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News for 5 June '00 to 11 June '00



News for 5 June '00 to 11 June '00

 Sources: AFP, AP, Baltimore Sun, BBC, Economist, Irish Times, Los Angeles
Times, New York Times, Progressive, Reuters, Startfor, Washington Post

 Sanctions take a chilling toll (Opinion -- Irish Times)
 Security Council Extends Oil-for-Food Program Allowing Iraq to Import
Necessities (New York Times)
 Arab-Americans Boo, Heckle U.S. Official on Iraq (Reuters)
 Democrats Split Over Sanctions (Progressive)
 Squabbling Over Iraqi Sanctions (Economist)
 Qatar's Iraq Initiative Collapses Before Start (Reuters)
 Euro MP Calls for End to Sanctions Against Iraq (Reuters)
 Russia Criticizes U.S.-British Patrol Of Iraqi No-Fly Zones (AP)
 Iran Reportedly Allows Iraqi Oil in Its Sea Lanes (Los Angeles Times)
 Iran Opens Faucet for Smuggled Iraqi Oil (Baltimore Sun)
 Why the Price of Oil Will Likely Remain High (Stratfor)
 Iraq Says UN Mismanaging Oil-for-Food Program (AP)
 Iraq Expects Poor 2000 Harvest Due to Drought (Reuters)
 Vatican Voices Opposition to Iraq Embargo (AFP)
 Iraq Worst Prepared for E-Business (Economist)

Only links provided for the following reports:

 Smuggled Iraqi Oil Flows Once More (Stratfor)
 Iraq 'Steps Up Attacks on UK Pilots' (BBC)
 Iraq Urges Arab League to Stop Turkish Assault (Reuters)
 Italy Urges Iraq to Comply with U.N. Arms Control (Reuters)
________________________________________________________

 Democrats Split Over Sanctions, Progressive, 1 June '00
http://www.progressive.org/conn0600.htm

Ruth Conniff is Washington Editor of The Progressive.

The Word from Washington -- Ruth Conniff

After nearly a decade of bombing and blockade, Iraq has been reduced from a
prosperous society to a mass of poverty, suffering, and disease. More than a
million Iraqi civilians have died, according to UNICEF, in the aftermath of
the Persian Gulf War. Infrastructure and health care systems in the country
have broken down. Raw sewage flows through the waterways, and epidemics of
preventable diseases including malaria, typhoid, and cholera ravage the
young.

The humanitarian crisis and the seemingly endless stand-off between the
United States and Saddam Hussein have prompted some members of Congress to
call for a change in U.S. policy.

In February, seventy members of the House of Representatives signed a letter
to President Clinton asking that the Administration "delink" economic
sanctions from the military sanctions against Iraq.

"More than nine years of the most comprehensive economic embargo imposed in
modern history has failed to remove Saddam Hussein from power or even
ensured his compliance with international obligations, while the economy and
people of Iraq continue to suffer," the letter states. "Morally, it is wrong
to hold the Iraqi people responsible for the actions of a brutal and
reckless government."

The letter, sponsored by Representative John Conyers, Democrat of Michigan,
and Representative Tom Campbell, Republican of California, garnered
bipartisan support. Many members of the Progressive Caucus in the House of
Representatives signed on, including Democrats David Bonior of Michigan,
Cynthia McKinney of Georgia, Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas, Peter DeFazio of
Oregon, Jesse Jackson Jr. of Illinois, Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, and
Maxine Waters of California. In March, many of the same Representatives
signed a bill that would allow humanitarian aid to flow more freely into
Iraq.

But not all progressive Democrats oppose the sanctions.

As anti-sanctions pressure mounts, a pro-sanctions backlash has erupted. A
letter drafted by Representatives Joseph Crowley, Democrat of New York, and
John Sweeney, Republican of New York, urges the Administration not to budge
on Iraq, and asserts that "Saddam Hussein is cynically . . . withholding
available food and medicines from his own people to garner sympathy for an
end to the sanctions." The pro-sanctions letter gathered 125 supporters,
including Progressive Caucus members Tom Lantos, Democrat of California,
Lane Evans, Democrat of Illinois, as well as New York Democrats Jerrold
Nadler and Nita Lowey.

What's going on here?

"The U.N. oil-for-food program has given Saddam Hussein the opportunity to
provide basic needs to his people, but he has squandered huge sums of money
on arms and luxury goods," says Lowey. "I am horrified by the images of
Iraqis who do not have enough food and shelter, but this is a product of
tyrannical leadership, not U.N. sanctions. Lifting sanctions will only
bolster Saddam Hussein's coffers and enable him to buy weapons of mass
destruction--it will not help the Iraqi people."

These are the same arguments made by the American Israel Public Affairs
Committee (AIPAC)--the second most influential lobbying group in Washington,
D.C., according to Fortune magazine. AIPAC has made the pro-sanctions
campaign a top priority, urging members of Congress to sign the
Crowley-Sweeney letter, and asserting that supporting sanctions on Iraq
means supporting Israel.

"Iraq is number one, in terms of immediate military threats to Israel,"
AIPAC spokesman Kenneth Bricker explains. "People are forgetting the purpose
of sanctions, which is to prevent Iraq from getting its hands on hard
currency. Whenever Saddam gets hard currency from oil revenues, he spends it
on weapons of mass destruction."

Khalil E. Jahshan, vice president of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination
Committee, which has been lobbying on the other side, is exasperated by the
anti-Saddam argument. "Since the beginning of the Gulf war, with the
demonization of Iraq, somehow Iraq has been reduced to Saddam Hussein, as if
twenty-two million Iraqi people did not exist," Jahshan says. "This allowed
for an insensitivity or at least a passivity from the far left to the far
right."

But Jahshan is hopeful: "We are beginning to see a reversal of that
attitude, and some sort of intelligent debate, for the first time since
1991."

Among the most vocal early supporters of sanctions on the left was
Representative Barney Frank, Democrat of Massachusetts. In his 1992 book,
Speaking Frankly: What's Wrong with the Democrats and How to Fix It (Times
Books), Frank offered advice on how to buff the Democrats' image. He
recommended shaking off the scruffy, 1960s anti-war image and supporting a
kind of "progressive" militarism. "Those of us who disagree with the left's
rejection of America's moral right to use force in the world must speak out
more vigorously lest our candidates find themselves isolated on the left,"
Frank wrote.

Frank spoke out vigorously a year and a half ago when I encountered him on a
Stairmaster at a Washington, D.C., gym, watching live footage of the bombing
of Iraq. "This is the worst of the left!" he snapped at me when I asked him
whether bombing and starving Iraqi civilians wasn't brutal and ineffective.
"What would you do? Send in more American ground troops to be killed?"

