Iraq has reported the production of solid-fuel for
missiles banned for deployment.
U.S. officials said Iraq has disclosed the production of new energetic
fuels suited only to a class of longer-range missiles, such as the Samoud
and Ababil 100. Iraq has been banned by the United Nations from
manufacturing missiles with a range greater than 150 kilometers.
The United States has persuaded the UN Monitoring, Verification and
Inspection Commission to focus on the Iraqi admission of the production of
the fuel for longer-range missiles, Middle East Newsline reported.
UN inspectors visited the Al Rashid
headquarters where they discussed with Iraqi scientists and officials the
status of solid propellant missile programs.
"Iraq claims that flight-testing of a larger diameter missile falls
within the 150 kilometer limit," the State Department said in a statement.
"This claim is not credible. Why is the Iraqi regime manufacturing fuels for
missiles it says it does not have?"
Inspectors from UNMOVIC and International Atomic Energy Agency also
compared inventories generated by Iraq. The inventory seeks to address what
officials term the extremly large stocks of high-strength aluminum, which
can be used for missile development.
Last year, a British intelligence report asserted that Iraq has
continued its solid-fuel missile development program. The report said
Baghdad seeks to complete a missile with a range of at least 1,200