UNITED NATIONS -- Armed with spy-plane and satellite photographs never before shown to diplomats, U.N. arms inspectors yesterday gave the Security Council a daylong display of evidence that they have gathered in an attempt to counter Iraq's contentions that it has disarmed and deserves to have sanctions lifted.
An unexpected second day of briefings will be held today.
U.S. envoy encouraged
Bill Richardson, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, said he was encouraged by the presentation, which began while a small group of American protesters marched outside the U.N. headquarters and called for an end to the embargo imposed after Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990. The United States and Britain are the strongest advocates on the council of continued sanctions.
"Iraq has been dealt a devastating blow to its credibility," Richardson said after several hours of seeing graphic projections and photographic evidence on Iraq's long-range missile program.
Detailed briefings on the Iraqi biological and chemical weapons programs were given in the afternoon in what was to be the concluding session of a special meeting called to lay out a "road map" toward the end of sanctions.
Today's briefing is to deal with Iraqi methods of concealing evidence. The council also will be told about the range and importance of documents that are missing from Baghdad's accounts of its programs.
Going over record
The meetings began yesterday with a general history of the experience that the U.N. Special Commission has had with Saddam Hussein's government.
Since 1991, the inspectors have been charged with ensuring that Iraq eliminates its weapons of mass destruction.
Inspectors recalled the defection of a son-in-law of Hussein in 1995, which led to the finding of considerable evidence that Iraq had been concealing.
Diplomats described the unusually detailed technical presentation on the missile system as useful but said that it was too soon to know whether the proceedings had changed minds on the 15-member council, which seems to be losing interest in Iraqi sanctions after nearly eight years.
Representatives of France, Russia and China, considered to be the countries most sympathetic to Iraq, asked probing questions, diplomats said.
Pub Date: 6/04/98