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From the news

*       Bombing on Sunday: "The mission is continuing" (Associated
*       Bombing on Saturday, 23 injured (Associated Press)
*       Question over Iraqi govt cooperation with the UN disarmament
panel (Associated Press)
*       Iraq, oil quotas and other Gulf States: articles from Agence
France-Presse and AP (extract)
*       UN approves donations for Iraqi pilgrimages of $2000 each
(Arabic News)
*       Iraq refutes report it failed to distribute medicine (Reuters)

F.Y.I. There is an article in today's [printed] Sunday Telegraph about
the recent riots following the assassination of the Shi'ite leader
Mohammed Sadiq al-Sader. On one hand the article underscores the
futility of current policy by talking about the regime growing fat from
the smuggling of oil. On the other hand, one gets the impression that if
sanctions have been maintained with the express (albeit covert) purpose
of driving people to the edge, the riots may be used (by the cynical) as
an argument that sanctions are starting to bear fruit... 

Iraqi Sites Attacked by US Fighters
Sunday, February 28, 1999; 8:46 a.m. EST

WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. Air Force F-15 fighters attacked Iraqi military
installations Sunday with bombs and missiles after planes patrolling the
northern no-fly zone came under anti-aircraft fire, a U.S. military
official said.  The planes fired three air-to-ground missiles and
dropped eight bombs -- three laser-guided bombs, two GBU-12
precision-guided bombs and three GBU-24 precision-guided bombs -- on
targets mostly around the city of Mosul, about 250 miles north of
Baghdad, said Air Force Capt. Mike Blass, a spokesman for the U.S.
European Command, which oversees the northern zone.  The attacks
occurred from about 1:55 p.m. to 2:20 p.m. local time (5:55 a.m. to 6:20
a.m. EST), said Blass, based in Stuttgart, Germany.  Targets fired upon
included an Iraqi air defense headquarters, a radio relay site and a
surface-to-air missile site, he said.  The mission was continuing, Blass

Iraq Reports Airstrikes Injure 23 
Saturday, February 27, 1999; 6:31 a.m. EST

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) -- Warplanes attacked southern Iraq early today,
injuring 23 people, the Iraqi armed forces said.  The statement did not
identify the nationality of aircraft, but used a phrase that the Iraqi
military frequently uses to refer to U.S. and British planes patrolling
the southern ``no-fly'' zone over Iraq.  The statement said ``black
ravens'' bombed military and civil installations in Maisan province,
around 200 miles south of Baghdad, causing the injury of 23 people.
There was no immediate comment from the U.S. or British military. The
Iraqi military, which frequently refers to U.S. and British planes as
``black ravens,'' did not say if the injured were civilians or military
personnel.  The statement said eleven formations of F-14, F-15 and F-18
aircraft ``carried out 28 sorties targeting civil and military targets
in Basra, Dhiqar, Maisan, Najaf and Muthana provinces.''All the
provinces are in southern Iraq. 

Iraqis Dismiss UN Disarmament Panel 
By Waiel Faleh, Associated Press Writer, Sunday, February 28, 1999; 4:38
a.m. EST

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) -- Iraq will not cooperate with three panels set up
by the United Nations to assess the country's progress on disarmament,
its humanitarian needs and the fate of missing Kuwaitis, Iraq's oil
minister said Sunday.  The Security Council agreed to form the study
panels in January in a modest first step to break the diplomatic logjam
over Iraq.  The head of the disarmament panel, Brazilian U.N. Ambassador
Celso Amorim, said Friday that Iraq seemed ready to cooperate with his
panel after Baghdad provided it with a thick file of information and
invited Amorim to visit.  But Iraqi Oil Minister Mohammed Rashid, a
senior Iraqi negotiator on disarmament, insisted Iraq would not work
with the panels.  ``Our position is very clear,'' he told a news
conference. ``We will not deal with any decision where Iraq was not
consulted and did not take part in the consultation leading to that
decision.''  ``These panels, we will not deal with. They do not concern
us,'' he said.  Rashid again complained that a U.N. committee was
holding up the import of spare parts needed to revamp Iraq's dilapidated
oil industry. Under a U.N. exemption, Iraq can export $5.2 billion in
oil every six months to buy humanitarian goods -- a target that
currently exceeds Iraq's production capacity. 

Iraq wants its pre-1990 OPEC quota at expense of Saudi Arabia 
15:27 GMT, 27 February 1999

BAGHDAD, Feb 27 (AFP) -Iraq said on Saturday that it will ask OPEC next
month to restore its pre-sanctions oil production quota at the expense
of Saudi Arabia. Oil ministry undersecretary Sami Sharif told the
newspaper Al-Iraq that the request would be lodged at the OPEC
ministerial meeting in Vienna on March 23. "Iraq has the right to claim
back its quota" of 3.14 million barrels a day (b/d), as it stood before
UN sanctions were imposed on Iraq for its August 1990 invasion of
Kuwait, he said. To make up for the loss of Iraqi oil, Saudi Arabia
raised its output from 5.4 million b/d to more than eight million b/d,
while the output of the United Arab Emirates was increased to two
million b/d, from 1.5 million b/d.

