Ekeus accuses the United States of spying on Iraq
Letter dated 2 September 2002 from the Permanent Representative of Iraq to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General
On instructions from my Government, I have the honour to transmit to you herewith a letter dated 1 September 2002 from Mr. Naji Sabri, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Iraq, concerning the espionage activities carried out by the now defunct Special Commission (UNSCOM), as reported to a Swedish radio station on 28 July 2002 and published in the newspaper Dagbladet on 29 July 2002.
I should be grateful if you would have this letter and its annex circulated as a document of the Security Council.
(Signed) Mohammed A.
Annex to the letter dated 2 September 2002 from the Permanent Representative of Iraq to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General
Mr. Rolf Ekeus, Executive Chairman, from 1991 to 1998, of the now defunct Special Commission, gave an interview on a Swedish radio station on 28 July 2002, published in the Swedish newspaper Dagbladet on 29 July 2002 (copy enclosed), in which he stated that the Americans used the Special Commission for the purpose of spying on Iraq. Mr. Ekeus said that the United States had succeeded in introducing spies into the Special Commission (UNSCOM) as experts and that it had wanted to get hold of information about Iraq’s security services and capacity and the location of the President of the Republic and had attempted to plant listening devices and devices for video and sound transmission from numerous Iraqi locations and established a control centre for information analysis at the Commission’s headquarters.
The statements made by Mr. Ekeus are yet further new evidence added to the previous documented evidence of the United States’ use of United Nations activities as a cover for acts of hostile espionage threatening the national security of States and showing disdain for the independence, integrity and credibility of the United Nations. On the occasion of this revelation, we reaffirm our request that the United Nations open an investigation on the subject in order to identify the parties responsible, to announce this to the international community and to call to account the culprits so that precise operating rules may be laid down at the same time that will prevent the exploitation of United Nations activities for the purpose of spying on States and threatening their national security in the interests of other States.
Iraq reaffirms its established right, under international law, to claim compensation for the human, material and psychological damage and loss resulting from the espionage and sabotage activities carried out by some members of the inspection teams, from the monitoring carried out under the auspices of the Special Commission and the International Atomic Energy Agency on behalf of United States, British and Israeli espionage, military and political bodies, from the planting of false evidence of Iraq’s non-compliance, such as the VX scandal for the purpose of perpetuating the embargo and from the threatening of Iraq’s sovereignty, independence and external and internal security. The results of this espionage activity have included the continuation of the comprehensive inhumane embargo against Iraq, which, by the beginning of August 2002, had caused the deaths of 1,732,000 Iraqi citizens, the majority of them young children and old people. It has also facilitated the targeting of Iraq’s industrial, educational, scientific and health-care installations during the repeated United States acts of aggression against Iraq and endangered the national security of Iraq.
Minister for Foreign Affairs
Ekeus accuses the United States of spying on Iraq
Dagbladet, 29 July 2002
Ekeus, the former chief of the weapons inspectors in Iraq, said that the Americans had used the Special Commission for the purpose of espionage against Iraq. Ekeus, who headed the weapons inspection teams in Iraq from 1991 to 1997, added that the Commission’s mandate had been laid down by the Security Council and that its mandate had been to verify the existence of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons and ballistic missiles in Iraq. However, four of the permanent members of the Security Council (China being the exception) had attempted to pressure the inspectors by various means.
He said: "As head of the Commission, I acted solely in compliance with the mandate given by the Security Council, but the United States tried to exert pressure on the Commission more than once. However, we were very firm, and my team was sincere in its work, but they succeeded in introducing two individuals as experts".
Question: From which intelligence organs or by which branch of intelligence did those two individuals come?
Ekeus: I do not know, but they chose them carefully, and I was greatly concerned about it. The Americans wanted to get hold of information about Iraq’s security services and capacity and the location of President Saddam Hussein, matters that were not within the inspectors’ mandate.
He added: "They also tried to plant listening devices and devices for video and sound transmission from numerous Iraqi locations and established a control centre for information analysis at the Commission’s headquarters. They tried to link these activities with the Commission’s duties, but I strove hard to maintain the integrity of our work. I said that it was ridiculous for them to pressure us in this activity".
Ekeus does not believe that the Americans succeeded from the practical viewpoint in achieving their goal, but the Iraqis have accused him of spying on Iraq with the inspectors. He says, however: "The Iraqis have no proof of that. We were totally successful in our work".