The following is an archived copy of a message sent to a Discussion List run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.

Views expressed in this archived message are those of the author, not of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.

[Main archive index/search] [List information] [Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq Homepage]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

News, 17-24/12/00

NEWS, 17-24/12/00

Nothing of any great interest this week. Britain bombs Iraq, Saddam builds
super-computer out of Playstation 2s stolen from American children, new/old
defector reveals to general world amazement that Iraqi scientists are
investigating the possibility of building a nuclear bomb - usual old stuff.
I have divided the Supplement into two - one directly related to Iraq, the
other to related issues, mainly aspects of the Œnew world order¹. This may
be the pattern in future mailings. Silliest quote of the week (a week in
which the competition has been tough) come in one of the NWO articles,
³Britain in N-missile summit²: ŒForeign Office Minister Peter Hain yesterday
said that the British Government recognised US concerns over the threat of
missile attack by rogue states such as Iraq.¹

*  Airlines prepare to resume flights to Iraq - paper [extract on Iraqi
contract with Airbus - see message sent to list by F.Arbuthnot]
*  UN embargo claims 10 000 Iraqis [Iraqi figures for November]
*  Iraq trade delegation visits Muscat
*  Turkey's parliament renewed no-fly zone permission
*  Kuwaiti puppet govt head wants freedom or death [trial of head of
government installed by Iraqis in Kuwait]
*  Syria ups sour crude sales as Iraqi imports flow
*  U.S. says has Syrian assurances on Iraqi oil
*  U.S. Purposely Ignores Iraq Oil Flow
*   Saddam grabbing PlayStation 2s for weapons
*  Iraq buys 4000 PlayStation 2s in world conquest bid
*  UN sends oil lifters telex advising against Iraq fee [nb. the wording of
this telex is the same as the wording that was reported Œblocked¹ by Russia
in last week¹s news report]
*  UN oil overseers accept Iraqi oil-pricing formula
*  Iranian Pilgrims Banned from Visiting Iraq Via Third Countries
*  Iraqi attorney seeks death penalty for UN killings
*  Annan Reports no progress on missing Kuwaiti issue
*  Iraq asks to diversify funds in Paris-based bank
*  Iraq seeks surcharge on exports
*  Iraq can destroy Israel, defense minister says
*  China Sends Plane to Iraq for First Time Since Gulf War
*  Japan to let firms join U.N. humanitarian program for Iraq
*  Mubarak Calls for Establishment of Arab Common Market
*  U.S., British Planes Hit Iraq
*  Jails get ready to house asylum seekers [short extract giving figure of
1,150 Iraqi asylum seekers last month]
*  Moscow says will work with new U.S. government on Iraq
*  Saddam Meets Senior Official From China
*  Iraq restarts nuclear bomb effort, report says [You guessed it! Another
Œdefector¹ revealed by the Sunday Times. This one has been living in Jordan
since 1998 and only now is he going to be interviewed by the IAEA]

*  Iraq accuses Arafat of 'sell-out'
*  Iran wins U.N. tender to sell soap to Iraq
*  Egypt Sends Plane Carrying Theater Troupe to Iraq
*  Iraqi parliament tells to British House of commons sanctions are killing
innocent people
Arabic News, 12/22/2000

IRAQI SUPPLEMENT, 17-24/12/00 (sent separately)
[Articles of reflection directly dealing with Iraq]

*  Grief-stricken Palestinians getting checks from Iraq
*  Iraqis reeling under sanction see glimmer of hope
*  Bush's Saddam test [Israeli view of Powell¹s remarks on sanctions. They
are not reassured]
*  Bush Team Sets Ambitious Target in Iraq Policy [I include this in full
because it gives a rundown of the views of a wide rangle of Œexperts¹ in the
*  Report: economic growth linked to Iraq, Mideast peace [extract]
*  Matthew Norman's 'turncoat competition' [on P.Hain]
*  Board Sees Stress As a Primary Cause of Gulf War Illnesses
*  No cover-ups on Gulf War Syndrome, panel says
*  Powell Reconsiders Sanctions on Iraq (5 years ago he wrote against them;
now he'd make them tougher) ["The problem is that sanctions are most often
imposed against regimes that have only their own interests and the retention
of power at heart ... And since these leaders are still going to have a roof
over their heads, food on their table and power in their hands, sanctions
rarely work against them." ­ Colin Powell, 1995]
*  The Anglican Church's voice in the Valleys [very short extract. The
Archbishop of Wales¹ views on Iraq]

