News


Tracking Number:  192668

Title:  "US Favors Change in Iraqi Leadership, Aide Says." Deputy Assistant Secretary of State David Mack's speech to a meeting of Iraqi opposition groups in Washington, DC. Corrected by EU-114. (910802)

Translated Title:  Irak: les EU en faveur d`un nouveau governement. (910802)
Date:  19910802

Text:
*POL503

08/02/91 U.S. FAVORS CHANGE IN IRAQI LEADERSHIP, AIDE SAYS (Text: Mack speech to Iraqi opposition) (1640)

Washington -- The United States favors a change in Iraq's leadership but will not intervene in order to bring that change about, David Mack, deputy assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern and South Asian affairs, said at a meeting of Iraqi opposition groups in Washington August 2.

Mack addressed a strategy session conference held by Iraqi opposition groups based in the United States, Europe and the Middle East and sponsored by the Independent Assembly of Iraq.

"The United States continues to support Iraq's sovereignty and territorial integrity but would prefer a new Iraqi leadership: one responsive to the needs of the Iraqi people and willing to live in peace with its neighbors," he said.

However, Mack stressed that the United States "will not intervene directly to shape a new Iraqi government. The form and composition of a regime to succeed Saddam Hussein are for the people of Iraq to decide."

What the United States will do is continue to "lead the international community in maintaining persistent pressure on the current Iraqi regime and denying it a place in normal relations among governments," he said.

In order to maintain this pressure, the United States favors the continuation of economic sanctions "as long as Saddam Hussein remains in power," Mack said.

Following is the text of Mack's prepared remarks:

(begin text)

OVERALL U.S. POLICY

Since his seizure of power in Iraq, Saddam Hussein has established a brutal dictatorship which has inflicted enormous suffering on the Iraqi people, amassed a shameful record of human rights violations, snuffed out political participation and development, squandered Iraq's oil wealth, and brought ruin upon the Iraqi military and the Iraqi people. Saddam Hussein's destruction of the

GE 2 POL503 religious sites and the homes of his own citizens have caused massive refugee flows and must not be repeated.

Moreover, Saddam Hussein's policies of aggression against Iraq's neighbors over the past decade have resulted in thousands of needless deaths, inflicted massive ecological damage on the land, sea and air of the region, and generally destabilized the Gulf area.

In light of this record, we cannot have a normal relationship with Saddam Hussein's regime.

The United States continues to support Iraq's sovereignty and territorial integrity but would prefer a new Iraqi leadership: one responsive to the needs of the Iraqi people and willing to live in peace with its neighbors.

Because of the invasion and occupation of Kuwait and the brutal repression of his own people, Saddam Hussein is discredited and cannot be redeemed. His leadership will never be accepted by the world community.

The international community must demand nothing less than Iraq's full compliance with all its U.N.-mandated obligations. Moreover, the president has made it clear that the United States favors no lifting of economic sanctions as long as Saddam Hussein remains in power.

Time is not on Iraq's side so long as Saddam holds on to power. Iraq will not participate in post-crisis political, economic and security arrangements in the Gulf region until there is a change in regime. We are ready to work with a successor government in Baghdad if the Iraqi people change their government.

From the outset of the Gulf crisis a year ago, the president made clear that our problem is not with the Iraqi people but with their leadership and especially Saddam. This remains the case. There are clear procedures for modifying burdensome sanctions and reparations if there is a change in the nature of the government in Baghdad.

However -- and let me be very clear on this -- we will not intervene directly to shape a new Iraqi government. The form and composition of a regime to succeed Saddam Hussein are for the people of Iraq to decide.

Nor are we calling for a popular rebellion with the massive human suffering that entails. But we will help lead the international community in maintaining persistent pressure on the current Iraqi regime and denying it a place in normal relations among governments.

We are in accord with our allies on this basic line of policy, and at the London Summit we jointly resolved that

GE 3 POL503 the Iraqi people deserve the opportunity to choose their leadership openly and democratically.

IRAQI OPPOSITION CONTACTS

As you may know, the U.S. government has acted to broaden contacts with a range of Iraqi opposition groups over the past several months, including Kurds, Shi'a, Sunnis, and Christians. We support a pluralistic Iraq in which all communities would be free to practice their religious beliefs and express their ethnic identity.

Those meetings, like my appearance here today, do not reflect a U.S. desire to create an alternative Iraqi leadership or favor one faction over another; rather, our aims are to explain U.S. policy and improve mutual understanding.

Contacts with the opposition strengthen our long-term relationship with the Iraqi people -- as distinct from the present Iraqi regime -- and will continue in the future.

