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>From the BBC. Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz's letter to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan. Your Excellency, this morning, your personal representative Prakash Shah told me that he was informed that a decision was made to evacuate all the staff of Unscom and the IAEA from Baghdad today, and as a precautionary measure, unnecessary employees working in the humanitarian programme in Iraq will be evacuated. I would like to explain the following: "The Government of Iraq has not asked Unscom or the IAEA to leave Iraq. Moreover, the decision of the Iraqi Government issued on 31 October allows the IAEA to continue its work in the field of monitoring. The reasons for taking this measures were not explained to us, and we were not told which party has made this decision. In light of the US threats to wage military aggression against Iraq without any authorisation from the Security Council, this Unscom decision proves once again and beyond any doubt that Unscom acts upon the orders of the US Government, and co-ordinates its activities in Iraq with this government. This confirms what we have always said in our letters to you and to the Security Council, as well as in our statements, about the connection between Unscom and the United States. The claim that Unscom is a subsidiary agency belonging to the Security Council and that it is a UN agency cannot be supported by facts on the ground. This is a mere deceptive cover.. These developments entail a great responsibility for the Security Council and for you, according to the charter. We hope that these developments will be dealt with according to these responsibilities. Please convey the text of this letter to the president and members of the Security Council. - Clinton's speech today (bizarrely enough, threatening to start a war whilst supposedly commemorating the First World War dead): Reversing Iraq's decision and getting Unscom back on the job remains the most effective way to uncover, destroy and prevent Iraq from reconstituting weapons of mass destruction and the missiles to deliver them. But, if the inspectors are not permitted to visit suspect sites or monitor compliance at known production facilities, they may as well be in Baltimore, not Baghdad. That would open a window of opportunity for Iraq to rebuild its arsenal of weapons and delivery systems in months. I say again, in months, not years. A failure to respond could embolden Saddam to act recklessly, signalling to him that he can with impunity develop these weapons of mass destruction or threaten his neighbours. In an age when we look forward to weapons of mass destruction being a significant threat to civilised people everywhere, it would permanently damage the credibility of the United Nations Security Council to act as a force for promoting international peace and security. We continue to hope, indeed pray, that Saddam will comply, but we must be prepared to act if he does not. -- ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- This is a discussion list run by Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To be removed/added, email email@example.com, NOT the whole list. Archived at http://linux.clare.cam.ac.uk/~saw27/casi/discuss.html