News

ACCESSION NUMBER:374659

FILE ID:EUR509

DATE:01/13/95

TITLE:U.S. ACCUSES IRAQ OF SELLING OIL THROUGH IRAN (01/13/95)

TEXT:*EUR509   01/13/95

U.S. ACCUSES IRAQ OF SELLING OIL THROUGH IRAN

(Text: Albright remarks to U.N. Security Council) (1190)

United Nations -- The United States January 12 alleged that Iraq is

illegally selling oil at $5 a barrel through Iran rather than accept the

U.N.-approved plan to sell oil at $8 or $9 a barrel to help the Iraqi

people.



In a presentation during the U.N. Security Council's private periodic review

of Iraqi sanctions, U.S. Ambassador Madeleine Albright said that "we do not

understand why Iraq complains about the suffering of the Iraqi people and

yet refuses to accept a mechanism that is specifically designed to help

alleviate their plight."



"Use of this mechanism would yield $8 to $9 for each barrel of Iraqi oil to

be spent on food, medicine, and other needs of the Iraqi people.  Instead,

the regime, in an arrangement that violates relevant Security Council

resolutions, sells oil through Iran for as little as $5 per barrel, so that

it can use the revenues for its own needs," the ambassador said in the

statement, which was released to the press.



The United States reported the Iraqi oil sales to the council's Sanctions

Committee in December.



Under the oil sale scheme approved by the council, Iraq would be allowed to

sell up to $1,600 million in oil under U.N. scrutiny, with the money to go

for humanitarian goods and food and to pay reparations and other gulf war

obligations.



The council determined that the situation with Iraq had not improved enough

to warrant any change in sanctions.



Following is the text of Albright's remarks:

(begin text)

With today's review, this council -- with five new members -- has once again

1xpressed its will that Iraq must comply fully and unconditionally with all

relevant Security Council resolutions.  One of the foundations of UNSCR 687

is the council's need to be assured of Iraq's peaceful intentions, which is

measured by full compliance, not by grudging half-measures.



Such assurances would be prudent under any circumstances.  They become

imperative when dealing with a regime which has established an undisputed

track record of violating solemn agreements, claiming cooperation when in

fact deliberately concealing truth, attempting to evade sanctions by

subterfuge, refusing to be forthcoming on humanitarian issues, and causing

untold suffering to its own population through repression and deprivation

of the most basic human services.  What do Saddam's threats against UNSCOM

and his belligerent troop movements last October suggest about his

intentions?  What should we conclude from his January 5 speech, calling for

missile attacks on Israel?  Anyone who compared it with his similar

speeches of the spring of 1990 would have to conclude that Saddam has

learned nothing about the concept of peaceful intentions.



This council's firm refusal to take a narrow view of what Iraq must do to

have the sanctions lifted and its refusal to be satisfied with partial

compliance resulted in a major achievement for the council in November when

Iraq unconditionally accepted Kuwait's borders and sovereignty.  Baghdad's

difficulty in accepting that step suggests that continued firmness and

consistency in demanding that the terms of relevant UNSC resolutions be met

-- and met fully -- is the only viable way to achieve our common

objectives.



The council publicly acknowledged the importance of Iraq's recognition of

Kuwait when it occurred -- and stands willing to recognize further steps if

and when Iraq takes them.  Unfortunately, Iraq has done nothing since its

recognition of Kuwait last November to move closer to full compliance.



Hundreds of Kuwaitis taken by Iraq during the invasion and occupation remain

unaccounted for.  For the last four months, Iraq has claimed to be

cooperating fully with the International Red Cross, yet the results have

been almost non-existent.  If Iraq had truly spent these few months in a

search for information about these cases, I am confident that, just as with

the "missing documents" on its weapons programs, it would have been able to

produce some concrete results.



A huge store of Kuwaiti national property, including armaments and

equipment, looted during the occupation, remains in Iraqi hands.  Some of

the most dangerous offensive weapons were used during Iraq's failed attempt

last October to intimidate its neighbors and the council.  This militarily

significant equipment, if it remains in Iraq, remains a threat to regional

security.  The council has made clear that the compensation mechanism is

not an acceptable alternative to their immediate return.



Iraq has not ended its support for terrorism.  Repression of the Shi'a and

Kurds continues unabated, as does the Iraqi internal embargo against food,

medicine and electricity for its northern provinces.



While weapons of mass destruction (WMD) are not technically covered in this

review cycle, some argue Iraq has recently improved its cooperation in this

area.  In fact, UNSCOM Chairman Ekeus' December report, and his oral update

this week, make clear that the regime continues to hinder the commission's

work, and lower our confidence in Iraq's readiness to cooperate.  Credit

for progress in setting up a program to monitor Iraq's capability to

develop such weapons belongs to Chairman Ekeus and his team, not Saddam's

regime.  Indeed, UNSCOM is convinced that Iraqi authorities have made a

conscious decision not to release information on their past weapons

programs to UNSCOM.  As Chairman Ekeus noted in his December report, such

information is a prerequisite to setting up an effective monitoring regime.

 And any discussion of the viability of such a regime over the long term is

purely academic until remaining gaps in our understanding of past programs

are filled.  One cannot monitor something when one does not know its

1imensions, and we cannot make a judgment about the functioning of the

monitoring system until its dimensions have been clearly and fully

established.



We would also like to see Iraq accept and implement resolutions 706 and 712

which would authorize limited oil sales for humanitarian relief.  This

would show that Iraq respects and is ready to cooperate with the council.

Frankly, we do not understand why Iraq complains about the suffering of the

Iraqi people and yet refuses to accept a mechanism that is specifically

designed to help alleviate their plight.  Use of this mechanism would yield

$8 or $9 for each barrel of Iraqi oil, to be spent on food, medicine and

other needs of the Iraqi people.  Instead, the regime, in an arrangement

that violates relevant Security Council resolutions, sells oil through Iran

for as little as $5 per barrel, so that it can use the revenues for its own

needs.



The council's experience with Iraq shows that threats, violence and

deception must be met with firmness; only that resolve has resulted in the

limited implementation Iraq has shown so far.  Premature action by this

council that would encourage Iraq to believe it can selectively choose the

manner of its compliance will result in no compliance at all.



My government is determined to oppose any modification of the sanctions

regime until Iraq has moved to comply with all its outstanding obligations.

 With its action today, this council has advanced the goal of ensuring full

Iraqi compliance with all the UNSC resolutions.



(end text)

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