Iraq Seeks Oil Compensation 
By Waiel Faleh, Associated Press Writer, Saturday, February 27, 1999;
1:58 p.m. EST


BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) -- Iraq wants compensation from Saudi Arabia and
Kuwait for profits they have reaped from increased oil sales while Iraq
was under U.N. trade sanctions, a senior Iraqi official was quoted as
saying Saturday.  Deputy Oil Minister Sami Sharif told the state-run
Al-Iraq daily that: ``Iraq has the right to demand compensation from the
Saudi and Kuwaiti governments for its share, which the two countries
benefited from in the last period.'' 

According to a recent U.N. report, Iraq is producing close to 2.5
million barrels and exporting about 2.07 million barrels a day. Before
the invasion of Kuwait, which sparked the 1991 Gulf War, Iraq produced
3.5 million barrels a day.  In January, the government-run Al-Jumhuriya
newspaper published a commentary from President Saddam Hussein accusing
Saudi Arabia and Kuwait of flooding the oil market, leading to low world
prices.  Last Wednesday, Iraq's Parliament demanded that Saudi Arabia
reduce its crude oil production to bolster prices. Iraq has said it will
demand at the March meeting of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting
Countries that Saudi Arabia reduce its output by 2 million barrels a

Low prices have made it difficult for Iraq to benefit fully from the
U.N.-approved oil-for-food program, which is an exception from the
sanctions. The program allows Iraq to sell up to $5.2 billion worth of
oil every six months to buy needed food and medicine.  At current
prices, Iraq is barely able to sell $3 billion worth of oil every six

UN approves donations for Iraqi pilgrimages of $2000 each
Arabic News, Iraq, Religion, 2/26/99

Members of the UN Security Council have approved a proposal permitting
Iraqi pilgrims to receive sums via a neutral international organization
in order to be able to perform al-Haj (pilgrimage) rituals for this
year. The Dutch ambassador at the UN, Peter van Walsum, who also
presides over the UN Sanctions Committee on Iraq told journalists
following a meeting of the committee that he will convey the UN Security
Council proposal to the Iraqi ambassador to the UN, Saeed Hassan. Van
Walsum added the sums which will be distributed among 22,000 Iraqi
pilgrims are estimated at US $44 million, on the grounds that each
pilgrim will receive US $2,000. The Dutch ambassador said the UN
authorities believe that transferring this sum directly to Iraqi banks
is illegal and that these sums will be, instead, paid to a third party,
which will arrange to distribute the sums among the Iraqi pilgrims
before they leave Iraq. Van Walsum did not identify the third party, but
it is expected that this third party will cover groups like the Red
Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

Iraq refutes report it failed to distribute medicine
February 25, 1999 

BAGHDAD (Reuters) -- Iraq on Thursday refuted a United Nations report
that it had failed to distribute large quantities of medical supplies
bought under the U.N. "oil-for-food" programme. "The claim that Iraq is
distributing only 50 percent of the medicine bought under the memorandum
of understanding is an attempt to paralyze the human conscience," the
Iraqi News Agency quoted a source at the Health Ministry as saying.
"Supply of the materials that have arrived in Iraq takes place after
quality control tests, with the keeping of a reserve of the materials
for an emergency."  The keeping of reserves was prudent given delays in
the arrival of materials for the next stages of the oil-for-food deal,
the source said.  Iraq often complains of delays, accusing the United
States and Britain of impeding endorsement of deals to bring the
humanitarian supplies into the country. 

The United Nations complained on Tuesday that Iraq had failed to
distribute large quantities of medical supplies bought under the
oil-for-food programme and that $275 million worth was in warehouses at
the end of January.  Under the latest phase of the deal approved by the
Security Council on November 26, Iraq was permitted to sell $5.256
billion worth of oil over 180 days to buy food, medicine and other goods
to help offset the effects of sanctions in effect since its 1990
invasion of Kuwait.  But because of the fall in oil prices, estimates
put the total projected revenue for that period at $2.9 billion. 

After deductions including more than 30 percent of the total to cover
reparations and other costs stemming from the Gulf War, about $1.8
billion would be available to finance humanitarian supplies and $300
million worth of spare parts authorized by the United Nations for Iraq's
dilapidated oil industry.  This would means a shortfall of some $950
million in relation to a distribution plan for food, medicine and other
goods approved in December. 

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