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News for 24 July '00 to 30 July 2000 [ed. note: unlike usual practice, I list the articles below in reverse chronological order. I occasionally include links to other versions of the stories; in no cases is much information added, as I recall. Many thanks for Hathal Al-Qassab for doing such an excellent job these past months!] 30/7/00:Two Iraqis Killed in Grenade Attack (AP) 29/7/00:Ex-Un Inspector Back In Iraq (BBC) 29/7/00:Iraq Opposes Iran-Kuwait Border Talks (BBC) 28/7/00:Iraq Rejects Kuwait's Offer Of Conditional Talks (Reuters) 28/7/00:Egypt's Moussa Calls For Review Of Iraq Policy (Reuters) 28/7/00:Kuwait Struggles To Overcome Pain Of Iraqi Invasion (AP) 28/7/00:Russia To Carry On Talking With Iraq (Reuters) 27/7/00:Saddam Cancer Fear Spurs Rivals (London Times) 27/7/00:Iraqi Kurdish Chief Warns Of Civil War (Reuters) 27/7/00:Iraq Opens Its First Internet Cafe, But Access Is Restricted (AP) 26/7/00:Iraq Accuses U.S. Of Blocking Oil Spare Parts Plan (Reuters) 26/7/00:Iraq Says Turkey Masses Troops Near Border (Reuters) 26/7/00:Secretary-General Approves Distribution Plan For Phase Viii (UN OIP) 25/07/00:Iraq Sanctions Far From Over (Agence France Presse) 25/7/00:Iraq Sanctions Condemned (BBC) 25/7/00:Call To Indict Iraqi 'War Criminals' (BBC) 25/7/00:Kuwait Offers Conditional Talks To Iraq (Reuters) 24/7/00:Iraq Repeats Amnesty Offer To Illegal Emigrants (Reuters) ----- ----- ----- ----- 30/7/00: TWO IRAQIS KILLED IN GRENADE ATTACK http://www.iraqdaily.com/?action=display&article=2928552&template=ira q/index.txt&index=recent The Associated Press BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) A hand grenade attack has killed two people at a celebration in southern Iraq attended by a senior ruling party official, the state-run Iraqi News Agency reported Sunday. Several people were injured in the Saturday morning attack in Dawaya, 220 miles south of Baghdad, which the news agency blamed on Iranian agents. Abdelbaqi Abdelkareem al-Sadoun, a member of the Baath party's powerful regional command, was not among the casualties, according to the agency. Al-Sadoun also is the party official in charge of the southern provinces. "A criminal from the Iranian regime's agents threw a hand grenade at a gathering of people celebrating the 32nd anniversary of the July 17 revolution," the agency said. "Two innocent people were killed and many others were injured." Iraq and Iran both allow opponents of the other's government to work from their soil. A 1980-88 war between the two countries claimed more than a million lives; the U.N.-brokered cease-fire ended the bloodshed but not the hostility. There was no immediate comment from Iran on Sunday's allegations. Some of the injured were treated at the scene and others were taken to area hospitals, the news agency said without providing the number of wounded. ----- ----- ----- ----- 29/7/00: EX-UN INSPECTOR BACK IN IRAQ http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/world/middle_east/newsid_857000/8573 61.stm BBC News A former United Nations weapons inspector in Iraq, Scott Ritter, has returned to Baghdad to make a documentary film about the suspected weapons sites he once inspected. Mr Ritter, who was accused by Baghdad of spying for the United States, has said President Saddam Hussein had invited him to judge whether Iraq had rebuilt its arsenal since the UN inspections broke off in late 1998. White House spokesman PJ Crowley said Mr Ritter's trip would provide a propaganda victory for Baghdad, and that his documentary was no substitute for allowing real UN inspectors to do their job. Iraq has been under a UN embargo since 1991. Under the terms of UN Security Council resolutions, the embargo cannot be lifted until the UN has certified that Iraq has destroyed all its weapons of mass destruction, and a monitoring regime is put in place to ensure that Iraq does not resume building such weapons. Iraqi invitation Mr Ritter, a former US Marine who was once vilified by Baghdad, visited suspected weapons manufacturing sights on Saturday at the invitation of the Iraqi Government. The former UN weapons inspector, who backed a US-British bombing campaign against Iraq in December 1998 for not co-operating with the UN, has now concluded that Iraq has in fact disarmed and no longer poses a threat to anyone. It was Mr Ritter's style of intrusive, surprise inspections of suspected weapons sites and government facilities that provoked the breakdown of Iraq's co-operation with the weapons inspectors. "I think what we plan to do with this documentary film will go a long way toward de-demonising Iraq in the eyes of the American people and in the eyes of the European people," Mr Ritter said. 