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TEXT: RIEDEL MAY 6 SPEECH ON U.S. POLICY IN THE GULF

(NSC Director reviews Dual Containment policy for Iraq, Iran) (4580)



Washington -- Five years after the U.S. Dual Containment policy toward
Iraq and Iran was instituted, "much has changed in the world. But much
remains unchanged," Bruce O. Riedel, Special Assistant to the
President and Senior Director, Near East and South Asian Affairs at
the National Security Council, said May 6.


In a speech before the Washington Institute for Near East Policy on
"U.S. policy in the Gulf: Five Years of Dual Containment," Riedel said
"We continue to face a very serious challenge to the stability of the
Gulf from Saddam's Iraq." He noted that "Iraq is today the only repeat
offender in the world in the use of weapons of mass destruction and
ballistic missiles."


"We have just concluded a prolonged confrontation with Iraq over the
question of whether the UNSCOM inspectors would have full and
unrestricted access to all sites in Iraq," he said. "UN weapons
inspectors including Americans are back on the job in Iraq inspecting
sensitive and important sites, including for the first time some sites
repeatedly declared off limits before.... That is a victory for
American diplomacy and a success for the world community.


"But we all know it is not over. Saddam Hussein's track record is all
too clear. He will continue to challenge the international community
because his goals remain regional domination and revenge for past
defeats.


"Thus it is imperative that vigilance and strength remain the
hallmarks of our efforts to contain this regime until the time comes
when Iraq fully complies with its obligations and is at peace with its
neighbors," Riedel asserted.


Means by which the U.S. intends to contain Iraq, he said, include:



-- limiting the regime's ability to threaten its neighbors;



-- trying to help the Iraqi people through the oil for food
arrangement expanded by the UN earlier this year;


-- continuing to be in contact with various elements of the Iraqi
opposition to help them work more effectively, and


-- remaining ready to work with a new government in Baghdad when it
comes to power.


Regarding Iran, Riedel said there are serious issues about Iran's
actions that still need to be addressed and need to be changed, most
notably, Iran's support for terrorism, its efforts to acquire weapons
of mass destruction (WMD) and its sponsorship of violent opposition to
the Middle East Peace Process.


"The United States stands ready to engage with Iran on all of these
issues and others whenever Tehran is ready. ... In the interim we will
continue to do all we can to constrain Iran's actions in those areas
that threaten our interests and the interests of our allies and
friends."


Riedel noted that since the election of President Khatami, "we have
begun to see some signs of change within Iran's political process. ...
Since President Khatami's inauguration we have followed his words and
actions. We watched closely his unprecedented CNN interview and noted
its many positive statements. We followed his handling of the Islamic
Summit in Tehran last December and its generally moderate tone. And we
have noted with interest his efforts to strengthen the rule of law
inside Iran.


"Most of all we welcome President Khatami's decision to increase the
level of interaction at the people-to-people level between our two
countries," he said, citing in particular the recent exchange of
wrestling teams.


While acknowledging that people-to-people dialogue is useful, Riedel
stressed that the issues that divide Iran and the United States "must
ultimately be addressed by their governments. ... We remain interested
in sitting down face to face with the Iranian leadership to discuss
all issues of concern to both states. We have no preconditions. We
only insist that the dialogue be authoritative -- that is
government-to-government," he said.


On the Middle East peace process, Riedel said "We are acutely aware of
the dangers that a stalemated peace process poses to the entire Middle
East. The President and his peace process team remain determined to do
what we can to move this forward. At the end of the day, the hard
decisions need to be made by the parties in the region -- not by
Americans -- but we will do all we can to assist them."


There is also a need, Riedel said, "for the U.S. to do more to develop
our bilateral relationships with our allies in the region. ... The
ties that bind us to our friends in the Gulf are deep and strong. ...
The key is to remain dedicated to our common goals."


Following is the text of Riedel's speech, as prepared for delivery:



(Begin text)



SPEECH PREPARED FOR DELIVERY BY BRUCE O. RIEDEL

WASHINGTON INSTITUTE FOR NEAR EAST POLICY

MAY 6, 1998



"U.S. POLICY IN THE GULF:  FIVE YEARS OF DUAL CONTAINMENT"



It is a great pleasure to be here this evening to speak to this
audience on the subject of U.S. policy in the Gulf. I would especially
like to thank Rob Satloff for inviting me. Five years ago, of course,
my predecessor, Martin Indyk, addressed the Institute on our policy in
the Gulf at the start of the first Clinton Administration. Tonight I
would like to give you an update on where we are in the Gulf and where
we are going.


