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NEWS 310/9/00 Again this is divided into two parts, with items I think are interesting but not quite news sent separately as a supplement PB * Saddam Hussein ill with cancer * Iraqi lawyers want verdict on Italian pilot overturned (Times of India) * Iraqi activities in Egypt * Jordanian ministers in Baghdad to boost trade * MKO reportedly to help Iraq regain control in Kurdistan (Voice of the Islamic Republic of Iran) * Iraq denies scrapping free education (Times of India) * Arab League to abolish sanctions on Libya (Times of India) * French plane to land in Iraq * Annan Hindered U.N. Program [Butler] * Ex-UN arms chief in Iraq slams former colleague [Butler again] * Jordan wants to resume civil flights to Baghdad (CNN) * Water crisis in Iraq * Chinese, Iraqi Vice Premiers Discuss Bilateral Relations * Najib Mahfouz: the embargo against Iraq is futile * Iraq urges oil lifters to pay Gulf port charge (Business recorder) * OPEC a window on the world for sanctions-hit Iraq * Iraq Reportedly Gives Contracts to Nations That Want to End Sanctions * Some 1.35 million Iraqi children died due to the sanctions * Rafidah to lead (Malaysian) trade mission to Jordan and Iraq * Iraq: Shi'i opposition says regime "deteriorating", Saddam, son both ill * Iraqi Communist Party statement details anti-aircraft positions IN THE SUPPLEMENT: * Panel will call for $3.2 billion in biological defense * State Dept. Accuses Iraq, Afghans [on religious toleration] * Pentagon says attack on Kurds would prompt U.S. military response (CNN) * Unrest Expected Amid Rumors of Saddamıs Ill Health (Stratfor.com) * Opec has world running on empty (The Star, Malaysia) http://news.24.com/News24/World/Middle_East/0,1113,2-10-35_906236,00.html * SADDAM HUSSEIN ILL WITH CANCER Dubai (Agence France Press, 3rd September): Iraqi President Saddam Hussein is to undergo chemotherapy for lymph cancer and a family council led by his youngest son is ready to take control if he dies, a leading Arabic newspaper said on Sunday. Western newspapers have reported several times in recent years that Saddam has cancer, but the London-based Asharq al-Awsat went into considerable detail. The Saudi financed publication quoted an Arab doctor "with an excellent reputation" saying a medical team of three French doctors, one German and one Swede were taking care of Saddam. The team had been brought together by a committee chaired by the president's personal secretary Abed Hmoud, the daily said. One of the presidential palaces in a Baghdad suburb has been turned into a private clinic for Saddam and equipped from Jordan, the Arab doctor, who is attending a medical conference abroad, told Asharq al-Awsat. Saddam had resigned himself to chemotherapy after suffering from inflamed joints, breathing difficulties, poor vision and temporary memory loss, he said. Asharq al-Awsat also quoted "independent" Iraqi sources saying Saddam had called a family meeting and appointed his son Qussay to head a "council" which would run Iraq in the event of his death or if he is no longer fit enough to carry on. Besides Qussay, who is in charge of the elite Republican Guard, the meeting was attended by his elder brother Uday and Saddam's three half-brothers Barzan, Watban et Sabawi al Takriti, as well as Hmoud. Barzan al-Takriti, who has fallen out with Saddam according to Arab reports, is today a simple "advisor" within the family council which already takes part in the running of Iraq's affairs, the Iraqi sources said. The Iraqi authorities rarely comment on such reports, but several years ago Saddam Hussein was shown on television swimming the Tigris River which runs through Baghdad in a bid to deny Western reports that he was sick or dying. Sapa-AFP http://www.timesofindia.com/040900/04mide5.htm * IRAQI LAWYERS WANT VERDICT ON ITALIAN PILOT OVERTURNED (Times of India, 4th Sept)) BAGHDAD: The Union of Iraqi Lawyers pleaded on Sunday for a pan-Arab action to overturn a guilty verdict against an Italian pilot for violating Jordanian airspace on a sanctions-busting flight from Baghdad. An Amman court on August 29 gave Nicolas Trifani a three-year prison sentence in absentia for failing to request permission to enter Jordanian airspace and thereby endangering air traffic. He was also fined 14,000 dollars. The lawyers' union said in a statement that the sentence "is political and runs counter to the public policies of the Jordanian government in favour of lifting sanctions." "The sentence is intended to stop planned visits to Iraq by several delegations who want to break the embargo and express their solidarity with the Iraqi people," it said. The lawyers called on other Arab lawyers "to support the Italian pilot and defend him to overturn the sentence." The Jordanian jurists' association is seeking Trifani's agreement to file an appeal on his behalf. Trifani was forced to land at a military base on April 5 when he returned from Baghdad where he had arrived two days earlier on a trip of "solidarity with the Iraqi people." He was accompanied by two other Italians and a French priest. Jordan allowed him to leave Amman four days later. (AFP) http://www.arabicnews.com/ansub/Daily/Day/000904/2000090406.htm * IRAQI ACTIVITIES IN EGYPT (Arabic News, 4th Sept) The