The following is an archived copy of a message sent to a Discussion List run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.

Views expressed in this archived message are those of the author, not of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.

[Main archive index/search] [List information] [Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq Homepage]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Articles from the news

*       Iraq ordered to pay war damages to Israel (Associated Press)
*       Iraq proposals divided into three camps (Associated Press)
*       Iraqi-Iranian talks marred by issue of missing prisoners (Arabic
*       Iraq economists back privatization as means to resuscitate the
economy (Associated Press)
*       Martin Indyk: Saddam could be toppled soon (Associated Press)
*       Iraq Preparing New Sanctions Policy (Associated Press)
*       U.S. Rejects Iraq Investment Plan (Associated Press)
*       UN approves vaccine to save Iraqi livestock (Reuters)

Israelis Awarded Iraq Compensation 
Thursday, April 15, 1999; 11:17 a.m. EDT

JERUSALEM (AP) -- Some 68 Israeli companies will share over $31 million
in compensation for damage they sustained during the 1991 Gulf War,
Israel's Justice Ministry said Thursday. The money comes from a U.N.
committee established in 1991 to compensate individuals and businesses
harmed by Iraq during the war. The committee draws its funds from Iraqi
oil revenues. 

The decision by the Geneva-based committee, announced Tuesday,
represents the first time the fund has compensated Israeli companies.
Previous awards have been made to individual Israelis. Nearly $31.5
million will go to 68 Israeli companies that sustained damage when Iraq
unleashed 40 Scud missiles on the Jewish state. 

The largest award among those going to companies is nearly $5.7 million;
the smallest, nearly $2,000. Requests from another 17 companies were
rejected; another 39 are awaiting a decision. The committee also granted
13 individuals a total of about $231,000. Nearly $900,000 has already
been awarded to Israelis. 

Three Camps Discuss Iraq Proposals 
By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press Writer, Thursday, April 15, 1999;
5:19 a.m. EDT

UNITED NATIONS (AP) -- Three main camps have emerged within the U.N.
Security Council as it struggles to develop a new relationship with
Iraq, an indication that no consensus is near, diplomats said. Few
people had expected negotiations on resuming U.N. weapons inspections in
Iraq to proceed smoothly or quickly in the wake of the U.S. and British
airstrikes in December and Iraq's demand that sanctions be lifted
immediately. But the varying approaches under discussion indicate how
big the disputes are, and how little the 15 members have come together
in the past four months. 

U.N. weapons inspectors pulled out of Iraq on Dec. 15, a day before the
United States and Britain started a four-day bombing blitz blamed on
Iraq's failure to cooperate with U.N. weapons inspectors. Since the
strikes ended, the council has been mulling ways to return inspectors to
Iraq while improving life for Iraqis who have been living under
sanctions since Baghdad invaded Kuwait in 1990, sparking the Gulf War. 

Some council members appear to be standing by elements of their original
positions on a new Iraq policy, despite the joint recommendations
reached by technical panels created in February to chart a unified path
forward, the diplomats said Wednesday. 

Under U.N. resolutions sanctions cannot be lifted until inspectors
report Iraq has destroyed its weapons of mass destruction. The
humanitarian panel suggested, among other things, that the council
consider allowing foreign investment in Iraq's oil sector to allow it to
export more oil under the U.N. oil-for-food program, which allows Iraq
to sell oil for that limited purpose. It did not call for a lifting of
the oil embargo, which Slovenia suggests should be suspended. 

The United States has said it would be flexible in discussing
improvements to the humanitarian program, but this week the deputy U.S.
ambassador, Peter Burleigh, ruled out foreign investment. Washington
also has said it wants to see the U.N. Special Commission resume
inspections in Iraq. But Iraq rejected the panels' recommendations and
has banned the commission from returning, indicating further problems
even if the council finds a united way forward. 