NEW WORLD ORDER SUPPLEMENT, 17-24/12/00 (sent separately)
*  Japan divided over call to contribute more to U.N. Peacekeeping
*  Britain in N-missile summit [Britain¹s role in proposed US National
Missile Defence system]
*  The dilemma of intervention criteria [by Yasushi Akashi, former head of
the U.N. Transitional Authority in Cambodia and special representative of
the U.N. secretary general to the former Yugoslavia]
*  Taliban bashing by another name [sanctions on Afghanistan]
*  Arbitrary & ill-advised [sanctions on Afghanistan]
*  Talented Ms Rice will play a new tune [account of new US national
security adviser, Condoleeza Rice]
*  Port visit for U.S. warship diverted after terrorist threat [in Naples,
AND Suspect in Cole bombing identified]
*  Albright highlights importance of foreign policy continuity [ŒShe said
the Clinton Administration "picked up a lot of issues from the first Bush
administration." One of those issues was the Bush's policy of unifying
Europe under democratic governments, a theme her policy team continued in
involvement in the Balkans. Albright said the aim of a Bush policy on Europe
was that it "be whole and free and the missing piece was the Balkans. I
think as a result of our policies that piece is now in place."¹]
*  Test of trust between nations [on intelligence sharing among EU countries
and between the US and the UK]



Asked about a contract signed before sanctions were imposed a decade ago
with the European consortium Airbus to supply Iraq with five Airbus planes,
Abdul-Kareem said:

"The company is committed to the contract but it cannot implement it now and
contacts are on with the company."

An Airbus delegation held talks in Baghdad in September and renewed the
European consortium's commitment to implement deals signed with the Iraqi
government once U.N. sanctions are lifted.


News 24 (South Africa), 17th December

Baghdad (Sapa-AFP) - More than 10 000 Iraqis, mostly young children, died in
November because of shortages caused by the UN embargo in force since 1990,
the health ministry said on Sunday.

It said that 7 556 children under the age of five and 3 390 adults had died
last month due to illnesses such as diarrhoea, heart and respiratory
problems, and malnutrition.

In July, the health ministry gave an overall death toll of 1.359 million due
to the embargo slapped on Iraq for its August 1990 invasion of Kuwait and
kept in place to ensure the elimination of the country's weapons of mass

[.....] Free!

Arabic News, 18th December

An Iraq trade delegation has arrived in Muscat representing the Iraqi
foreign ministry in a visit to Oman that will last for five days at the
invitation of the Omani center for investment promotion and export
development. An official at the center said it is known that the Iraqi
government has been importing several foodstuffs according to the UN oil for
food program.

He added: " Therefore the Omani center seeks to open connection channels
with the Iraqi foreign ministry by sending high ranking Ministry officials
to discuss the possibility of getting the Omani produce.


Turkey's Parliament renewed permission for United States and British planes
to use one of the country's air bases for patrols of the "no-fly" zone over
northern Iraq.

The allied planes fly from southern Turkey's Incirlik air base to shield
Kurds from any Iraqi attacks.

Parliament has extended the mandate for the air patrols every six months
since the end of the 1991 Persian Gulf War, when the skies of northern Iraq
were declared off-limits to Iraqi aircraft.


Times of India, 19th December

KUWAIT (AP): A Kuwaiti man sentenced to death for heading a puppet
government after Iraq's 1990 invasion of this Gulf nation told a high court
Monday that, if he is not acquitted, he would rather die than serve a prison

"I came back to prove my innocence," Alaa Hussein told the Cassation Court.

"If you really believe that I'm a traitor, I want the death sentence. A
commuted sentence would be an insult to me and a cause of suffering for my

Hussein lived in Iraq, Turkey and Norway before he unexpectedly returned to
Kuwait in January with his four children. He had been convicted of treason
and sentenced to death in absentia in 1993, two years after the Gulf War
liberated Kuwait from a seven-month Iraqi occupation.

A criminal court upheld the sentence in May, and Hussein lost an appeal two
months later. The five-judge Cassation Court is his last chance to overturn
the death sentence.