Frank backed the Clinton Administration's program of containing Saddam
Hussein through a campaign of sanctions and periodic bombings: "So we'll
bomb him again, every so often, and prevent him from getting weapons of mass
destruction." As for the civilian costs: "That's his fault."

Recently, Frank's position has softened a bit. He refused to sign either of
the letters on sanctions that are circulating. "I'm for modifying but not
completely lifting the sanctions," he says. "This is one of the most vicious
regimes in the world. We shouldn't just back down. . . . But I think the
sanctions have been administered unfairly. I want to loosen them, and
maximize the chance that he can buy food and civilian equipment."

Another Democrat who has been rethinking his position on Iraq is the dovish,
leftwing Representative from Ohio Tony Hall. Hall visited Iraq in April to
take a look at the devastating effect of sanctions. The American-Arab
Anti-Discrimination Committee and Peace Action praised Hall for his public
statements deploring the calamity in Iraq upon his return. But the groups'
press releases ignored Hall's conclusion: that sanctions should not be
lifted.

"We expected when he came back he would be opposing the sanctions," says
Hall staffer Deborah DeYoung. "He is against sanctions in North Korea, and
he's fed up with sanctions against Cuba. In general, he doesn't think they
work, and they hurt the poor."

Despite all that, Hall says he can't support the proposal to "delink" the
civilian and military blockades on Iraq.

"Iraq's people are suffering terribly, and it was heartbreaking to see their
pain firsthand," Hall said when he returned to Washington from his trip.
"But, like the majority of American citizens, I remain concerned about the
military threat Iraq continues to pose to its neighbors and the world, and
convinced that until progress is made on eliminating weapons of mass
destruction, lifting sanctions would be irresponsible."

Hall felt "manipulated" by his Iraqi hosts, and he essentially agreed with
AIPAC that Saddam Hussein is using the horrible plight of his people for his
own political ends. "I wish that I could support lifting sanctions," Hall
said. "Many religious leaders, aid workers, and other people I respect
oppose them. I am troubled, though, that some opponents of sanctions don't
focus as much attention on Iraq's government as I believe they should."

The Iraqi government could make more of a good-faith effort, Hall believes.
"It was apparent from the moment he got there that everything, including the
people's suffering, was part of a campaign to end sanctions," DeYoung says.
"At one hospital in Baghdad, looking at admittedly terrible suffering, the
Iraqi guides made the point that the children there have to sleep two to a
bed, that there are not enough beds for them. And while they were talking, a
member of the staff slipped away down the hall, and saw rooms and rooms of
empty beds."

Stunts like that aside, Hall has no doubt that UNICEF's dire estimates of
infant mortality, malnutrition, and disease are accurate.

The heart of the problem, according to Hall, is not the sanctions, but the
stalemate between the United States government and Iraq. He condemned racism
, a trigger-happy U.S. policy, and belligerence on both sides.

Instead of lifting or "delinking" economic and military sanctions, Hall
proposes streamlining relief efforts. He points out that the United Nations
stops huge shipments of food and medicine from going to Iraq because as
little as 10 percent of the items in a shipment might be used for building
weapons. The bureaucratic culture of the oil-for-food program encourages
such bottlenecks by rewarding the discovery of possible "dual uses" and
holding up shipments of items such as chlorine--which is essential for water
purification--because it could be used to make chlorine gas.

"If you find a kidney machine gizmo also works as a nuclear trigger, you're
the toast of the town," says DeYoung. "If you just approve the pencil
shipment, you get no credit."

Manipulation by the Iraqi government also doesn't account for the uneven
distribution of oil-for-food relief, according to former U.N. humanitarian
coordinator Hans von Sponeck. Von Sponeck recently became the second U.N.
official to resign from the program, protesting the sanctions on Iraq. The
oil-for-food program currently totals only $177 per person, per year,
according to Von Sponeck, and food relief alone simply cannot make up for a
devastated infrastructure.

"Lifting sanctions is the only realistic way to end the human catastrophe in
Iraq, rebuild the economy, get people back to work, and reestablish health
care, education, electric power, clean water, sanitation, agriculture, oil
production levels, and fix other sectors," says Denis Halliday, the first
U.N. humanitarian coordinator for Iraq who resigned in protest in 1998.

Because of the U.N. officials' protests, and the efforts of peace activists,
the devastation suffered by the people of Iraq is getting more attention now
than it has received in a decade. Even if efforts to lift the sanctions are
not successful, some sort of reform of the U.N.'s relief effort seems
likely.

"Grassroots activism to lift the economic sanctions on Iraq is definitely on
the rise," says Fran Teplitz of Peace Action.

"Given the dismal situation in Iraq, there is no room for optimism," says
Jahshan. "But at least there is some movement, and an emerging public
opinion that is dissatisfied with the failed long-term policy."
________________________________________________________

 Sanctions take a chilling toll, Opinion -- Irish Times, 6 June '00
http://www.ireland.com/newspaper/opinion/2000/0606/op5.htm

Niall Andrews has been an MEP representing Dublin since 1984.

The UN sanctions are causing unnecessary hardship in Iraq, argues Niall
Andrews

The case for lifting the vast majority of UN sanctions currently imposed
against Iraq is compelling. It is now 10 years since the United Nations
first imposed sanctions against the Iraqi government.

This was in direct retaliation for the invasion of Kuwait by the forces of
Saddam Hussein. There was widespread global support in 1990 for tough
measures to be imposed against the Iraqi government. Dialogue alone was not
going to liberate Kuwait and return the semblance of stability to the
region.

One of the first measures to be passed by the United Nations on August 6th,
1990, was known as resolution 661. This initiated the ban on exports of
technical and scientific books to Iraq by third countries. Put in more stark
terms, it started the process of cutting off new medical information.

The last 10 years have witnessed a deterioration in the standard of the
health services in Iraq that beggars belief. The infrastructure of the 130
hospitals in the country is simply collapsing. These hospitals have not
received the necessary repairs or maintenance so as to be in a position to
provide even an adequate standard of healthcare. In some Iraqi hospitals,
raw sewage is dripping into operating theatres.

UNICEF and the International Committee of the Red Cross have been able to
provide the outside world with more chilling statistics about the effect of
the UN sanctions regime in Iraq:

Infant mortality has doubled in the country.

Some 500,000 children have died in Iraq since the Gulf War.

A third of all children under the age of five have serious malnutrition.

There will be little change in these chilling statistics of human suffering
as long as UN sanctions are still in operation. The basic infrastructure
needs of the country will have to be substantially improved if we are to
reverse the social and economic decline. Basic water and sanitation services
need to be urgently upgraded. Half of the rural population in Iraq do not
have access to any adequate supplies of clean drinking water.

