defensive. The toughest battles were political; success was in large part due to deft diplomacy by a number of key players.<BR>Finally, on May 13, 1997, the Model Additional Protocol was adopted by the IAEA Board of Governors. It was a breakthrough legal instrument that would strengthen the effectiveness of the NPT safeguards system. So what had changed? In countries that accepted the Additional Protocol, IAEA inspectors had more freedom on the ground, with more access to information and sites, and could now search more effectively for undeclared nuclear material and facilities. In the past, the IAEA could theoretically invoke the right to look for undeclared material and facilities through a “special inspection” mechanism. But special inspections were arduous to invoke and had almost never been used. The Additional Protocol enabled greater access as a routine matter.<BR>The adoption of the Model Additional Protocol, a major milestone in the history of nuclear safeguards, had the potential to effect great change. For countries that had only a safeguards agreement in place, the IAEA was expected to provide assurance that declared nuclear material and facilities had not been diverted for non-peaceful purposes. But for those that brought an Additional Protocol into force, the IAEA could provide, in addition, the equally important assurance about the absence of <I>undeclared</I> nuclear material and facilities.<BR>There was only one catch: whereas the safeguards agreement was compulsory for NPT members, the Additional Protocol was a voluntary mechanism. It remains so today. NPT members are not obliged to accept it, whatever the amount of prodding by the IAEA or from fellow Member States.<BR>Here lies another major tripping point in the public understanding of the IAEA’s role. The Agency is, in a sense, at the mercy of those it oversees. It can exercise only the authority it is given. When I began traveling in Arab countries as the IAEA Director General, for example, it was common for me to take strong criticism for the IAEA’s failure to “do something” about Israel’s nuclear program. I could explain as often as I liked that we had no authority to inspect Israel’s facilities: Israel, while a member of the IAEA, has never signed the NPT, much less concluded a comprehensive safeguards agreement with the IAEA.21 The aggravated Arab public, however, couldn’t have cared less; as far as they were concerned, we were biased and shirking our responsibility.<BR>In fact, if the general public fully understood the continuing unevenness of the IAEA’s authority, I believe there would be even greater concern. The challenge is how to raise that public awareness.<BR>Consider the present circumstance. At the end of 2010, thirteen years after the introduction of the Model Additional Protocol, many NPT member countries have not even brought into force their required comprehensive safeguards agreements with the IAEA.22 And out of 189 members of the NPT, just 103 countries so far have brought an Additional Protocol into force. For the large number of countries remaining, when it comes to providing the international community with the assurance it desires, the IAEA’s hands remain tied.<BR>Could another Saddam Hussein be out there, undetected, busily at work on clandestine nukes? The answer is that, for those countries that have not accepted the Additional Protocol, we really don’t know.<BR>*   *   *<BR>Throughout the mid-1990s, the IAEA and UNSCOM continued their work in Iraq. All weapons-usable nuclear material was shipped out of the country, and all other nuclear material—roughly five hundred tons of natural uranium in various forms, and nearly two tons of low-enriched uranium dioxide—was verified to be under IAEA control. Similar steps were taken with biological and chemical weapons stocks.<BR>By October 1997, the IAEA had completed a series of thirty major inspection campaigns in Iraq. Roughly five hundred site inspections had been completed, involving more than five thousand person days of inspector time. IAEA inspectors had supervised the destruction of more than fifty thousand square meters of nuclear facilities, approximately two thousand fuel cycle or weapons-related items, and more than six hundred metric tons of special alloys. As an example, the facilities at Al-Atheer, designed for nuclear weapons development, testing, and production, had been destroyed by explosive demolition under IAEA and UNSCOM supervision. All uranium enrichment equipment and facilities had been dismantled.