The Gulf region has been recognized by every American President since
Franklin Delano Roosevelt as an area of absolute vital strategic
importance for the United States. Not only is it the energy storehouse
of the world -- home to two thirds of the proven oil reserves of the
globe -- but it is also the nexus where three continents come
together. No where else in the world have U.S. military forces been
more actively engaged in the last quarter century than here. From
EARNEST WILL to DESERT SHIELD AND DESERT STORM to SOUTHERN WATCH,
NORTHERN WATCH and DESERT STRIKE, this is where the vital interests of
the United States have been defended most vigorously in the last two
decades.


When President Clinton was elected in 1992 his first administration
recognized immediately the strategic import of the region and
recognized that there were two central threats posed to the stability
and security of the area -- Iraq and Iran. We also recognized from the
beginning that these threats could not be dealt with in isolation.
Rather the United States needed to understand that dealing with the
threat posed by one could not be done at the cost of neglecting the
other. Consequently, we needed a policy designed to handle the unique
threat each posed but which did so in a coordinated manner.


This was and remains the underlying premise of the policy known as
Dual Containment. That policy understands the unique threats posed by
these two states and seeks to deal with them both, not identically but
in a coherent manner. Early on we rejected the option of trying to
play one off against the other. That policy had been tried earlier and
had resulted in the dangerous imbalance of power in the region that
helped to precipitate the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in August 1990.


We are now five years later and much has changed in the world. But
much remains unchanged. Let's start with Iraq. We continue to face a
very serious challenge to the stability of the Gulf from Saddam's
Iraq. We have just concluded a prolonged confrontation with Iraq over
the question of whether the UNSCOM inspectors would have full and
unrestricted access to all sites in Iraq. That crisis has been
resolved for now with a clear result -- Iraq backed down and allowed
UNSCOM to have the access it needs to do its job. UNSCOM inspectors,
including Americans, have inspected facilities previously off limits
-- like the Iraqi equivalent of the Pentagon -- in the last few weeks.
This is a significant accomplishment for American diplomacy backed by
the threat of force.


During this crisis we also successfully expanded the UN's oil-for-food
program substantially -- thus securing more help for the Iraqi people.
Saddam's ability to use the humanitarian card to undermine sanctions
has been reduced. This too is a victory for the international
community.


This crisis began last year when the Iraqi government chose again to
challenge the regime of UNSCOM inspections that were set up in 1991 to
eliminate Iraq's arsenal of weapons of mass destruction and the means
of delivery and to prevent Iraq from reconstituting them. Any review
of the crisis must begin by focusing on UNSCOM.


Why did the international community create this inspection regime in
the first place? The answer is because Iraq is today the only repeat
offender in the world in the use of weapons of mass destruction and
ballistic missiles.


That is to say that while many nations have WMD arsenals of various
sizes and ballistic missiles, Iraq is the only one with a recent track
record of using them not once but often. Saddam's Iraq has started two
wars in our time in an effort to dominate the Gulf. In both those wars
it has employed its ballistic missile force -- against Tehran,
Isfahan, Tel Aviv, Riyadh and Manama. In the first Gulf war it
repeatedly used chemical weapons. In the Anfal campaign it used them
again against its own people ten years ago last month in Halabja.
Almost certainly it would have used CBW in the second Gulf war had we
not effectively deterred Iraq from crossing that threshold. The UNSCOM
inspector's reports indicate clearly that the Iraqis had plans to do
so.


That is why the international community created UNSCOM in 1991 -- to
disarm and keep disarmed this uniquely dangerous regime. Those
inspectors have done a terrific job since then despite intense Iraqi
efforts to intimidate them, conceal the truth about its programs and
prevent them from achieving their objectives. As the President has
often noted, UNSCOM has successfully destroyed more Iraqi WMD and
missiles than did Desert Storm. In 1996, at the al-Hakim biological
weapons factory alone it destroyed a facility capable of producing
enough BW to kill everyone in the region.


Iraq's decision last year to try to block UNSCOM's access to sites in
Iraq and to try to limit American participation in UNSCOM was,
therefore, a direct challenge to an instrument crucial to maintaining
peace and security in a critical part of the world. Not only was the
future peace of the region very much at stake, so too was the
credibility of the United Nations in dealing with the threat of WMD
proliferation -- a problem the world is certain to face even more
starkly in the next century.


