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I. SADDAM SLAMS SAUDIS, KUWAIT, INA JAN 23 II. IRAQI PARLIAMENT TO HOLD EXTRAORDINARY SESSION, INA, JAN 23 III. KUWAIT: IRAQ REINFORCES TROOPS IN SOUTH, AFP, JAN 18 IV. IRAQ REINFORCES MILITARY PRESENCE IN SOUTH, BBC, JAN 21 V. UNIKOM, NO UNUSUAL IRAQI TROOP MOVEMENTS, REUTERS, JAN 22 VI. KUWAIT: IRAQ TROOP MOVEMENTS NORMAL, REUTERS, JAN 23 As INA reported today, a front page editorial in al-Jumhuriya appeared under Saddam's name, fiercely attacking Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. The charge--the Saudis and Kuwait had driven down the price of oil and had done grevious harm to Iraq and others--is reminiscent of the charge Iraq raised against Kuwait, prior to Aug 2, 1990. Saddam wrote, "The Saudi rulers have caused great catastrophes for the Arab nation and violated its rights ever since they became a bridge to the foreigner. They also seriously harmed the people of Najd and Hejaz. . . Here is an example to this. The price per barel of light Arab oil from 1973-74 until 1975 was around $30. After 24 years--that is now--it has dropped to less than $9 per barrel . . . Any ruler who mortgages his will to the foreigner becomes unable to see his people's vital interests when they clash with the foreigner's interests. The only gain he gets is that he remains in power, believing that he will remain in power so long as the foreigner is satisfied with him. . . . "They act on behalf of the United States and Zionism to weaken any national and pan-Arab rule. This is so because any genuine national and pan-Arab rule will put them face to face with their people when a comparison of their policies is made. That's one of the reasons why they insist on antagonizing Iraq and its faithful national and pan-Arab leadership. This also explains why the Saudi rulers emphasize the need to disarm Iraq of its weapons, although this has been achieved. The existence of weapons that can establish some kind of balance with the Zionist entity will negate the saying that the only thing the Arabs, including their rulers, can do is to submit to the US-Zionist schemes because Israel has an edge over the Arabs. . . . "This shows the volume of harm done to the Arab nation and the people in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, and even the great harm done to humanity by this unpatriotic policy. It also shows how deeply the Arab nation and all of humanity are stabbed by the knives of the United States and Zionism." Arab League Foreign Ministers are to meet tomorrow on Iraq. Today, in a terse statement, INA announced that the Iraqi parliament would hold an extraordinary session Tues. AFP added that the session would concern Kuwait. This display of Iraqi belligerence is occurring against conflicting reports of Iraqi troop movements in the south. On Jan 18, as AFP reported, Kuwait's Defense Minister and Deputy Prime Minister said that Iraq had boosted its military deployment in the south, although "the Iraqi deployment 'does not constitute danger at the time being.' . . . But he said Kuwait had 'reinforced its self defensive capabilities to deter any possible threats.'" On Jan 21, the BBC reported that its correspondent in southern Iraq "saw trucks carrying armoured vehicles, mobile missile launchers and radar, towards the southern city of Basra. The correspondent said at least two mobile launching positions, one with a set of three surface-to-air missiles raised to fire, were clearly visible." The BBC also noted that since Dec's US/UK airstrike, Iraq told UNIKOM that it could not guarantee the safety of its helicopter patrols along the border and they had to stop. Thus, it seems, UNIKOM has no means for aerial surveillance. On Jan 22, as Reuters reported, a UNIKOM official said that "there was no unusual movement of Iraqi troops near the southern border with Kuwait. 'There is nothing unusual inside Iraq's 10 km (6.3 miles) of the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), and visually it also looks normal (just) north of the DMZ.' . . A Kuwaiti officer said his forces saw movement in the area. 'We have not seen tank transporters but we saw radars, rocket launchers, surface-to-air missiles and troops . . . heading to and around of Basra,' the officer told Reuters." On Jan 23, as Reuters reported, Kuwait's Foreign Minister said, "Our information is that it is an ordinary (Iraqi) build-up and one has to be cautious towards rumours and reports by news agencies and others." I. SADDAM SLAMS SAUDIS, KUWAIT Baghdad INA in Arabic 0750 GMT 23 Jan 99 [FBIS Translated Text] Baghdad, 23 Jan (INA)-His Excellency President Saddam Husayn has said that the United States, in coordination with Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, has been drawing up pricing policies with the aim of confronting OPEC's policy, particularly with respect to the issue of increasing prices. In an analysis entitled "For Whose Interest Is the Fluctuation in Oil Prices" published in today's issue of the newspaper al-Jumhuriyah, his excellency the president says that the Saudi rulers have caused great catastrophes for and violated the rights of Arabs ever since they started to serve as a bridge for the foreigner. He notes that any ruler who links his will to the foreigner becomes unable to see the vital interests of his people when they clash with those of the foreigner. Following is the text of the analysis written by His Excellency President Saddam Husayn: "Brothers: God can give and does give to whomever he wants in order to test him. And he can and does deprive whomever he wants in order to test him too. God has granted