'Irresponsible speculation' "There has been a lot of what I call irresponsible speculation about what Iraq is doing today now that weapons inspectors are not in Iraq," Mr Ritter said. He also said that in his opinion, any new UN inspection regime was "doomed to fail". According to Mr Ritter, he and his camera crew are going to be allowed access to weapons facilities throughout Iraq. Mr Ritter is also hoping to secure an interview with Saddam Hussein. New resolution The UN evacuated its weapons inspectors from Iraq in December 1998 on the eve of a US-British air attacks. Iraq has not allowed weapons inspectors to return since. A UN resolution passed at the end of last year offered the temporary, and renewable, suspension of sanctions in exchange of full Iraqi co- operation with a new UN arms control programme. [See also http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/nm/20000728/wl/iraq_ritter_dc_2.html, http://washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A57282-2000Jul27.html, posted to s-c-d on 28/7/00, http://abcnews.go.com/wire/World/ap20000729_709.html, http://abcnews.go.com/wire/World/reuters20000729_113.html] ----- ----- ----- ----- 29/7/00: IRAQ OPPOSES IRAN-KUWAIT BORDER TALKS http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/world/middle_east/newsid_856000/8563 09.stm BBC World Service newsroom Iraq has said it will not accept any deal Iran and Kuwait reach on their disputed maritime border if it fails to take Baghdad's legitimate interests into account. The statement by a foreign ministry spokesman follows the decision by Iran and Kuwait to resume talks in September on agreeing their border in an area of the northern Gulf rich in gas and oil. Baghdad has also said it will not recognise the maritime border deal Kuwait reached with Saudi Arabia earlier this month. The border disputes resurfaced earlier this year when Iran started drilling in Dorra offshore field which is also claimed by Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. [See also http://www.gulf-news.co.ae/29072000/GULF/g-back.htm] ----- ----- ----- ----- 28/7/00: IRAQ REJECTS KUWAIT'S OFFER OF CONDITIONAL TALKS http://abcnews.go.com/wire/World/reuters20000728_638.html BAGHDAD, July 28 (Reuters) - Iraq dismissed as a public relations ploy an offer by Kuwait for conditional talks with its former occupier and denied it held any Kuwaiti detainees whose release Kuwait set as a pre- condition for dialogue. Kuwaiti Defence Minister Sheikh Salem Sabah al- Salem al- Sabah said on Tuesday he was ready for talks with Iraq, under international auspices, in return for the release of Kuwaitis and others Kuwait says are still held by Iraq. "The pre-conditions that were announced by Salem al-Sabah is a failed attempt to cheat Kuwaiti public opinion and families of the missing," an Iraqi Foreign Ministry"s spokesman said in a statement carried by the Iraqi News Agency. But the spokesman added Baghdad was ready to "work directly with the Kuwaitis and Saudis under the auspices of the International Committee of the Red Cross" to investigate the fate of the missing but without pre- conditions. Kuwait says that about 605 people -- including 550 Kuwaitis - - have been reported missing since the 1990 Iraqi occupation of the emirate. Iraq has repeatedly denied that it had any Kuwaiti detainees on its territory, but says it would do its best to investigate their fate. The Iraqi spokesman said that Iraq was ready to meet with families of the missing Kuwaitis in the presence of ICRC officials "without any pre- conditions in order to brief them on the reality and explain to them how we are investigating the fate of their missing relatives." Baghdad also maintains that Kuwait has withheld information on the fate of 1,150 missing Iraqis. Iraq has been boycotting a humanitarian committee trying to determine the fate of the missing Kuwaitis, objecting to the participation of the United States, Britain and France, leading members of the coalition which drove it out of Kuwait in 1991. "Iraq rejects the presence of representatives of countries which launched aggression against Iraq such as the United States and Britain in meetings of the committee," the spokesman said. ----- ----- ----- ----- 28/7/00: EGYPT'S MOUSSA CALLS FOR REVIEW OF IRAQ POLICY http://abcnews.go.com/wire/World/reuters20000728_660.html CAIRO, July 28 (Reuters) - Egyptian Foreign Minister Amr Moussa said on Friday that Arab and other countries should review their policies towards Iraq, which is still crippled by 10-year-old United Nations sanctions. "My hope is that everyone will review (their position), now that 10 years have passed and international law should be applied in a way that realises the interests of the Iraq and the Arab world," Moussa told reporters in Cairo. Russian President Vladimir Putin promised in a meeting with Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tareq Aziz in Moscow on Wednesday to press for an end to the sanctions. U.N. Security Council member Russia says the sanctions imposed after Iraq invaded neighbouring Kuwait in 1990 have proved ineffective and harm civilians. "The problem of Iraq is not just Arab, but international and is linked to Security Council Resolutions. It (Security Council) must move towards lifting the suffering from the people of Iraq and develop its handling of this issue," Moussa said. "We can"t imagine that 10 years of monitoring and inspection has come to nothing." The United States, which led the international force that pushed Iraq out of Kuwait in the 1991 Gulf War, backs the sanctions and has chastised Russia"s Putin for meeting a senior Iraqui official. Kuwaiti and Saudi opposition to reintegrating Iraq, which has the world"s second largest proven oil reserves, has so far stymied Egyptian efforts to hold an Arab summit this year. Iraq reopened its embassy in the United Arab Emirates earlier this month, after the UAE reopened its embassy in Baghdad in April, becoming the fourth Gulf Arab state to reactivate diplomatic relations with Iraq. ----- ----- ----- ----- 28/7/00: KUWAIT STRUGGLES TO OVERCOME PAIN OF IRAQI INVASION http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/story.hts/world/619437 Associated Press, DIANA ELIAS KUWAIT -- Kuwaiti researcher Sami al-Faraj still cannot listen to Iraqi songs and has nightmares about atrocities he says he saw during Iraq's invasion of his country a decade ago. But he says Kuwaitis cannot afford to keep looking back to the day they woke to find Iraqi tanks in their streets. Al-Faraj, head of the independent Kuwait Center for Strategic Studies, says they must look ahead to living and working with the big neighbor that invaded Aug. 2, 1990. "On the personal level, it is a very bitter subject," al-Faraj says. "But at the same time, we have to save future generations from going through a similar ordeal." Kuwait's desert border with Iraq has been closed since U.S.