The thin unshaven defendant told the court that although he loved his
country, he and his children would go back to Norway if he is acquitted.
Hussein was granted asylum there after he left Iraq. "I'm a simple man, and
I cannot face this attack" from my countrymen who accuse me of treason, he

The court was supposed to hear the defense statement Monday, but one of his
lawyers, Nawwaf al-Mutairi, asked for a postponement because his colleague,
Kateb al-Shimmiri, suffered a heart attack and the team was not prepared.

Al-Mutairi also told the court that around 10 new witnesses, including
"Kuwaiti public figures" have told him they want to testify for Hussein, and
a military officer who spoke against him in court wants to change his
testimony. He would not provide any names or further details.

The court, headed by Judge Abdullah al-Issa, adjourned hearings till Jan.

Hussein, 41, asked al-Issa if he could address the tribunal and he was
allowed to speak for about 40 minutes.

He said Iraqi officials threatened to "abuse" his wife and children if he
didn't agree to head the puppet government and that they would not allow him
to leave the country until years after Kuwait was liberated.

Other members of the short-lived government, who like Hussein were chosen
from among Kuwaiti prisoners, were permitted to return and were cleared of
any wrongdoing.

Many of them said in court that Hussein was as confused as they were in the
beginning, but as days went by, he seemed to enjoy ordering them around and
did not look happy when Kuwait was freed.


Dec 19 (Reuters) - Syria continues to draw upon Iraqi crude oil, outside of
United Nations sanctions, as a means of feeding its refineries and freeing
up more of its own oil for export, industry sources said on Tuesday.

A Syrian industry source told Reuters that the country is still receiving
150,000 barrels a day (bpd) of Iraqi crude though a recently reopened

In mid-November, officials said the pipe had returned to service after 18
years of disuse, despite the failure of the United Nations to officially
clear the exports.

Iraq, bound by U.N. sanctions imposed after its 1990 invasion of Kuwait, is
allowed to sell small quantities of oil outside the oil-for-food programme,
but only with special permission. Some is sold to Jordan, more is smuggled
to Turkey.

Syrian and Iraqi officials have denied exports are taking place, saying only
that the pipeline is being tested.

The United Nations is currently debating whether to allow the exports to go
ahead under the newly concluded ninth phase of the humanitarian aid

The United States and the UK, the most avid proponents of the U.N.
sanctions, have said they will not block the pipeline exports as long as
they are approved the Security Council.

In seeming confirmation of Syria's greater reliance on Iraqi oil, trading
sources said the country had revised the December loading programme for its
heavy Souedie crude exports late last week to include three additional
80,000 tonne cargoes and two extra 50,000 tonne stems.

Those come on top of the original three 80,000 tonne pieces and seem to
raise Souedie exports to about 140,000 barrels daily from the more typical
original plan of 60,000 bpd.

Those volumes follow an original Syrian Light crude programme that was some
25-40 percent bigger than normal at 18.5 full cargoes, an export rate of
about 345,000 bpd.

Total Syrian exports normally run at about 350,000 bpd versus December's
total of about 490,000-500,000 bpd. Total production capacity is thought to
be around 550,000 bpd.

"This would imply that almost the entire refinery feed is being supplied by
Iraq," said one trading source.

Syria is thought to be buying the Iraqi oil at a discount for use in its own
two refineries, which have a capacity of around 240,000 bpd.

Industry sources say Syria would be incapable of increasing its exports
without depriving its own refineries since domestic production is already
running at full throttle.

The Syrian official did not specify the grade moving through the pipeline,
although earlier it was said to be Basrah Light.

However, the hike in heavy Souedie exports caused some oil traders to
speculate that the imports may have switched to Iraq's sour Kirkuk, on which
Syria's refineries were originally intended to run.


WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. State Department said Tuesday it had Syrian
assurances that Syria would not break the rules on sanctions against Iraq,
despite reports that Iraqi oil is crossing the border through a pipeline.

Oil industry sources say that Syria is receiving 150,000 barrels a day of
Iraqi crude through the recently reopened pipeline. Syrian officials have
denied the oil is flowing.

A U.S. State Department official, who asked not to be named, said: "The
Syrian government is continuing to tell us that it doesn't intend to break
the sanctions. To our knowledge they haven't reached a final agreement with

"We would view a violation with great concern and note that it is the
obligation of all U.N. members to respect U.N. resolutions," she added.