If UN sanctions were designed to bring the Iraqi government to heel on
disputed outstanding international matters, they have not succeeded in that
objective. They have led to the collapse of the whole infrastructure of the
country, which will take decades to rebuild. They have forced unemployment
to rise to 60 per cent.

UN sanctions have hit at the most vulnerable in Iraqi society. This includes
children, young people, pregnant women, the elderly and people with chronic
diseases.

There is a growing international concern that the sanctions regime against
Iraq must be completely reevaluated. I do not want to see the Iraqi
government being given an opportunity to rebuild its armed forces. The track
record of this government is wholly belligerent, to say the least.

However, the UN food for oil programme has not improved the humanitarian
problems in the country. It has not halted the collapse of the health system
and the deterioration of water supplies, which together pose one of the
gravest threats to the health and well-being of the civilian population.

I met many civilian and NGO groupings in Iraq during my seven-day political
visit to the country. I also met Iraqi Foreign Minister Mr Tariq Aziz, who
sought the support of the three MEPS on the delegation for a lifting of UN
sanctions.

I supported the request that the vast majority of these sanctions should be
abolished as soon as possible. I support this political position, not as a
means to bolster the regime of the Iraqi government, but as an international
mechanism to help the weakest in Iraqi society.

I intend to open up a full round of discussions with the European Commission
and with all the political groups in the European Parliament on this matter.
It is an imperative that a consensus is built up in Europe that many of the
UN sanctions in place against the Iraqi Government be rescinded.

EU decision-makers have a moral obligation to force progress on this issue -
before the human suffering in Iraq reaches even more calamitous heights.
________________________________________________________

 Iran Reportedly Allows Iraqi Oil in Its Sea Lanes, Los Angeles Times, 6
June '00
http://www.latimes.com/news/asection/20000606/t000053546.html

By ROBIN WRIGHT, Times Staff Writer

TEHRAN -- In an unexpected reversal, Iran has opened its protected sea lanes
to dozens of ships carrying illegal shipments of Iraqi oil in violation of
U.N. sanctions on Saddam Hussein's government, U.S. officials said Monday.

The Clinton administration considers the about-face alarming because oil
smuggling is Hussein's only major source of independent income. U.S.
officials have estimated that unfettered access to Iranian waters could
generate as much as $1 billion for his regime this year.

For about two months, Iran had refused to allow ships carrying contraband
Iraqi oil to sail along its coastline beyond the reach of U.N. and U.S.
ships deployed to enforce the embargo. But Thursday, a wave of oil-laden
ships moved into Iranian waters in what one senior U.S. official likened to
"a jailbreak."

"There was a huge backlog of ships full of smuggled oil that couldn't move
into the [Persian] Gulf because Iran had kept them bottled up," said the
official, who declined to be identified. "Then, suddenly, on Thursday they
all set sail."

U.S. officials said they are mystified by Iran's apparent policy shift,
noting that Tehran had been widely lauded for the spirit of cooperation it
displayed over the previous two months.

Besides the obvious boost to Iraq's finances, the administration is
concerned about the diplomatic implications of Iran's turnabout.

Iran's clampdown on Iraqi oil shipments coincided with a U.S. overture
lifting sanctions on exports of Iranian carpets, pistachios and caviar.
Washington had hoped that Tehran's move to curtail smuggling was a
reciprocal gesture signaling interest in warmer relations after two decades
of open hostility.

After the ships were detected in Iran's sea lanes Thursday, the United
States and other countries made urgent appeals to Tehran through diplomatic
channels to stop the traffic. Those requests were confirmed Monday by Iran's
Foreign Ministry.

"They informed us that one or two ships had been seized, and asked us to
seize the rest. We passed the information immediately to our military
authorities, as it is our policy to seize all vessels carrying Iraqi oil,"
Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif told The Times.

Zarif said about two dozen ships were involved. American officials, however,
said the figure is considerably higher.

The problem for Iran involves logistics, not political will, said Zarif,
citing the more than 600 miles of Iranian coastline along the gulf.

"We told the United Nations that we would respond to the best of our ability
but that we also need international assistance," Zarif said. "This is a
costly and difficult exercise considering the vast area involved."

According to U.S. officials, the illegal oil shipments are now passing
through Iranian waters with no apparent impediments.

The oil-laden ships have sailed under a number of flags, including those of
Russia, Honduras, Belize, Panama and some Mideast countries. As long as they
remain within 12 miles of Iran's coastline, they are outside the
jurisdiction of U.N. and U.S. ships enforcing the embargo.

It is easier for ships to evade U.S. and U.N. monitors once they get farther
down the gulf.

Under U.N. sanctions, Iraq is allowed to export as much crude oil as it can
produce, but only under the auspices of a U.N.-monitored "oil-for-food"
program. Funds generated by the approved shipments are distributed by the
United Nations to purchase humanitarian supplies for Iraqi citizens.

But Hussein's government has generated a separate stream of illicit income
for itself by selling smuggled oil and refined petroleum products to foreign
buyers. U.S. officials said such sales have been his only significant source
of funds to spend on weapons programs, luxury goods or other
non-humanitarian purchases.

To avoid the U.N. blockade, sanctions-busting ships have loaded contraband
oil in the Iraqi port of Abu Flus, then sailed through the narrow Shatt al
Arab waterway to the gulf, according to U.S. officials.

Before entering the gulf, the ships passed through a checkpoint run by
Iran's Revolutionary Guards, who charged a fee based on the quantity of oil
the ships were carrying, U.S. officials contend. That practice was halted
two months ago when Iran decided to shut down the coastal smuggling route,
but it appears to have resumed, U.S. officials said.

U.S. officials have said they are not certain whether the smuggling has been
condoned by officials in Tehran, or whether it has been a rogue operation.
It is unclear whether the Revolutionary Guards are within the full control
of President Mohammad Khatami, who, under Iran's Islamic government, is not
commander in chief.
________________________________________________________

 Qatar's Iraq Initiative Collapses Before Start, Reuters, 7 June '00
http://abcnews.go.com/wire/World/reuters20000607_901.html

DOHA -- A Qatari proposal for a regional initiative to help lift sanctions
against Iraq appears to have collapsed due to lack of support from other
Gulf Arab states, officials said on Wednesday.

"It seems it (the proposal) is dead before it could take off because of the
reluctance of Saudi Arabia and Kuwait to talk to Iraq," one Qatari official
told Reuters.

Qatar proposed its idea on Saturday to its partners in the Gulf Cooperation
Council (GCC) which also includes Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates,
Kuwait, Oman and Bahrain.