-led troops defeated the Iraqi army in the 1991 Gulf War and ended Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's seven-month occupation. According to official figures, Iraqi forces killed 330 Kuwaitis during the occupation and war. The Kuwaiti government and most Kuwaitis want Saddam's regime to comply with all U.N. Security Council resolutions before Kuwait considers any resumption of ties. The resolutions demand Iraq dismantle its weapons of mass destruction, pay reparations, return looted property and -- most important for Kuwaitis -- account for more than 600 people Kuwait contends are jailed in Iraq. Iraq denies holding any prisoners and accuses Kuwait of failing to disclose information about 1,150 Iraqis who disappeared during the crisis. "We don't hate Iraqis, but first we want to see the joy of a mother welcoming her returning son," says Mohammad al-Jabri, a police officer who was 18 when Iraqi troops invaded -- a day Kuwaitis call "Black Thursday." Al-Jabri says he couldn't believe his eyes when he saw Iraqi tanks near his home. "How could an Arab country we helped for eight years turn its guns on us?" he asks. Kuwait provided Iraq financial backing during the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war. But before invading, Iraq had been making increasingly insistent calls that its war debts to Kuwait be forgiven, as well as accusing Kuwait of stealing Iraqi oil and depressing world prices for oil -- on which both countries' economies depended. Al-Faraj looks to economics as a way to improve regional relations and strengthen Kuwait's security. He wants Kuwait to transform itself from an economy based almost solely on oil into a commercial, services and transportation hub for Iraq, Iran and the other Persian Gulf states. Iraq would have to comply with the U.N. resolutions before being welcomed into the planned economic grouping. Al-Faraj's economic plan has been endorsed by Sheik Nasser Sabah Al Ahmed Al Sabah, a senior member of Kuwait's ruling family, which makes it likely it will become official policy. Sheik Nasser, chief adviser to Crown Prince Sheik Saad Al Abdullah Al Sabah, says Iraqis could benefit from the advanced banking sector, the ports and business expertise in this country of 2.3 million people, most of whom are guest workers. But first, Saddam must go as Iraq's leader, he insists. "We hope to God the obstacles will be removed as soon as possible, and the Iraqi people will be freed as we were freed," Sheik Nasser said at a May seminar organized by Parliament on the future of Kuwaiti-Iraqi ties. Four of Kuwait's partners in the Gulf Cooperation Council -- the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Oman and Bahrain -- have reopened embassies in Baghdad. Abdullah al-Shayeji, a political scientist at Kuwait University, says those Arab countries contend the main threat to their security lies in Persian Iran rather than Arab Iraq. Al-Faraj says Kuwaitis will never forget the Iraqi attack, but are a practical people and will in the end be able to "bypass it." ----- ----- ----- ----- 28/7/00: RUSSIA TO CARRY ON TALKING WITH IRAQ http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/nm/20000728/wl/russia_iraq_dc_1.html MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia Friday brushed aside U.S. criticism of meetings in Moscow with Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tareq Aziz and said it would keep supporting an end to sanctions and air raids against Iraq. Russia, which still hopes to recoup some of Baghdad's Soviet-era debts and sees it as a big export market, has consistently backed Iraqi demands for the lifting of U.N. sanctions and an end to restrictions on oil exports. ``Russia is a sovereign and independent state and we will decide for ourselves with whom and to what extent we build our relations. We and Iraq have pursued and continue to pursue our dialogue,'' Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov told a news conference. He said such a dialogue answered the interests of both countries and of settling problems in the Gulf region. The United States chided Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday for meeting Aziz. Putin promised Aziz to press for an end to U.N. sanctions on Iraq but also urged Baghdad to cooperate with the United Nations on weapons destruction programs. Putin said Iraq would help Russia put its case if it allowed U.N. experts to resume checks on sites where the West fears it might be developing weapons of mass destruction. Russia is a permanent member of the U.N Security Council. Ivanov reiterated these promises. ``We insist that an end be put to the constant bombings of Iraq by U.S. and British planes and on an end to interference in the internal affairs of Iraq,'' Ivanov said. Ivanov said experience had shown that only diplomacy could bring stability in the Gulf while Aziz added that Russia could