Interview: UN Chief Weapons inspector

NEW YORK, United States (AAN) – Interview with Chief Inspector of UNMOVIC, Ivan Ruce.

Ivan Ruce, resident Chief Inspector of the UN Monitoring, Verification, and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC), and former Non-Executive Director of the Chernarus Fossil Fuel Commission (CFFC), discusses the observation expedition in Takistan, ongoing disarmament negotiations, and the broader geopolitical environment.

What follows is a verbatim extract from the interview transcript with Olga Zhoglo, emeritus professor of Politics and editor-at-large of ‘Green Sea Today’.

GST : Do you feel that the Takistan observation expedition is supporting the UN’s aim of averting a flashpoint in the region?

IR : The situation is complex, to be sure. It seems pretty obvious to me that no one wants to see a Flashpoint Rising [in the Green Sea Region]. The international community must leverage pressure using the peaceful tools at its disposal; verification of weapon stockpiles is one of those measures.

GST : Do such measures perversely act to raise the political and military stakes in the region?

IR : I must disagree. Our mission is to survey the area, and reassure the regional neighbours that Takistan is acting on its promises to scale back its armament programmes.

GST : Have you received the full cooperation of the Takistani Administration – have you attained unlimited access to military facilities and warehouses?

IR: Access to facilities has been a sticking point for some time; broadly, we’ve had the access we’ve requested in every case, but not operating on an acceptable timescale. 48- at times 72- hour delays have been common between requesting permission to enter military zones and gaining access.

GST : Would you suggest that Takistani officials are moving munitions and equipment around? Are you searching for a mirage in shifting sand dunes?

IR : It’s not my place to make idle suggestions. As a scientist, I simply report upon the facts at hand. At this time, there is no broad base of evidence to support any further analysis, or at least any which is reliable, in my judgement.

GST : I understand. Moving on to the process of selecting locations to inspect, recent reports in the press have criticised your inspectors as too being too reliant upon Takistani defector testimony. Does such criticism bear any credence?

IR : Look, we have to analyse the situation as we find it; the picture is informed by many sources. Arial reconnaissance is obviously one of these sources, as is information supplied by various primary sources. The information has not led to the discovery of any breaches in Takistani commitments to curtailing weapons development, true.

GST : And so –

IR : Hold on, one more thing, this does not negate the sources, nor render them useless. The investigations based upon this evidence have proven that the Takmyr administration has been lying to us; yet they have not explicitly proven the existence of weapons and factories. We have to keep an eye upon the whole area.