<BR>Gradually, as the work mandated under Resolution 687 was completed, the focus of both agencies had shifted away from dismantlement of equipment and removal of material and toward monitoring and verification. The IAEA’s task of eliminating Iraq’s nuclear program under Resolution 687 was essentially complete. But the Americans, acting through the State Department and other parts of the administration, urged the IAEA not to report this conclusion to the Security Council. They wanted the pressure on Saddam Hussein to continue unabated.<BR>To this end, the United States suggested that the IAEA should wait to report the completion of its work until UNSCOM could do the same. Of course there was no logic to this—as Blix argued in his discussions with the United States. He said they should think of UNSCOM and the IAEA as two horses running, and that there was nothing wrong with one reaching the finish line before the other.<BR>Blix made his final report to the Security Council as the outgoing Director General in October 1997. He felt that since he was leaving, he would have an easier time resisting pressure from the United States, and he reported to the council that the IAEA had pretty much completed the “disarmament phase” in Iraq and had moved to the next phase. The report stated that the Agency was now dedicating most of its resources in Iraq to “ongoing monitoring and verification,” with only a few minor disarmament issues remaining.<BR>The UNSCOM situation was considerably more complicated. From the outset of the Iraq inspections, the IAEA and UNSCOM had diverged sharply in both their composition and their styles of inspection. But a more disturbing difference emerged later in the 1990s. The Iraqis charged that UNSCOM was a de facto spy agency of U.S. and Israeli intelligence, trying to collect information outside its mandate—in effect, using WMD disarmament as a cloak under which to gather and pass along information regarding conventional weaponry and military capabilities, which Western governments could then use to develop military targets.<BR>These charges from Baghdad intensified after Richard Butler, an experienced arms control diplomat from the Australian Foreign Service, took over from Rolf Ekeus as director of UNSCOM in 1997. Butler, Scott Ritter, one of the chief inspectors, and other UNSCOM officials were specifically accused by the Iraqis of cooperating with the CIA to spy on Saddam Hussein’s military apparatus. Not only were accusations coming from Iraq, but Butler and Ritter themselves began to take potshots at each other.<BR>Two years later, both the <I>Washington Post</I> and the <I>Boston Globe</I> wrote that members of UNSCOM had cooperated with a U.S. electronic eavesdropping operation that allowed intelligence agents to monitor military communications in Iraq.23 And Scott Ritter himself admitted how much UNSCOM was being manipulated.24 In 2002, in an interview with Fox News, he said:<BR>Richard Butler allowed the United States to use the United Nations weapons-inspection process as a Trojan horse to insert intelligence capabilities into Iraq, which were not approved by the United Nations and which did not facilitate the disarmament process, but were instead focused on the security of Saddam Hussein and military targets.… Richard Butler facilitated American espionage in Iraq. Richard Butler facilitated American manipulation of the inspection process.… On four occasions, from March 1998 until my resignation in August 1998, I wrote Richard Butler a memorandum saying, “Boss, if you continue down this path you are facilitating espionage. This is not what we’re about and you can’t let this happen.” He received this memorandum and disregarded my warning and ultimately, in the end, let’s ask ourselves why the inspectors aren’t in Iraq today.<BR>Butler strongly denied these accusations, saying that Ritter’s claim “that I sold the store to the CIA is dramatically untrue.” Butler said he had actually scaled back on the degree to which UNSCOM used intelligence, because of concerns about reputation and the need to protect “the independence of multilateral disarmament activities.” He admitted that UNSCOM members had, on occasion, reported back to their home governments, but he categorically denied that UNSCOM had been dominated by the United States, calling Ritter’s charges “quintessentially ludicrous.”25<BR>What seems clear is that Butler had very decided preconceptions about Iraq and about the intentions of Saddam Hussein’s government. Before Rolf Ekeus left his post in 1997 as the first director of UNSCOM, he had reported that most of the UNSCOM mandate—as it related to disarming Iraq of its chemical and biological weapons—was near completion.26 Richard Butler disagreed. He routinely insisted that Iraq had undisclosed WMDs. His report to the Security Council on December 15, 1998, presented a harsh picture of Iraq’s lack of cooperation. It was perceived by many as imbalanced and unfair.