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Brits to Introduce Iraq Resolution By Edith M. Lederer Associated Press Writer Tuesday, June 22, 1999; 7:22 a.m. EDT UNITED NATIONS (AP) -- Despite opposition from some Security Council members, Britain is preparing to introduce a resolution that would suspend the oil embargo on Iraq if Baghdad answers the remaining questions about its weapons programs. Western diplomats said the measure could be introduced as early as today. That would pave the way for the first substantial discussion on a new Iraq policy in months, but the 15-member council remains seriously divided and Iraq has said the British proposal is unacceptable. The Security Council has been deadlocked on Iraq since the United States and Britain launched air strikes in mid-December over Baghdad's refusal to cooperate with U.N. weapons inspectors. Among the five permanent council members with veto power, only the United States is backing the British draft, which is cosponsored by the Netherlands. Russia and China have circulated a rival resolution, and France, which initially backed it, has now circulated a third draft. The five permanent members met Monday on Iraq but diplomats reported little progress in bridging the gap. ``We're beginning to understand each other's difficulties much better ... but some fundamental difficulties still remain,'' said Britain's U.N. Ambassador Jeremy Greenstock. He said no decision had been made on whether to introduce the British-Dutch draft. Diplomats say Britain and the United States believe a large number of the 10 non-permanent, elected council members support the proposed British-Dutch resolution as a basis for discussion. The most important difference between the British-Dutch draft resolution and the rival proposals is the condition for suspending sanctions. The British and Dutch insist on further Iraqi compliance with its disarmament obligations before the oil embargo is suspended. The French, Russians and Chinese would suspend all sanctions -- not just the oil embargo -- if Iraq cooperates with a new commission that would monitor its banned weapons programs. Another key difference is that the British and Dutch insist that Baghdad continue to adhere to strict financial controls to ensure that revenues from oil sales aren't spent on new weapons. The rival drafts have an alternative plan to control oil revenues that Washington and London contend is too porous. Iraqi Foreign Minister Mohammed Saeed al-Sahhaf said Sunday that the British-Dutch proposal would merely transform Iraq into a colony. The proposal also runs counter to a U.N. Security Council resolution that calls for the lifting of sanctions once weapons inspectors report that Iraq has disarmed, he said. Iraq has been under U.N. sanctions since its 1990 invasion of Kuwait. Under U.N. resolutions, sanctions cannot be lifted until U.N. inspectors report that Iraq has dismantled its biological, chemical and nuclear weapons programs and long-range missile capability. In a related matter, U.N. spokesman Fred Eckhard reported ``some progress'' on efforts to send a U.N. team to Iraq to check out a laboratory abandoned by U.N. weapons inspectors in December. But he said one substantive issue remained, which he refused to disclose. Chief weapons inspector Richard Butler has recommended that samples of biological and chemical agents used to calibrate testing equipment be destroyed. -- ------------------------------------------------------------------------- This is a discussion list run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To be removed/added, email firstname.lastname@example.org, NOT the whole list. Please do not sent emails with attached files to the list *** Archived at http://linux.clare.cam.ac.uk/~saw27/casi/discuss.html ***