help bring about such a goal. ``We hope that Russia, as a great and peace-loving power and respectful of international laws, will be able to make efforts to normalize relations in the region,'' Aziz said. Russia says sanctions imposed on Baghdad after it invaded neighboring Kuwait in 1990 have proved ineffective and harm civilians. In a further sign that many countries want a rethink after 10 years of sanctions, Egyptian Foreign Minister AMr. Moussa on Friday called for Arab and other countries to review their policies toward Iraq. So far four Arab countries have resumed diplomatic links with Baghdad. The United States, which led an international force that drove Iraqi troops from Kuwait in 1991, still backs the sanctions. [See also http://sg.dailynews.yahoo.com/headlines/world/ap/article.html?s=singap ore/headlines/000727/world/ap/Russia_Opposes_Attacks_on_Iraq.html] ----- ----- ----- ----- 27/7/00: SADDAM CANCER FEAR SPURS RIVALS http://www.thetimes.co.uk/news/pages/tim/2000/07/27/timfgnmid01001.ht ml London Times, Michael Theodoulou and Giles Whittell PRESIDENT Saddam Hussein of Iraq, the world's most resilient leader, is seriously ill and thought to have cancer, according to reports from Baghdad. Word of his deteriorating health will intensify a power struggle between his two sons and undermine the myth of invincibility that he has carefully fostered during two decades of autocratic rule. "We know Saddam is unwell and understand it may be cancer, but we don't know how bad it is or how long he can go on for," an Iraqi businessman in Jordan said. Other well-connected Iraqi travellers, who are not connected to opposition groups, have made similar claims in recent days. Ordinary Iraqis, too, have been speculating about Saddam's health since he made a far shorter than usual address to his countrymen last week to mark the 32nd anniversary of the coup that brought his Baath Party to power. He did not refer directly to his long stand-off with the West and spoke in almost mystical terms, comparing the Baath revolution to "the smile of a baby, the prayer of a hermit and rain falling on parched land". Dressed in a dark suit and tie for the televised speech, the 63-year-old Iraqi leader appeared haggard but there were no other signs of illness. His hair, as usual, was dyed a virile jet black. Rumours that Saddam has cancer have circulated before but have proved impossible to confirm, given the secrecy of his regime. The Iraqi leader has always prided himself on a healthy lifestyle. He once ordered Cabinet ministers to lose weight and took a well-publicised dip in the Tigris River to demonstrate his political buoyancy during a period of tension with the West. The unconfirmed reports of his deteriorating health came as President Putin welcomed Tariq Aziz, Iraq's Deputy Prime Minister, to the Kremlin yesterday to discuss the lifting UN sanctions. Proceeds from oil smuggling in the past ten years have ensured that the regime remains immune from the suffering caused by sanctions. There is little organised opposition within the country and Saddam's Western- backed exiled opponents remain weak. Assassination attempts, coup plots and an uprising in the wake of the 1991 Gulf War failed to unseat him. Any succession in the Iraqi regime is unlikely to be as smooth as that in neighbouring Syria after the death in June of President Hafez al-Assad. The reins of power in Damascus were passed uncontested to his son, Bashar, a British-trained eye doctor. The rivalry between Saddam's sons is compounded by his reluctance to make clear which one will succeed him. Uday, 36, is portrayed by defectors as a torturer, serial rapist and killer. The less mercurial Qusay, 34, controls the intelligence and security apparatus. ----- ----- ----- ----- 27/7/00: IRAQI KURDISH CHIEF WARNS OF CIVIL WAR http://www.gulf-news.co.ae/27072000/GULF/g-back.htm Ankara (Reuters) - An Iraqi Kurdish leader said yesterday an attack by President Saddam Hussein's troops on the Kurdish-held north would lead to civil war in the Kurdish region. Jalal Talabani said up to 50,000 Iraqi government soldiers were stationed on the edge of the mountainous Kurdish enclave which broke away from Baghdad's rule after the 1991 Gulf War, poised with a prepared plan of attack. "In our area facing us are three Iraqi army corps," Talabani told Reuters in an interview during a visit to Turkey. "Altogether there are about 15 divisions facing us, besides some forces from the Republican Guards." With the help of joint U.S.-British air patrols enforcing a no-fly zone over most of the breakaway region, Talabani said his lightly armed Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) "peshemerga" fighters were determined to face any threat. "They know that we will resist and this will lead to a new civil war in Iraqi Kurdistan," he said. "Perhaps they will succeed in occupying this or that town, but the area will turn to a field for partisan war." Iraq's restive Kurds rose up against Baghdad during the Gulf War, but an offensive by government troops forced hundreds of thousands of Kurds to flee through the mountains. Kurdish peshmergas backed by allied air power later succeeded in wresting the area from Baghdad's grip. Intermittent fighting which then broke out between the PUK and the rival Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) of Massoud Barzani culminated in 1996 when the KDP, backed by Baghdad's forces overran Talabani's capital, Sulaymaniyah. A U.S.