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dear friends, what are your thoughts on this latest british proposal to 'suspend sanctions'? -rania On Wed, 16 Jun 1999, Harriet Griffin wrote: > a.. UK backs end to Iraq sanctions (BBC Online) > b.. Britain: Suspend Sanctions (Associated Press) > c.. UN OK’s Food Distribution in Iraq (Associated Press) > d.. Car bomb explosion in Baghdad (The Independent) > e.. Iraq builds new oil refinery (Arabic News) > f.. Iraqi opposition talks in Washington (BBC Online) > ******************** > > Wednesday, June 16, 1999 Published at 00:14 GMT 01:14 UK > > UK backs end to Iraq sanctions > The British plan envisages a strict inspection regime > > The UK is putting forward new proposals to end the United Nations sanctions on Iraq, imposed >following the 1990 invasion of Kuwait. > > In a significant turnaround aimed at breaking the impasse over Iraq, a draft British resolution >at the UN Security Council sets out a timetable for withdrawing the sanctions, subject to Baghdad >answering some questions about its weapons programme. It also calls for strict controls to prevent >Iraq acquiring new weapons of mass destruction. The British change of position means that only the >US is now completely opposed to lifting sanctions. France and Russia have long supported an early >suspension of sanctions. However, a US official said the British proposal, which is co-sponsored >by the Netherlands, is "the appropriate draft around which the Security Council can begin >discussion". The Security Council's five permanent members - the United States, Britain, France, >China and Russia - are scheduled to meet on Wednesday, and the full Security Council would be >presented with the proposal before the end of the week. > > Clear-cut conditions > > Many at the UN see progress on the sanctions issue as a way of getting UN weapons insepctors back >into Baghdad. Unscom personnel left six months ago, shortly before US and British airstrikes were >launched to punish Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's government for failing to cooperate with >inspectors. The British draft says sanctions would only be suspended for 120 days after Iraq >completes a set of "key remaining tasks" regarding the destruction of its weapons of mass >destruction. After another four months, the chairman of the new Commission on Inspection and >Monitoring and the director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency would report to the >council on whether Iraq had answered the disarmament tasks set out by inspectors. The suspension >would then be subject to renewal every 120 days, if Iraq performed satisfactorily. > > Oil-for-food discussion > > A top UN humanitarian aide will arrive in Baghdad on Wednesday to discuss the oil-for-food deal. >Benon Sevan, who runs the UN programme, will meet senior Iraqi government officials. > > Under the deal, which was extended in May for another six months, Iraq can sell $5.26 bn worth of >oil over six months to buy food, medicine and other humanitarian needs for its people. > > ******************** > > Britain: Suspend Iraq's Sanctions > > By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press Writer, Tuesday, June 15, 1999; 6:10 p.m. EDT > > UNITED NATIONS (AP) -- In a significant turnaround aimed at breaking the impasse over Iraq, >Britain is now recommending that the Security Council suspend sanctions against Iraq -- but only >after Baghdad answers the remaining questions about its banned weapons programs. The new British >position leaves the United States alone among permanent members of the Security Council in >opposing the suspension or lifting of sanctions. Britain is conditioning the suspension on the >creation of strict financial controls designed to prevent Iraq from acquiring weapons of mass >destruction, according to a draft resolution circulated Tuesday. > > A U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Washington thinks the British draft, >cosponsored by the Netherlands, is ``the appropriate draft around which the council can begin >discussion.'' But the official cautioned that there were still several issues that needed to be >worked out. > > Russia, China and France, Iraq's allies on the council, have also proposed that sanctions be >suspended, but haven't placed the same tough restrictions as the British draft does. Western >diplomats note that the Russian, French and Chinese draft resolution doesn't require as much Iraqi >compliance with inspectors or carry sufficient controls on Baghdad investing in its banned weapons >programs. > > The British draft says sanctions would only be suspended for 120 days after Iraq completes a set >of ``key remaining tasks'' regarding the destruction of its weapons of mass destruction. >Inspectors from a commission, which would replace the U.N. Special Commission but draw heavily >from its staff and resources, would prepare a list of those tasks 90 days after resuming >inspections. After another four months, the chairman of the Commission on Inspection and >Monitoring and the director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency would report to the >council on whether Iraq had answered the disarmament tasks. If Iraq has cooperated fully, and if >financial controls were established, the council would suspend sanctions for 120 days. It would >continue the suspension every 120 days unless inspectors report Iraq is not cooperating. As a >preliminary inducement to Iraq, Britain proposes the council consider allowing foreign investment >in Iraq four months after inspectors