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UN Team To Check Remaining Iraqi Nuclear Materials

UN Team To Check Remaining Iraqi Nuclear Materials In Line With Non-Proliferation

The United Nations atomic watchdog agency is planning to inspect remaining nuclear materials in Iraq this month to ensure that they conform to the country’s safeguard obligations under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

The inspection, announced yesterday by International Atomic Energy Agency IAEA) Director-General Mohamed ElBaradei, is at the request of Iraq’s Foreign Minister and separate from UN Security Council-mandated inspections, which probed whether ousted leader Saddam Hussein was developing weapons of mass destruction. Those checks ceased in mid-March 2003 shortly before the war.

The inspection will not be the IAEA’s first related to the NPT since the war. Last June a seven-member team went to Baghdad to determine how much nuclear material was missing following reports of looting at the Tuwaitha Nuclear Research Centre, which had been under IAEA seal. It found that uranium compounds dispersed in the looting posed no danger from the point of view of proliferation.

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