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Cablegate: Chemical Weapons Convention Training for Goi

VZCZCXRO7015
RR RUEHBC RUEHDA RUEHDE RUEHIHL RUEHKUK
DE RUEHGB #3927 3510302
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 160302Z DEC 08
FM AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0874
RUCNRAQ/IRAQ COLLECTIVE
RUEHTC/AMEMBASSY THE HAGUE 0048
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC
RHMFISS/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
RUEKJCS/CJCS WASHINGTON DC
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 0766

UNCLAS BAGHDAD 003927

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PARM PREL KTIA KLSO CWC IZ
SUBJECT: CHEMICAL WEAPONS CONVENTION TRAINING FOR GOI
OFFICIALS SUCCESSFUL

1. (SBU) Summary: Embassy Baghdad hosted a three-day
conference for Iraqi Government officials on the Chemical
Weapons Convention (CWC), building knowledge and
relationships that will help Iraq to implement the CWC after
it accedes to the treaty. The GOI has ratified and signed
the CWC - the primary international arms control agreement
prohibiting the production, stockpiling and use of chemical
weapons and their delivery systems - and will assume
responsibility for its implementation as soon as the Iraqi
Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) submits the instruments of
ratification to the UN and the Organization for the
Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in The Hague. End
Summary.

2. (SBU) The December 7-9 training brought together officials
from the Iraqi Ministries of Science and Technology, Foreign
Affairs, Defense, and Industry, as well as the Customs
Authority, to learn about their roles and obligations under
the CWC. The Iraqi National Monitoring Directorate (INMD),
Iraq's national authority for arms control, currently resides
under the Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST) and
includes a consultative council made up of representatives
from the other ministries in attendance. Ten Iraqi officials
participated in the training, giving up a large part of their
Eid al-Adha holiday. Trainers from State's ISN Bureau,
OSD-Policy, JCS J5, Multi-National Force-Iraq Chem Bio cell,
and the British Embassy gave presentations on the purpose and
content of the treaty, declarations, inspections, and
destruction of chemical weapons remnants and facilities.

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3. (SBU) GOI participants were thoroughly engaged, asking
questions on the topics of greatest relevance to Iraq's
circumstances and near-term challenges. One of the most
animated sessions covered reporting requirements for
recovered chemical weapons. The GOI officials expressed
surprise at the number of chemical munitions MNF-I has
discovered in Iraq and concern about its capacity to assume
responsibility for destruction. They also inquired about
export controls and smuggling of chemical weapons, wondering
whether this was a security or legal matter. Trainers
explained how various U.S. customs and border enforcement
agencies work closely with arms control authorities.

4. (SBU) The GOI participants repeatedly expressed
appreciation for the conference and interest in additional
training as they build capacity to take on their
responsibilities. They asked about U.S. and UK lessons
learned in standing up National Authorities. Participants
also requested additional training and hands-on exercises for
the complex procedures they will need to follow. Trainers
discussed opportunities for seminars and internships through
the OPCW, and will maintain contact to facilitate more
focused training for Iraq's specific needs.

5. (SBU) COMMENT: The GOI's most immediate task is for the
MFA to deposit Iraq's instruments of ratification with the UN
and the OPCW. The Embassy continues to seek clarification on
the status of this action and offer its assistance. The GOI
also faces the ongoing task of developing the necessary
organizational structure and capacity within the INMD. Once
Iraq accedes to the CWC, its other immediate tasks will be
declaring all covered materials and facilities, facilitating
inspections, and assuming responsibility for destruction of
recovered Chemical Weapons remnants.
CROCKER
QCROCKER

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