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Re: SC 687

Dear Andrew, All

I think the long quote from Sarah Graham-Brown clarifies matters. I'm sorry
I was not clear enough in my original contribution.


Briefly, I read the resolution in this way:

Para 20: Imposes ban on exporting to Iraq, ie Iraqi imports (with
'humanitarian' exemptions)
Para 21: Makes lifting of ban on exporting to Iraq conditional on 'the
policies and practices of the Government of Iraq, including the
implementation of all relevant resolutions of the Security Council'.

Para 22: Makes lifting of ban on Iraqi exports conditional on disarmament in
the four areas (nuclear, biological, chemical, long-range missiles).

Andrew suggested that 'There is no (explicit) mention of the other half of
the sanctions' i.e. Iraqi imports, in the resolution. But that is precisely
what is dealt with in Para 20:

'Decides, effective immediately, that the prohibitions against the sale or
supply to Iraq of commodities or products other than medicine and health
supplies... shall not apply to foodstuffs notified to the Committee
established by resolution 661'.

As I said last time, strictly speaking this Decision sets out an _exemption_
from the import ban, and is not an explicit _continuation_ of the import
ban, but the operational meaning is clear: exporting to Iraq is to continue
to be prohibited, with this new exception.

<2>PARA 19

What I said in relation to the Compensation Fund was that Iraqi payments to
the CF are not a condition of the lifting of the oil embargo. Para 19 does
not involve actual payments, it just sets up the machinery of the CF, and
setting up mechanisms for ensuring Iraqi payments.

So half the sanctions could be lifted once the CF was set up, but the other
half (the ban on imports by Iraq) would not be lifted until later, and no
doubt Iraqi payments to the CF would be one of the policies and practices
relevant to the decision to end the import ban.


-----Original Message-----
From: andrew loucks <>
Date: 16 May 1999 00:06

>Lastly, and I think most importantly, if the conditions of these "relevant"
>resolutions must be met before the SC can "reduce or lift the prohibitions
>referred to therein" , then why does it say in the very next paragraph that
>half the sanctions can be lifted when the disarmament conditions are met
>when the paragraph 19 program is set up?  Does this mean that Iraq gets to
>export once it disarms and then other countries are allowed to sell to Iraq
>once all those other "relevant" resolutions are taken care of?  Maybe.  At
>this point I'm a little lost.
>Andrew Loucks
>The Global Movement to End the War
>against Iraq -
>Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

If my reading of the resolution is correct, and it is substantially that of
Sarah Graham Brown, para 21 says that relevant resolutions must be met and
policies and practices approved by the UNSC before the Iraqi _import_ ban is
lifted; and para 22 says that disarmament conditions must be met and the CF
set up under para 19 before the Iraqi _export_ ban is lifted.

Therefore, assuming the latter conditions are less onerous than the former,
and were foreseen as such, the idea was indeed that Iraq would first of all
be allowed to sell oil (and maybe dates and a few other items) and earn
foreign exchange from such sales, and then at some point further on would be
allowed to engage freely in other forms of trade, importing other goods.

This is not totally irrational on the face of it, because of the other
exemption also contained in para 20 of 'materials and supplies for essential
civilian needs as identified in the report of the Secretary-General dated 20
March 1991 (S/22366), and in any further findings of humanitarian need by
the Committee'. This means that Iraq's oil earnings after disarmament could
be used for 'essential civilian needs' (as identified by the Ahtisaari
report or later agreed by the Sanctions Committee).


I must say that I've only reached this reading of the resolution in the last
few weeks after several years of going around very confidently with a series
of totally wrong analyses. My first major error (for about five years) was
to read only para 22 and not paras 20 and 21. My second major error (this
last year) was to miss the tail end of para 21 which sort of jerks the
resolution into making sense after a very confusing one and a half
paragraphs. After these and a string of other misreadings, I remain hopeful
that someone will find the mistakes in the current reading, and illuminate a
more enlightened policy.

Milan Rai

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