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Cablegate: Lab Standards for Iraq to Emerge From Biological Risk

VZCZCXYZ0007
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHAM #9129 3621817
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 281817Z DEC 06
FM AMEMBASSY AMMAN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 6359
INFO RUEHGB/AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD 4406
RHEBAAA/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHDC
RUEAUSA/DEPT OF HHS WASHDC
RUEHPH/CDC ATLANTA GA

UNCLAS AMMAN 009129

SIPDIS

SIPDIS
SENSITIVE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: TBIO IZ JO
SUBJECT: Lab Standards for Iraq to Emerge from Biological Risk
Workshop

REF: Amman 2916

1. (SBU) Summary: A dozen Iraqi scientists attended a Department of
Energy-sponsored workshop in Amman December 18-20 on reducing safety
and security risks at biological labs. The workshop was put on by
staff from Sandia National Laboratories (SNL). The workshop
introduced current best practices and technology for running safe
and secure labs. It also helped to establish a network among top
Iraqi biologists. Next, two senior Iraqi biologists, working
closely with the Iraqi Biosafety Committee and SNL, will begin to
draft national biosafety/biosecurity guidelines for Iraq. End
Summary.


------------------------------------------
Workshop Builds on Prior Training, Needs
------------------------------------------

2. (U) The December 18-20 biological risks workshop was a direct
outcome of the July 2006 workshop in Jordan for Iraqi scientists on
animal health surveillance and molecular diagnosis. During that
workshop, participants recognized and commented on their need for
further training in safe and secure lab procedures. Sandia also
held a regional biosafety workshop in Amman in February 2006.

3. (U) Sandia staffers Dr. Donato Aceto and Paula Austin
facilitated the December 2006 workshop, and gave presentations on
international biological threats, risk assessment, threat reduction,
elements of biosecurity and biosafety, and global practices. Iraqi
participants made a series of presentations on their individual
institutions, practices, plans and needs.

4. (SBU) Comment: The December workshop lent much-needed support to
the embattled scientific leaders of Iraq, as well as raising their
ability to reduce risks from biological agents. End Comment.

5. (U) This message has been cleared by Dr. Donato Aceto.

HALE

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