some countries in our nation, including Iraq, natural wealth in several forms, led by oil, which has paved the way for technical advancement. The bulk of scientific applications are related to oil and oil products. So, it is a good thing for the nation when it takes a firms stand. It can be a bad thing, however, when the nation uses it to burn its bridges and stain its chastity. The nation's will and consciousness should be present when the nation has to deal with oil, especially if the covetous foreigner is involved in it. "Let us move from general terms and be more specific. We would say: The Saudi rulers have caused great catastrophes for the Arab nation and violated its rights ever since they became a bridge to the foreigner. They also seriously harmed the people of Najd and Hejaz in the moral and practical aspects. Here is an example to this. The price per barrel of light Arab oil from 1973-74 until 1975 was around $30. After 24 years--that is now--it has dropped to less than $9 per barrel, which is quarter the price 24 years ago; that is, in 1974 and 1975. Here, we must take into consideration the factor of inflation in the prices of commodities, goods, and standard services, which have witnessed a great increase compared to the prices in 1975. Why has this happened? And what does it mean? "Any ruler who mortgages his will to the foreigner becomes unable to see his people's vital interests when they clash with the foreigner's interests. The only gain he gets is that he remains in power, believing that he will remain in power so long as the foreigner is satisfied with him and that he will certainly be removed from power if the foreigner is angered by any of his actions. Therefore, the subservient ruler not only loses his will to the foreigner but makes his people lose their will too when their interests clash with those of the foreigner. By doing this, the ruler believes he can dismiss the embarrassment such a clash may cause him. Therefore, the Saudi rulers were not only content to mortgage their oil in terms of production, marketing, and prices but also were deterred from transforming it into oil byproducts on a large scale. They were also deterred from exploration and investments with respect to all the other raw material and natural resources they have as it would reduce the importance of oil as a revenue-generating source. We have another example. Though it is well known that gold can be found in large and economic quantities in Najd and Hejaz, they did not explore it and did not earmark investments to mine and sell it. If this takes place, it would give the inhabitants of Hejaz a moral boost and enable them to confront the imperialist policy of the rulers. This will also enable the people of Najd and Hejaz to say: If we have so much capabilities and diversified resources, then why should we submit to the US oil policy? "By doing this, they act on behalf of the United States and Zionism to weaken any national and pan-Arab rule. This is so because any genuine national and pan-Arab rule will put them face to face with their people when a comparison of their policies is made. That's one of the reasons why they insist on antagonizing Iraq and its faithful national and pan-Arab leadership. This also explains why the Saudi rulers emphasize the need to disarm Iraq of its weapons, although this has been achieved. The existence of weapons that can establish some kind of balance with the Zionist entity will negate the saying that the only thing the Arabs, including their rulers, can do is to submit to the US-Zionist schemes because Israel has an edge over the Arabs. "There are many other examples. It became possible in the early seventies to increase the oil prices many fold after some Arabs under the pressure of the Arab masses had drawn attention to the possible use of the nation's oil resources in a national and pan-Arab manner against those who aligned themselves with the Zionist entity in the 1973 war against the Arabs. However, this did not last long as the United States reached agreement with Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and perhaps others on specific things, including the establishment of the International Atomic Energy Agency whose task was to formulate pricing policies to confront the OPEC policies and abort any attempt to raise prices by resorting to various means, such as securing a strategic oil reserve that would enable the United States to carry out its plans of keeping oil prices reasonable. The word reasonable is not a general term. The term reasonable prices mean they should be reasonable for the United States only and not for any other party. "In this way, the United States has started to practically control oil prices in the entire world to a large extent, and the prices were no longer affected by the law of supply and demand. Thus, it became capable of embroiling the oil-producing countries in a series of crises according to its strategy and Zionist desire. It resorted to fabricating a fluctuation in prices upward and downward at certain periods of time and whenever it wanted to do so. In 1986, real oil prices dropped to half the price in 1974 due to an intentional Saudi policy. The same happened in the subsequent years. Oil revenues became subject to fluctuation in terms of production and prices. This made any country which relies on oil revenues unable to draft a stable budget, including a budget for development and progress. "It made Saudi Arabia and Kuwait--in addition to other sides--resort to the pretext of increasing revenues by selling oil in excess of the quantities specified by OPEC. This measure