Secretary General of the Arab league ( AL) Ismat Abdul Miguid on Sunday in Cairo received Iraq's foreign minister Muhammad Saeed al-Sahaf. The two sides discussed topics listed on the agenda of the 114th session of the AL's council On the other hand, meetings of the 8th session of the joint Egyptian- Iraqi trade committee were concluded on Sunday. They had started four days earlier. Egypt's minister of the economy and foreign trade Youssef Butrous Ghali and his Iraqi counterpart Muhammad Mahdi Saleh had agreed to have the volume of trade relations between the two countries to a rate exceeding US $ one billion annually. The two sides expressed their satisfaction over the high rates in implementing joint plans which reflect the joint interests to backing all- out cooperation between the two states. http://www.cnn.com/2000/WORLD/meast/09/05/iraq.jordan.reut/index.html * JORDANIAN MINISTERS IN BAGHDAD TO BOOST TRADE BAGHDAD, Iraq (Reuters, September 5) -- Two Jordanian cabinet ministers have arrived in Baghdad to discuss how to expand Jordanian exports under Iraq's oil-for-food deal with the United Nations, newspapers reported on Tuesday. They said Jordan's Trade and Industry Minister Wasef Azzar and Transport Minister Mohammad Kalaldah would hold talks with Iraqi officials in the fields of commerce, oil, industry and transport. "The visit aims at expanding trade ties with Iraq in all fields," the papers quoted Azzar as saying. They said the Jordanians were received by Iraq's Trade Minister Mohammed Mehdi Saleh who said the volume of trade between the two neighbors had reached $1.4 billion since the beginning of the oil programme in December 1996. The oil deal currently allows Iraq to sell unlimited quantities of oil to buy food, medicines and other humanitarian goods for the Iraqi people, battered by stringent U.N. sanctions imposed for Iraq's 1990 invasion of Kuwait. "Jordan will remain Iraq's main and important trade outlet," Saleh said. Iraq was Jordan's biggest trading partner before the United Nations trade sanctions. Jordan's exports to Iraq under the oil programme are only a fraction of what they were before the sanctions were imposed. The newly appointed Jordanian government recently put out feelers to Baghdad, hinting that it sought better ties after a number of misunderstandings over the last few years. Despite the sanctions, Baghdad remains Jordan's main energy supplier as it delivers annually over $600 million worth of crude and products to the kingdom under undisclosed concessionary terms that ease the burden on the kingdom's deficit-ridden budget. Iraqi Vice-President Taha Yassin Ramadan visited Jordan in July and held talks with Jordan's king Abdullah and Prime Minister Ali Abu al-Ragheb aimed at improving ties after years of gradual drift. Jordan, sympathetic to Iraq in the 1990-91 Gulf crisis over Kuwait, turned against Baghdad in 1995 and gave shelter to senior Iraqi defectors. The late King Hussein then called for a change of administration in Iraq. But in recent years Jordan has been an advocate of lifting the sanctions, which it says hurt only the Iraqi people. http://search.ft.com/search/multi/globalarchive.jsp?docId=000905006508&query =Iraq&resultsShown=20&resultsToRequest=100 * MKO REPORTEDLY TO HELP IRAQ REGAIN CONTROL IN KURDISTAN Voice of the Islamic Republic of Iran external service, 5th September/BBC Monitoring Service The Iraqi regime is using the MKO [Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization] terrorist group to return control of the northern part of Iraq back to the central government. Saddam Husayn's son, Qusayy, announced yesterday in Baghdad that he will be making use of the MKO in order to restore control of northern Iraq back to the central government. The Kurdish-inhabited northern part of Iraq was jointly taken over by Iraq's Kurdistan Democratic Party and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan in 1991. The MKO terrorist group, which is based in Iraq and gets financial support from the American Central Intelligence Agency, has until now cooperated extensively with Saddam's regime in suppressing the Iraqi people; and the struggle of the people for driving out the MKO from Iraqi soil has taken on greater dimension. http://www.timesofindia.com/060900/06mide7.htm * IRAQ DENIES SCRAPPING FREE EDUCATION (Times of India, 6th Sept) BAGHDAD: Sanctions-hit Iraq on Tuesday denied reports that it was scrapping free education, forcing four million students to pay up from this month. "Free teaching is guaranteed for all Iraqi pupils and students in all stages of education," Education Minister Fahd Salem al-Shaqra was quoted by newspapers as saying. The education ministry would, however, continue to charge nominal fees for night class students, he added. The Saut Al-Talaba (Students' Voice) newspaper reported on September 2 that the education ministry had set a scale of fees ranging from 2,000 dinars (one dollar) in primary schools and up to 25,000 dinars (12.50 dollars) for the coming academic year. The pro-government newspaper run by the students' union did not make it clear if university courses would also be affected. Parents were asked to provide school books and equipment for their children last year for the first time in 30 years. Under sanctions, education