In assessing Iraqi opposition groups, the U.S. government employs a clear and straightforward set of criteria. In accordance with our own vision of a prosperous, democratic Iraq of the future, these are the things we look for in considering dialogue with any Iraqi opposition group:

-- support for the norms of democratic government, with the national leadership chosen by, and accountable to, the people of Iraq;

-- respect for the human rights of all Iraqi citizens;

-- in particular, respect for the rights of all ethnic and religious minorities in Iraq. No minority should be denied full rights of citizenship, full participation in the institutions of government and the right to honor its religious and/or cultural heritage in an appropriate way;

-- commitment to the territorial integrity and unity of Iraq. The United States opposes any alteration of Iraq's international border;

-- commitment to use Iraq's future oil income to develop the country's civilian economy to the benefit of all the people of Iraq;

-- commitment to maintain Iraq's military capabilities at a level consistent with the legitimate needs of national self-defense, but posing no threat of aggression against other states in the region. This includes compliance with the United Nations Security Council resolution on the

GE 4 POL503 destruction of weapons of mass destruction, including ballistic missiles;

-- acceptance of all terms set forth by the United Nations Security Council for a formal cease fire;

-- support for international efforts to advance regional peace, including attempts to promote dialogue between Israel and Palestinians and Israel and Arab states; and finally;

-- rejection of terrorism as a means of achieving political objectives. The U.S. government will not meet with groups which have a known record of terrorist attacks, including against Americans.

CURRENT SITUATION

Before closing, I would like to offer a few brief observations on two very different aspects of the current situation in Iraq: the U.N. teams attempting to locate, and oversee the demolition of, Iraq's weapons of mass destruction; and recent reports of a growing food and health emergency in the country.

Strong U.N. pressure has compelled the Iraqi government to admit not only that it has been conducting a covert uranium enrichment program, but that it has been systematically lying about it for years. Each inspection mission seems to produce new disclosures, including Iraq's admission this week that it holds an arsenal of chemical munitions four times larger than previously declared.

This nation lies -- and when confronted by the facts, admission to ever larger amounts of illicit materials -- makes us skeptical of current Iraqi declarations as well.

This pattern lies -- and, when confronted by the facts, admission of ever larger amounts of illicit material -- makes us skeptical of current Iraqi declarations as well.

The U.S. government will strongly support continued, vigorous inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency and the U.N. Special Commission created by Resolution 687 to ensure that Saddam Hussein is not again able to threaten Iraq's neighbors with ballistic missiles of weapons of a nuclear, chemical or biological nature.

Reports of food shortages and epidemics, particularly in southern Iraq, are a source of deep concern. It is not the intent of the U.S. government or the international community that the Iraqi people should pay the price for the aggressive and irresponsible actions of the present Iraqi leadership.

GE 5 POL503

We will continue to monitor health conditions throughout Iraq, and to support humanitarian relief efforts as necessary. Moreover, we are consulting with coalition partners and other members of the U.N. Security Council over a possible international response involving strict control and close monitoring to ensure an equitable distribution of food and humanitarian supplies throughout the country.

We will insist that any oil sales to raise revenue for food and medicine would be limited, under tight international control and within the sanctions regime, not outside of it. It must be clear to all that while the international community has a humanitarian concern for the Iraqi people, it will not change its opposition to Saddam Hussein and the dictatorship which has brought so much suffering to the people of Iraq.

CONCLUSION

Saddam Hussein has sought to portray the events of the past year as a confrontation between the United States and Iraq. Obviously this is no more than a hollow attempt to obscure the unprecedented solidarity of the international community in resisting, and ultimately reversing, Saddam's aggression against Kuwait.

Moreover, it is an attempt to obscure the deeper conflict between Saddam Hussein and the people of Iraq. While Kuwait was the victim of aggression one year ago, the Iraqi people have been the victims of Saddam Hussein's brutal misrule for many years.

The interests of the Iraqi people cannot be reconciled with the egotistic self-interest of the Iraqi dictator. That is a conflict which, ultimately, the people of Iraq will win.

(end text) NNNN


File Identification:  08/02/91, PO-503; 08/02/91, AE-505; 08/02/91, AR-521; 08/02/91, EP-520; 08/02/91, EU-507; 08/02/91, NE-504; 08/02/91, NA-506; 08/05/91, EU-114; 08/05/91, AF-105
Product Name:  Wireless File
Product Code:  WF
Languages:  Arabic; French
Keywords:  IRAQ-US RELATIONS/Policy; MACK, DAVID/Speaker; PERSIAN GULF WAR; IRAQ/Politics & Government; TOTALITARIANISM; HUSSEIN, SADDAM; OPPOSITION GROUPS; ATROCITIES
Document Type:  TXT
Thematic Codes:  1NE
Target Areas:  AF; AR; EA; EU; NE
PDQ Text Link:  192668; 192866; 192877