was bound to increase the quantity of oil which was expected not be sold, and thus would lead to a drop in prices. This was very clear in OPEC agreement signed in Jakarta at the end of 1997, when Saudi Arabia exercised strong pressure on OPEC member states in order to significantly raise the production ceiling and implicitly approve of the violation of the production ceiling, which has led to a severe drop in oil prices ever since that time. It has also seriously harmed the interests of the member states and the Saudi people. So, prices drop when the United States and Zionism want them to based on their policy. This way, they increase their oil reserve or fill any shortages in this reserve. The oil reserve continued to increase until it reached 6 billion barrels at the end of 1998. "Thus, the prices go up at other times and for short periods of time. This does not allow oil coming from distant areas, including Arab oil, from reaching Western markets. In this case, only oil from the US reserve, which is basically Arab oil, can reach these markets. "Thus, the United States makes profits three times at the expense of the Arabs. Beside making profits by turning oil into oil and petrochemical byproducts and selling them at their set prices, it earns the difference between the real value of oil and the price it imposes for it at its markets as a result of the substantial revenues earned by the governments of the industrial nations in the form of taxes on the marketed oil products and the oil companies' profits. These taxes exceed by many times the prices of the crude oil marketed to it. "The United States also makes profits when it forces the oil prices into planned fluctuations in the markets. Therefore, it occasionally reaps the difference in prices between the state of relative stability and any increase that it decides in the oil prices for a specific period of time before the distant oil can reach the Western markets. In addition, this policy causes substantial confusion in world economic and financial markets. Naturally, the profits will be reaped by the party that plans and initiates this policy. This shows the volume of harm done to the Arab nation and the people in Saudi Arabia and Kuwaiti, and even the great harm done to humanity by this unpatriotic policy. It also shows how deeply the Arab nation and all of humanity are stabbed by the knives of the United States and Zionism. "We have no solution to propose as a first step but for the will of decisionmaking in these two countries to be activated and for it to look at the interests of the people and nation first and foremost so as to be able to do what should be done toward those people's national, pan-Arab, and human responsibilities." II. IRAQI PARLIAMENT TO HOLD EXTRAORDINARY SESSION Baghdad INA in Arabic 1050 GMT 23 Jan 99 [FBIS Translated Text] Baghdad, 23 Jan (INA)-The Iraqi National Assembly will hold an extraordinary session on Tuesday morning, 26 January. III. KUWAIT: IRAQ REINFORCES TROOPS IN SOUTH Iraq reinforces troops in south: Kuwait KUWAIT CITY, Jan 18 (AFP) - Iraq has boosted its military deployment in the south of the country but so far without posing a danger to neighbouring Kuwait, said the emirate's defence minister, who inspected Kuwaiti troops Monday. Sheikh Salem Sabah al-Salem al-Sabah, who is also deputy prime minister, said Kuwait must be ready for "all possibilities and dangers." In southern Iraq, Baghdad has reinforced its troops, including the elite Republican Guards, special units and missile launchers, Sheikh Salem said, quoted by the official news agency KUNA. The Iraqi deployment "does not constitute danger at the time being," said the defence minister, who also denied that Iraqi warplanes had violated Kuwaiti airspace. But he said Kuwait had "reinforced its self defensive capabilities to deter any possible threats." Sheikh Salem made the rounds of Kuwaiti troops on the Iraqi border and at an air base to check on their preparedness, the agency said. He "praised the level of readiness among Kuwaiti servicemen in various fields," KUNA said. Kuwait is not responsible for footing the bill of any western military build-up in the region, "except for hospitality necessities," the defence minister added. He also said the emirate had "its own methods" for dealing with any influx of Iraqi refugees in case of renewed military strikes, following last month's Desert Fox air and missile attacks by the United States and Britain. The Kuwaiti government on Sunday slammed Iraqi threats to scrap recognition of the UN-demarcated border between the two states as a breach of Security Council resolutions. Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tareq Aziz said last week that Baghdad refuses to apologise for its 1990 invasion of Kuwait, while the Iraqi parliament has called for the scrapping of UN resolutions including the border demarcation. Amid the Iraqi threats and protests over the border delineation, Kuwait put part of its army on maximum alert. Diplomats posted in Amman have said the United States and Britain were preparing to concentrate new military strikes on Iraq's southern "no-fly" zone, following Sunday's end of the Moslem holy month of Ramadan. Since Desert Fox, US warplanes have fired missiles at several air defence sites in the south and a similar exclusion zone in north Iraq, in retaliation for Iraqi efforts to shoot down patrolling US and British jets. On the ground, the deployment of Republican Guards has been boosted on the road from Baghdad to the southern capital of Basra since the air war, mainly to avert any southern uprising, according to the diplomats.