Qatar also presented the proposal at a meeting in Cairo on Monday of the six
Gulf Arab states with Syria and Egypt.

The eight nations which joined the U.S.-led Gulf War coalition that ended
Iraq's seven-month occupation of Kuwait in 1991 declared backing for the
Iraqi people at the end of their talks but made no mention of efforts to
ease the U.N. sanctions.

The Qatari official said Egypt and Syria blocked any discussion on the
proposal.

FEW SUPPORTERS FOR PROPOSAL

"There were few supporters. The Egyptians and Syrians blocked even a
discussion on the proposals and the meeting ended with the routine call on
Iraq to abide by all U.N. resolutions, without a reference to the Qatari
proposal," the official said.

Saudi Arabia's Defence Minister Prince Sultan said on Tuesday the kingdom
would only support a lift of sanctions on Iraq if Baghdad complied with U.N.
Security Council resolutions.

He made his comments on Tuesday night in answer to a question on Iraqi
accusations this week that Kuwait and Saudi Arabia had stifled the Qatari
proposal.

Kuwait and Saudi Arabia have in the past resisted calls for the lifting of
the U.N. embargo imposed on Iraq for its August 1990 invasion of Kuwait.

They maintain that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein was to blame for the human
suffering of his people and refuse to deal directly with an Iraq ruled by
him.

Other Gulf Arab states have preserved or rehabilitated ties with Iraq to
some extent. Bahrain and the UAE reopened diplomatic missions in Baghdad
recently while Qatar and Oman have continued to host an Iraqi ambassador.

All six are united in their call on Iraq to comply with all U.N.
resolutions, but have expressed deep concern at the human suffering the
sanctions have inflicted.

Qatari officials would not give details of the proposed regional initiative,
but indicated that the release of prisoners of war (POWs), held in Iraq
since the Gulf War, could be a starting point for dialogue.

"Other vital issues, like disarmament and weapons inspection, are between
the international community and Iraq, but the release of POWs, in our view,
could be a bilateral issue and could be resolved by dialogue regionally,"
said another Qatari official.

"It could be a starting point," he added.

Qatar is a small state in the region but it is seen a maverick among its
conservative allies and had in the past vexed its partners for forging trade
ties with Israel and moving faster than others in normalising ties with Iraq
and Iran.

It also went against the tide in 1999 when it criticised U.S. and British
air strikes against Iraq's no-fly zones.
________________________________________________________

 Euro MP Calls for End to Sanctions Against Iraq, Reuters, 7 June '00
http://abcnews.go.com/wire/World/reuters20000607_1870.html

BRUSSELS -- A member of the European Parliament urged the United Nations on
Wednesday to abandon sanctions against Iraq after a fact-finding mission to
the country.

Bashir Khanbhai, a British member of the conservative European People's
Party, added his voice to a growing number of critics of the embargo on most
trade, imposed on Iraq after it invaded Kuwait in 1990.

Khanbhai told Reuters the sanctions had brought misery on ordinary Iraqis,
who 10 years ago had been the "envy of the Middle East," and had failed to
weaken President Saddam Hussein.

"A separate rule has been applied to Iraq. No other country has been
subjected to such a humiliation as Iraq has been through these sanctions,"
Khanbhai said.

He praised countries such as France for seeking leniency for Iraq and urged
the European Union to take the lead in establishing a dialogue with Saddam
to "persuade rather than bully" him into cooperation on making Iraq more
democratic.

Khanbhai led a group of three members of the European Parliament to Iraq
last week which also included Irishman Niall Andrews and Italian Luisa
Morgantini.

The EU is the largest international donor to Iraq. Last month it approved an
8.6 million euro ($8.22 million) humanitarian aid programme to supply mostly
drugs and medical equipment.

. . . . .

($1-1.046 Euro)
________________________________________________________

 Iran Opens Faucet for Smuggled Iraqi Oil, Baltimore Sun, 7 June '00
http://www.sunspot.net/content/news/story?section=news&pagename=story&storyi
d=1150340225222

Gulf transit picks up from a trickle in May

By Tom Bowman and Jay Hancock
Sun National Staff

WASHINGTON -- After a stiff, two-month crackdown on illegal Iraqi oil
shipments in the Persian Gulf, Iran is allowing renewed smuggling activity,
puzzling U.S. officials who had hoped to extinguish a key financing source
for Saddam Hussein's weapons programs.

"The activity's picked up again in the last two weeks," said U.S. Navy Cmdr.
Jeff Gradeck, a spokesman for the gulf-based allied naval force that is
enforcing the United Nations trade sanctions against Iraq. "Why [Iran has]
opened it up and to what extent I don't know."

Iranian complicity is crucial for the shipment of illegal Iraqi oil through
the Persian Gulf. By staying within Iran's 12-mile-wide territorial waters
along the gulf's northern and eastern shoreline, smugglers are safe from
allied ships seeking illegal cargo.

Tehran's exact role in the renewed shipments was unclear yesterday. But the
fresh activity after a two-month lull has worried U.S. officials.

"Of course that concerns us," said P. J. Crowley, spokesman for the White
House National Security Council. "We have conveyed our concern ... to Iran
that it is their responsibility to enforce the sanctions regime that is in
place."

U.S. officials were still analyzing the new activity yesterday and were
uncertain as to whether it is likely to continue. But any increase in
smuggling is disturbing, they said, because it bolsters the pariah regime of
Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.

"This is a critical influx of capital that he would rely on," said a State
Department official. "It allows him to take part in all his illicit
activities: funding terrorism, pursuit of weapons of mass destruction,
building his own palaces."

Earlier this year, Iraq was shipping upwards of 3 million barrels of illegal
oil per month, most of it through Iranian territorial waters, according to
Pentagon officials. But smuggling fell to only 1.1 million barrels during
May after Iran closed its coastline to smugglers.

"It slowed to a trickle" in May and picked up again only in the past 10
days, as allied ships boarded 29 vessels and found that four were carrying
illegal oil, Gradeck said.

Iran denied that it has relaxed its vigilance and said in explanation of the
renewed flow of illegal oil that it is unable to stop every illegal vessel.

"There has not been any change in policy in Iran's position regarding the
implementation of United Nations sanctions on Iraq," said Hossein Nosrat, a
spokesman for Iran's mission to the United Nations in New York. "We, to the
best of our ability, will continue to take all necessary measures in this
regard."

Iraq has denied that illegal oil shipments take place. A spokesman for the
country's mission to the United Nations said yesterday that Iraq would have
no immediate comment on reports of renewed illicit sales.

Smuggling enables Iraq to collect oil revenues without going through a
strictly controlled U.N. program that requires the proceeds to be spent on
food and medicine for the Iraqi people. U.N. sanctions, imposed after Iraq's
invasion of Kuwait in 1990 and adjusted several times since then, prohibit
sales that don't go through this "oil for food" program.