-brokered ceasefire followed in 1997. Western diplomats said they had warned the feuding Kurds they would not come to their aid if they persisted in their internecine war. "Now we have no war, we have peace in Kurdistan. This will not give any pretext for the (Iraqi) regime to attack us," said Talabani during his visit to Turkey, which hosts the U.S.-British Operation Northern Watch air patrols. He said Shi'ite rebels in the south of Iraq would also seize the opportunity of unrest in the Kurdish areas to step up their struggle against the Iraqi government. "Also I think the morale of the Iraqi army is not so high as to use it in a such a risky adventure," he said. Talabani criticised Washington. "I don't think the Americans have a plan to remove Saddam," he said. "There is no plan. The Americans want to see Saddam Hussein ousted, but they have no plan to implement it, so how can they ask the Kurds to participate in it?" Instead, the greying Talabani, who has championed Kurdish nationalism since the 1960s, said the Iraqi government would collapse from within. "We don't think the Iraqi regime is ready for any kind of democratic change," he said. "They are still continuing their dictatorship, they are still continuing their ethnic cleansing policies towards the Kurds and Turcomans." "I think there a lot of problems facing the regime and a lot of contradictions, and because the regime cannot solve these problems and contradictions, the regime will collapse." ----- ----- ----- ----- 26/7/00: UNDIPLOMATIC DISPATCH: IRAQ SANCTIONS ARE NASTY, AND THEY DON'T WORK http://www.cnn.com/2000/WORLD/meast/07/26/iraq7_25.a.tm/index.html Time.com, Tony Karon [posted to s-c-d 27/7/00] ----- ----- ----- ----- 27/7/00: IRAQ OPENS ITS FIRST INTERNET CAFE, BUT ACCESS IS RESTRICTED http://abcnews.go.com/sections/world/dailynews/iraq000727.html Associated Press, Leon Barko BAGHDAD, Iraq, July 27 — The Iraqi government opened the country’s first Internet cafe today in an attempt to provide its isolated people with a glimpse of what is happening in the outside world. Patrons of the Internet cafe in Baghdad will be allowed to browse Web sites that have been government-screened to ensure they do not violate “the precepts of Islamic religion” or offend “morals and ethics,” Iraq’s transport and communications minister, Ahhmed Murtada Ahmed Khalil, said. But no matter how restricted, the cafe is a bold step in a country where satellite dishes and modems are banned and special permission is needed even to install a fax. Iraq’s media is controlled by a combination of self- censorship and a tight state grip on the flow of information. Radio and television stations are state-run and newspapers are sponsored by the ruling party — and all conform to government policy. Limited Access The sole provider of Internet services in Iraq is the Ministry of Culture and Information; access until now had been restricted to government use. Khalil said similar cafes will be opened elsewhere in Baghdad and other major Iraqi cities, and he vowed to enact measures to help Iraq catch up in Internet technology. President Saddam Hussein has ordered a university be set up to deal exclusively with computer technology so Iraqis can keep abreast of advances. Private entrepreneurs are not allowed to set up Internet cafes and citizens with home computers still cannot have a direct link. But using terminals at the cafe, Iraqis can now set up their own private e-mail addresses. “Of course, we cannot sell and buy stocks through the cafe and we know that the whole operation is closely monitored, but it is a step in the right direction,” said Leith, a browser who declined to give his full name. The bright, air-conditioned cafe charges $1 for each hour of computer use, a substantial sum in Iraq, where the monthly salary of a schoolteacher is about $3. “It is our first outpost of information technology. I hope the authorities will not stop here,” said Husam Kareem, who runs a computer shop in Baghdad. Blame It on the Sanctions Government officials blame U.N. sanctions imposed after Iraq’s 1990 invasion of Kuwait, which led to the Persian Gulf War, for the delay in setting up Internet access and a cellular phone network in the country. Despite the sanctions, computer companies and related stores are sprouting up in Baghdad. Shops selling or renting compact discs have become so numerous authorities have begun requiring owners to register with the Information Ministry. Computers and laptops with the latest Pentium processors are available, mostly via the United Arab Emirates. Iraq’s new class of computer entrepreneurs attributes its existence to the scrapping of customs duties on computer imports and lowered taxes on computer businesses. Individuals, however, do not yet have the freedom to set up their own networking companies. ----- ----- ----- ----- 26/7/00: IRAQ ACCUSES U.S. OF BLOCKING OIL SPARE PARTS PLAN http://abcnews.go.com/wire/Business/reuters20000726_3880.html NEW YORK, July 26 (Reuters) - Iraq"s U.N. ambassador accused the United States and Britain of effectively killing a United Nations initiative to streamline approvals of badly needed equipment for Iraq"s oil industry. Saeed Hasan contended that Washington and London rejected up to 30 percent of the oil spare parts and equipment that Iraq and the Netherlands" oil consulting firm, Saybolt International BV, had presented to a new panel of experts. The five-member panel was created by the U.N. Security Council to speed up efforts for approving equipment the United Nations says is vital for