Diplomatic sources said they did not expect the United States to take a
stand on possible Iraqi exports to Syria until the incoming Bush
administration takes office Jan. 20.

by Bernie Woodall

NEW YORK (Reuters, 22nd December) - The United States is ignoring reports
that Iraq is smuggling oil to Syria to avoid antagonizing Arab public
opinion at a critical stage in Middle East peace talks, analysts said on

Iraq last month began shipping about 150,000 barrels of oil daily to Syria
via a pipeline that had been disused for 18 years, according to oil industry

Raad Alkadiri, an analyst with Washington-based Petroleum Finance Co. (PFC)
said only the most liberal interpretations of U.N. Security Council
resolutions would permit the oil flow.

Iraq has been under sanctions since it invaded Kuwait in August 1990. It is
allowed to sell oil providing the revenues go to a U.N.-administered account
to be used for food, medicine and other supplies to alleviate the impact of
the embargoes on ordinary Iraqis.

While Washington is diligent about policing Iraqi smuggling, it sees
practical reasons to allow the Syrian connection to go ahead, Alkadiri said.

``There is evidence that Iraqi oil is flowing to Syria and despite hinting
displeasure, the United States has not criticized Syria for busting
sanctions or taken punitive measures,'' said Alkadiri.

The State Department said it has Syrian assurances that Syria would not
break the sanctions, which Alkadiri believed fell just short of saying no
Iraqi oil exports were taking place.

Iraqi and Syrian officials have denied that exports are taking place, saying
only that the pipeline is being tested for future use.

``The Syrian government is continuing to tell us that it doesn't intend to
break the sanctions,'' a State Department official said on Friday. ``To our
knowledge they haven't reached a final agreement with Iraq.''

By remaining quiet about the oil smuggling to Syria, the United States is
keeping open an outlet for Arab anger over American policy toward the Middle
East, said Shibley Telhami, the Anwar Sadat professor for peace and
development at the University of Maryland.

``It allows Arab governments to stay on board American policy toward the
peace process by challenging the sanctions on Iraq,'' he said.

President Clinton (news - web sites) met Israeli and Palestinian negotiators
at the White House on Wednesday in an effort to jump-start peacemaking
efforts, with negotiations expected to continue meeting through Saturday.

Security Council members have said it would approve oil flows to Syria
providing Damascus sent the United Nations (news - web sites) an official
notice and the revenues were routed through the U.N. oil-for-food
humanitarian program.

Until this occurs, however, U.N. resolutions only allow two ports to handle
Iraqi crude, one in Turkey and the other on Iraq's Gulf coast.

Iraq has suspended oil shipments from Turkey since Dec. 1 and for two weeks
cut them from its Gulf port at Mina al-Bakr.

The exports cut is motivated by efforts to ease sanctions on Baghdad and are
only masked by rows over pricing of Iraq's crude with U.N. officials since
mid-November, Alkadiri said.

The exports of Kirkuk crude oil to Syria is certainly taking place and is
clearly a violation of U.N. resolutions, according to Western diplomats on
the U.N. Iraqi sanctions committee as well as oil analysts.

Alkadiri said Iraqi crude is pumped to Syria and put in Syrian refineries.
This then allows Syria to sell oil that otherwise would be used in its
refineries. He said that while there is speculation, there is no clear
evidence that Syria then makes payments to Baghdad in some fashion.

``These exports are going on, no question,'' said an Asian diplomat on the
U.N. sanctions committee. ``It takes away from money that otherwise would
pay for the humanitarian program in Iraq.''

Telhami, also a senior fellow at The Brookings Institution, said Washington
was being cagey because it needed to be.

``Challenging Syria also means challenging other Arab states and that means
Saudi Arabia,'' Telhami said. ``Challenging Syria today further endangers
alienating Arab public opinion more broadly.''

``This is a side effect of the Intifada in that it has raised the level of
anti-Americanism in the region and limited the options that are available to
American foreign policy,'' he said, referring to the two-month uprising by
Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza against Israel.

PFC's Alkadiri also noted there was no easy way for the United States to
police smuggling from Iraq to neighboring nations, for logistic and
political reasons.

