News



DATE=4/25/98
TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
NUMBER=2-230242
TITLE=IRAQ / U-N SANCTIONS (L)
BYLINE=MAX RUSTON
DATELINE=UNITED NATIONS
CONTENT=
VOICED AT: 

INTRO:  IRAQI FOREIGN MINISTER MOHAMMED AL-SAHAF SAYS BAGHDAD 
WILL CONSIDER U-N SANCTIONS AGAINST HIS COUNTRY VOID IF THE U-N 
SECURITY COUNCIL DOES NOT TAKE STEPS SOON TOWARDS LIFTING THEM.  
V-O-A CORRESPONDENT MAX RUSTON SPOKE WITH MR. AL-SAHAF TODAY 
(SATURDAY) IN NEW YORK.

TEXT:  MR. AL-SAHAF SAYS IRAQ BELIEVES IT HAS FULLY HONORED ALL 
ITS OBLIGATIONS IN RESPECT TO REQUIREMENTS FOR THE LIFTING OF 
SANCTIONS IMPOSED AFTER THE GULF WAR.  IF THEY ARE NOT LIFTED 
SOON, HE SAYS, BAGHDAD WILL CONSIDER THEM VOID.

                      /// AL-SAHAF ACT ///

         I THINK THE IRAQIS HAVE THE RIGHT, IF THE SANCTIONS ARE 
         NOT GOING TO BE LIFTED SOON, EVERY IRAQI HAS THE RIGHT 
         TO SAY "WHY SHOULD WE ADHERE TO THAT?  WE HAVE DONE WHAT
         WE WERE ASKED TO DO AND THE OTHER PARTY IS INSISTING ON 
         KILLING US."

                         /// END ACT ///

THE IRAQI FOREIGN MINISTER IS IN NEW YORK AHEAD OF A U-N SECURITY
COUNCIL MEETING SCHEDULED FOR MONDAY AT WHICH SANCTIONS AGAINST 
IRAQ WILL BE REVIEWED.  SECURITY COUNCIL RESOLUTIONS REQUIRE THAT
IRAQ VERIFY IT NO LONGER HAS ANY WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION 
BEFORE THE SANCTIONS CAN BE LIFTED.  U-N WEAPONS INSPECTORS SAY 
LITTLE PROGRESS HAS BEEN MADE TOWARDS SUCH VERIFICATION, 
VIRTUALLY ENSURING THE SANCTIONS WILL NOT BE LIFTED DURING THIS 
REVIEW.

BUT MR. AL-SAHAF INDICATES TENSION COULD BE SUBSTANTIALLY 
RELIEVED IF THE SECURITY COUNCIL TAKES WHAT HE DESCRIBES AS STEPS
IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION.  HE SAYS ONE STEP WOULD BE SECURITY 
COUNCIL APPROVAL OF A RESOLUTION PROPOSED BY RUSSIA STATING THAT 
IRAQ HAS STOPPED ITS NUCLEAR WEAPONS PROGRAM.

                      /// AL-SAHAF ACT ///

         WE SAID THE SECURITY COUNCIL SHOULD START THE PROCESS OF
         LIFTING SANCTIONS.  IT DOES NOT MEAN THAT NEXT MONDAY 
         THERE WILL BE A RESOLUTION TO SAY "THAT IS ALL, 
         EVERYTHING IS HERE."  BUT THERE IS A BIG DIFFERENCE 
         BETWEEN SAYING "THE SANCTIONS WILL STAY WHATEVER IRAQ 
         WILL DO," AND SAYING "O-K, O-K, WE HAVE ACHIEVED 
         PROGRESS WE ARE NEARING TOWARDS THE END, LET THE THE 
         SECURITY COUNCIL ASSESS THE SITUATION AND SEE WHEN THE 
         PROCESS OF LIFTING SANCTIONS WILL START ACCORDING TO 
         PARAGRAPH 22 [SECURITY COUNCIL RESOLUTIONS]."

                         /// END ACT ///

U-S OFFICIALS HAVE INDICATED THEY WILL NOT SUPPORT THE PROPOSED 
RUSSIAN RESOLUTION ON IRAQ'S NUCLEAR WEAPONS PROGRAM.

MR. AL-SAHAF ALSO CLARIFIED AN APPARENT MISUNDERSTANDING 
CONCERNING U-N INSPECTIONS OF PRESIDENTIAL SITES IN IRAQ.  THE 
SITES WERE INSPECTED LAST MONTH UNDER AN AGREEMENT REACHED 
BETWEEN IRAQI PRESIDENT SADDAM HUSSEIN AND U-N SECRETARY-GENERAL 
KOFI ANNAN.  RECENT STATEMENTS FROM IRAQI OFFICIALS HAVE 
INDICATED BAGHDAD WILL NOT ALLOW INSPECTORS BACK INTO THE SITES, 
DESPITE MR. ANNAN'S ASSURANCES THAT REPEAT INSPECTIONS WERE 
AGREED TO.  MR. AL-SAHAF SAYS REPEATED INSPECTIONS DEFINITELY 
WILL BE ALLOWED, BUT HE SAYS IT IS SILLY TO EXPECT THE PROCEDURES
FOR THE INSPECTION OF PRESIDENTIAL SITES TO BE THE SAME AS THOSE 
FOR MISSILE FACTORIES.

THE UNITED STATES HAS INDICATED THAT ANY BREAKDOWN IN THE 
INSPECTION PROCESS COULD RESULT IN RENEWED MILITARY ATTACKS 
AGAINST IRAQ.  (SIGNED)

NEB/UN/MPR/SD

25-Apr-98 9:44 PM EDT (0144 UTC)
NNNN

Source: Voice of America
.