President Clinton understood clearly how much was at stake in the
Iraqi challenge from the beginning. He authorized a response that
matched vigorous diplomacy with a robust demonstration of force. The
two worked together effectively to compel Iraq to change its position.
After months of saying that Americans could not inspect facilities in
Iraq or that some sites were off limits to any inspectors, UN weapons
inspectors including Americans are back on the job in Iraq inspecting
sensitive and important sites including for the first time some sites
repeatedly declared off limits before, like the Iraqi equivalent of
the Pentagon. That is a victory for American diplomacy and a success
for the world community.


But we all know it is not over. Saddam Hussein's track record is all
too clear. He will continue to challenge the international community
because his goals remain regional domination and revenge for past
defeats. That is why he started two wars and tried to assassinate
President Bush and the Amir of Kuwait. Thus it is imperative that
vigilance and strength remain the hallmarks of our efforts to contain
this regime until the time comes when Iraq fully complies with its
obligations and is at peace with its neighbors.


We are all tired of Saddam's hide and seek games with UNSCOM. The
burden of proof is on Iraq to fully disclose all information about its
WMD programs, not on UNSCOM. In 1991 UNSCR 687 gave Iraq 15 days to
provide full, final and complete disclosure on these programs. Some
2000 plus days later we see progress only in the nuclear area. Access
has been achieved thanks to U.S. firmness. Now is the time for Iraq to
come forward and tell the truth. Full disclosure is what the UN has
called for.


Staying firm on Iraq can not be only an American mission. We should
not have to confront this challenge only with American forces.
Fortunately that is not the case. Much was made in the last crisis
about differences in the international community about how to respond
to Saddam's challenge. There were indeed differences of view but there
was a more important consensus on one essential point -- Iraq must
comply with the 40-plus UN Security Council Resolutions adopted since
1990 to curb its regional ambitions. Every foreign leader President
Clinton spoke to during the months of crisis agreed on this bottom
line.


And many countries agreed with the need to support diplomacy with the
credible threat of military force. Over three dozen offered to assist
our military effort either by providing use of their facilities like
Germany and Spain or by sending their own forces to be with us in
confronting Iraq like the United Kingdom, Denmark, Argentina, Holland,
New Zealand, Poland, Canada and Australia.


Our friends in the Arab world also played a key role in helping to
reverse Saddam's challenge. Many sent repeated high level demarches to
Baghdad demanding compliance. Others quietly provided key logistical
and transit support for our buildup including Egypt, the Gulf States
and Saudi Arabia. None of our friends in the Arab world had any
sympathy for Saddam, even as many shared our sympathy for the Iraqi
people.


So the challenge ahead will be to keep this very dangerous regime
contained and to prevent it from building an arsenal of dangerous
weapons. How do we intend to do so?


First, by limiting the regime's ability to threaten its neighbors. The
two no fly zones and the maritime interdiction force are part of this
approach. We have now flown more sorties in Operations Southern Watch
and Northern Watch than in all of Desert Storm. I have just visited
our airmen in Saudi Arabia with the Vice President and I share his
view that they are the true "heroes"' of this crisis. We will also
continue support for UNSCOM and sanctions. We are proud to fly
UNSCOM's U-2 missions, and sanctions have already lost Saddam $110B --
imagine what kind of threat Iraq would be today if it had $110B. We
will work with our partners in the region and around the world to
strengthen these instruments. We will insist on full Iraqi compliance
with the Security Council Resolutions including a full accounting for
all of Kuwait's missing-in-action.


Second, by trying to help the Iraqi people through the oil for food
arrangement expanded by the UN earlier this year. This allows
substantial amounts of food and medicine to get to the Iraqi people
under UN supervision. Already more than 3.5 million metric tons of
food have been delivered. This denies Saddam the ability to starve his
own people to curry support for ending sanctions -- the policy he
deliberately pursued for five years. We should not let him exploit
what we care about, the people of Iraq, to protect what he cares
about, WMD. We should not be fooled by Saddam's propaganda -- an Iraq
that has grown by over 3 million people since 1991 is not starving to
death.


Third, we will continue to be in contact with various elements of the
Iraqi opposition to help them work more effectively. Those Iraqis who
oppose Saddam do so at great personal risk -- they deserve our
support. We should have no illusions here that an end to the Saddam
dictatorship is close at hand or easy to accomplish. But we should
also do what we can to help efforts like the INDICT program to
highlight and dramatize Saddam's crimes.