The crude oil pipeline runs from the Kirkuk region in northern Iraq to
Syria's Mediterranean coast near Banias and was shut in 1982 when Damascus
sided with Iran during the Iran-Iraq War.

Both Alkadiri and Telhami said the U.S. has also turned a blind eye to
long-standing smuggling of Iraqi crude to Turkey because of its friendship
with Ankara.

However, the U.S. has made some moves at the United Nations to explore the
Syrian oil flows.

On Thursday, Russia and France, sympathetic to Iraq, blocked an effort by
the U.S. and Britain in a U.N. committee overseeing sanctions to ask Syria
about the oil. Instead the chairman of the committee, Netherlands U.N.
ambassador Peter van Walsum will speak to his Syrian colleague.

Avanova, 19th December

US defence experts believe Saddam Hussein may be building a weapons
supercomputer from Sony PlayStation 2s.

Individual units of the powerful games console can be linked up and boosted
so their computing powers can be used to design and control long-range
missiles or even nuclear devices.

A leaked US Defence Intelligence Agency report confirms that up to 4,000 of
the consoles have been shipped to Iraq in the last three months.

Both US Customs and the FBI are investigating.

The news confirms the worst fears of the Japanese government, which first
warned of the potential danger of the high-specification PlayStation 2 eight
months ago.

Experts say that the PlayStation 2 designers may have unwittingly built a
machine ideal for weapons work because its technology is so advanced.

Exports of the console to Iraq are illegal in Japan.

One source tells WorldNet Daily: "Applications for this system are
potentially frightening. One expert I spoke with estimated that an
integrated bundle of 12 to 15 PlayStations could provide enough power to
control an Iraqi unmanned aerial vehicle."

It is believed Saddam Hussein may have exacerbated the Sony PlayStation 2
shortage.  19 December 2000

by Tony Smith
The Register, 19th December

Forget Jim Carrey - Saddam Hussein is the real Grinch who stole Christmas -
at least according to one Web site. It claims the Iraqi dictator is buying
up the world's supply - such as it is - of PlayStation 2 consoles to build
military supercomputers.

According to a WorldNetDaily report, US customs, the FBI and military
intelligence - a contradiction in terms if we ever heard one - are
investigating shipments of Sony's next-generation games machine to Baghdad.
Some 4000 consoles have made their way to Iraq, those agencies reckon.

And that, says the report, is depriving American kiddies of their requested
Christmas prezzies, poor dears.

It's hard to know what's worse: children engaging in (virtual) acts of
mindless violence or the Republican Guard sharpening its skills on Tekken

Or even - and this is the angle a "secret" document leaked to WND takes on
the matter - a stack of the machines being wired together into some vast,
supercomputer configuration to be used to take over the world.

Sounds a bit Billion Dollar Brain to us - ie. bollocks - but we don't
suppose there's a good reason why Iraqi computer scientists can't get Linux
running in Beowolf configuration on 4000 PlayStation 2s for the purposes of
subverting Western democracy. Though we note that Florida seems to have done
a pretty good job of that already...

"Most Americans don't realise that each PlayStation unit contains a 32-bit
CPU - every bit as powerful as the processor found in most desktop and
laptop computers," one unnamed military intelligence source told WND.
"Beyond that, the graphics capabilities of a PlayStation [2] are staggering
- five times more powerful than that of a typical graphics workstation, and
roughly 15 times more powerful than the graphics cards found in most PCs."

Unnamed military source? 'Sony marketing mouth' would be a better

"Applications for this system are potentially frightening," said another
intelligence source. "One expert I spoke with estimated that an integrated
bundle of 12-15 PlayStations could provide enough computer power to control
an Iraqi unmanned aerial vehicle, or UAV -- a pilotless aircraft."

Thanks for clarifying the meaning of the words 'unmanned' and 'aerial
vehicle' - we'd have never figured out they were the same as 'pilotless' and

Strewth. This sounds almost as bad as the scare stories from the early 1980s
of Sinclair ZX-81s being nabbed by the Soviet military so for their Z-80a
CPUs - handy for controlling ICBMs, we were told.

That story proved to be nothing but Cold War paranoia and survivalist
jack-off material, and that's pretty much what the WDN report appears to be.

