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1) Iraq's non-cooperation mid-1998 2) US and UK refuse to re-confirm UNSCR 687 3) Inspectors withdrawn and then returned and then withdrawn 4) Butler's report - the FT view Dear all More stuff re: UNSCOM withdrawal that I wrote in response to a question recently. (Hence format.) Apart from the relevance to Butler's current publicity campaign, this will all be rehashed in relation to anniversary of invasion of Kuwait on 2 August. Cheers Mil 1) Iraq's non-cooperation mid-1998 > There is much said about Unscom leaving and the Britsh and US aerial > attacks in 1998. Is it correct to say that Iraq refused to cooperate > with Unscom after US spy material was found and that thereafter Unscom > was removed for the bombing to begin? There were two main international agencies charged with Iraqi disarmament - the IAEA took nuclear weapons, and UNSCOM chemical, biological and long-range missiles. Iraq continued cooperation with the IAEA until Desert Fox, as I recall. As far as UNSCOM was concerned, Iraq was engaged in a series of confrontations with the agency throughout 1998, and had, by the end of September 1998, reduced if not ended cooperation with the Scott Ritter inspection team side of things, though Baghdad continued cooperation with the monitoring system (cameras at missile testing ranges and factories and so on) and with maintenance of the monitoring system. 2) US and UK refuse to re-confirm UNSCR 687 Negotiations continued to try to persuade Iraq to resume full cooperation with UNSCOM. Iraq made a request for clarification, asking the Security Council to confirm that once disarmament had been verified, the oil embargo would be lifted, in accordance with Article 22 of UN Security Council Resolution 687. The US and Britain refused to sign up to a letter confirming this, and it was the wording forced through by them (avoiding precisely the issue Iraq was raising) that led to the escalation of the crisis. Three paras from our December 1998 briefing: The Prime Minister's main claim is that diplomacy has failed. He suggests that over the past few years, Britain has engaged in 'endless diplomacy' to persuade Iraq to disarm, and that there is now no alternative to the use of force. He points out that at the end of October, Baghdad ended cooperation with UNSCOM weapons inspectors. But what Mr Blair does not say is that 'Mr Saddam's decision to cripple UNSCOM was triggered by the US refusal explicitly to commit itself to lifting the oil embargo if Iraq complied with disarmament requirements - as stipulated by' paragraph 22 of UN Security Council Resolution 687. (Financial Times, 12 November 1998) In fact, on 30 October, the day before Iraq ended cooperation, 'the US rejected proposals by Russia, France and China that would have clearly committed the security council to a lifting of the oil embargo if Iraq complied with requirements to eliminate its weapons of mass destruction.' (FT, 2 Nov.) 'Iraq interpreted this as confirmation of its long-held - and plausible - belief that, even if it did come clean on all its weapons, no American administration would lift the oil embargo so long as Mr Hussein remained in power.' (Economist, 7 Nov.) Mr Blair has made much of Iraq's responsibilities under UNSCR 687. But he himself has helped to undermine the same resolution. Article 22 says that once nuclear, chemical, biological and missile disarmament has been verified, the oil embargo will be lifted. The US - and Britain - refused to reaffirm this. The 30 October Security Council clarification which refused to clearly commit the Security Council to paragraph 22 was 'drafted by Britain': it 'triggered Saddam's decree on 31 October that stymied UNSCOM entirely. Saddam had some reason for anger - the integrity of Article 22 is crucial for him.' (Independent, 13 Nov.) 3) Inspectors withdrawn and then returned and then withdrawn At the beginning of November, Iraq escalated its non-cooperation, inspectors were withdrawn; they returned shortly thereafter. They were then withdrawn again. 4) Butler's report - the FT view Then Richard Butler put in a 10-page report to the Security Council claiming that Iraqi noncompliance made the work of UNSCOM inspectors impossible. This report was taken as justification for the Desert Fox bombings by the US and Britain, despite the fact that the bombings were launched before the Security Council had come to a considered opinion of Butler's report (bombing began as the Security Council sat to discuss the matter, a rather pointed insult). Roula Khalaf wrote the most serious examination of the Butler report in the mainstream press - in the Financial Times (17 December 1998, p. 8). The conclusion is summarised in the title of her piece: 'Diplomats doubt reasons for raids'. Final paragraphs read as follows: 'According to a senior diplomat in Baghdad, Mr Butler's conclusions, while pointing to serious problems, should not necessarily have been construed as presenting a fatal blow to the system of inspections or monitoring. "The whole diplomatic community, which has been closely monitoring these inspections, was surprised by the report," said a senior western diplomat. "We did not consider that the problems reported during the one month of inspections were major incidents." 'The diplomat said, for example, that the revised modalities for inspecting sensitive sites, and allowing more inspectors to enter, had been targeted at large military installations, whereas the Baath party building over which Iraq and inspectors clashed was located in a Baghdad house. "We are not justifying Iraqi actions, but many of the problems encountered point to the need to establish clearer rules for inspections," he said. "Unscom's mandates says it should have full access but taken into account Iraq's sovereignty, dignity and national security concerns. This leaves room for questions and will always give rise to problems." Milan Rai 158 Springfield Road Brighton BN1 6DG ph/fax (0)1273 508 331 firstname.lastname@example.org -- ----------------------------------------------------------------------- This is a discussion list run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq For removal from list, email email@example.com Full details of CASI's various lists can be found on the CASI website: http://welcome.to/casi