standards have slipped in a country which boasted one of the best systems in the Arab world, built on the back of the oil boom of the 1970s. (AFP) http://www.timesofindia.com/060900/06mide1.htm * ARAB LEAGUE TO ABOLISH SANCTIONS ON LIBYA (Times of India, 6th Sept) (NOTE: I include this item in the fond hope it may constitute a precedent for the Arab League unilaterally breaking UN Security Council resolutions PB) CAIRO: The Arab League announced on Tuesday its member states will stop applying United Nations sanctions on Libya "as soon as possible", calling the UN Security Council for an immediate and final lifting of all the sanctions. No precise date was announced for the action, which is supposed to be implemented on a bilateral basis, sources close to the League said. The final communique of the Arab League ministerial council called on the United States to settle problems blocking the way for normalising relationships with Libya, leaving the Lockerbie issue to the courts. The UN Security Council lifted some sanctions in April 1999 after Libya handed over two of its nationals to face charges of involvement in the 1988 downing of a US airliner over Lockerbie, Scotland, in which 270 people were killed. The United States remains opposed to a full lifting of the sanctions. Monday's ministerial council statement also expressed solidarity with Libya in demanding "a just and honest trial for its suspect citizens, taking into consideration their legal and human rights during and after the trial". The Arab foreign ministers, who met for two days in Cairo, also pledged they are committed "to support the Libyan right of getting fair compensation for human and financial damages because of the sanctions". (AFP) http://www.vny.com/cf/News/upidetail.cfm?QID=115235 * FRENCH PLANE TO LAND IN IRAQ by GHASSAN al-KADI BAGHDAD, Iraq, Sept. 6 (United Press International) - An Air France plane with 180 passengers will land Thursday in Baghdad's newly reopened Saddam International Airport, Iraqi sources said Wednesday. The move is reportedly meant to pressure the United Nations to lift the 10-year-old sanctions, which were imposed on Iraq following its invasion of Kuwait in 1990. The embargo also prohibits flights into Iraq. Sources told United Press International that the 180 passengers on the Air France Airbus were French, European and Arab personalities and included a number of activists who were against the international sanctions. The sources said the flight was initially scheduled to arrive in Baghdad Wednesday after getting approval from the French government but that it was delayed due to "unknown reasons." French Foreign Minister Hubert Vedrine said Monday that international sanctions did not include banning civil flights from and to Iraq and that the U.N. Security Council did not adopt any such resolution. Vedrine explained that air flights that carried passengers and goods from and to Iraq did not need prior authorization. Meanwhile, Jordanian Transportation Minister Mohammed Kalaida said Wednesday that his country had contacted the United Nations to allow opening Jordanian airspace to the plane. Saddam International Airport reopened last month at a cost of $500 million. The airport was badly damaged by Western air raids during the Gulf war. Since its reopening, it has been used by a Russian and German plane. http://www.iraqdaily.com/?action=display&article=3439736&template=iraq/index .txt&index=recent * ANNAN HINDERED U.N. PROGRAM WASHINGTON (Associated Press, 7 Sep) U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan set in motion a process in 1998 that contributed to the eventual breakdown of the U.N. weapons inspection program, a former chief of the program said Thursday night. "Did he harm our operation? Yes,'' said Richard Butler, the Australian who once headed the now-defunct U.N. Special Commission, known as UNSCOM. Speaking to a gathering at the American Enterprise Institute, Butler said the turning point occurred when Annan sent three envoys to Baghdad to discuss the Security Council resolutions on Iraq that were passed after the Persian Gulf War in 1991. By dispatching the envoys, Annan "sent an unambiguous signal to the Iraqi authorities ... that here was a way out from dealing with us (UNSCOM),'' Butler said. "Henceforth they could deal with the office of the secretary general on a nonspecific, nontechnical political track. That was exactly what they wanted.'' The UNSCOM initiative officially broke down at the end of 1998 after Iraq refused further cooperation with Butler and his team. As punishment, the United States and Britain engaged in four days of air strikes against targets in Iraq. The Security Council has attempted to create a successor inspection system but Iraq has said it will not cooperate. Butler said the absence of U.N. monitors has enabled Iraq to revive its weapons programs. Annan's injection of diplomacy into the Iraq issue "undercut our effort on weapons and he (Saddam Hussein) is still there and back in business,'' Butler said. Butler spoke hours after Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz said U.N. economic sanctions have created a humanitarian catastrophe in Iraq, and said U.S. influence in the world body was to blame. Aziz commented in a speech to the U.N. Millennium