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Iraq says British proposal would make sanctions 'permanent'

Iraq says British proposal would make sanctions 'permanent'

June 23, 1999

BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Iraq's vice president on Wednesday denounced a
British-Dutch proposal that would suspend sanctions against Iraq if Baghdad
met specific disarmament requirements.

"Iraq rejects them without any discussion or comment because the British
plan only makes the embargo permanent," said Vice President Taha Yassin
Ramadan. "Any step should not fail to lift sanctions clearly on Iraq when it
meets all its obligations."

Informally backed by the United States, the British draft would require that
Iraq submit to arms inspections and be certified that it has dismantled its
weapons of mass destruction.

In return, sanctions restricting Iraqi exports, including oil, would be
frozen for 120-day periods.

The U.N. Security Council is expected to discuss the British resolution on
Monday, as well as rival proposals from China, Russia and France that would
lift sanctions entirely after a new arms control body is established to
monitor Iraq's banned weapons.

"We look forward to that process and giving the council a new collective
approach on Iraq that will take us forward," said Britain's U.N. ambassador,
Jeremy Greenstock.

Iraq, however, has criticized the council's discussions, saying they mean
nothing unless they involve Baghdad.

"I said that in any agreement or formula there should be consultation with
Iraq," Ramadan said.

The council has been deadlocked on Iraq since the United States and Britain
launched airstrikes in mid-December over Baghdad's refusal to cooperate with
U.N. weapons inspectors. Iraq has banned inspectors of the U.N. Special
Commission from returning.

The U.N. sanctions were imposed on Iraq after its troops invaded Kuwait in
August 1990.

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