Iraq"s dilapidated oil industry. Some items can be approved without council members" consent, according to a pre-approved list. But Hasan said the United States and Britain deleted up to 30 percent of the proposed items from the list. "These items were submitted on a project basis, so when you delete an item from a set of items for a project, it makes the entire project useless. We cannot use the items until all of them on a project list are received," Hasan told Reuters. Iraq has been under sanctions since it invaded Kuwait 10 years ago. It is permitted to sell unlimited quantities of oil to pay for food, medicine and other items under strict U.N. supervision. The United States is responsible for blocking most of the items Security Council members must approve with Britain putting on hold about 10 percent. In this case, both U.S. and British officials said they only deleted "dual use" items, which could be useful for military purposes. But Hasan said cutting the list by 30 percent could have an impact on Iraq"s ability to produce oil. Iraq has a sustainable export capacity of about 2.4 million barrels per day, industry experts say. The rejected list of equipment now needs approval on a case by case basis by the Iraqi sanctions committee, which includes all 15 Security Council members. The new panel so far has approved four oil spare parts contracts worth about $800,000 since last week, said U.N. spokesman John Mills. Iraq is permitted to spend $1.2 billion on oil equipment annually. ----- ----- ----- ----- 26/7/00: IRAQ SAYS TURKEY MASSES TROOPS NEAR BORDER http://abcnews.go.com/wire/World/reuters20000726_1426.html BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraq has informed the United Nations of a Turkish military build-up near its border, Iraqi newspapers reported Wednesday. The Turkish army has entered northern Iraq in the past to pursue Kurdish separatists fighting for autonomy in southeast Turkey, angering Baghdad. Quoting a letter by Iraq"s Foreign Minister Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf to U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan and the Security Council, the newspapers said a special Turkish brigade was deployed in the area opposite the Iraqi town of Kani Rash near the shared border of Iraq, Iran and Turkey. "The massing of such troops can only be viewed as part of preparations to push into Iraq toward Sidkan-Haj Omran region under different pretexts," al-Sahaf said. He said that Turkey had also increased the number of troops it has already stationed on Iraqi territory. "These dubious operations and movements by Turkish forces represent a new chain in the series of recurrent acts of aggression launched by these forces against Iraq," he said. Al-Sahaf said Iraq condemns Turkey"s aggression and would hold Turkey responsible for their consequences. He urged the United Nations to press Turkey to pull its troops out. Relations between Turkey and Iraq have been at a low ebb since the 1991 Gulf War in which Turkey was part of the U.S.-led coalition that forced Iraqi troops out of Kuwait. Baghdad has also protested against Turkey"s hosting U.S. and British warplanes that patrol an no-fly zone over northern Iraq. ----- ----- ----- ----- 26/7/00: SECRETARY-GENERAL APPROVES DISTRIBUTION PLAN FOR PHASE VIII http://www.un.org/Depts/oip/dp8pdf/sg8.html United Nations Office of the Iraq Programme On 25 July 2000, the Secretary-General wrote to the President of the Security Council, Ambassador Mignonette Patricia Durant (Jamaica), advising that he has approved, the distribution plan for phase VIII, submitted by the Government of Iraq, on the understanding that its implementation would be governed by resolutions 986 (1995), 1284 (1999) and 1302 (2000) and the Memorandum of Understanding concluded on 20 May 1996 between the United Nations and the Government of Iraq. The total allocation for the humanitarian programme is $7.131 billion, with $1.216 billion earmarked for food. The other main allocations are $757 million for housing; $752 million for electricity and $600 million for oil spare parts. The target set for the food basket is, for the first time, 2,472 kilocalories per person per day, as recommended by the Secretary- General in his supplementray report of February 1998 to the Security Council (S/1998/90) ----- ----- ----- ----- 25/07/00: IRAQ SANCTIONS FAR FROM OVER http://www.news24.co.za/News24/World/Middle_East/0,1113,2-10- 35_887763,00.html Agence France Presse Dubai - With 10 years already lost under sanctions since the disastrous invasion of Kuwait, Iraq faces several more bleak decades to come with or without President Saddam Hussein. Potentially among the richest countries of the Middle East, due to its wealth in oil and water and once high education standards, Iraq today ranks among the world's most isolated and backward while having to learn to rely on its own skills. On the eve of the 10th anniversary of the 2 August invasion, Iraq analysts warn it will be a long and painful road to recovery, even with a lifting of sanctions and a change of regime in Baghdad. "The outlook for Iraq is pretty awful. It will take virtually all of the 21st century for Iraq to re-emerge as a regional power," said Professor Anoush Ehteshami, director of Middle East studies at Britain's Durham University. "You can rebuild the infrastructure in 20 years or so, but not the people. To equip them for a modern economy, it will take many more decades, and all the oil income in the world will not help." Former