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Re: Iraq - British-Dutch Proposal

From: Kathy Kelly <>

To: Fellow sanctions activists

Fr: Nick Arons, VitW

Re: Simon Harak and Carmen Pauls (MCC) attended a conference in Bahdad
last week. The subject of the conference was the British-Dutch proposal
now being considered on the Security Council. Here is their report from
the conference. Please distribute this as you see fit. It explains quite
expeditiously why this new proposal is a farce. If you would like the more
exhaustive version of the letter (this email is a summary), let Kathy
know. Thanks, Nick Arons

>From Iraq, December 5, 1999 (Simon Harak, S.J.)

Carmen Pauls and I think that while the US is waiting to get the plan
"approved," we could write letters and op-eds to newspapers and such, so
that we could maybe even "pre-empt" the approval. We should tell it FIRST.
So alert the media!, send out the troops, put it on the web but most
importantly, email all our folks and INSIST that they get this into the
media before the US / UN does its damage.

BACKGROUND At the "Follow-up Conference to the Baghdad Conference on the
Sanctions" [Nov. 27-28], international lawyers from Iraq, Austria and
other places, together with Tariq Aziz, discussed the new British-Dutch
plan presently before the Security Council. The following are the major
points they raised. This new plan has been linked to the continuation of
the "oil-for-food" deal. That is, it is possible that if this British -
Dutch plan is not accepted, "oil-for-food" humanitarian aid will be in
jeopardy. Already while the plan is being discussed, the "oil-for-food"
deal is on hold. If the plan passes the Security Council, Iraq feels it
must reject it. That rejection will be portrayed by the West as "another
example" of Iraq's disregard for the well-being of its own people.
However, Iraq has good reasons for rejecting the British-Dutch plan, as
presented below: 

 The new plan begins the regime of inspections all over again, as if it
were 1991, with nothing having been accomplished in the past 8 years of
UNSCOM inspections. In reality, as Butler and others have said, only minor
issues remain, and these do not impact the development of weapons. That
is, the issues that seem to remain only deal with the history of Iraq's
acquisition of WMD from foreign powers. 

 The International Atomic Energy Association (IAEA) left Iraq years ago,
saying that everything was satisfactory regarding their mission, with the
exception of a few minor points. The new plan would bring back the IAEA
and have them start inspections all over again. 

 In February 1998, Kofi Annan went to Baghdad and secured a special
Memorandum of Understanding [MOU], obligating both sides to certain steps.
Iraq's principal requirement was the opening of the "palaces" to the
UNSCOM inspectors. The new plan does not include this 1998 MOU, and
therefore does not include the obligations incurred by the SG [and through
him, the UN] to Iraq for the lifting of sanctions. Iraq asked for this MOU
to be included in any new plan, but the proposal was rejected. 

 The new plan offers what is called an "integrated approach," with
disarmament and monitoring of "dual use facilities." However, that is
exactly what has been established in Iraq since 1994. An early outline of
the plan for inspections shows that the new committee is allowed to
inspect far more sites than UNSCOM did originally.

In addition, UNSCOM had set up a video monitoring system for observation
of "dual use facilities" [e.g. milk factories, beer factories,
pharmaceutical factories]. This setting up of the ongoing monitoring
system took years, while the sanctions remained in place. But now, these
facilities, with their observation systems, have been destroyed in the
continuous bombing by the US since December, 1998. That would mean at
least that there would be years as a new monitoring system was installed,
and the list of dual use facilities in this "new" plan is longer than the
"old" plan. Finally, this monitoring system would have to be constructed
with Iraqi money. 

 The B-D plan also increases the number of items which would count as
"dual use," and so could be excluded from import by Iraq. Now, for
example, certain sizes of tires are considered "dual use," as are all
two-axle vehicles.

 Also, the levels of inspection in this new plan are much higher than
required in international law. And once again, Iraq will not be
represented when this new group [UNCIM - ?] presents to the Security
Council the issues of Iraq's "noncompliance" with the inspection regime.
Furthermore, the members of UNCIM's relationship to the head of UNCIM is
completely advisory. That is, the head of UNCIM has the final say in the
evaluation of compliance or non compliance. The new agreement gives him
the authority to override the recommendations of the body of inspectors.
That is, they could report compliance, and he could deny it. Thus the
selection of the head of UNCIM is crucial. The selection would be made by
the Security Council, and the US controls [at least by veto] the decisions
of the Security Council. The US, therefore, is most likely to get as the
head of UNCIM, exactly the person who would be favorable to the US

 There is further problem with "time." After the plan goes into effect,
there is a 30-day period during which the Security Council appoints a new
chair of the inspection committee. Following that, the new chair decides
what he wants, and the make-up of the inspection team. 45 days is allowed
for that process. Then the inspection team comes to Iraq, and takes
another 60 days to tell Iraq and the UNSC what the inspection team needs
to inspect. Then the actual inspections would begin, and 180 days later,
the first report would be given to the UNSC as to whether or not Iraq was
in compliance. So it would take about a year before the first report on
compliance would even be considered, let alone that the sanctions would be
"suspended."  The word "suspended" is also crucial. This NEW plan states
that if Iraq were somehow found to be in compliance, then the "suspension"
of the sanctions would involve the lifting of restraints on Iraq's exports
and imports. But it would NOT consider ending UN control of Iraq's
finances [credits, trade agreements, payments, etc., which are controlled
under UNSCR 661]. Instead, "customs experts" would be appointed to
determine whether or not the money would be released from control by the
assigned bank. 


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