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---------- Forwarded message ---------- Date: Sat, 14 Nov 1998 15:31:24 +0000 (GMT) From: Rania Masri <firstname.lastname@example.org> NOTE: THe sanctions have to end for Iraq to have peace. ________________________________________________________________________ Iraq to Allow Inspections to Resume Saturday, November 14, 1998; 10:17 a.m. EST BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) -- Iraq will allow U.N. weapons inspections to resume without conditions, U.N. special envoy Prakash Shah said Saturday, likely averting a U.S. military attack. Shah said Iraqi President Saddam Hussein sent a letter to U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan saying that the work of inspectors from the U.N. Special Commission and the International Atomic Energy Agency at suspected weapons sites could resume. There are ``no conditions ... in this letter,'' Shah said. ``The point ... is that the leadership of Iraq has decided to resume working with UNSCOM and IAEA and allow them to perform their normal duties,'' Shah said at a news conference. Saddam's decision will probably defuse the crisis over arms inspections that has led to threatened American attacks on Iraq and a buildup of U.S. military forces in the Gulf. Iraq's U.N. ambassador, Nizar Hamdoon, said Friday that Annan had sent a letter to Saddam. He said he didn't know the contents, but Western diplomats said it would repeat Annan's urgent appeal Wednesday to resume cooperation with the inspectors immediately. It was understood in Baghdad that the letter contained a personal pledge by Annan to work for the lifting of U.N. sanctions on Iraq if the weapons inspectors were allowed to go back to work. Iraq had demanded that the U.N. Security Council, in offering a comprehensive review of the U.N. arms inspections, specifically say that review was designed to end the sanctions, which ban Iraq's free export of oil and have devastated the country's economy. Such a promise from Annan would be less than a Security Council pledge, but it could offer Iraq a way out of the current crisis as an American attack on the country appeared more and more likely. The news of the breakthrough came after statements Friday by both Saddam and President Clinton appeared to offer little way out of the crisis. On Saturday, Iraqi newspapers appealed for Arab help in the event an attack was launched, and Iraqis took to the streets in government-organized demonstrations backing Saddam. ``With our blood and souls we shall defend you, Saddam,'' chanted members of the ruling Baath Party, while at another demonstration Iraqi workers trampled on and burned American and Israeli flags. In his statement Friday, Saddam made clear that nothing less than a pledge to lift U.N. sanctions would end the standoff. Saddam insisted he was not trying to create a crisis with his decisions in August and last month to block the searches by U.N. inspectors for hidden weapons. Referring to Iraq's insistence that it see a path toward ending U.N. trade sanctions, Saddam declared: ``Iraq will accept positively any initiative that meets these just and balanced demands.'' But Clinton declared the standoff would only end when Iraq resumed its cooperation with the U.N. Special Commission. The Security Council says the trade sanctions, which limit the sale of Iraqi oil, cannot be lifted until the inspectors certify that Iraq has destroyed those weapons. (c) Copyright 1998 The Associated Press -- ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- 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