Summit in New York. Iraq maintains the sanctions should be lifted because it has dismantled all forbidden weapons. Butler scolded critics who say Iraq is not cooperating with U.N. resolutions because the Clinton administration has said the sanctions will remain in place until Saddam is removed from power, regardless of Iraqi compliance. Butler acknowledged that Secretary of State Madeleine Albright staked out such a position in 1998 but soon backtracked. "Iraq has been told over and over again that that is not U.S. policy, and for Iraq to persist with this fallacy is wrong,'' Butler said. "They prefer to say that this is U.S. policy when it is not because they actually prefer to keep their weapons of mass destruction even if it means the sanctions would remain in place,'' he added. http://www.brecorder.com/story/S00DD/SDI09/SDI09238.htm * EX-UN ARMS CHIEF IN IRAQ SLAMS FORMER COLLEAGUE (Business recorder) WASHINGTON (September 9) : The man who once ran a UN arms inspection operation in Iraq revived a war of words with inspector Scott Ritter on Thursday, saying he had "left the rails" in his views on disarming President Saddam Hussein. The comments by former Unscom (UN Special Commission) chief Richard Butler in a talk at the American Enterprise Institute were directed against Ritter, an American who was a chief arms inspector for the team which left after Iraq accused it of spying and before a US-British bombing campaign. Ritter has since said that Iraq no longer has a significant prohibited weapons capability. He has also stated the operation was used by the Central Intelligence Agency to spy, including to select targets for US bombings. The United States, and Butler, an Australian, deny this. Butler said that no intelligence agency had penetrated Unscom as far as he knew but that Unscom had sought help from 40 intelligence agencies in investigating Iraq. "I authorised intelligence co-operation with the US and believe me I'd do it all over again. Why not? It was legal," he said, adding that he had even asked China to flesh out what he knew about its assistance to Iraq but never got a reply. "There was a time when I asked for intelligence assistance to penetrate the Iraqi wall of deceit where they were lying to us and we were given some. I think we broke new ground in arms control," he said. "Oh, by the way I can deal with the Ritter question very simply," Butler said in an aside while responding to a series of questions from the audience. "What do I think of Scott and what he's been saying? It's nonsense and I'm truly sad that a basically good man has left the rails," he said. "This whole notion of qualitative disarmament is a fabrication," he added. Ritter has said that instead of requiring inspectors to declare Iraq free of any banned long range missile, chemical, biological or nuclear weapons capabilities, they should assess whether it had retained any "meaningful" capacity.-Reuters http://www.cnn.com/2000/WORLD/meast/09/06/jordan.iraq.reut/index.html * JORDAN WANTS TO RESUME CIVIL FLIGHTS TO BAGHDAD (CNN, September 6) BAGHDAD (Reuters) -- Jordan has asked the United Nations to give the green light to the resumption of direct flights between Amman and Baghdad, a top Jordanian official said Wednesday. "We have asked for the U.N. permission to resume civil flights to Iraq and we are expecting a reply in this regard next month," Jordanian Transport Minister Mohammad Kalaldah told the official Iraqi News Agency INA. Iraq says there are no U.N. Security Council resolutions that prevent civilian planes from flying into and out of the country. But the U.N. sanctions committee on Iraq maintains that civilian flights are an economic resource whose reinstatement would be a breach of the sanctions regime. INA said Kalaldah and his Iraqi counterpart, Ahmed Murtada Ahmed, met Wednesday to discuss the resumption of flights between the Jordanian capital, Amman, and Baghdad. Iraq re-opened Baghdad's international airport on Aug. 17 after 10 years of enforced closure. Civilian air traffic at the airport stopped when sanctions were imposed on Iraq days after President Saddam Hussein sent his forces into Kuwait in August 1990. A Jordanian court last week sentenced an Italian pilot to three years in jail for flying a plane to Baghdad in defiance of a 10-year-old U.N. ban on flights to Iraq. http://www.arabicnews.com/ansub/Daily/Day/000907/2000090701.html Free! * WATER CRISIS IN IRAQ (7th Sept) The severe drought crisis which has been hitting Iraq hard since three years and the decreased water level in the Tigris and the Euphrates rivers have pushed hundreds of peasants and farmers to dig wells to irrigate their farms. Iraq's irrigation ministry secretary Abdul Sattar Salman said that water level at the Tigris reached levels never seen since 75 years, noting that the drought might lead a decrease in wheat production to 37%. http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/200009/07/eng20000907_49968.html * CHINESE, IRAQI VICE PREMIERS DISCUSS BILATERAL RELATIONS (People's Daily, 7th Sept) Chinese Vice Premier Qian Qichen met Wednesday with Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tareq Aziz to exchange views on bilateral relations. Qian described the current Sino-Iraqi relations as "very good." He told Aziz that