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Journalists Shown Iraqi Weapons Dossier - 2002-12-07

Iraqi officials, declaring Iraq has no weapons of mass destruction, showed journalists in Baghdad Saturday a 12,000 page dossier of documents and computer disks on its weapons programs. As the documents were being prepared for shipment to meet a U.N. Sunday deadline, U.N. weapons inspectors returned to work following a two-day break.

Journalists crowded into the Iraqi National Monitoring Directorate Saturday to get a look at a mass of papers and stack of CD ROMs containing Iraq's weapons declaration.

The unanimously-passed U.N. Security Council Resolution 1441 that calls for Iraq to disarm, also required that Iraq's arms declaration be submitted to the United Nations no later then Sunday.

Hossam Mohammad Amin, chief of the Monitoring Directorate, said one copy of the declaration was for the United Nations in New York, another for the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna.

He said the document will show that Iraq has no weapons of mass destruction.

Meantime, U.N. weapons inspectors concluded a two-day holiday to mark the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. Inspectors resumed work by visiting military and nuclear facilities outside of the capital, Baghdad.

They visited Iraq's main nuclear research facility for the second time since inspections resumed in November, following a four-year suspension. The site reportedly now contains pharmaceutical labs. They also toured a compound housing the Al Quds General Company, said to be a research center established after inspectors left the country in 1998.

There are currently 17 arms inspectors in Iraq. U.N. officials say more are arriving Sunday, and there eventually will be about 100.