UN humanitarian programme chiefs insist that the embargo has backfired since Iraq's ouster from Kuwait in the 1991 Gulf War, with the Iraqi population of 22 million paying a tragic price. "The sanctions have helped sustain the staying power of the regime and given it an effective system of control," said Ehteshami. "Everyone in Iraq is dependent on the Iraqi regime, which now has a stronger grip than ever before." Khaldun al-Naqeeb, a political sciences professor at Kuwait University, pointed out that Iraq's economic future has been mortgaged for most of the coming century because of the hundreds of billions of dollars in claims for war reparations. "I believe very strongly that a promise of outside financial help would be an incentive for the Iraqi people to get rid of Saddam Hussein, if they can," he said, calling for the international community to offer to limit the massive reparations. But politically, even with a change of regime, "it's going to be a rather bleak picture", he said. "Any new regime is not likely to be democratic or liberal, although there will be a larger role for economic reforms and some political openness," predicted the professor, a Kuwaiti of Iraqi origin. Naqeeb warned that a post-Saddam Iraq would likewise face "the real and present danger of being dismembered. Tribalism and sectarianism will come to the fore as soon as there is a sudden change". In the short term, Iraq has been offered a suspension of sanctions in return for its full co-operation with UNMOVIC, a new UN arms inspection regime, under UN Security Council resolution 1284. "Although Iraq has officially rejected (the resolution), it's possible Iraq will be encouraged to adjust its position in the next few months," said Neil Patrick, head of the Middle East programme of the Royal United Services Institute in London. He said "constructive ambiguity in the resolution allows for future negotiation of details" and that "the new inspectorate will be easier for Iraq" than the disarmament body evacuated in December 1998 on the eve of a US-British air campaign. But a former senior arms inspector said it was unlikely Iraq would co- operate, especially since the threat of military action has receded. "The sanctions are eroding anyway. For the regime, survival is its only concern. The status quo benefits them more since the regime now controls everything," said Colonel Terence Taylor of London's International Institute for Strategic Studies. "As perceived from Baghdad, it does not have much to gain at the moment from allowing in a new inspection regime," said Taylor, who served as an arms inspector between 1993 and 1998. "Saddam calculates he is secure from military attack. The threat of force meant something in the 1990s, now the whole political climate has changed." ----- ----- ----- ----- 25/7/00: IRAQ SANCTIONS CONDEMNED http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/world/middle_east/newsid_850000/8507 29.stm BBC News Sanctions against Iraq have condemned the country's children to a life of poverty, disease and insecurity, says international aid agency Save the Children. Peter Maxwell, the charity's programme director in northern Iraq, said malnutrition and child mortality levels were slowly improving in the UN- administered north but worsening in central and southern areas controlled by the government. The report was released ahead of the 10th anniversary of Iraq's invasion of Kuwait, which led to the imposition of UN sanctions. "Significant numbers of children are very disadvantaged - girls tend not to be educated from the age of 14 onwards, disabled children tend to be marginalised, rural children tend not to get a look at a decent education." Mr Maxwell said. Save the Children and the Church of England say their work on the ground in Iraq has convinced them that the negative effects of UN sanctions outweigh any political gains that might be claimed. Under the sanctions regime, Iraq is allowed Bagdad to sell limited amounts of oil to buy food, medicine and other humanitarian supplies. The Church of England said special efforts should be made to help the children of Iraq to stop them growing up to hate the rest of the world. But it also criticised Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein. Target Saddam Church aid spokesman Dr Charles Reed, who has just returned from Iraq, described the Iraqi leader as a ruthless dictator. Both parties called on the international community to stop the sanctions and find ways to target the ruling elite. Iraq says the sanctions are killing thousands of children and have called for an immediate end to them. According to the UN children's charity, UNICEF, about half a million children under the age of five have died in Iraq since the sanctions were imposed. ----- ----- ----- ----- 25/7/00: CALL TO INDICT IRAQI 'WAR CRIMINALS' http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/world/middle_east/newsid_849000/8498 69.stm BBC News New evidence compiled by a secret team of investigators is being used to try to indict a number of senior Iraqi figures for alleged war crimes, the BBC has learned. Researchers for Indict - an organisation based in London but financed mainly by the US - lists figures such as President Saddam Hussein, his two sons, and Iraq's deputy prime minister Tariq Aziz. Washington is seeking international support for prosecutions to be brought against them. European governments now face increasing pressure to detain any of the listed Iraqis who arrive on their territory. But the