the Chinese people are concerned about the suffering of the Iraqi people brought by the sanctions against the country. Qian said that China has always sympathized with and supported Iraq's efforts for lifting the sanctions. He said that some members of the U.N. Security Council share the same view with China in this regard and that many developing countries also hope sanctions should be lifted as soon as possible. Aziz, speaking highly of China's stand on the sanction issue, said that relations between the two countries in all fields are in a very good shape. The Iraqi prime minister, who is here attending the three-day Millennium Summit of the United Nations, also briefed Qian on Iraq's efforts in improving its ties with neighboring countries. http://www.arabicnews.com/ansub/Daily/Day/000907/2000090715.html * NAJIB MAHFOUZ: THE EMBARGO AGAINST IRAQ IS FUTILE (9th Sept) The Egyptian renowned man of letter Najib Mahfouz has announced that the international embargo imposed on Iraq is " now futile and outdated." In a statement issued in the Iraqi weekly "Alif, Baa " Mahfouz said " the embargo on Iraq now is illogical." Mahfouz who won the Nobel literary prize in 1988 added " We know that the war ( Gulf war) has imposed conditions on Iraq and these conditions were carried out. This means the siege should be ended." This means that the embargo should be ended." He said " it is not logic to continue the siege until children die of hunger. This situation does not please any one, being an Arab or not." On ways of standing against this embargo, Mahfouz said " first we embark on useful ways in the Arab League and then at the UN I see that most of the Arab leaders have relations with America and the West and those leaders should try to lift the embargo from Iraq." http://www.brecorder.com/story/S00DD/SDI07/SDI07263.htm * IRAQ URGES OIL LIFTERS TO PAY GULF PORT CHARGE (Business Recorder) LONDON (September 7) : Iraq is urging crude oil lifters to pay a new port charge at its Gulf terminal at Mina al-Bakr or risk being turned away for not paying up, industry sources said on Wednesday. "We hope we don't have to turn anyone away, but that is our next move," a source in Baghdad told Reuters. About half the tanker owners and lifters at Mina al-Bakr, which handles up to 1.4 million barrels per day (bpd) of Basrah Light exports, have paid up since the $15,000 to $18,000 per ship fee was imposed in June, an Iraqi official said. Payment ultimately has been made by some in Iraqi dinars - now valued at about 2,000 to the US dollar - but others are finding it difficult to come up with the huge amount of local currency needed, industry sources said. "Our port operations are suffering. The tug boats are wrecked and we need to replace them," the Iraqi official said. "So we decided to apply a port fee on oil tankers from June 1." But some are loath to cough up the fee - not because it is unwarranted but because the United Nations, which oversees Baghdad's multibillion dollar oil-for-food deal, deems payment for Iraqi services in US dollars illegal, market sources said. "If there is no money being transferred, (state oil marketer) SOMO might decide not to berth our vessel," an industry source said. "The UN must legitimise and standardise this procedure before someone gets held up by it." An official at Norway's International Association of Independent Tanker Owners (Intertanko) said Iraqi port agents at Mina al-Bakr are threatening to blacklist those refusing to pay. "But to date we have no information about ships being held or refused cargo due to lack of payment," the official said. Intertanko has advised its members that "as per the UN, Iraq's charging of port expenses in US dollars is illegal." But Iraqi officials said the UN does permit payment for services in its own currency, the dinar. That is why SOMO has issued dinar invoices to tanker owners, a source in Baghdad said. "More than 50 percent have paid and others are willing to pay," said an Iraqi official. "The UN does not mind payment in dinars." Lifters themselves do not begrudge Iraq's imposition of comparatively cheap port charges. "These are legitimate expenses and Iraq is entitled to cover costs," one lifter said. "But the United Nations needs to sort out a method for payment." Under the UN oil-for-food programme, which started in late 1996, Iraq is allowed to sell crude oil in exchange for humanitarian goods. Exports have been running at roughly 2.2-2.3 million bpd, with up to 1.4 million bpd Basrah Light and the remainder Kirkuk grade out of the Turkish Mediterranean port of Ceyhan. Reuters http://sg.dailynews.yahoo.com/headlines/world/afp/article.html?s=singapore/h eadlines/000907/world/afp/OPEC_a_window_on_the_world_for_sanctions hit_Iraq.html * OPEC A WINDOW ON THE WORLD FOR SANCTIONS-HIT IRAQ BAGHDAD, Sept 7 (Agence France Presse) - Iraq, where OPEC was founded on September 14, 1960, is today using its weight within the cartel to make its voice heard on the world stage and reduce the isolation of a decade-long embargo. "Iraq hopes that the organisation which was founded on its territory is increasingly successful and united to face new challenges," an Iraqi oil expert speaking on condition of anonymity told AFP. "We would have liked OPEC to have accomplished more in its