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]

Butler sends Ritter back to Iraq

 Butler sends Ritter back to Iraq 

 South News March 5

 BAGHDAD: Controversial American weapons inspector Scott Ritter, 
 accused by Iraq of spying and the centre of a crisis over arms 
 inspections in January, arrived back in Iraq on Thursday.

 Chief weapons inspector Richard Butler ordered Scott Ritter and his team
 back into Iraq, said Allen Dacey, the inspectors' spokesman in Baghdad
 in an early test of Iraq's pledge to comply with the inspection regime.

 Ritter left Baghdad in January after Iraq blocked the work of
 his inspection team, saying it was dominated by Americans
 and Britons and showed ``flagrant evidence'' of imbalance. 

 Amir al-Saadi, an adviser at Iraq's Presidential Office, said
 Iraq wanted UNSCOM to complete its inspections of all
 Iraqi sites in 1998, and accused UNSCOM chairman Richard
 Butler of being dishonest and biased. 

 Al-Saadi said Butler, an Australian, lacked ``the diplomatic tact 
 and leniency'' of Rolf Ekeus, his Swedish predecessor. 

 ``He (Butler) has openly adopted a hostile stand towards Iraq. His press
 statements are hostile and provocative,'' al-Saadi said. 

 His comments were carried by al-Zawra weekly issued by the Iraqi
 Journalists Syndicate. 

 Asked if he wanted to see Butler out of office, al-Saadi said: 
``I hope that will happen tomorrow because he is biased, dishonest 
 and his statements and practices do not represent the United Nations.'' 

 However He added that Iraq will cooperate with Butler. 

 He said if Butler and his inspectors honored their part of the deal,
 the elimination of the country's long-range missiles and weapons of mass
 destruction could be completed by the end of this year, paving the 
 way for the lifting of the sanctions. 

 Iraq has accused Ritter, a U.S. marine officer during the
 1991 Gulf War, of spying, and Iraqi officials have repeatedly
 denounced him. 

 Ritter's visit comes just 10 days after U.N. Secretary
 General Kofi Annan clinched an accord with Deputy Prime
 Minister Tareq Aziz to defuse a crisis over access for the
 UNSCOM inspectors to eight so-called presidential sites. 

 U.S. forces have been kept in the Gulf and U.S. officials say
 that a U.N. resolution warning Iraq of ``severest
 consequences'' if it blocks the inspectors has given the
 United States a green light for punitive military strikes. 
 But council members Russia, France and China, insist the resolution 
 does not authorize military action. 

 Ritter has frequently been at the center of rows between
 Iraq and UNSCOM, particularly since the inspectors stepped
 up visits since 1996 to sites which Iraq considers sensitive
 to its national sovereignty and security. 

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]