May 12, 1998
Ambassador Bill Richardson
U.S. Representative to the
U.S. Mission to the United Nations
799 United Nations Plaza
New York, NY 10017
Dear Ambassador Richardson:
We are writing to convey the Nuclear Control Institute's summary of unresolved issues regarding Iraq's nuclear weapons program. These issues were raised by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in its October 1997 consolidated inspection report, but were never resolved in subsequent IAEA reports.
Important questions remain to be answered in the areas of weapons design; centrifuge research and development; missing weapon components and equipment; remaining uranium stocks; the EMIS ("calutron") enrichment program; Iraq's reporting to the IAEA and its efforts to conceal elements of its weapons program from the Agency; and post-war nuclear program activities.
In spite of these important outstanding questions, the IAEA proposes in its April 1998 report a shift from inspections to less- intrusive monitoring. As you are aware, this report is fueling efforts by certain Security Council members to "close the nuclear file" as a first step toward lifting sanctions. We understand that the Security Council will soon consider formal affirmation of the IAEA's findings, possibly sometime this week.
We agree with the Administration's position that it would be premature to close the nuclear file. We urge that the United States call for the continuation of complete, meaningful inspections until all outstanding questions about the Iraqi nuclear program can be resolved.
Thank you for your attention to this urgent matter. We would welcome the opportunity to brief you and your staff further on these issues.
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