Iraqi-Iranian talks for exchanging remains of war victims
Arabic News, Iraq, Politics, 4/15/99

A source at the Iranian embassy in Baghdad said on Wednesday that Iraqi
and Iranian officials discussed on Wednesday in Baghdad the latest
measures before exchanging remains of victims of their war (1980 -
1988). An Iranian diplomat said that an Iranian delegation led by Maj.
Gen. Meir Faisal Baqer Zada has been in Iraq since last Saturday for
this purpose. The Iraqi weekly al-Alaam quoted coordinator of the
committee in charge of Iraqi war victims, Fahmi al-Qeisi, as saying that
the Iranian delegation will spend four days in Baghdad and then head for
al-Shalameja district (near Basra city) where the operation of
delivering and receiving the remains of war victims will be carried out.

Baghdad also intends to ask for the release of Iraqi prisoners of war
still held in Iran. In 1998, both Iraq and Iran started to normalize
bilateral relations through exchanging visits of political and economic
delegations. However, the normalization process between the two
countries is stuck by the problem of war missing and prisoners. Baghdad
stresses that it had freed all Iranian prisoners of war and that it only
keeps some 64 Iranians who took part in acts of violence that took place
in southern Iraq in March 1991 following the Gulf War. On the other part
of the story, Tehran stressed that some 51,000 Iranian soldiers are
still detained in Iraq, whereas Baghdad stresses that there are still
20,000 Iraqi prisoners in Baghdad in Iran.

Iraq Economists Back Privatization
APRIL 14, 14:10 EDT, By LEON BARKHO, Associated Press Writer 

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) _ Iraqi economists urged the government Wednesday to
privatize some state industries as a way to jump-start the economy,
which has been devastated by U.N. sanctions. The economists, mainly
university professors, were nearly unanimous in arguing that Iraq's
bloated socialist sector had to be drastically trimmed and passed over
to private entrepreneurs. Their studies showed that while most
government-owned industries have come to a grinding halt, private firms
and utilities were still prospering, despite the sanctions. 

To achieve economic prosperity, ``the government has to reduce its role
as a direct producer of non-strategic industries in favor of the private
sector,'' economist Abdelghafur al-Attraqchi told a conference
Wednesday. The meeting was attended by several government ministers, and
shadowed by yet another slump in the value of the dinar, which fell to a
record low of 2,005 to the dollar, down from 1,995 last week. Before
sanctions were slapped on Iraq for invading Kuwait in 1990, one dinar
was officially worth more than $3. 

Such criticism in the presence of senior government officials was
daring, given the restrictions on expression of opinion in Iraq. Trade
Minister Mohammed Mehdi Saleh assured the economists that the government
was discussing the possibility of selling some state enterprises to the
private sector. He did not elaborate, and joined the ministers of
finance and planning in blaming U.N. sanctions for Iraq's economic woes.

The sanctions severely limit Iraq's oil sales. They are to remain in
place until Baghdad rids itself of weapons of mass destruction. Iraq's
1980-1988 war with Iran, the 1991 Gulf War over Kuwait and the
continuing U.N. trade sanctions have depleted state coffers of foreign
cash, the experts said. The researchers had few figures and indicators
on which to base their observations. Iraq has long stopped issuing
economic data. 

US Envoy: Saddam Could Be Toppled 
Wednesday, April 14, 1999; 5:17 p.m. EDT

MANAMA, Bahrain (AP) -- Iraqi President Saddam Hussein could be toppled
soon, a senior U.S. official said Wednesday. Martin Indyk, assistant
secretary of state for Near East and Asian affairs, reiterated that the
United States sought the overthrow of the Iraqi government. ``Our view
is that sooner or later, Saddam Hussein should go, and we believe it
should be sooner, and we believe it may be sooner than you and I
think,'' he said. 