four decades of existence but we are nonetheless satisfied with its actions if you take into account the political situation it has worked in," he added. Under embargo since the 1990 invasion of Kuwait and largely sidelined in regional groupings and the United Nations, Baghdad considers OPEC a forum that allows it to speak out because of the country's immense oil reserves, second in the world only to those of Saudi Arabia. Conscious of Iraq's oil wealth, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez openly defied the United States by visiting Baghdad on August 10 to personally invite Saddam Hussein to the cartel's summit from September 26-28. It is only the second such meeting since the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries was founded in Baghdad in September 14, 1960. The last took place in Algiers in 1975. The visit by Chavez, whose country holds the rotating presidency of OPEC, was the first to Iraq by a head of state since the 1991 Gulf War. Iraq plans to mark next week's 40th anniversary of the creation of OPEC with celebrations and a symposium. "Iraq's attachment to OPEC is not explained solely by its role in the oil market but also by Baghdad's political motivation to break its international isolation," a western diplomat based in Baghdad told AFP. "Iraq has benefited from its membership in OPEC to make its voice heard and strike up contacts with other countries, notably during the early years of the embargo," he said. Iraq has taken part in all OPEC meetings "even when it was not authorised to export oil (between 1990 and 1996), to prove it would remain a key actor at the heart of this important group," the diplomat said. For the Iraqi expert, "OPEC will continue to play a major role on the oil market even if some announced its death several years ago." "All studies confirm that oil will remain a vital and irreplaceable product for the moment, which means the organisation that determines the oil strategies of these countries will continue to be influential for at least the next decade." Sharing this view, the governmental newspaper Al-Jumhuriya voiced hopes Tuesday that OPEC will transform itself into an influential economic bloc to counter US dominance. In an article titled "Iraq triumphs, OPEC crushes US hegemony", the daily said "the upcoming OPEC summit raises great hopes of seeing the organisation transforming itself into an influential economic bloc." Concerned at preserving the "independence" of OPEC, Iraq has even put forward its own candidate, Abdel Amir al-Anbari, to succeed Nigerian Rilwanu Lukam as the cartel's secretary general. Even if he has little chance of being elected, Anbari's candidacy allows Iraq to block candidates from Iran and Saudi Arabia, Baghdad's main rivals in the region, as the post has to be elected unanimously. Iraq is authorised to export crude oil under a programme to finance imports of essential goods under strict UN supervision. Although an OPEC member, it is exempted from the cartel's production quota system because of the embargo. www.nytimes.com/2000/09/07/world/07IRAQ.html September 7, 2000 * IRAQ REPORTEDLY GIVES CONTRACTS TO NATIONS THAT WANT TO END SANCTIONS (New York Times) by Judith Miller The Central Intelligence Agency says Iraq has consistently used the United Nations' oil-for food program to reward countries that call for ending economic sanctions against Iraq, and to punish those that oppose lifting the embargo, administration officials familiar with the findings have said. The officials said the C.I.A. stated in a new report that President Saddam Hussein of Iraq has given the bulk of contracts in the program to China, France and Russia, as well as to other vocal champions of lifting the sanctions. The Security Council imposed the sanctions after Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990 to force Iraq to give up weapons of mass destruction. The Council instituted the oil-for- food program in 1996 to let Iraq sell some of its oil to help ease the suffering of ordinary Iraqis reportedly caused by the sanctions. But the C.I.A. study shows that Iraq has also used the program as a lever to pry open the sanctions by rewarding allies with contracts, especially those on the 15-member Security Council. The Council can vote to lift the sanctions, and to punish its foes. "Over the life of the program, Baghdad has awarded one-third of the contracts to France, Russia and China," the report states. "Besides these Security Council members and neighbors, Iraq has given substantial oil-for-food business to others that deliver antisanctions rhetoric." Iraq has even denied contracts to traditional suppliers who have not called for an end to sanctions. The report notes that Japan and Germany, Iraq's two largest suppliers before the gulf war, have each received "only 1 percent of total contracts." The two-page report is accompanied by charts and graphs that demonstrate the strong correlation between support for lifting sanctions and the awarding of contracts under the program, which is now in what the United Nations accounting system calls Phase 8. Each phase corresponds to a period of 180 days. Copies of several of the graphs and charts were provided to The New York Times, and sections of the report were read to a reporter by officials