BBC's Middle East analyst says no-one believes an arrest and trial is likely in the near future. And despite the hard-line American rhetoric, many observers feel that Western policy on Iraq is not succeeding. Prosecutions A leading British QC has advised that prosecutions could be brought either under the Geneva Convention or the Torture Convention. He cannot be named for safety reasons. The chairwoman of Indict, the Labour MP Ann Clwyd, told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "As yet we don't know whether the political will exists in various countries in Europe and indeed in the UK itself. "We have evidence where actions could be taken in the UK. "This is a test of resolve of countries to do what they say they want to do and that is to bring Iraqi war criminals to justice." Notorious The US war crimes ambassador, David Scheffer, has said the Indict list will also be used to try to persuade the UN Security Council to set up a war crimes tribunal for Iraq. Indict has investigated an A-list of 12 of the most notorious Iraqi leaders, including Saddam, his two sons and Mr Aziz, and a B-list of 31 less prominent people. One of the listed Iraqi suspects was almost arrested on a brief visit to Vienna a year ago. Evidence covers atrocities during wars against Iran and Kuwait, internal repression of political opponents, torture of prisoners and attacks on minorities including the Kurds. The announcement on Tuesday of the existence of the dossier amounts to a challenge to the Russian government to act, as Mr Aziz is on a visit to Moscow. War crimes tribunals have been set up to investigate crimes in Yugoslavia and Rwanda but Iraq has so far remained untouched. [See also http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/world/middle_east/newsid_850000/8503 35.stm, http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/ap/20000725/wl/britain_trying_saddam_1. html] ----- ----- ----- ----- 25/7/00: KUWAIT OFFERS CONDITIONAL TALKS TO IRAQ http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/nm/20000725/wl/kuwait_iraq_dc_2.html KUWAIT (Reuters) - Kuwait's defense minister said on Tuesday he was ready for talks with Iraq, the Gulf emirate's former occupier, in return for the release of Kuwaitis and others whom Kuwait says are still held by Iraq. ``I have no objections to sitting with the Iraqis on condition they release 10 percent of prisoners of war and Kuwaiti hostages and others who number more than 600...to end this humanitarian issue,'' Sheikh Salem Sabah al-Salem al-Sabah said. His speech was carried by the official Kuwait News Agency. The surprise announcement came almost 10 years after Iraq invaded Kuwait on August 2, 1990, and occupied it for seven months until its forces were driven out by a U.S.-led multinational force. Sheikh Salem heads a state body in charge of seeking the release of 600 people missing since the conflict whom Kuwait calls prisoners of war. Iraq has repeatedly denied holding the 600 people missing since the 1990-91 Gulf crisis. Sheikh Salem qualified his offer of talks by saying ``Kuwait would not accept bilateral talks with Iraq except under the umbrella of allied states'' which fought in the 1991 Gulf War to drive the Iraqis from Kuwait. Iraq ``must release several of our prisoners of war as a goodwill gesture,'' he added. Iraq has been boycotting a humanitarian committee trying to determine the fate of the missing, objecting to the participation of the United States, Britain, and France, leading members of the coalition which drove it from Kuwait. Sheikh Salem called on Iraq to attend the meetings sponsored by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to end the ``humanitarian tragedy.'' The United Nations has also called on Baghdad to cooperate with it in trying to determine the fate of the missing. The U.N. Security Council says that accounting for the missing is one of the conditions Iraq must meet before it will lift sanctions imposed after its invasion of Kuwait. Baghdad says that Kuwait has withheld information on 1,150 missing Iraqis. ----- ----- ----- ----- 24/7/00: IRAQ REPEATS AMNESTY OFFER TO ILLEGAL EMIGRANTS http://www.gulf-news.co.ae/24072000/GULF/g-back.htm Baghdad (Reuters) - Iraq yesterday repeated an offer of amnesty to those who have left the country illegally. Iraq's highest legislative authority, the Revolutionary Command Council, issued a decree in July 1999 granting amnesty to illegal emigrants. Munthir Al Mutlaq, head of the Consulate Department at the Iraqi Foreign Ministry, said the decree had once again been distributed to all Iraq's diplomatic missions abroad and issued on the Internet at the ministry's website. "The decree gives all those who left the country due to the sanctions imposed on Iraq or for other reasons the chance to return to their country," he said in a statement carried by the Iraqi News Agency. No official figures on illegal emigration are available, but UN economic sanctions imposed for the 1990 invasion of Kuwait have prompted many ordinary Iraqis and intellectuals to leave and seek jobs elsewhere. ----- ----- ----- ----- Moreover 24/7/00: Various stories from CNN http://www.cnn.com/2000/WORLD/meast/07/24/iraq.un/index.html -- ----------------------------------------------------------------------- This is a discussion list run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq For removal from list, email firstname.lastname@example.org Full details of CASI's various lists can be found on the CASI website: http://welcome.to/casi