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Dear casi-discuss subscribers, Below are three news items which relate to Iraq's decision made earlier today to halt all dealings with the UNSCOM inspectors (previously they had allowed monitoring operations to continue). Apologies for the lack of news items on this list over the last month. During this weekend I will send out a selection of items relating to events over last month, so don't panic if today and tomorrow you get rather more messages from this list than you were expecting! best wishes, Seb P.S. Don't forget to see below... ________________________________________________________________________ Iraq Halts Dealings with Inspectors Saturday, October 31, 1998; 7:31 a.m. EST BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) -- Iraq announced today it is halting all dealings with U.N. arms inspectors, who are charged with investigating the country's weapons of mass destruction. The decision came after a meeting between Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, his top advisers and leaders of his ruling Baath Party. Iraq said its action reflected its displeasure with Friday's decision by the U.N. Security Council to review Iraq's compliance with U.N. resolutions -- but without the guarantee that Iraq had demanded that this would lead to a lifting of trade sanctions. However, Iraq said the International Atomic Energy Agency will be allowed to continue monitoring compliance on its nuclear program. The sanctions, imposed after Iraq's 1990 invasion of Kuwait, cannot be lifted until the U.N. Special Commission certifies that Iraq has eliminated its biological and chemical weapons and long-range missiles. Iraq's action today was the latest salvo in an ongoing dipute with Western powers over the inspections. ``The joint meeting decided to halt all kinds of dealings with the Special Commission and its chief and stop all their activities inside Iraq, including the monitoring, starting from today,'' a government statement said. The action is the latest step Iraq has taken to reduce cooperation with the United Nation. Earlier this year, Iraq backed down and permitted inspections under threat of a U.S. attack. On Aug. 5, Iraq suspended inspections by both the Special Commission and the nuclear teams that were searching for new sites that might contain illegal weapons. However, inspection teams were allowed to conduct other activities. Today's statement demanded that in future any material collected by the Vienna-based IAEA be kept separate from weapons inspectors. It also urged the Security Council to fire inspections chief Richard Butler, whom Iraq has repeatedly accused of working on behalf of the United States to prolong the trade sanctions. The statement by the Iraqi leadership said that its decision to halt cooperation would hold ``until the United Nations looks at the issue in an honest and positive way, leading to Iraq's rights to the lifting of the unjust sanctions.'' Iraq has repeatedly said the U.N. teams included too many Americans and Britons and accused some of being spies. On Friday, the Security Council had agreed on the broad outlines of a review of Iraq's compliance with U.N. resolutions. The decision ignored Russian and Chinese support for Iraqi demands that the review must lead to the lifting of the sanctions, which bar the export of Iraq's main commodity, oil. Diplomats said that even if the council ultimately determines that Iraq has fully complied with all U.N. resolutions, a separate review of sanctions would need to be held by the council. In periodic reviews since 1990, the council has maintained sanctions in light of evidence that Iraq continues to conceal elements of its weapons programs, most recently biological weapons. (c) Copyright 1998 The Associated Press ---------- Forwarded message ---------- Saturday October 31 11:47 AM EDT U.N. Council Calls Emergency Session On Iraq UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - The U.N. Security Council called an emergency session for Saturday afternoon to discuss Iraq's announcement it was halting all dealings with most U.N. arms inspectors. U.N. spokesman Fred Eckhard said closed door council consultations will begin at 4 p.m. EST. Iraq announced Saturday it was breaking ties with the U.N. special commission (UNSCOM) in charge of dismantling its biological, chemical and ballistic weapons. The decision was made at a meeting led by President Saddam Hussein. Iraq on Aug. 5 had already barred UNSCOM from inspecting new sites but it had allowed a crucial monitoring program to continue. The new decision also ends the monitors' work, which includes maintaining cameras to make sure Iraq does not reacquire weapons of mass destruction. UNSCOM's executive chairman Richard Butler, the main focus of Iraq's latest attacks, is in California and will be heading to the United Nations shortly. His deputy, Charles Duelfer, has called a telephone conference with UNSCOM staff in Baghdad. ---------- Forwarded message ---------- Source: Laurie Mylroie <email@example.com> Organization: Information for Democracy Oct. 31, 1998 Text of Iraqi Statement Announcing Suspension of Monitoring (AP, oct. 31) Lifting sanctions is a great national humanitarian mission. Iraq has dealt with the Security Council resolutions since they were issued and complied with all related resolutions, although they were unjust. But this bitter experience, which lasted eight years, has proved that America and its agents are controlling issues connected to this problem, moving it with a clear target that is harming Iraq and the Arab nation. Iraq has been tolerant, patient, dealt diplomatically with all attempts and communications which were supposed to lead to the lifting of sanctions. But the sanctions were not lifted. Events this year have exposed two additional dangerous facts. The first is the American lies about the presidential sites, which almost led to a destructive war. The second is the dirty game that was played by the Special Commission and its head in cooperation with America about the VX claims. When the truth came out through neutral laboratories in France and Switzerland, the head of the commission did not admit the fact but kept requesting of Iraq more explanations with the intention of prolonging and misleading. No act was taken against (UNSCOM chief Richard) Butler, which should have been taken because of his lies and playing with facts. Iraq was disappointed because lifting of the sanctions didn't go in a normal fashion. The latest of these is what happened lately at the Security Council under clear pressure from America to reject Iraq's rights in explaining its compliance in the implementation of Security Council Resolutions, especially Paragraph C from Resolution 687, which is supposed to lead to the lifting of sanctions. Until the U.N. looks at the issue in an honest and positive way leading to Iraq's right to the lifting of the unjust sanctions, and until the U.N. takes firm measures by firing the president of the Special Commission, Butler, and the reconstruction of the Special Commission to make it a neutral and professional and international organization distant from spying and intentionally harming (Iraq) and serving America, the meeting decides: The joint meeting decided to halt all kinds of dealings with the Special Commission and its chief and stop all their activities inside Iraq, including the monitoring starting from today. This does not include the International Atomic Energy Agency. They can continue their monitoring work as per the leadership decision on Aug. 5 as long as these activities are done independently of the Special Commission. -- ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- This is a discussion list run by Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. 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