The proceeds from illegal shipments are spent on weapons development,
terrorism and the repressive internal measures that help maintain Hussein's
hold on power, said U.S. officials and Middle East policy analysts.

Smuggling in the Persian Gulf skyrocketed last fall and continued at a high
level through March, according to U.S. officials, as Iraqi leader Hussein
took advantage of rising oil prices. Hussein was on track to reap more than
$1 billion this year from smuggling, U.S. officials said.

But two months ago, illegal shipments plummeted as Tehran announced it would
mount "intensified operations" to stop smugglers. The amount of smuggled oil
through the gulf dropped by almost half in April and by two-thirds in May,
officials said.

"The Iranian government decided not to support that trade," said Leo
Drollas, deputy director at the London-based Center for Global Energy
Studies. "They thought the spotlight was on them, and they wanted to draw
back from it. Plus, the U.S. Navy has been more active in the gulf."

In an official Iranian government radio broadcast - "Voice of the Islamic
Republic" - in April, an announcer said Iranian naval forces had seized 10
ships carrying 45,000 metric tons of illicit Iraqi oil and noted that "some
middlemen" were profiting from the trade. The broadcast did not mention that
the middlemen include the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, who pick up an
estimated $50 per metric ton as a passage fee from the smugglers, Pentagon
officials said.

Iraq would receive $95 per metric ton from the smugglers, Pentagon spokesman
Kenneth Bacon estimated in April. About $60 per metric ton would go into the
pockets of the smugglers by the time the oil was sold for $205 per metric
ton in the United Arab Emirates, India or Pakistan. A metric ton equals 7.3
barrels of oil.

As recently as May 25, the Iranian crackdown was still in force as
Revolutionary Guards halted a Belize-registered tanker carrying 1,400 tons
of fuel oil at the entrance to the gulf, Iran's official news agency
reported, saying the Guards would continue its patrols "to implement U.N.
resolutions."

The State Department took credit for the change in Iranian policy, saying
Tehran moved after the United States produced evidence suggesting that
smuggling was having a destabilizing influence on Iran. "It was made clear
to Iran that this smuggling was being used by Saddam Hussein for his own
purposes, including funding for ... a terrorist group which targets Iran,"
said a State Department official.

But the seesaw fortunes of Persian Gulf oil smugglers may also reflect
changing relations between Tehran and Baghdad or political developments
inside Iran, Middle East specialists said.

"One of the things to keep in mind is that the government of Iran is really
different from the government of Iraq," said Jon B. Alterman, a Middle East
analyst for the U.S. Institute of Peace, a government-funded think tank.
"The government of Iraq is tightly controlled from the center. The
government of Iran is made of many parties who don't have the same views and
sometimes work at cross-purposes."
________________________________________________________

 Why the Price of Oil Will Likely Remain High, Stratfor, 8 June '00
http://www.stratfor.com/SERVICES/giu2000/060800.ASP

Summary

Iraq will soon increase oil exports by 700,000 barrels per day, reopening
the previously damaged Khor al-Omaia oil terminal. However, illegal Iraqi
oil exports depend on Iranian cooperation to find their way to the open
waters of the Persian Gulf. As a result, Tehran will soon use its newfound
leverage to influence decisions on production and prices at the upcoming
meeting of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). If
Tehran gets its way, the price of oil will hover at the comparatively high
price of about $28 per barrel.

Analysis

Rafid al-Diboni, director general of Iraq's state-run Southern Oil Company,
told the Al-Ilam newspaper June 7 that two of four loading quays at Khor
al-Omaia oil terminal have been repaired and will resume operations ''soon.'
' Located just west of Iraq's main oil terminal at Mina al-Bakr, Khor
al-Omaia was virtually destroyed in the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war and damaged
again in the 1991 Gulf War.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), repairs began
in 1993. When the terminal is fixed, its capacity will near 1.2 million
barrels per day (bpd). With two of four loading quays reportedly repaired,
Khor al-Omaia should be able to boost exports by 600,000 to 700,000 barrels
each day. With current Iraqi production around 2.6 million barrels, such an
increase would put Iraq's output near 3.2 -- 3.3 million bpd -- close to
pre-Gulf War levels.

Iraq clearly timed its announcement in advance of the next OPEC meeting in
Vienna, Austria, in two weeks. There the cartel will decide whether to raise
production and lower prices, now at about $28 per barrel. Baghdad probably
made its announcement in the hope of swaying the cartel not to raise
production quotas; the Iraqi regime is not subject to quotas because of U.N.
sanctions dating back to the Gulf War, and Baghdad favors limiting
production and propping up prices. Oil smuggling accounts for nearly all of
the country's revenues beyond the ceiling set by the U.N. oil-for-food
program.

Iraq is effectively threatening to single-handedly affect the world price of
oil. At the June 21 meeting, OPEC members will have to deal with the threat
of increased Iraqi oil production. Whether Iraq's claim is true or false, it
must be dealt with as a legitimate possibility. A 700,000 bpd increase by
Iraq would equal half of the increase -- 1.4 million bpd -- that OPEC
members agreed to in March.

But Baghdad is not in control of its own oil shipments. Iraq's archrival,
Iran, controls routes to the Persian Gulf. U.S. Navy Vice Adm. Charles
Moore, coordinator of the U.S.-led Maritime Interdiction Force, has said
that Iran facilitated Iraqi oil smuggling. Two months ago, Tehran suddenly
ceased cooperation and began seizing tankers. But on June 1, the Iranian
regime apparently resumed its tacit cooperation with smugglers, allowing
them to traverse coastal waters.

Iran has already demonstrated its willingness to use Iraqi smuggling to its
own political benefit, in both relations with OPEC and with the United
States. Iran opposed OPEC's March decision to increase production and
stabilize prices. Tehran began seizing tankers shortly after the last OPEC
meeting, where it withdrew from the cartel's agreement.

The cartel's success has depended upon forging a strong political consensus
among competing members. Saudi Arabia and Venezuela, along with non-member
Mexico, spearheaded the production cuts of March 1999 that, in turn, led to
the highest oil prices since the Gulf War. But since Iraq and Iran distanced
themselves from the cartel's March decision, OPEC has begun to fracture. The
cartel's ability to secure consensus has been severely damaged.

Iran will come to Vienna ready to throw its weight around. Iraq wants to
export as much oil as possible -- that is a given. But Iran effectively
controls the level of Iraqi exports.

Therefore, the announcement of a potential increase in Iraq's export
capacity effectively gives Iran considerably more influence in negotiations
with OPEC. It allows Tehran to speak with the weight of two countries'
export capacities behind it.

