Inspection picture IAEA Iraq Action Team mandate

IAEA's Mandate in Iraq

Since 1991, the IAEA has carried out inspections in Iraq pursuant to United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions. Under Resolution 687, the IAEA's mandate in Iraq includes two tasks: 
(1) uncovering and dismantling Iraq's clandestine nuclear programme, and 
(2) developing and implementing an Ongoing Monitoring and Verification (OMV) Plan.

The IAEA also applies safeguards in Iraq under a comprehensive safeguards agreement concluded pursuant to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). IAEA inspection activities have been implemented from 1991 to 1998, within the framework of the Agency's Security Council mandate. Three inspections were carried out in January 2000, 2001, and 2002 since inspectors were withdrawn from Iraq in December 1998.

With the adoption of UNSC 1409 on May 14, 2002, the IAEA's mandate has been extended.  UNSC 1409 defines a new system for the sale or supply of commodities and products to Iraq, through the adoption of the Goods Review List (GRL) and associated procedures.  In this regard, the Action Team experts evaluate each contract application, as received by the Office of the Iraq Programme (Oil-for-food), to determine whether it contains any nuclear or nuclear-related items referred to in Section D (nuclear) of the GRL.


IAEA Iraq Action Team

The Agency established the "IAEA Iraq Action Team" on 15 April 1991 to carry its work with the assistance and cooperation of the UN Special Commission (UNSCOM). Between 1991 and 1998, the Action Team conducted 29 numbered inspections. In addition, after establishing a permanent presence in August 1994, it conducted more than 1500 OMV inspections, which were mostly conducted with no prior announcement. These activities yielded a technically coherent picture of Iraq's clandestine nuclear programme.

The Agency implemented its mandate in Iraq until 16 December 1998, when it withdrew its personnel out of concern for their safety and security. Resolution 1284 (1999) confirmed the mandate of the Agency as defined by the previous relevant resolutions and replaced UNSCOM with the UN Monitoring, Verification, and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC).

The IAEA Action Team's activities since December 1998 have focused on preparations to resume mandated activities in Iraq when the IAEA is requested to do so. Specifically, the Action Team has:

created and updated a detailed plan for resumption of activities in Iraq;
prepared a revision of the list of items to be reported to the IAEA in the context of the OMV plan and export-import mechanism;
conducted additional analyses of the data and information available to or recently obtained by the team;
improved its computerised inspection support and analytical tools; and
incorporated recently available commercial satellite imagery in its information system.

The Action Team, which reports directly to the Director General, currently has 15 staff members from 11 different nationalities.

IAEA Reports to the UN Security Council

Iraq inspectionBetween 1991 and 1996, the IAEA submitted two sets of semi-annual reports to the UNSC. The first set of nine reports dealt with the destruction, removal or rendering harmless of items as requested in paragraph 12 of Resolution 687. The second set of eight reports dealt with OMV activities. Resolution 1051 (1996) consolidated the two previous reports into a single semi-annual report. The IAEA has submitted 13 of these consolidated reports.

In addition to the semi-annual reports to the UNSC, the IAEA submitted 27 reports of numbered IAEA inspections between 1991 and 1996. Except for the first report, which covered the first and second numbered IAEA inspections, and the nineteenth report, which covered the twentieth and twenty-first numbered IAEA inspections, each report covers a single inspection.

The October 1997 report (Doc. S/1997/779) includes a comprehensive summary of the IAEA's activities and achievements in Iraq between April 1991 and October 1997. Reports S/1998/927 and S/1999/127 indicate the level of understanding reached by the Agency prior to the suspension of its resolution-related activities in Iraq. Other reports give additional details on inspection, destruction and monitoring activities during the periods they cover.

Contact information:
IAEA Iraq Action Team
Room A2879
Wagramer Strasse 5
P.O. Box 100
A-1400, Vienna, Austria
Fax: 43 1 2600-29580

2 July 2002, IAEA