New York Times, December 23, 1998

Letters to the Editor

To the Editor:

    There is a difference between inspections by the United Nations Special Commission on Iraq and nuclear inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency (Week in Review, Dec. 20).  Unlike Unscom, the I.A.E.A. takes a cooperative, not confrontational, approach and accepts Iraq's claims that its nuclear weapons program has been destroyed.

    The I.A.E.A. finds that all known Iraqi nuclear weapons activities have been "destroyed, removed or rendered harmless."  This statement is contradicted by its own reports of missing nuclear-bomb components and design drawings.  There is a real danger that Iraq has nuclear weapons or at least components and materials for rapidly assembling them.  When and if inspections resume, the nuclear portfolio should be turned over to Unscom.



Washington, Dec. 21, 1998

The writers are, respectively, president and research director, Nuclear Control Institute.

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