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Iraq Sanctions: What's US Policy?

This contains some 'useful' quotes from US officials about when sanctions
would be lifted

Institute for Public Accuracy
(202) 347-0020  *
915 National Press Building, Washington, D.C. 20045
Thursday, November 12, 1998
     Whether the United States bombs Iraq or not, there are reports that
the U.S. is changing its policy to a more sanctions-based approach. While
many are claiming that Iraq would be rid of the sanctions if it complied
with the weapons inspections, an examination of U.S. policymakers'
statements since the Gulf War suggests otherwise:
April 3, 1991: U.N. Security Council passes Resolution 687. It includes
many demands but states that once Iraq complies with the weapons
inspection regime, the sanctions "shall have no further force or effect."
May 20, 1991: James Baker, Secretary of State: "We are not interested in
seeing a relaxation of sanctions as long as Saddam Hussein is in power."
January 13, 1993: Incoming President Clinton: "If he [Hussein] wants a
different relationship with the United States and the United Nations, all
he has to do is change his behavior."
January 14, 1993: Clinton backtracks: "There is no difference between my
policy and the policy of the present Administration.... I have no
intention of normalizing relations with him."
January 12, 1995: While inspections were taking place, Ambassador
Madeleine Albright said the U.S. was "determined to oppose any
modification of the sanctions regime until Iraq has moved to comply with
all its outstanding obligations." She specifically cited the return of
Kuwaiti weaponry and non-military equipment.
March 26, 1997: Albright, in her first major foreign policy address as
Secretary of State: "We do not agree with the nations who argue that if
Iraq complies with its obligations concerning weapons of mass destruction,
sanctions should be lifted. Our view, which is unshakable, is that Iraq
must prove its peaceful intentions.... And the evidence is overwhelming
that Saddam Hussein's intentions will never be peaceful."
November 14, 1997: Clinton: [When Iraq broke the inspections regime] "What
he has just done is to ensure that the sanctions will be there until the
end of time or as long as he lasts."
November 14, 1997: National Security Adviser Sandy Berger: "He can't be in
compliance if he's thrown the UNSCOM people out. So it's a necessary
condition. It may not be a sufficient condition."
December 16, 1997: Clinton on Hussein's actions: "I think that he felt
probably that the United States would never vote to lift the sanctions on
him no matter what he did..."
August 20, 1997: Ambassador Bill Richardson: "Sanctions may stay on in
September 15, 1998: Martin Indyk, Assistant Secretary of State, claims
"the Security Council resolutions provide in very specific terms for the
lifting of sanctions when Iraq has fully complied with all the Security
Council resolutions."
November 10, 1998: State Department spokesperson James Rubin states that
sanctions will not be altered until after Iraq complies with U.N.
resolutions "...including on Kuwaiti prisoners, Kuwaiti equipment, and, in
short, demonstrating his peaceful intentions..." Later, Rubin states: "The
Security Council has set out a very simple path to resolve this situation.
And all it requires is him doing what he agreed to do, cooperating with

Experts available on the current Iraq crisis and the sanctions:
Executive director, Middle East Children's Alliance
Ghareeb is co-author of "War in the Gulf 1990-91: The Iraq-Kuwait
Conflict and its Implications" (Oxford University Press, 1997)
Editor,  Middle East Report
Media director of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee
Professor of Nutrition at University of Massachusetts; team
leader for several Food and Agricultural Organization missions.
Professor of clinical international nursing at Columbia
University; chairperson of the human rights committee of the
American Public Health Association. He has studied the effects of
the sanctions on Iraq.
More information is available on the effects of sanctions at
A more complete time-line is available as of Nov. 13 at or from IPA.
For more information, contact the Institute for Public Accuracy: 
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020 or (202) 332-5055; David Zupan, (541)

Sam Husseini                  
Institute for Public Accuracy           Tel: 202-347-0020 
915 National Press Building             Fax: 202-347-0290
Washington, DC 20045          
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