And if Tehran gets its way, as is likely, production increases will be
minimal -- and the price of oil will stay high in the months to come.
________________________________________________________

 Arab-Americans Boo, Heckle U.S. Official on Iraq, Reuters, 9 June '00
http://abcnews.go.com/wire/Politics/reuters20000609_3263.html

ARLINGTON, Va. -- Arab-Americans booed and heckled a senior State Department
official on Friday when he tried to defend U.N. sanctions against Iraq at
the annual convention of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee.

Over formal lunch at a hotel in the Washington area, guest speaker and Under
Secretary of State Thomas Pickering angered the audience by saying sanctions
against Iraq must continue.

Delegates began banging their plates and booing, disrupting the speech for
several minutes. One heckler shouted, "Shame, shame on you! How dare you?
You want to kill the kids of Iraq. What kind of a human being are you?"

A group of women shouted, "Get out!" and "Let the children live!" They then
walked out for the rest of the speech, which Pickering eventually resumed.

Pickering said, "I can understand your depth of feeling but I should at
least have an opportunity to present a point of view I truly believe in...
We should each have an opportunity to listen to each other without rancor or
clamor."

The official, who ranks third in the State Department hierarchy and has been
U.S. ambassador to Jordan and Israel, also faced hostile questions on the
Arab-Israeli conflict and the regular bombing of Iraq by U.S. and British
warplanes.

To applause, Palestinian-American Ziad Mughraby said, "You stand there
representing the most fascist Zionist administration (Israel) in Washington,
D.C., now lecture about (Iraqi President) Saddam Hussein. What about Israel?
What about what happened to the Palestinians, to the Lebanese?"

Pickering replied, "I recognize the deep-seated sense of grief, hurt and
disturbance and worse that people feel for what has happened to them in the
Middle East and beyond.

"I cannot deal with the past. I can only help with the future. I am
determined to do that."

It was the first time a State Department official addressed the annual
convention of the Anti-Discrimination Committee, which is one of the largest
Arab-American organizations in the United States.

OIL-FOR-FOOD PROGRAM

Later, U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan received a warm welcome from the
group. In his speech, which touched on the issue of Iraq, he urged Baghdad
to comply with Security Council resolutions, which call for Iraq to allow
U.N. arms inspectors back into the country.

"My fervent hope is that Iraq will decide to comply fully with Security
Council resolutions and thus open a new chapter in its relations with the
international community," Annan said.

Annan pointed out, however, that the sanctions had hurt Iraq and worsened
its humanitarian crisis. "As an unintended consequence, what is certain and
tragic is that it has held back Iraq's development -- economic, social and
probably political as well."

Another U.S. official, deputy Middle East peace mediator Aaron Miller, will
probably go ahead with plans to speak to a convention panel on Saturday, an
official said.

In defense of sanctions against Iraq, Pickering said that because of the
oil-for-food
program, lifting the sanctions would not lead to dramatic change for the
people of Iraq.

Iraq says millions of children have died over the years because of the
sanctions, imposed in 1990 after Iraq invaded Kuwait. The United Nations set
new conditions for lifting sanctions after Iraqi forces were driven out in
1991.

Pickering said, "Lifting sanctions would free Saddam to rebuild his military
and his weapons of mass destruction programs but would not give any
guarantee of either money or a better life for the average Iraqi."

He repeated allegations that the Iraqi government has deliberately
obstructed the distribution of food and medicines in Iraq to make propaganda
out of the suffering.

For example, Iraq long ignored U.N. calls that it order special foods for
needy people and refused to distribute medicines worth $250 million from its
warehouses until public pressure was brought to bear, he said.

Under the oil-for-food program, Iraq sold oil worth $8.4 billion in the last
six-month phase and the annual rate is expected to be $20 billion, he added.

. . . . .

In a gesture of good will to the Arab-American community, Pickering invited
young members of the community to join the foreign service as U.S.
diplomats. The State Department, which says it is committed to ethnic
diversity, has set up a recruitment stall at the convention.
________________________________________________________

 Russia Criticizes U.S.-British Patrol Of Iraqi No-Fly Zones, AP, 9 June '
00
http://www.foxnews.com/world/060900/uniraq.sml

By Nicole Winfield

UNITED NATIONS -- What should have been a perfunctory Security Council vote
to extend the U.N. humanitarian program in Iraq erupted into acrimonious
debate early Friday, with Russia criticizing sanctions and U.S. and British
airstrikes against Iraq.

Russian Ambassador Sergey Lavrov took the floor of the council chamber three
times, delivering a bristling critique of the sanctions, the air patrols and
the council's overall failure to solve the Iraq crisis after 10 years.

"We're trying to deal with the symptoms -- to ease the symptoms of the
disease -- but we're not dealing with the crux of the problem," Lavrov said
in a rambling, off-the-cuff speech.

He was joined in his criticism by deputy Chinese ambassador Shen Guofang,
who decried the impact of the airstrikes but expressed some optimism that a
study the council authorized Thursday night would assess the humanitarian
impact that the strikes have caused.

The United States and Britain have been enforcing northern and southern
no-fly zones in Iraq since the end of the Persian Gulf War to protect Shiite
Muslims in the south and Kurds in the north from Iraq's army. The allies say
their regular aerial attacks hit only military targets, but Iraq often
claims civilians are injured or killed.

"These bombings have caused suffering," Shen said.

The debate came during discussion on a resolution to keep the U.N. relief
program, due to expire at midnight, running for another six months. . . . .
.

The new resolution also allows Iraq to spend $600 million from its oil sales
on spare parts for its oil industry and lets it buy water and sanitation
equipment without approval from the council's sanctions committee.

In Cairo, Iraq's trade minister said the oil-for-food program was doing
little to help the Iraqi people. Out of $29 billion earned since the program
began in 1996, Iraq has access to only $7 billion, the rest set aside for
paying U.N. expenses in Iraq or compensation to Gulf War victims, Mohammed
Mehdi Saleh said.

The program has "failed to ease the suffering of the Iraqi people, and Iraq
now calls it the oil-for-U.N. expenses" program, the minister said, quoted
by Egypt's Middle East News Agency.

. . . . .

British Ambassador Jeremy Greenstock said the no-fly zone patrols were
authorized under resolutions calling for the protection of Iraqi minorities.
And the deputy American ambassador, James Cunningham, said it was
"disingenuous" to suggest that the limited airstrikes impact the overall
humanitarian situation in Iraq.
________________________________________________________

 Vatican Voices Opposition to Iraq Embargo, AFP, 9 June '00

VATICAN CITY -- The Vatican remains opposed to the international embargo
against Iraq, The Holy See's Secretary of State, Cardinal Angelo Sodano,
told visiting Iraqi parliamentary speaker Saadoun Hammadi on Friday.

