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Amer Mohammad Rashid

Here are a couple of articles featuring Iraqi Oil minister Amer Mohammad
Rashid.  The first is a Stratfor commentary about Rashid's plan to bust
sanctions limiting Iraqi oil production and the second is a recent call
for the arrest of the same minister while he was in Vienna last week.
Interesting that a week after the U.S. began making noises once again
about war crimes indictments for Baath Party officials, one of the key
architects of Baath chemical weapons attacks is able to travel freely to

Ben Rempel
Stratfor Commentary

                  2215 GMT, 990929 – Qurna Field May Help Entice
Sanctions Busters

Iraqi Oil Minister Amer Mohammad Rashid has announced that Iraq will not
stop exporting oil after it reaches the cap imposed by the United
Nations under the oil-for-food deal. Rashid made the comment at a news
conference after his Russian counterpart, Viktor Kalyuzhny, arrived in
Baghdad Sept. 28 to discuss
development in one of the world’s largest oil fields. Iraq "would not
wait for others to tell it to go ahead," Rashid said, but would continue
to produce and export as much oil as possible, ignoring the $5.26
billion export cap.

Kalyuzhny was visiting Iraq to finalize a deal for the development of
the giant Qurna oil field in southern Iraq. He was the head of a
75-member delegation, mostly from the Russian oil company LUKoil, sent
to discuss a
proposed $3.7 billion production-sharing agreement. Qurna is regarded as
one of the largest oil fields in the
world, with reserves estimated at over 20 billion barrels. 

Seismic work, permitted under the sanctions, has reportedly already been
completed at Qurna. However, the
field’s development is forbidden while the sanctions are in place. Late
last week, Iraq allegedly tried to push the issue, threatening to cancel
all cooperation with LUKoil if the Russian government did not pressure
the U.N. Security Council to lift sanctions. 

Iraq technically needs such Security Council approval to continue its
current export rate, which will soon top the limit for the current
period. The United Nations reported in mid-September that Iraqi oil
exports had already reached $4 billion. It estimated that Iraqi exports
during the six-month period ending in November were destined to bring
overall oil export revenue to $7.077 billion, nearly $2 billion over the

So far, there have been no repercussions from Iraq’s behavior. Neither
Washington nor London, generally
hard-line sanction supporters, has made any public objection to the
flaunting of U.N. quotas. Judging from the
Qurna deal, Iraq may use this opportunity to entice foreign investors,
sanctions or no. If Iraq can pull off this gambit, Saddam Hussein will
have won a major victory through a simple fait accompli. 

                                © 1998, 1999 Stratfor, Inc. All rights

Another Iraqi War Crimes Suspect in Vienna
    Human Rights Alliance - Sep 24, 1999


An Iraqi war crimes suspect is in the Austrian capital.  The former head
the Iraqi military industries and current Iraqi Oil Minister General
‘Amr Al Rashid is attending an OPEC meeting in Vienna. Last month, the
Vice President Izzat Ibrahim Al Duri, a war crimes suspect, escaped
inVienna due to the laxness of the Austrian authorities.  The
NGOs participating in the OSCE review conference in Vienna call upon the
Austrian authorities not to repeat that mistake.  We urge them to hold
General Al Rashid for investigation in connection with alleged war
crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity.

General Al Rashid is the architect of the Iraqi chemical and biological
programs. Under his auspices, and in close collaboration with Saddam
Hussein’s cousin,Ali Hassan Al Majid, known as "Ali chemical," the Iraqi
military used cocktails of chemical and biological nerve and mustard
agents against civilians.  These included mustard gas, which burns,
mutates DNA and causes malformations
and cancer, and the nerve gases sarin and tabun, which kill, paralyse
cause immediate and lasting neuropsychiatric damage.

In a series of attacks from 1987 to 1989, under the supervision of
General Al Rashid the Iraqi army gassed over 200 Kurdish villages in
Kurdistan,including the city of Halabja on March 16, 1988.

Thousands died immediately and more than 250,000 survivors continue to
suffer from long-term effects.  General Al Rashid allegedly also shares
responsibility for the destruction of the Arab Marsh lands, mass
executions, torture and  forced expulsions, as well as the use of
chemical weapons
against the Kurdish population perpetrated by the government of Iraq in
the notorious Anfal Campaign.

Austria must show to the world that it is committed to the principle of
universal jurisdiction.  The crimes for which General Al Rashid should
be charged are grave breaches of international law, in particular the
Geneva Convention of 1925 on the prohibition of the use of chemical
weapons in
conflicts and the Genocide convention of 1948.  We reiterate our request
the Austrian government should act immediately to arrest General Al
Rashid and not allow impunity for
anyone suspected of grave violations of international law.

The Human Rights Alliance
Human Rights Watch
Federation Internationale des Ligues des Droits de l’homme (FIDH)
Gesellschaft fuer bedrohte Volker
International League for Human Rights
Glasnost Foundation-Moscow
Danish United Nations Association
Association to Unite the Democracies
Latvian Human Rights Committee
Turkish Cypriots’ Human Rights Committee
Human Rights Foundation of Turkey
Tajik Center for information and Analyses on Human Rights
Kyrgyz Committee for Human Rights
Norwegian Forum for Freedom of Expression
Norwegian Committee for Jews in ex-Soviet Union
Civil Society Development- Armenia

For further information contact: Bakhtiar Amin or Kathryn Porter, Human
Rights Alliance, 444, North Capitol St., N.W. #837, Washington, D.C.
Tel: +1 (202) 637-3277, Fax: +1 (202) 637-2563, EMAIL: HRA@CAIS.COM
or Joe Stork, Human Rights Watch, Tel: +1 (202) 612-4327 or Reed
Rights Watch Tel: + 44 (780) 372-3267
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