Indyk declined to offer a more specific assessment for such an action,
although he said the United States would ``do what we can to ensure that
once Saddam goes, there will be a stable future for Iraq.'' President
Clinton has declared that Saddam's ouster is a major U.S. goal. Congress
has allocated $97 million in aid for Iraqi dissidents. A two-day meeting
of Iraqi dissidents in London last week was an ``important
development,'' he said. ``Groups came together to elect a new leadership
and plan their steps for a renewed effort to illegitimize Saddam
Hussein,'' Indyk said of the meeting that appointed a new executive to
the Iraqi National Congress. 

Indyk spoke to reporters after meeting Bahrain's new ruler, Sheik Hamad
bin Isa Al Khalifa. Indyk said his talks with the new emir covered the
Israeli-Palestinian peace process, which the United States plans to try
to push forward after Israel's May 17 elections. Arab states have
accused Israel of failing to honor its commitments under the Wye River
accord and an earlier pledge to negotiate the final status of the
Palestinian territories.

Iraq Preparing New Sanctions Policy 
By Leon Barkho, Associated Press Writer, Tuesday, April 13, 1999; 5:10
p.m. EDT

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) -- Iraq is working with diplomats from France, Russia
and China to shape a new U.N. sanctions policy, despite a public
rejection of the proposals currently being considered. The government is
working quietly with senior diplomats accredited to Baghdad to make any
new policy affecting Iraq as palatable as possible, diplomats in the
Iraqi capital said this week. It's a sign that Baghdad's insistence on
accepting nothing less than a total removal of the U.N. trade curbs is
mostly rhetoric. 

The U.N. Security Council is trying to break a deadlock created in the
aftermath of U.S.-British airstrikes on Iraq in mid-December. After the
attacks, which the West said were in response to Iraqi provocation,
Baghdad banned U.N. disarmament activities in Iraq and demanded a total
lifting of sanctions imposed to punish it for its 1990 invasion of
Kuwait. Since then, several council members presented suggestions on how
to formulate a new Iraq policy. Russia and France called for an end to
the oil embargo in return for Iraq's accepting U.N. disarmament rules;
the United States and Britain want the blockade in place until Baghdad
rids itself of weapons of mass destruction. 

To bridge the gap, the council established three panels which made
recommendations early this month on how to continue Iraq's disarmament,
improve the humanitarian situation in Iraq, and deal with missing
Kuwaitis and looted Kuwaiti property. Although Iraq publicly turned down
the panels' findings, a European diplomat with good contacts in the
Iraqi government said Baghdad desperately wants some of the suggested
changes. The diplomat spoke on condition of anonymity. 

The Security Council this week is discussing the three panels'
recommendations in preparation for issuing a final blueprint. France and
Russia are being lobbied assiduously by Iraq to preserve what Iraq sees
as the positive elements in the proposals, and water down the others.
The proposals believed to please Iraq include allowing foreign
investment in the oil sector and permitting the government to buy local
instead of foreign produce with oil money. 

Iraq opposes allowing U.N. arms inspectors unfettered access and the
right to investigate Iraq's past weapons programs and requiring Iraq to
help account for missing Kuwaitis and looted property. The United States
has already rejected a proposal by the panels to allow foreign
investment in Iraq's oil sector, saying increasing oil prices mean
Baghdad may not need outside help. 

Meanwhile, the Security Council's sanctions committee late Monday
approved the purchase of 1 million doses of foot-and-mouth vaccine from
an Indian company. A U.N. statement did not say how much the vaccines
would cost. The disease, which hits cows, sheep and pigs, has killed
tens of thousands of sheep and cows in Iraq in recent months.

U.S. Rejects Iraq Investment Plan 
Tuesday, April 13, 1999; 3:09 a.m. EDT

UNITED NATIONS (AP) -- The United States rejected a proposal to allow
foreign investment in Iraq's struggling oil sector, saying increasing
oil prices mean Baghdad may not need outside help. Iraq has been
exporting less oil than the full amount allowed under the U.N.
oil-for-food program recently, in part because its industry is
dilapidated. A U.N. panel had recommended investment as a way to bring
more money into the program, which allows Iraq to sell oil to buy
humanitarian aid for its people. But deputy U.S. Ambassador Peter
Burleigh noted Monday that prices for Iraqi crude are up and oil
industry experts are projecting a further increase, which by the end of
the year could be high enough to fill the sales quota. 