"Bundled [sic] PlayStation computers could also be used to calculate
ballistic data for long-range missiles, or in the design of nuclear
weapons... Iraq has long had difficulty calculating the potential yield of
nuclear devices - a critical requirement in designing such weapons," says
the WND story.

WDN describes itself as "a fiercely independent news service created to
capitalise on new media technology and opportunities, to reinterpret the
role of the free press as a guardian of liberty, an exponent of truth and an
uncompromising disseminator of news". Or, as we say over here, 'conspiracy

Put it this way, if Saddam isn't buying all those PS Twos, you can bet Elvis
or JFK certainly is...

URL ONLY,4511,1546415%255E912,00.html
*  Video game parts used for weapons
The Advertiser, Australia, 22nd December


DUBAI, Dec 19 (Reuters) - The United Nations has sent telex notification to
Iraq's crude oil customers warning them not to honour Baghdad's demand for a
surcharge payment direct into an Iraq bank account, industry sources said on

Following consultations with the United Nations Iraq Sanctions Committee,
the U.N. oil overseers have advised lifters of the following:

1) The Sanctions Committee has not approved a surcharge of any kind on Iraqi

2) Payments for the purchase of Iraqi crude oil cannot be made to a non-U.N.

3) Therefore buyers of Iraqi oil shall not pay any kind of surcharge to

Iraq suspended oil sales for 12 days from December 1 after crude oil
customers under the United Nations oil-for-food deal, an exception to Gulf
War sanctions, declined to meet Baghdad's request for a 40-cent per barrel

Baghdad's demand for the fee was seen as its boldest effort yet to wrest
back some control from the U.N. over oil revenues after the 10-year embargo
imposed for its invasion of Kuwait.

Iraq, which denies requesting the charge, appears to have waived the fee for
those customers now lifting crude oil, industry sources said.

Times of India, 20th December

UNITED NATIONS (AFP): The United Nations' oil overseers have accepted a new
formula proposed by Iraq for the pricing of its crude through the second
half of December, diplomats here have said.

The new formula is expected to be approved on Tuesday by the UN sanctions
committee, said the diplomats on Monday, speaking on condition of anonymity.

UN spokesman Fred Eckhard confirmed the Iraqi oil authority had requested on
Friday a revision of the pricing formula "in light of recent market

Iraq on December 13 resumed its oil exports after suspending them for 12
days due to the dispute over the UN-run `food-for-oil' programme, which
allows the sanctions-hit state to export crude in six-month phases to
purchase essential goods.

According to diplomats here, Baghdad had initially asked for a 70-cent
reduction in the price per barrel of oil which it exports to Europe, while
it wanted the pricing formula for exports to North America and Asia left

The UN's oil overseers has accepted a 50-cent reduction in the price per
barrel of oil destined for Europe, and has recommended this formula to the
UN Security Council's sanctions committee, the diplomatic sources said.

The price of oil on world markets fluctuates constantly. When Iraq submits
its monthly pricing formula, it asks the UN to sell its oil at a fixed
discount below the fluctuating price of benchmark oils.

People's Daily, 20th December

Iran has banned its nationals from traveling to Iraq via third countries,
saying pilgrimages to Muslim holy sites in Iraq can only be arranged by
Iranian and Iraqi companies, the local Iran Daily reported on Wednesday,
December 20.

The measure has been taken amid efforts by Syrian travel agencies to attract
Iranian pilgrims eager to visit Iraqi holy sites, the Iranian Pilgrimage
Organization was quoted as saying by the English language newspaper.

The Syrian travel agencies tried to attract nearly 1,000 Iranians per week
to Iraq via Syria, whose border with Iraq was reopened last year, the
organization said.

It warned Iranians who went to Iraq via Syria would encounter problems upon
return and the voyages via a third country were " unauthorized."

Under a 1998 agreement between Iran and Iraq, some 3,000 Iranian pilgrims
are allowed to visit Iraq each week in trips arranged by the two neighbors.

The Iraqi government closed the Manzarieh crossing point to Iranian pilgrims
on July 30 this year over financial differences with Iran.

But during a landmark visit to Baghdad by Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal
Kharazi in mid October, the two sides decided to reopen the crossing point.

The two countries have also agreed to increase the number of Iranians to
visit Iraqi holy sites from the original 3,000 to 4,800 per week.

The two neighbors fought a bloody war from 1980 to 1988 and have yet to sign
a formal peace treaty.

