The following is an archived copy of a message sent to a Discussion List run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.

Views expressed in this archived message are those of the author, not of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.

[Main archive index/search] [List information] [Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq Homepage]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Iraq again says 8 presidential sites open to inspection (fwd)

---------- Forwarded message ----------

 Iraq again says 8 presidential sites open to inspection
 10.07 a.m. ET (1504 GMT) February 11, 1998

 By Mariam Sami, Associated Press

 CAIRO, Egypt (AP)  Baghdad is  prepared to open eight vast presidential
 complexes to inspection for a limited  time, Iraq's foreign minister said
 today  reviving a proposal similar to one rejected earlier by the United

 Inspectors appointed by the U.N.  secretary-general would have two
 months to "search the sites, inch by inch, inside the buildings, the
 gardens ...  everywhere,'' Foreign Minister Mohammed Saeed al-Sahhaf

 Iraq's U.N. Ambassador Nizar Hamdoon outlined a similar proposal
 earlier this month. The United States rejected that proposal.

 Britain quickly rejected the latest Iraqi offer today. "The
 suggestions they are putting do not fulfill the U.N. Security Council
 resolutions,'' a Foreign Office spokesman said, speaking on
 condition of anonymity.

 Washington objects to a time constraint and insists the team should
 be comprised of the same inspectors working since 1991 to
 dismantle Iraqi programs to build weapons of mass destruction
 rather than handpicked representatives of U.N. Secretary-General
 Kofi Annan.

 The United States threatens to use military force if Iraq refuses to
 comply. To bolster that threat, the United States has increased its
 military presence in the Persian Gulf region. Some 25,000 troops
 are deployed there now, said Navy Capt. Michael Doubleday, a
 Pentagon spokesman.

 Al-Sahhaf's visit to Cairo to meet with President Hosni Mubarak
 was part of a concerted effort by Saddam Hussein's envoys to
 persuade Arab neighbors to press for a compromise over the
 inspections. Saddam's envoys were seeking and mostly getting
 Arab backing to head off any attack by the United States.

 "When we say eight we are actually saying all the sites in Iraq,''
 al-Sahhaf said. He said each site contained several buildings. He did
 not clarify his statement.

 U.N. officials list up to 63 sites where Iraq has barred arms
 inspectors including 40-plus palaces. The inspectors must certify
 that Iraq has eliminated its weapons of mass destruction before
 trade sanctions imposed after Iraq's 1990 invasion of Kuwait can be
 lifted. The eight sites referred to in the earlier Iraqi proposal
 represented only a small fraction of  Saddam's palaces. Only Saddam's inner
 circle knows how many exist. Dozens  have been built for the president and
 his family, many after the Persian Gulf  War.

 Speaking after talks with Mubarak, al-Sahhaf said much of the latest
 proposal, brokered by France and Russia, was based on Iraqi ideas.

 Iraq is "doing everything to make sure political and diplomatic efforts
succeed  in averting a military clash,'' al-Sahhaf  said.

 Iraq's ruling party newspaper,  Al-Thawra, predicted today that
 Washington would ignore whatever backing is given Iraq.

 "Washington has tried to mislead the world community that it has
 run out of diplomatic options and that there is no good in discussing
 any initiative introduced to boost diplomatic efforts,'' the paper said.

 "Washington was determined from the beginning to use force. It
 triggered the crisis for this purpose,'' it said.

This is a discussion list run by Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.
To be removed/added, email, NOT the
whole list. Archived at

[Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq Homepage]