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U.S. Representative says "We don't expect the Butler road map to be met".

New York Times, 17th June 1998.

U.N. Aides Remain Wary on Iraq


UNITED NATIONS -- Officials here cautioned on Tuesday that although the
chief U.N. arms inspector succeeded at the weekend in setting a list of
immediate goals for Iraq to meet before an eight-year embargo on oil sales
could be lifted, other, more difficult, issues remained.

 Nizar Hamdoon, Iraq's representative at the United Nations,
said in an interview on Tuesday that the inspector, Richard Butler,
had laid out in Baghdad exactly what Iraq needed to do to come into
compliance with Security Council resolutions. Iraq welcomed the move,
Hamdoon said, and has pledged cooperation. 

"He provided a final list, and that's important," Hamdoon said. "And
they have agreed on a time frame for the different activities." 

But diplomats here and in the Middle East say Butler never
intended to predict that by early August Iraq would meet the
conditions for ending sanctions. The first assessment of Iraqi compliance
will be made in August, almost exactly eight years after Iraq's
invasion of Kuwait. The sanctions are due to be reviewed in October. 

There are now concerns among diplomats that Iraq will try to turn any
cooperation into proof that it has met all demands, as it did when
it allowed diplomats and inspectors to conduct pro forma inspections
of presidential palaces earlier this year.

 U.N. officials said that in talks with the Iraqis last weekend Butler
decided to focus over the next two months on straightforward disarmament
measures -- the handing over of weapons parts still unaccounted for in
biological, chemical and missile programs. 

This would set aside for later the larger questions of documentation
involving areas of official decision-making, especially on Iraqi
concealment policies, which inspectors say were deliberate attempts
to confuse and confound their work. 

Also put aside for the moment are demands for proof that 300 tons of
missile fuel has been destroyed, according to diplomats who spoke
to Reuters in Baghdad. Butler's team has said the fuel was
suitable only for Scud-type missiles. Iraq insists it has other uses. 

Bill Richardson, the U.S. representative at the United Nations, and
other diplomats said Tuesday that the order in which Iraq approached
its tasks did not change the reality that it had a way to go before it
could resume selling oil, and even further to go before the broader
trade embargo would be lifted completely. Iraq will also remain under
international scrutiny for an indefinite period after sanctions are

"In our view, based on UNSCOM's last briefing with the Security Council,
Iraq has a long way to go to fully comply with the disarmament provisions
relating to chemical and biological weapons," Richardson said in an
interview, referring to the U.N. Special Commission, which Butler leads. 

The Iraqis are good at rhetoric about complying, but when it comes
to fulfilling their commitments they are always woefully short. We
don't expect the Butler road map to be met." 

Butler, who is on his way to Australia from the Middle East, was not
available for comment Tuesday.

Officials said that he would submit a report on his talks in
Baghdad to the Security Council by the end of the week and that it
would outline his program of action. It is expected to detail the
timetable of action for the period before the next half-yearly sanctions
review in October. 

On Tuesday, Iraqi officials said that Butler and UNSCOM had "finally shown
flexibility," and they tried to turn Butler's more conciliatory,
methodical approach into progress, if not victory, even in the most
difficult area, biological weapons. 

"We agreed on a new approach, a practical approach, within the context of
disarmament to address the biological file," Tariq Aziz, the Iraqi deputy
prime minister who negotiates with Butler, said on Tuesday in Baghdad,
where an Egyptian trade fair opened -- a signal of Iraq's hopes. 

Iraq, which when not promising compliance is denying that it has any
disarming left to do, is pressing hard for some lifting of sanctions --
at least the bar on oil sales -- in October. 

Hamdoon confirmed Tuesday that his government decided last week
not to accept any more relief aid from U.S. or other foreign groups
that have been willing to defy sanctions if necessary to import
medicines and other commodities for Iraqis suffering from sanctions.
Iraq asked its friends abroad to lobby against sanctions instead. 

Russia, Iraq's strongest supporter on the Security Council, seemed
to take a less optimistic view of the Baghdad talks. In Moscow on
Tuesday, a Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman, Vladimir Rakhmanin, told
reporters that the meetings between Butler and Aziz had been "tense." 

A special Russian presidential envoy for the Middle East was sent
to Baghdad this week to hold his own meetings with Iraqi leaders.
The envoy, Victor Posuvalyuk, played an important role earlier this
year in defusing a crisis that led to a U.S. war buildup in the Persian
Gulf and ultimately to the visit by U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan to

Some Security Council members are questioning whether the United
States, with a range of international crises to confront, will be able to
give much attention to Iraq if Butler runs into trouble again with
Baghdad. On May 26 the Pentagon announced that half its forces in
the gulf area would be withdrawn. 

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