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The ambiguities inherent in Resolution 687 have been the cause of major divisions in the Security Council as to the conditions for the lifting of sanctions. The following analysis is taken from a new book by Sarah Graham-Brown, 'Sanctioning Saddam: The Politics of Intervention in Iraq' (1999, I.B. Tauris in association with MERIP, ISBN: 1 86064 473 2), pp 78-79: ***** "Divergent views were expressed on whether paragraphs 21 and 22 of Resolution 687 could be implemented separately. Paragraph 22 specifies that the embargo on imports from Iraq - primarily oil - and related financial transactions 'shall have no further force or effect' once Iraq has complied with the requirements in the resolution relating to the destruction and monitoring of its weapons of mass destruction and related manufacturing capacity, and the establishment of the UN Compensation Fund. "Paragraph 22 appears to stand alone, in that it does not suggest that the lifting of the oil export ban depends on compliance with any part of the resolution other than those paragraphs relating to weapons of mass destruction. Russia and France accepted this interpretation. In the Russian view, 'As soon as the chairman of UNSCOM reports favourably, then paragraph 22 is engaged, allowing oil sales without limits'. "The French Government argued that sanctions had three main goals in order to restore regional peace and stability: that Iraq pose no threat to its neighbours; the destruction of weapons of mass destruction and imposition of a monitoring system; and respect for Kuwait's border and its sovereignty. Once these were complied with, Chapter 22 of Resolution 687 could be regarded as implemented. "The instruments framed in 1991 had not been intended for an extended shelf life, and did not necessarily suit the purposes of all the key players over the longer term. Discussions on the US role in formulating Resolution 687 in 1991 indicate that, when it was framed, there was still a belief that Saddam Hussein would either show willingness to comply or that he would be overthrown. At that time it was apparently argued that there should be an incentive to comply - the possibility that the most onerous part of the embargo, the ban on oil exports, would be lifted - if the key parts of the resolution were implemented. "By 1994, this interpretation of the resolution did not sit well with US strategy on Iraq, The US and UK adamantly opposed any 'staged' lifting of sanctions. They believed sanctions should remain in place until 'all relevant resolutions' were complied with, choosing to ignore or play down the separate requirements of Paragraph 22. "These states chose to emphasise Paragraph 21 of Resolution 687 which deals with the terms for lifting the embargo on exports to Iraq. A decision to 'reduce or lift' the prohibition is dependent on the 60-day review 'in the light of the policies and practices of the Government of Iraq, including the implementation of all relevant resolutions of the UN Security Council'. Two phrases are ambiguous and open to different interpretations: first, the 'policies and practices' of the Iraqi Government; and second, the question of which resolutions are 'relevant'. The French, for example, contended that Iraq could only be expected to comply with Chapter VII Resolutions, which in their view excluded Resolution 688. The formal status of this resolution  - whether it could be considered mandatory - has never been clarified." [Harriet's Note: Resolution 688 (1991) 'demanded' that the Iraqi government immediately end the repression of the civilian population and 'insisted' that Iraq co-operate with humanitarian organisations and ensured that the human and political rights of all Iraqi citizens were respected.] "The US and UK nonetheless insisted that Resolution 688 should be taken into account in the reviews because it had a bearing on the 'policies and practices' of the Iraqi Government. These governments further argued 'that as long as Iraq continues its flagrant disregard of its other obligations under Council resolutions and international law, the Government cannot be trusted to comply in good faith with the weapons monitoring mechanism'. "Once Iraq had accepted Resolution 715 and UNSCOM had installed its monitoring system, France, Russia and China appeared to believe that if the six-month test period for the monitors was successful, full compliance on weapons of mass destruction could be achieved sometime in 1995. This would be followed by the lifting of the oil embargo. "One other key issue remained: Iraq's acceptance of Kuwaiti sovereignty and the Iraq-Kuwait boundary as defined by the UN Boundary Demarcation Commission...." ***** -- ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- This is a discussion list run by Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To be removed/added, email firstname.lastname@example.org, NOT the whole list. Archived at http://linux.clare.cam.ac.uk/~saw27/casi/discuss.html