Kharazi's visit was considered a historical step toward resolving the
remaining issues between the two countries, including the issue of prisoners
of war and the backing of opposition groups based in each other's territory.

Baghdad, Reuters, 20th December

Iraq's public attorney has demanded the death penalty for an Iraqi charged
with killing two UN staff and wounding seven others in the Iraqi capital
earlier this year, a newspaper said yesterday. Al Rafedain weekly newspaper
said that Karadah court would issue a final judgment on January 8 in the
trial of Fu'ad Hussein Haider, 38, accused of killing two Food and
Agriculture Organisation (FAO) employees.

Haider burst into Baghdad's FAO office on June 28, opening fire in a
reception area before going upstairs and continuing to shoot. The paper,
owned by President Saddam Hussein's eldest son Uday, quoted defenders of
Haider as saying he did not kill the two UN staff or wound the seven others.

"Guards of the FAO building opened fire towards the building when Fu'ad
entered the reception area of the building," lawyer Abudul Latif Radhwan, a
defender of Haider, told the paper. "What Haider had done is not a terrorist
act rather it is a nationalist act because he did not kill any one as the
witnesses had said."

At the time Haider said he was planning to take FAO officials hostage in
protest against UN sanctions imposed on Iraq for its 1990 invasion of
Kuwait. He said his demands were aimed at alleviating the hardship caused by
the embargo.

The two who died in the attack were Yusuf Abdilleh, a Somali administrative
officer, and Marewan Mohammed Hassan, an Iraqi information technology


UNITED NATIONS, December 20 (Xinhuanet) -- U.N. Secretary-General 
Kofi Annan on Wednesday expressed serious concern about the lack 
of progress on the issue of Kuwaiti and third country nationals 
missing since Iraq's 1990 invasion of Kuwait.

In a report to the Security Council, Annan said that Iraq has 
refused to cooperate with the designated coordinator on the issue,
ambassador Yuli Vorontsov of Russia.

Despite this, the ambassador has continued high-level contacts 
aimed at achieving progress, the U.N. chief said.

"I believe that the establishment of an effective dialogue 
between ambassador Vorontsov and the competent Iraqi authorities 
would constitute an indispensable step toward resolving this 
humanitarian problem," Annan noted.

While emphasizing the humanitarian imperative of addressing the
issue, the U.N. chief said, "The suffering of detained and missing
persons and their families finally deserves attention by Iraq."

The secretary-general also put the matter in a broader context,
pointing out that "the display of goodwill in these humanitarian 
matters would be of utmost importance with regard to possible 
progress on other issues concerning Iraq."

Addressing a year-end press conference at the U.N. headquarters
in New York Tuesday, Annan said he hoped to meet with a delegation
from Iraq in January 2001 to explore how to break the impasse over
those matters.  Enditem


UNITED NATIONS (Reuters, December 21, 2000) - Iraq proposed Thursday that
its U.N. controlled oil revenues be diversified rather than placing them all
in the New York branch of the French bank, BNP-Paribas.

A record total of $12 billion is in a U.N. escrow account fed by proceeds of
Iraq's oil sales under the Iraq-U.N. oil-for-food humanitarian program. U.N.
financial officials have suggested for several years that monies should be
spread among other banks. Last May the bank itself agreed.

Iraq's Foreign Minister Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf said in a letter to U.N.
Secretary-General Kofi Annan that "banking activities involving all banking
operations should be shared among several banks."

"This is all the more necessary since the number of letters of credit to be
issued has grown to such an extent that it is beyond the capacity of the
relevant branch of the bank that presently holds the account to handle their
processing and monitoring," al-Sahaaf said.

The United Nations receives funds for Iraqi oil sales and then pays
suppliers of food, medicine and other goods Baghdad orders from the escrow
account though letters of credit.

An Iraqi diplomat said that Baghdad suggested five banks to U.N. staff in
addition to BNP Paribas, but did not name them.

The concentration of all the money in an account and in the obligations of
one bank has long been a matter of concern to U.N. officials.

The U.N. under-secretary-general for management, Joseph Connor, has raised
the issue since June 1997 when the account held less than $1 billion.