return. > > The Security Council's five permanent members postponed a meeting Wednesday until Thursday. >Formal introduction of the resolution to the full 15-member council is expected Thursday or >Friday. > > Inspections ground to a halt in mid-December, when the United States and Britain launched >airstrikes to punish Iraq for what they said was its failure to cooperate with weapons inspectors. >Iraq has said inspectors from the Special Commission, known as UNSCOM, cannot return and has >demanded sanctions be lifted entirely. Baghdad claims it is already completely disarmed. The >Security Council has been trying to come up with a new policy that would persuade Iraq to allow >weapons oversight to resume while giving its people some relief from sanctions, which were imposed >when Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990. > > ******************** > > UN OKs Food Distribution in Iraq > > Monday, June 14, 1999; 11:13 p.m. EDT > > UNITED NATIONS (AP) -- Secretary-General Kofi Annan has approved Iraq's six-month plan to >distribute goods from the U.N. oil-for-food program, but stressed that food and medicine remain a >priority for Baghdad. Iraq submitted the distribution proposal last week, suggesting that just >over $3 billion from U.N.-supervised oil exports be used to buy food, medicine and other >humanitarian supplies, including $300 million for oil industry spare parts. > > Iraq has been barred from selling its oil on the open market since the Security Council imposed >an oil embargo following its 1990 invasion of Kuwait. The Security Council launched the >oil-for-food program in 1996 to try to care for Iraqis suffering under the sanctions. Baghdad is >allowed to export $5.26 billion in oil over six months, but has only managed to export around $3 >billion over the past year because of low oil prices and production limits. Iraq is also allowed >to use funds from oil sales to rebuild its infrastructure, as well as use $300 million over six >months to buy oil industry spare parts. > > A group of oil experts has been in Iraq for the past week as part of the preparations for a new >report due later this month to the Security Council on the requirements of rebuilding the oil >industry, which was decimated by the Gulf War and nearly nine years of sanctions. > > ******************** > > Bomb hits Mujahideen > By Patrick Cockburn > > A second car bomb has exploded in Baghdad, wounding several people. The blast, on Monday evening, >was close to the headquarters of the Mujahideen Khalq, the Iraqi-backed Iranian resistance >movement. > > Six members of the Mujahideen were killed in the Iraqi capital last week, with a passer-by, when >a pick-up truck packed with explosives blew up beside the bus in which they were travelling. Iraq >and the Mujahideen, which has been based in Iraq since 1983, blamed Iran for the attack. > > Last week Iran fired four ground-to-ground missiles at a Mujahideen base north-east of Baghdad. >Iranian agents have previously killed Mujahideen in Iraq, but may be increasing their attacks >after the assasination by the Mujahideen of Lieutenant-General Ali Sayyad Shirazi, the Iranian >deputy joint chief of staff, in Tehran in April. The Mujahideen has also been accused of helping >to suppress dissent in Iraq. > > ******************** > > Iraq builds new oil refinery > Arabic News, Iraq, Economics, 6/15/99 > > Iraqi dailies published on Monday reported that a new Iraqi refinery with a refining capacity of >10,000 barrels per day is being built in the southern part of the country. > > The papers quoted the company's director general in the southern Iraq area, Rafed al-Dabouni, as >saying that the refinery will be ready for work within a few months, as most of the construction >works have been completed, adding that the refinery was linked to oil fields and to nearby storage >facilities by a new network of pipelines. > > Al-Dabouni added that the refinery's products will cover the local consumption in al-Amara and >the neighboring cities. He added that work will also cover the development of part of al-Amara oil >field, adding that all construction work on the refinery is being carried out by local technicians >and experts. > > Reports from Baghdad said that the Vietnamese Petro Vietnam is about to sign an agreement with >Iraq to develop al-Amara oil field at a set production capacity of 80,000 barrels every day and at >a total cost of US $300 million, following the lifting of sanctions on Iraq. > > ******************** > > Wednesday, June 16, 1999 Published at 03:33 GMT 04:33 UK > Iraqi opposition talks in Washington > > > The United States is bringing together the two main Iraqi Kurdish parties in Washington today >Wednesday, to try to et them to end their bitter rivalries. The Kurdistan Democratic Party and the >Patriotic Union of Kurdistan agreed in Washington last September to put aside their differences >and work towards regional elections. But the two sides have made little progress towards >implementing the agreement and have admitted that the regional elections, proposed for next month, >will have to be postponed. A BBC regional correspondent says the US is keen to unite various Iraqi >opposition factions against President Saddam Hussein. She says Baghdad is strongly opposed to >American intervention into what it regards as its internal affairs. > > ******************** > > -------- Iraq Action Coalition http://iraqaction.org (More than 100,000 hits) -- ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- 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