The two leaders discussed the situation in Iraq and "notably the negative
effect of the sanctions on people's lives," Vatican spokesman Joaquin
Navarro Valls said after the meeting.

Sodano and Vatican Foreign Minister Jean-Louis Tauran broached "everything
Pope John Paul II and the Holy See has done for Iraq, since the start of the
Gulf War until today," said Navarro Valls.

John Paul II has repeatedly made it clear that he opposes the embargo,
warning that such sanctions generally hit people much harder than any given
country's leadership which is targeted by the measure.

The Holy See is "very close to the Iraqi people because of their suffering,"
the spokesman cited the cardinal as saying.

Hammadi's visit marks a resumption of contacts between Baghdad and the Holy
See after Iraq requested in December that the pope postpone plans for a
visit because of the embargo and the existence of no-fly zones which British
and US warplanes have enforced over Iraq since the 1991 Gulf War.

. . . . .

Iraq is home to around one million Christians among its population of 22
million, most of them members of the Chaldean Catholic Church.

The pope, who visited Egypt, Israel and the Palestinian territories earlier
this year. still plans to make the trip to Iraq but no date has been
announced.
________________________________________________________

 Iraq Worst Prepared for E-Business, Economist, 9 June '00
http://www.economist.com/editorial/freeforall/current/index_bw6628.html

A survey of readiness for e-business, carried out by the Economist
Intelligence Unit, a sister organisation of The Economist, puts America at
the head of the field. Countries were assessed by their general business
environment and communications infrastructure. Nordic countries occupy the
next three slots; Japan is the lowest-ranked G7 country, in 21st position.
Dot.com entrepreneurs should avoid Iraq, which came last out of 60
countries.
________________________________________________________

 Security Council Extends Oil-for-Food Program Allowing Iraq to Import
Necessities, New York Times, 10 June '00
http://www.nytimes.com/library/world/global/061000un-iraq.html

By BARBARA CROSSETTE

UNITED NATIONS -- With Iraqi profits from oil sales now at record-high
levels, the Security Council has extended the "oil-for-food" program for
another six months to allow the imports of food, medicine and other civilian
necessities.

During this period, a new arms inspection system will be readied to go into
action in Iraq, the chief inspector said on Thursday, challenging Iraq to
take advantage of a more lenient set of requirements for suspending economic
sanctions imposed after Iraq's invasion of Kuwait in 1990.

. . . . .

In debate before a vote near midnight on Thursday, the deadline for the
oil-sales extension, the council defeated a Russian and Chinese attempt to
write into the resolution language that would have identified the sanctions
as the sole cause of continuing hardships in Iraq.

That argument did not convince all council members, as the Iraqis are
thought to have generated $8.4 billion in oil sales in the latest six-month
phase. Since 1996, $25.3 billion in oil has been sold. Some experts say that
President Saddam Hussein is also pulling in hundreds of millions of dollars
in illegally smuggled oil.

Not all the legal profits go to the government for purchases to improve the
lives of Iraqi citizens. A third of the income is set aside for a
compensation fund for victims of Iraq's invasion of Kuwait, and other sums
are earmarked for autonomous Kurdish areas of Iraq and for the arms
inspection budget. Even so, Secretary General Kofi Annan said in his latest
report to the Security Council this week, there is now enough money to
significantly mitigate civilians' hardships if the government managed it
better.

"Now that increased revenues are available for the implementation of the
program, the government of Iraq is in a position to reduce current
malnutrition levels and to improve the health status of the Iraqi people,"
Mr. Annan said. He urged Iraq to increase the oil revenue allocated to
health and nutrition, to order and distribute supplies more efficiently.

Mr. Annan also said in his report that the most recent surveys by Unicef,
the United Nations children's fund, found that malnutrition rates had
leveled, with a slight reduction in the number of underweight children,
although rates for severe conditions known as stunting and wasting were
still too high. As for other aspects of children's welfare, Mr. Annan's
report noted some advances in education, including the rehabilitation of
schools.

But Mr. Annan again warned that the practice of certain Security Council
members -- primarily the United States, though it was not named -- of
blocking contracts with Iraq for water and sanitation equipment will
continue to harm health.

The Security Council also decided in the resolution approved Thursday night
to send an independent assessment team to Iraq to study the condition of the
Iraqi people.

. . . . .

In an interview Thursday, Hans Blix, the executive chairman of the United
Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission, or Unmovic, said
that the new organization has now filled most senior-level jobs and will be
training inspectors over the next few months. By August, they will be ready
to reopen the Baghdad monitoring center, closed by Iraq since December 1998,
and prepare for resumed inspections. The International Atomic Energy Agency,
which Dr. Blix once directed and which is responsible for monitoring nuclear
programs, is ready to resume its inspections at any time.

Although most of Iraq's complaints about the earlier inspection commission,
Unscom, have been addressed in the new system, Mr. Hussein has shown no
inclination to let inspectors return.

Dr. Blix said that after an absence of 18 months, inspectors will have to
re-establish baselines for surveys, reviewing all suspect Iraqi sites to be
monitored. Confounding his critics, Dr. Blix, a former Swedish foreign
minister, has kept some essential experts from Unscom on his team, ignoring
Iraqi and Russian demands for a clean slate.

"Then comes the question, when are we going in?" he said. "We see no sign
whatever of that at the present time. However, in politics things can
change, and my personal view is that the Iraqis would gain by cooperating
and accepting."

"They demand that the so-called sanctions should be lifted," he said. But he
added that few stringent sanctions remained, beyond a ban on air travel in
and out of the country. "It was an embargo on the sale of oil first; now
there are no limits on how much oil they can sell," he said. "They can use
any amount they want to buy food and medicine -- but they cannot buy
weapons.

"This is the Iraqi position: that they want to have all these restrictions
lifted.

He said the Security Council resolution creating the new inspection
commission offered some innovations that Iraq should consider if it wants to
speed the end of sanctions. "It enables the Security Council to suspend the
sanctions provided two criteria: that there be cooperation with Unmovic in
120 days, and included in the cooperation will also be the resolution of
some key disarmament issues," he said. "The criteria are, I would say, more
lenient."
________________________________________________________

 Squabbling Over Iraqi Sanctions, Economist, 10 June '00

ALMOST ten years since the United Nations first imposed sanctions on Iraq,
and over three and a half years since it introduced a "temporary"
humanitarian programme to mitigate their effects on ordinary Iraqis, the
Security Council looks as divided as ever over the future of Iraq. In
preparation for a vote on June 8th on the renewal of the oil-for food
scheme, as the humanitarian programme is known, the council's hawks and
doves floated irreconcilable proposals and counter-proposals. The net result
seems likely simply to prolong the status quo.