<BR>Butler’s report became the justification for the 1998 U.S. bombing campaign known as Operation Desert Fox. Notably, the United States suggested that UNSCOM withdraw its inspectors, for safety considerations, on the very same day that Butler delivered his report—a not-so-subtle indication that the United States knew what it contained.27 Butler gave his order to withdraw the UNSCOM inspectors on December 15, at midnight New York time. By the time the diplomats woke up in the morning, the withdrawal of the inspectors was a fait accompli.<BR>At this point, I had taken over from Hans Blix as the IAEA Director General. Early on the morning of December 16, Vienna time, I was woken by a call from John Ritch, the highly regarded U.S. ambassador to the IAEA. Ritch told me of his government’s advice to withdraw the IAEA and UNSCOM inspectors and noted that Butler had already moved to take that advice. Because the IAEA relied on UNSCOM for logistical support, we really had no option but to leave.<BR>After talking to Ritch, I called the UN secretary-general, Kofi Annan, who was in Morocco, waking him up to discuss Butler’s action. I was shocked to learn that Annan was not aware of the decision.<BR>The inspectors left that day. The four-day bombing campaign commenced immediately, reportedly targeting various Iraqi military sites, including weapons R&D installations. Officially, the bombing was characterized as a response to Iraq’s continued failure to comply with UN Security Council resolutions and its interference with the work of the UN inspectors.<BR>UNSCOM was discredited. The Butler report was decried as patently unfair. The Chinese, French, and Russian governments were angered by the undue U.S. influence on UNSCOM as an international inspection body. UNSCOM was no longer trusted to serve the international community as a credible representative of the United Nations.<BR>In January 1999, I wrote a non-paper28 entitled “Arms Inspections in Iraq” for the Security Council, laying out the parameters of how to restore and maintain the integrity and credibility of a WMD verification system. I spelled out the need to decouple the inspection body from the Security Council, to avoid politicization. I recommended staffing the organization with international civil servants, rather than relying on “experts” on detail from their governments, who might put their national loyalties first. I recommended clearer rules for the inspections, with more defined technical objectives. I explained the importance of a geographically diverse technical inspection staff. And I explicitly called for the organization to respect the religious and cultural sensitivities of the inspected country, on which UNSCOM in many cases had trampled in Iraq.<BR>Kofi Annan congratulated me on the non-paper, as did the Russians and others. The U.S. State Department, however, was furious that I had not consulted with them before circulating it. John Ritch came to warn me that some U.S. officials were threatening to ask William Safire, Charles Krauthammer, and other conservative columnists to launch an attack on my credibility.<BR>With regard to Iraq, though, UNSCOM’s standing no longer mattered. The damage had been done. Within the year, the Special Commission was dismantled by the Security Council, to be replaced by UNMOVIC,29 a new agency with different rules of operation. But following Desert Fox, Saddam Hussein would not agree to readmit the IAEA and UN inspectors for four years. That absence laid the groundwork for suspicion that Saddam Hussein was reconstituting his WMD programs—which, in turn, would form the pretext for another war.<BR>Although the IAEA’s successful dismantling of Iraq’s nuclear program silenced many of its critics and detractors and was a testimony to the Agency’s effectiveness, from an Iraqi standpoint, the inspection process had culminated in Desert Fox, sending them a harsh message. To them, the Americans were not interested in the elimination of Iraq’s nuclear program. The Iraqis understood that there would be no light at the end of the tunnel, no matter what they did. Desert Fox convinced some that the goal was not WMD disarmament, but rather regime change. In any case, their distrust of the inspection process only grew.<BR>Four years later, when the inspections resumed, we saw this bleak sentiment expressed in the dispirited eyes and cynical statements of our Iraqi counterparts.<BR><BR><BR> <BR>Copyright © 2011 by Mohamed ElBaradei</DIV></DIV> <BR><BR><i>Continues...</i> <!-- copyright notice --> <br></pre> <blockquote><hr noshade size='1'><font size='-2'> Excerpted from <b>The Age of Deception</b> by <b>Mohamed ElBaradei</b> Copyright © 2011 by Mohamed ElBaradei. Excerpted by permission.<br> All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.<br>Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.