who had read the report and thought that its conclusions should be more widely known. The report, which was completed last month and is secret, is little surprise to the Clinton administration, Iraq's most vocal critic on the Security Council and the chief advocate of continuing the sanctions until Iraq proves that it has abandoned its programs for nuclear, biological and chemical weapons. But the report is quite likely to reinforce administration frustration over the mounting pressure among nations and aid organizations to lift the sanctions on the ground that they inflict undue hardship on the Iraqi people. In response to such pressures last year, the Security Council lifted the ceiling on how much oil Baghdad could sell. As a result, United Nations records show, Iraqi oil exports have soared, as have the contracts for food, medicine and other social programs. In the part of Phase 8 from June 9 to Aug. 25, Iraq earned $3.8 billion in oil revenues. Iraq is pumping two million barrels of oil a day. Based on United Nations statistics, the C.I.A. determined that contacts to Vietnam, for instance, began rising sharply in January 1998, after Vietnamese cabinet ministers endorsed an end to the sanctions, climbing from $50 million in 1998 to $170 million three phases later. Contracts to Lebanon jumped on two occasions, after Beirut denounced a four-day bombing series against Iraq, and after Lebanon sent an aide for commercial liaison to Baghdad. Although 40 percent of Iraqi oil exports eventually wind up in the United States, Washington, not surprisingly, has sold almost nothing to Baghdad under the program. http://www.arabicnews.com/ansub/Daily/Day/000908/2000090808.html * SOME 1.35 MILLION IRAQI CHILDREN DIED DUE TO THE SANCTIONS Arabic News .com, 8th September The sanctions imposed on Iraq has resulted in the death of 1.35 million Iraqi children while the number of women's deaths after delivery increased as well as number of handicapped- births. This is in line with the Iraqi memorandum studied by the executive bureau of the council of the Arab ministers of social affairs on Wednesday in Cairo. By its turn, the council decided to submit a memorandum to lift the sanctions imposed on the Iraqi people to the next session of the council to be held in November. The Assistant secretary general of the Arab League for social affairs Daw Sweidan said that the executive bureau recommended in its decisions released on Thursday on the importance of lifting the sufferings from the Iraqi people and alleviating the social consequences inflected on them. He added that the Bureau agreed to allocate US $ 50,000 for Iraq as a technical aid to conduct a field research on margined social strata, especially the disabled. He made it clear that the bureau also agreed to allocate the same amount of technical aids to each of Syria, Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan in order to support certain social projects there. The executive bureau also decided September 28 to be the Arab women's day, the day in which the Arab women committee at the Arab League was established in 1971 and the year 2002 was set as the year for the Arab women. http://www.bernama.com/bernama/business/bu0909_10.htm * RAFIDAH TO LEAD TRADE MISSION TO JORDAN AND IRAQ KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 9 (Bernama, Malysia) -- Minister of International Trade and Industry Datuk Seri Rafidah Aziz will lead a trade and investment mission to Jordan and Iraq beginning Sept 11,2000. A statement from the the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) said the objectives of the nine-day mission is to update the business community in Jordan and Iraq on the current economic progress in Malaysia and to explore business and investment opportunities. The mission would also promote Malaysia as a tourist destination and also as a centre of conventions and trade fair exhibitions. MITI also said that several business meetings have been arranged between representatives of Malaysian companies with potential Jordanian and Iraqi counterparts aimed at business collaboration and joint ventures in several areas. They are in areas like consumer food products, wood based industries, furniture, electrical and electronics, phamaceuticals, cosmetics and health products, construction and petrochemical. Rafidah is scheduled to address the business community in Jordan at a seminar on "Business Opportunities in Malaysia" on Sept 12 while a similar seminar has been arranged in Baghdad on Sept 16. The minister is also scheduled to launch the Proton Satria Gti model and the new corporate logo of Proton in Jordan besides meeting with Federation of Jordanian Chambers of Commerce and Amman Chamber of Industry. Mission members comprises officials from MITI, the Malaysian Industrial Development Authority, Malaysian External Trade Development Corporation, the Federal Agricultural Marketing Authority and 69 private sector members from 50 companies involved in various sectors such as energy and power transmission, telecommunications, building materials, furniture, phamaceuticals, wood products, food products, consultancy and consumer products. Malaysia's exports to Jordan in 1999 amounted to RM261.6 million or 3.4 percent share of Jordan's imports. Major export items to Jordan