Britain, one of the more unforgiving council members, wanted to double the
period between renewals of the programme, to a year at a time. Others balked
at this, seeing it as an attempt to postpone into the far future any major
amendments to the sanctions regime. France, a relative dove, proposed easing
the near-total ban on air travel to and from Iraq. But that suggestion is
anathema to America and Britain.

The only reform that stands much chance of adoption would merely streamline
the arduous process of winning the council's approval for humanitarian
imports. As recently as the beginning of May, that process appeared
hopelessly gummed up. America and Britain had put almost $2 billion-worth of
contracts on indefinite hold for fear, they argued, that the goods in
question would be used for military rather than humanitarian purposes. But
after endless prodding from UN officials, the value of contracts in limbo
has fallen to $1.6 billion over the past five weeks. Thanks to this push,
plus high oil prices and Iraq's increasing volume of exports, the value of
goods now bound eventually for Iraq is $3.5 billion-which is about half the
total of goods that Iraq has received since the scheme began.

There is still room for improvement. A UN official pointedly reminded the
council on June 6th that $321m-worth of contracts remain on hold without any
explanation. Iraq, too, could help itself, especially by ordering more
nutritional supplements. But as Kofi Annan, the UN secretary-general, stated
in his most recent report, the oil-for-food programme was never intended as
"a substitute for the resumption of normal economic activity and cannot be
expected to address the whole range of needs of the Iraqi population."
Indeed, the main reason for the relative prosperity of Iraq's autonomous
Kurdish region is that it has an economic life beyond oil-for-food (see
article).

For the rest of Iraq, however, a return to normality remains linked to the
vexed question of disarmament. The UN continues to go through the motions of
assembling a new arms-control body to hunt for banned weapons. But Iraq has
refused to countenance any inspection missions since December 1998, when its
attempts to block inspectors from certain sites led to a bout of American
and British bombing.

Bombing on a lesser scale continues, almost routinely. So far this year,
according to American figures, the American and British jets patrolling over
Iraq have been fired at 149 times by Iraqi air defences, and have bombed 51
times "in retaliation". Like the deprivations of sanctions, intermittent
bombing has become part of the fabric of Iraqi life.
________________________________________________________

 Iraq Says UN Mismanaging Oil-for-Food Program, AP, 10 June '00
http://www.thestar.com/thestar/editorial/updates/intlnews/200006110_IRAQ-UN.
html

BAGHDAD -- Iraq accused the United Nations on Saturday of mismanaging
billions of dollars in revenues from the oil-for-food program, saying the
money could have been well-spent combatting the country's drought.

Iraq's deputy agriculture minister, Basil al-Dalali, spoke of the
government's frustration at not being able to use the money when ''Iraq
needs badly many things related to its economy.''

The oil-for-food program allows Iraq to circumvent UN economic sanctions and
sell oil under supervision. However, the revenues must be deposited in an
escrow account in a French bank and can only be spent buying food and
humanitarian goods on contracts approved by the UN sanctions committee.

Al-Dalali said Saturday that Iraq has more than $7 billion (U.S.) in the
French account but ''the money is frozen.'' Though he didn't say why, he was
apparently referring to the committee's having either rejected contracts or
put them on hold.

Iraq often has accused the United States and Britain - who dominate the
sanctions
committee - of creating hurdles for contracts. The two countries have said
they were only trying to ensure the goods could not be used for military
purposes.

''Contracts are still on hold while our suffering is on the increase,''
al-Dalali said.

Iraqi officials and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization have said Iraq
lost 70 per cent of its crops in the country's breadbasket last year due to
a drought.

No forecasts are available for this year's drought but al-Dalali predicted
it would be the worst in a century. UN relief officials said the drought
would have a devastating impact on the country's animals, crops and
power-generating capacity.

The Food and Agriculture Organization said it is preparing ''for another
serious crisis,'' and urged the UN committee to approve Iraq's spending $154
million US on irrigation equipment.

Iraq's Al-Khalis and Diyala rivers, which water some of Iraq's most fertile
land and orchards, have almost dried up. The government is considering
digging a canal to feed them from the Tigris River, though that too has hit
dangerously low levels in the last two years.

. . . . .
________________________________________________________

 Iraq Expects Poor 2000 Harvest Due to Drought, Reuters, 10 June '00
http://www.cnn.com/2000/WORLD/meast/06/10/bc.iraq.agriculture.reut/index.htm
l

BAGHDAD -- Iraq expects a poor harvest this year due to acute drought and a
lack of fertilizers and equipment, a senior government official said on
Saturday.

"Lack of fertilizers, agricultural machinery and the means of spraying
planted areas, let alone drought, will badly affect this year's harvest,"
agriculture ministry undersecretary Basil Dalali told a news conference.

"Iraq is facing a severe drought for the second season exacerbated by the
embargo, which has very seriously affected the agriculture sector," he said.
Iraq has been isolated by U.N. sanctions since its 1990 invasion of Kuwait.

"Much of the equipment, materials and spare parts bought by Iraq to cope
with severe drought have been put on hold by the U.N. sanctions committee."

The equipment includes over 3,700 water-spraying machines that Iraq sought
to obtain under phase six of the oil-for-food deal with the United Nations
that ended in December 1999.

The U.N. sanctions committee recently released $143 million worth of
agricultural equipment.

. . . . .

Dalali said the drought had been a further blow to Iraqi livestock already
hit by foot-and-mouth disease (FMD). "Around one million head of livestock
hit by foot-and-mouth disease have died because of the lack of vaccines," he
added.

. . . . .

Before 1990, Iraq imported 70 percent of its food needs. Under sanctions, it
has launched a drive for self-sufficiency, rehabilitating rural
infrastructure, cultivating more land, digging canals and increasing farm
prices.
________________________________________________________

Only links provided for the following reports:

 Iraq Urges Arab League to Stop Turkish Assault, Reuters, 5 June '00
http://www.cnn.com/2000/WORLD/meast/06/05/iraq.turkey.reut/index.html

 Smuggled Iraqi Oil Flows Once More, Stratfor, 7 June '00
 http://www.stratfor.com/MEAF/commentary/0006070210.htm

 Iraq 'Steps Up Attacks on UK Pilots', BBC, 8 June '00
http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/uk_politics/newsid_782000/782917.stm

 Italy Urges Iraq to Comply with U.N. Arms Control, Reuters, 8 June '00
http://abcnews.go.com/wire/World/reuters20000608_2183.html



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