News

Sanctions Review

Iraq News APRIL 27, 1998

By Laurie Mylroie

The central focus of Iraq News is the tension between the considerable, proscribed WMD capabilities that Iraq is holding on to and its increasing stridency that it has complied with UNSCR 687 and it is time to lift sanctions. If you wish to receive Iraq News by email, a service which includes full-text of news reports not archived here, send your request to Laurie Mylroie .




APRIL 27, 1998
I.   IRAQI INFO MINISTER, WE ARE SERIOUS IN WHAT WE SAY, REUTERS, APR 26
II.  IRAQI FOREIGN MINISTER, UNSC SHOULD END SANCTIONS, REUTERS, APR 26
III. IRAQI PRESIDENTIAL ADVISOR, IRAQ HAS COMPLIED, REUTERS, APR 26
IV.  IRAQI PAPER, IRAQ WILL BREAK SANCTIONS THIS YEAR, REUTERS, APR 25

    In advance of today's sanctions review, yesterday, as Reuters 
reported, Iraq's Information Minister said that the world "should take 
seriously the statements issued by the Revolutionary Command Council, 
the Iraq leadership (of the Baath Party) and the cabinet and nothing 
else."  [see "Iraq News, Apr 17, 20, 24 on the significance of those 
statements].   
   Also on Sun, Iraq's Foreign Minister, Mohammed al Sahhaf, as Reuters 
reported from NYC, charged that the US and UK, in insisting on keeping 
sanctions on Iraq, were "doing everything they like because they think 
they are masters of the world.  This is jungle law. . . . We are a 
victim of jungle law in this organization.  When we ask for our rights 
it is called rhetoric." 
   As Reuters further explained, Russia is circulating a resolution at 
the Security Council, based on the IAEA's latest report, to declare Iraq 
in compliance with UNSCR 687 in the nuclear field.  That conclusion has 
been challenged by UNSCOM and other experts, as well as the US Gov't 
[see "Iraq News," Apr 16].  Even so, Sahhaf said, "We are not happy with 
this resolution prepared by the Russians because if we are asked we 
would prefer that the process of discussions to implement paragraph 22 
is the correct and proper way to do things." 
   Asked whether Iraq set any deadlines for UNSCOM, Sahhaf said, "'Leave 
us to see what are the developments.  It's not a matter of putting a 
deadline, but that logic should dictate that the Security Council end 
sanctions soon.'  Asked whether inspectors would be banned again, he 
said, 'History will not repeat itself. This time, the public opinion, 
the international public opinion (and) the members of the Security 
Council (have changed).  Now they are knowing more facts than they had 
before.  So I think Iraq is not bluffing.  Iraq is asking for its 
rights.  Iraq has implemented all the conditions which had been 
mentioned in the Security Council.  Enough is enough.  Sanctions should 
be lifted.'" 
  Also, Reuters reported yesterday from Baghdad that Gen. Amir al-Saadi, 
former head of Iraq's Military Industrial Organization, now adviser to 
Saddam, denounced the latest UNSCOM report, as "the worst report . . . a 
political report, not a technical report."  Al-Saaadi reiterated that 
"all of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction had been destroyed and all of 
the means of producing them were destroyed."  
  Finally, on Sat, one of Iraq's most important journalists, Salah 
al-Mukhtar, in a front page editorial, described by Reuters, wrote, "We 
are adamant on breaking the embargo this year if it is not lifted by the 
Security Council.  America and others have to choose between lifting the 
embargo or storms that are impossible to control, like past events have 
proven, which will get rid of all the putrid symbols."  
    Saddam has something in mind.  But what it is remains to be seen. 
Any suggestions from the readers of "Iraq News" about what it is that he 
might have in mind would be most welcome.