Fourth, we will remain ready to work with a new government in Baghdad
when it comes to power. Saddam will not last forever, and we should be
ready to work with the Iraqis who succeed him We do not seek a
permanent sanctions regime or a Versailles like peace for Iraq. Nor do
we want to see Iraq fragmented and turned into another Afghanistan or
Somalia. We do want to see a strong and healthy Iraq return to the
community of nations and see it play its appropriate role in
international and regional affairs. America and Iraq have been close
partners in the past and they can be partners and friends again in the
future.


All of this will require patience. We will need to bear in mind that a
containment policy is by definition a long term approach to a problem,
but it is one that achieves our vital interests.


And we must bear in mind that containing Iraq is not enough, we must
also move forward on other tracks in the Gulf.


So let me turn to the second threat in the Gulf region that President
Clinton inherited in 1993 -- Iran. How has containment fared vis a vis
Iran?


Our most important accomplishment here has been to put an
international focus on Iran's actions and behaviors. Iran's support
for terrorism, its efforts to acquire WMD and its sponsorship of
violent opposition to the Middle East Peace Process have become an
increasingly important part of the international debate since 1993.


And we have had some success. Four years ago Japan suspended its aid
program for Iran, citing its support for terrorism, costing the
Iranian regime over a billion dollars. Europe last spring announced an
arms embargo. Russia has agreed to cap its arms dealings and take
steps to control technology transfers with Iran. The Ukraine, Poland
and other states have listened positively to our concerns about
dangerous arms and technology transfers. China has moved away from
cooperation with Iran's nuclear program and the sale of destabilizing
conventional weapons.


Second, our effort to highlight Iran's dangerous policies and increase
the economic cost of such actions has forced Tehran to make difficult
decisions about where to put its resources. In a country with more
than half the population under 21, economic decisions about arms
purchases can be influenced by outsiders. We have sought to make Iran
think twice about how to spend its money. Hard pressed for foreign
hard currency Iran has had to steadily cut back on its purchases of
foreign weapons in this decade. Foreign exchange expenditures on arms
have dropped from a high of $2.5 billion in 1991 to less than one
billion dollars last year. That means the Iranian military threat to
regional security and stability has been slowed and weakened. A threat
still remains but it is not what Iran hoped for when it sought to
rebuild its forces at the end of the Iran-Iraq war.


Now we have begun to see some signs of change within Iran's political
process. The election of President Khatami last spring obviously
marked a milestone in the history of the Islamic Republic. The Iranian
people voted in impressive numbers for a change in Iran's course. We
appreciate the significance of this development. President Clinton
welcomed the election of Khatami and said only a few days after the
votes were counted that he hoped it would begin a process of change
that could end the estrangement of the two countries that began almost
twenty years ago.


Since President Khatami's inauguration we have followed his words and
actions. We watched closely his unprecedented CNN interview and noted
its many positive statements. We followed his handling of the Islamic
Summit in Tehran last December and its generally moderate tone. And we
have noted with interest his efforts to strengthen the rule of law
inside Iran. We hope this will lead to protection for all Iranians,
including religious minorities like the Bahai. We hope it will also
lead to an end to efforts to encourage Salman Rushdie's murder.


Most of all we welcome President Khatami's decision to increase the
level of interaction at the people-to-people level between our two
countries. President Clinton met with the American wrestling team
which had been so well received in Tehran and heralded their
reception. We welcomed Iranian wrestlers in Oklahoma. And we support
the efforts of think tanks on both sides to increase greater contacts
between experts across a wide spectrum of disciplines. As the
President said in his Id al-Fitr message to Muslims around the world,
"Iran is an important country with a rich and ancient cultural
heritage of which Iranians are justifiably proud. We have real
differences with some Iranian policies, but these are not
insurmountable. I hope that we have more exchanges between our peoples
and that the day will soon come when we can enjoy once again good
relations with Iran."


We are prepared to move further toward greater engagement. People to
people dialogue is useful but the issues that divided Iran and America
must ultimately be addressed by their governments. The United States
has been open to a government-to-government dialogue with Iran since
the Bush Administration. We remain interested in sitting down face to
face with the Iranian leadership to discuss all issues of concern to
both states. We have no preconditions. We only insist that the
dialogue be authoritative -- that is government-to-government.


And, unfortunately, there are serious issues about Iran's actions that
still need to be addressed and need to be changed. Let me spend a few
moments reviewing these.


