The United Nations has banned Iraq from manufacturing
the Al Samoud short-range missile.
UN weapons inspectors have concluded that the Al Samoud exceeds the
150-kilometer range limit set by the Security Council. They did not disclose
how far the missiles could travel, Middle East Newsline reported.
Hans Blix, chairman of the UN Monitoring, Verification and Inspection
Commission, said missile experts who convened in New York last week have
concluded that two variants of the Al Samoud-2 are "capable of exceeding 150
kilometers in range."
The Al Samoud is powered by the SA-2 missile engine. Iraq was said to
have imported 380 such engines outside of UN auspices.
"Any such engines configured for use in this missile system would also
be proscribed," Blix said in a briefing to the Security Council on Friday.
Blix said the missile experts could not make a determination whether the
Al Fatah missile exceeded the limits set by Security Council resolution 687.
"The experts found that clarification of the missile data supplied by Iraq
was required before the capability of the missile system could be fully
assessed," Blix said.
The UN weapons inspection chief banned the refurbishing of casting
chambers that had been intended for the Badr-2000 medium-range missile. The
UN ordered the destruction of the chambers after the 1991 Gulf war, but Iraq
acknowledged that it restored the chambers.
"The experts have confirmed that the reconstituted casting chambers
could still be used to produce motors for missiles capable of ranges
significantly greater than 150 kilometers," Blix said. "Accordingly, these
chambers remain proscribed."