5 February 1996


Press Release
IK/192
SC/6172



IRAQ SANCTIONS COMMITTEE CONSIDERS VARIOUS REQUESTS CONCERNING AIRCRAFT, SHIP IMPROVEMENT AND REPAIR



At the 132nd meeting held on 1 February, the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 661 (1990), which is monitoring the sanctions against Iraq, approved a request for a technical inspection to be carried out by a team of Air France technicians of two Iraqi aircraft based at Tozeur, Tunisia. The Committee's approval was based on the confirmation from France that the sole purpose of the proposed inspection was to evaluate the condition of the aircraft, free of charge, and that no repairs were to be involved.

The Committee took note of a report, submitted in response to its request, on the status of the three vessels Shaima, Lett I and Fair Sky which had been intercepted and diverted by the Multinational Interception Force (MIF). The Committee decided to address letters to the governments of the concerned States to which the seized vessels had been diverted and request information on further action taken by them in that connection. It was also decided to inform the United Nations Compensation Commission (UNCC) of the developments, as it had requested information on the matter from the Committee.

Further to a request for guidance regarding the disposal of an impounded vessel and its cargo, the view of the Committee was that the matter fell under national jurisdiction. However, the concerned authorities should ensure that Iraq derived no economic benefit from such a sale. Any claims adjudicated in favour of Iraq or persons acting for or on behalf of Iraq should be paid into a blocked account, in accordance with the provisions of Security Council resolution 661 (1990), with the possibility of voluntary contributions to the United Nations escrow account.

The Committee acceded to a request for repair of Iraqi vessels in an Italian port on the basis of a detailed study that certified the intended basic services were aimed at averting an environmental and navigational hazard. With regard to the suggested method of payment, the Committee was of the view that a barter deal under resolution 661 (1990), and the direct release of frozen Iraqi funds under paragraph 11 of Security Council resolution 778 (1992), were both prohibited.

The Committee considered two communications from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) for permission to maintain spare parts on


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helicopters used in a previous aerial pest control campaign in Iraq and to be used again to conduct an operation of the same kind. While acknowledging the importance of FAO activities, the Committee deferred a decision pending submission of additional information on the matter.

Further to the transparency package adopted in August 1995, the Committee decided, as recommended by the Security Council, that its Chairman would give an oral briefing after each meeting to all interested Members of the United Nations about the work of the Committee. (See Press Release IK/190-SC/6171 issued 2 February.)

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