First are Iran's efforts to develop weapons of mass destruction and
long range ballistic missiles. Despite its signature on the NPT and
CWC, our information is crystal clear: Iran is seeking to develop an
arsenal of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and the missiles
to deliver them. As DCI Tenet has reported to the Congress, this
effort is an aggressive one in which Iran has put considerable
resources.


As I noted earlier, we have an equally aggressive effort around the
world to try to discourage potential sources of technology and
equipment for these programs from selling it with Iran. Our track
record in doing so has been reasonably but not entirely successful.
More needs to be done and we will continue to do our utmost. The
President frequently raises these issues himself at the highest levels
to discourage such transfers.


Second, there remains Iran's dangerous connections with terrorist
organizations around the world and particularly in the Muslim world.
Despite promises that Iran opposes terrorism, we continue to see
significant connections between Iran and numerous organizations that
engage in terror including Islamic Jihad, Hizballah and Hamas. Iran
still provides such groups with arms, money, training and safe haven.
In Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon and many other states, Iran gives aid and
assistance to groups engaged in acts of brutal violence against
civilians. That is why so many of Iran's neighbors remain so leery of
Iranian intentions despite the changes brought by President Khatami.


Third, we remain particularly concerned by Iran's support for violent
opposition to the Middle East peace process. We have noted Iran's more
moderate declaratory policy toward the Palestinian Authority and the
more flexible approach it took in the Islamic Summit. But we remain
deeply concerned about its continued connections and support for the
most violent enemies of peace. Its words must now be matched by deeds.


So in any future dialogue with Iran we will want to discuss these
issues. And we will continue to discourage other countries from
engaging with Iran as a normal partner until we all see changes in
Iran's policies in these areas. In this regard we will enforce the
laws passed by Congress intended to encourage other states to control
technology transfers to Iran and to exercise great care and discipline
in what they trade with Iran.


In principle the United States and Iran potentially have many areas
where shared interests and common concerns could emerge: seeing the
Gulf open to unrestricted flow of its energy resources; seeing the
Saddam regime in Iraq contained and disarmed by the UN inspectors;
seeing an Afghanistan at peace with itself and its neighbors. I
visited Kabul last month with Ambassador Richardson and can attest
with my own eyes the urgent need to end the Afghan war. It is even
possible to envision the development of a common interest in seeing
stability in the region so that its peoples can focus their attention
on human development, not weapons development.


The United States stands ready to engage with Iran on all of these
issues and others whenever Tehran is ready. Iran should feel free to
raise its agenda. We are patient and prepared to wait. In the interim
we will continue to do all we can to constrain Iran's actions in those
areas that threaten our interests and the interests of our allies and
friends.


Let me briefly address two other points. First, another key to our
policy toward the Gulf is our effort to advance the Middle East peace
process. No government has devoted more attention and effort to this
process than the United States. We are acutely aware of the dangers
that a stalemated peace process poses to the entire Middle East. The
President and his peace process team remain determined to do what we
can to move this forward. At the end of the day, the hard decisions
need to be made by the parties in the region -- not by Americans --
but we will do all we can to assist them.


Second and finally we need to do more to develop our bilateral
relationships with our allies in the region. For fifty years the
United States has enjoyed and benefited from a unique and special
partnership with Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Oman and the other states
of the Gulf Cooperation Council. That partnership is the bedrock
around which our policy in the Gulf has always been based. We
confronted Soviet imperialism together and persevered. We confronted
Khomeini's extremism together and persevered. We fought Saddam's
invasion of Kuwait together and today Kuwait is free. We have worked
to bring peace to the Levant together and we need to continue to do
so.


The ties that bind us to our friends in the Gulf are deep and strong.
Vice President Gore reaffirmed them in Jeddah last weekend with King
Fahd and Crown Prince Abdullah. Those ties have overcome the work of
terrorists again and again. They have transitioned from one leader to
another, and I am confident they will continue to do so. The key is to
remain dedicated to our common goals.


President Clinton in his message to the Iraqi people earlier this year
said it best about our objectives toward Iraq in particular and the
gulf in general. Our goal, he said, is to "see a future of security,
prosperity and peace for all the people of the Middle East. We want to
see the Iraqi people free of the constant warfare and repression that
have been the hallmark of Saddam's regime. We want to see them living
in a nation that uses its wealth not to strengthen its arsenal but to
care for its citizens and give its children a brighter future."


(End text)