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Letter: Humiliating Iraq

Sir: The UN inspection team in Iraq is insisting that all chemical and biological agents that might be used in weapons of mass destruction should be accounted for. It is an impossible task.

In 1965, the US Atomic Energy Commission audit team found that nearly 100 kg of weapons-grade uranium had "gone missing" from the Nuclear Materials and Equipment Corporation reprocessing plant in Apollo, Pennsylvania. The loss was ascribed to processing wastage and accounting inaccuracies. If such a discrepancy can occur for one material in one installation, how can the Iraqis be expected to account for a range of substances over the whole country?

It is becoming increasingly apparent that the motive for the continued use of sanctions against Iraq is to humiliate the Iraqi people rather than to prevent the manufacture of weapons of mass destruction.