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What is the (offical) US requirement for lifting the sanctions?

Dear list members,

While Security Council resolutions state that a favourable report from
UMOVIC is the key issue in lifting sanctions, the US has repeatedly linked
sanctions to other issues, notably a change of regime in Baghdad.

This position seems to contain at least three components:

1.  That the US _takes measures_ to see the Iraqi regime removed, most
notably as spelt out in the Iraq Liberation Act. This commitment has also
recently been reinforced by spokespersons for both the Gore and Bush
presidential campaigns (see [1] below for examples). Given the US veto in
the Security Council, this policy would seem to counteract whatever
political incentive Baghdad might have to engage with UN demands, but it is
possible to maintain that this is not explicitly linked to sanctions.

2.   That the US _believes and acts on the assumption_ that unless there is
a change of government, it is not likely that Iraq will fulfil the
requirements for the lifting (or suspension) of sanctions (see [2]). While
SC resolutions treat sanctions as a coercive instrument to compel Baghdad to
fulfil certain requirements (as in SCR 687, para. 22 or SCR 1284 para. 33),
this would be tantamount to an admission that there is no mechanism for
sanctions to be lifted without a change of regime. The continuation of
sanctions must then have different aims, presumably including the
'containment' Iraq;

3.  That the US _explicitly makes a change of the Iraqi regime a
precondition_ for not using its Security Council veto on lifting sanctions
(see [3]). This, even more than '1' and '2', would seem to obstruct any
co-operation between the UN and Iraq.

As a contrast, in the last news clippings there was an article in which
Richard Butler touched on this issue:

[begin quote]
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.
[end quote]

Does anyone have more detailed information on this issue? In particular,
does anyone know of statements (preferably from on-the-record briefings or
speeches) amounting to the 'backtracking' Butler talks about, i.e. that it
is no longer US policy to link removal of sanctions to a change of regime in
Baghdad? Also, as Butler only talks on '3.' above, what is the official US
policy with regard to '1.' and '2.'?

I would be most grateful for help with this issue.


Per Klevnäs

Research Coordinator, Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq        |        fax 0870 063 5022

Girton College, Cambridge, CB3 0JG

[1] Gore, Bush Seem Committed To Ousting Saddam Hussein, Wall Street Journal
(Capital Journal), 28 June '00

Mr. Gore's office issued a statement declaring: "The vice president
reaffirmed the administration's strong commitment to the objective of
removing Saddam Hussein from power, and to bringing him and his inner circle
to justice for their war crimes and crimes against humanity."

Bush's lead foreign-policy adviser, Condoleezza Rice, is explicit: "Regime
change is necessary," she declares.
[2] C. David Welch, assistant secretary of State for International
Organization Affairs, and Beth Jones, principal deputy assistant secretary
for Near Eastern Affairs at the Department of State, testified March 23 at a
House International Relations Committee hearing on U.S. policy toward Iraq.

"Let me state, for the record, that we do not expect Iraq to meet that
standard anytime soon.  In fact, we doubt that Iraq will take the sensible
steps necessary to obtain the lifting, or the suspension, of sanctions as
long as Saddam Hussein remains in power," said Welch.

[3] THE WHITE HOUSE, Office of the Press Secretary, November 14, 1997
"What he [Saddam Hussein] has just done is to ensure that the sanctions will
be there until the end of time or as long as he lasts."

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