were mainly palm oil and palm stearin. In 1999, Malaysia's trade with Iraq amounted to RM63.8 million mainly to meet the demand under the oil-for-food programme. http://search.ft.com/search/multi/globalarchive.jsp?docId=000910000636&query =Iraq&resultsShown=20&resultsToRequest=100 * IRAQ: SHI'I OPPOSITION SAYS REGIME "DETERIORATING", SADDAM, SON BOTH ILL ('Al-Sharq al-Awsat' web site, London, in Arabic 10 Sep 00 /BBC Monitoring) London: In a statement sent to `Al-Sharq al-Awsat' yesterday, the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq [SCIRI] warned the states, institutions and companies that seek to normalize relations with Iraq that Saddam Husayn's regime is "trembling and deteriorating", especially with the Iraqi president's suffering of "cancer" and his eldest son Uday's "paralysis", and also as a result of the "conflict inside the family and the growing popular discontent among the Iraqi people and army". The statement added that the "attempts to normalize relations are against the principles of human rights and run counter to all international norms and laws". The statement accused the states that seek normalization with Baghdad of being "interested in keeping Saddam's regime because the debts it owes them for the weapons they sold during the wars it staged against the Iraqi people and its neighbours". The statement added that the advocates of normalization include "organizations that received funds from Saddam to beautify the regime's ugly face in the world, as well as companies that benefited from the export of materials that were used in the manufacture of weapons of mass destruction". The statement highlighted the anti-regime operations in the past several years, including "a Katyusha attack on the Presidential Palace, the bombing of Ba'th Party headquarters, and the assassination of several senior security and intelligence officers". http://search.ft.com/search/multi/globalarchive.jsp?docId=000910000757&query =Iraq&resultsShown=20&resultsToRequest=100 * IRAQI COMMUNIST PARTY STATEMENT DETAILS ANTI-AIRCRAFT POSITIONS ('Al-Sharq al-Awsat' web site, London, in Arabic 10 Sep/BBC Monitoring Service) In a statement received by `Al-Sharq al-Awsat', the Iraqi Communist Party [IPC] yesterday accused the Baghdad regime of "capitalizing" on the losses sustained by civilians as a result of the US and British air raids on the no-fly zones in northern and southern Iraq and of "concealing" the losses among the military. It also accused it of "persisting" in setting up missile launchers and anti-aircraft guns "in civilian residential areas". Citing information received by the party from the town of Al-Samawah, which was the target of daily attacks on 11th and 12th August, the statement says that the bombing was directed at the site of "Air Defence Battalion 71", whose batteries are located in the town's railway station, nearby residential areas, and Al-Salman and Al-Khidr Districts. The bombing led to the death of two soldiers from the battalion and the wounding of others, including Staff Col Wisam from Diyala. The statement says: The danger threatens residential areas and other civilian areas in the southern govenorates and Nineveh Governorate, where US and British aircraft are carrying out daily sorties in their air space. Information reaching us from some parts of the central Euphrates region says that air defence units, missile launchers and anti-aircraft guns have been deployed inside the Luna Park in Karbala, and Al-Nasr quarter in Karbala near the quarries. They have also been deployed in Ayn al-Tamr near the water spring, Jurf al-Sakhr Subdistrict in Al-Musayyib District, Al-Yusufiyah Subdistrict near Hawr Rajab marshland, Al-Mishkhab barrage, garment factory in Al-Najaf, the towns of Abu-Gharaq in Babil Governorate, Jumjumah village near Saddam palace in Babil, the residential areas in Al Iskandariyah, Al-Muthanna quarter in Al-Hindiyah District, the orchards of Al-Ghammas village, Al-Utayshi village in Karbala, Agriculture College in Al-Kufah University, Al-Jubur village in Al-Durah, Al-Najaf-Abu-Sukhayr highway on Bahr al-Najaf river with the dense residential areas on its shores, the factories of Hamurabi asphalt factory, Al-Jiri asphalt factory, and other areas. The statement says: Air defence positions are also spread in Mosul Governorate rural areas and villages, including those of Ba'shiqah, Bahzani and Badush. Information received by us from the contact areas in Dohuk Governorate speak about the increasing number of air defence vehicles roaming the villages and carrying anti-aircraft weapons. The information adds that the inhabitants there have abandoned their villages out of fear of the bombs that are dropped by US and British aircraft in reply to the anti-aircraft fire. According to the statement also government anti-aircraft guns "are mostly aimed at such an angle that their rockets fail to hit the aircraft and fall in the village situated behind the contact lines in the Kurdistan region, which is outside the regime's control. This has caused more than one casualty among their civilian population and losses among their livestock and property." -- ----------------------------------------------------------------------- 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://www.casi.org.uk