The program allows Iraq to sell $5.2 billion in oil over six months for
humanitarian aid for its 22 million people suffering the effects of U.N.
sanctions. In the last six-month period Iraq only exported about $3
billion. On Monday, the oil-for-food program reported that Iraq exported
$211 million of oil in the week ending April 9, the highest amount in

The United States also opposes foreign investment in Iraq because it
would have the unintended effect of lifting some sanctions imposed after
Baghdad's 1990 invasion of Kuwait, Burleigh said. Burleigh spoke after
the council met to consider the humanitarian panel's recommendations,
which also included a proposal that Iraq be allowed unlimited oil
exports -- provided the revenues continue to be funneled through the
United Nations. The panel said Iraq should be allowed to purchase food
and medicine already exempt from sanctions, without getting approval
from the U.N. sanctions committee. It also recommended ways to improve
distribution and support local farmers. ``We're prepared to agree to
some changes now,'' Burleigh said, ``but not these deep structural ones
like the foreign investment.'' 

While France, Russia and China are calling for the lifting of sanctions
to entice Iraq to allow arms inspections to continue, the United States
and Britain are wary of any proposal that could be seen as weakening the
sanctions regime.  

UN approves vaccine to save Iraqi livestock
Reuters, April 13, 1999

BAGHDAD (Reuters) -- The U.N. Security Council's sanctions committee,
after numerous pleas from Iraq, has allowed Baghdad to buy vaccines to
combat the spread to foot-and-mouth disease among its livestock, the
United Nations said on Tuesday.

The contract is for one million doses of vaccine, ordered from an Indian
company, according to a U.N. office coordinating Iraq's humanitarian
programme. Diplomats in New York said the United States had delayed
until Monday Iraq's purchase of the vaccine in the council's sanctions
committee, which examines many items Iraq wants to import to see if they
can be used for military purposes, such as biological warfare agents.

In February, the Rome-based U.N. Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO)
expressed alarm about the epidemic, saying "the multitude of diseases
afflicting livestock in Iraq threatens the health of people living in
infested areas."

Iraq last week demanded that the United Nations compensate it for a
shortage of cattle and dairy products which it said had been caused by
foot-and-mouth disease, which killed thousands of sheep and cows in
recent months.

Iraq has been under stringent trade sanctions since it invaded Kuwait in
August 1990. The sanctions remain in place until the Security Council
agrees it has no more weapons of mass destruction.

Agriculture Minister Abdulillah Hameed Mahmoud Saleh said Iraq had been
prevented from producing vaccines by the destruction of sections of a
vaccine plant by the U.N. Special Commission (UNSCOM) hunting for Iraqi
weapons programmes. Saleh said Iraq had set up the project during the
1970s to produce 12 million vaccines a year against the three types of
foot-and-mouth disease, and that it had stopped as a result of the 1991
Gulf War.
UNSCOM, which has not been in Iraq since the mid-December U.S.-British
bombing raids, countered Baghdad's charges in March saying that Iraq had
admitted in 1995 that the plant at Daura had been used to produce germ
warfare agents since 1990. Although production of foot-and-mouth disease
vaccine was briefly resumed in 1992 "as part of Iraq's attempt to
conceal its biological warfare programme," it discontinued all
production of the vaccine after September 1992, though staff and
equipment remained at the site, UNSCOM said. After that, Iraq imported
foot-and-mouth disease vaccine, as it had done previously, UNSCOM
chairman Richard Butler added in a March 18 letter to the Security


This is a discussion list run by Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.
To be removed/added, email, NOT the
whole list. Archived at

[Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq Homepage]