In a letter to the Security Council's Iraq sanctions committee in December
1999, when the account held some $5.4 billion, Connor wrote, "As I have
mentioned on several occasions to the government of Iraq and also to the
Security Council, the over-concentration of funds in BNP-Paribas poses a
serious investment risk."

"For operational as well as credit reasons, this is an unacceptable
exposure," he said.

The account was established after the United Nations and Iraq signed a
memorandum of understanding in 1995 on implementing the "oil-for-food"
program, which began in December 1996. Since then oil sales revenues passing
through the account has totaled more than $37 billion.

Economic Times (India), 21st December

DUBAI (Reuters ): Baghdad has resurrected its request for a surcharge
payment on United Nations oil sales, leading contract holders to fear Iraqi
exports could grind to a halt again by the end of this month, industry
sources said on Wednesday.

Iraq suspended its export flows from December 1-12 after customes under the
UN oil-for-food programme declined to meet demands for a 50-cent surcharge
payment into an Iraq bank account.

Basrah Light exports resumed last Wednesday after Baghdad waived its
controversial fee demand for those lifters who incurred huge demurrage costs
while they were queued up at the Iraqi Gulf port of Mina Al-Bakr, market
sources said.

Baghdad has now softened its surcharge demand to 30 cents a barrel in a bid
to kick start Kirkuk oil exports from the Turkish Mediterranean port of
Ceyhan, industry sources said.

"SOMO asked over the telephone whether we were prepared to pay a 30-cent
surcharge for Kirkuk," a market source said. The state oil marketer is also
requesting a fee payment, over and above the UN formula price, for January
liftings from Mina al-Bakr, the industry sources said.


KADI BAGHDAD, Iraq, Dec. 21 (UPI) -- Iraqi Defense Minister Lt. Gen. Sultan
Hashem Ahmed said his country could destroy Israel and that it was ready to
confront any aggression against the Arabs, the weekly Al-Zawraa newspaper
said Thursday. "Iraq can destroy Israel because it possesses a large combat
experience in dealing with all possibilities," Ahmed told the newspaper in
an interview to be published next week.

He said Iraq would not hesitate to send its armed forces to defend an Arab
country targeted by Israel. He said the Iraq military was prepared to deal
with any potential aggression. Ahmed also said there could be no peace in
the Middle East until Israel returned the land to the Palestinians. Ahmed
said there was no military coordination between Iraq and the other Arabs
over a potential conflict with Israel, but said that several states,
including Syria, were satified with Iraq's position on the violence in the
Middle East.

"The Palestinian cause will not be solved until the Jews leave Palestine and
its (Arab) people return to their homeland," he said. Last month, some 1.6
million Iraqis reportedly responded to a call by President Saddam Hussein
and volunteered to fight alongside Palestinians against Israeli forces in
the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem. Iraq also demanded that the
United Nations deduct $900 million from its oil revenues in support of the
Palestinian Intifada. The United Nations, which imposed sanctions on Iraq in
1990, allows Iraq to sell oil in exchange for food.

Ahmed also said his country was prepared for any future escalation of
violence against the United States and Britain, which patrol the northern
and souther no-fly zones over Iraq. "Maybe the technology used by the
Americans in their continued aggressions against Iraq is highly developed,
but the field combat experience that the Iraqi forces have gained allows it
to confront and even surpass the American technology in the battlefield," he

Ahmed headed the Iraqi delegation to the 1991 talks on the Kuwait-Iraq
border that resulted in a cease-fire with the U.S.-led allied forces after
42 days of fighting during the Gulf War. --


BEIJING, Dec 22, 2000 (Agence France Presse) A Chinese plane with a
government delegation on board landed in sanctions-hit Iraq on Friday for
the first time since the 1991 Gulf War, airport officials said.

China became the third permanent member of the UN Security Council,
following Russia and France, to send a plane to Baghdad in defiance of the
UN embargo on air travel to Iraq since Saddam International Airport reopened
on August 17.

The Air China plane carried a load of humanitarian aid, China's state-run
news agency Xinhua reported when the aircraft left Beijing.

On board was an official delegation led by minister without portfolio Ismail
Amat, who holds the rank of state councillor, as well as officials from
other ministries including foreign affairs, health and foreign trade and
economic cooperation.

The delegation is to spend three days in Baghdad.

The flight follows a visit to China last month by Iraqi Deputy Prime
Minister Tareq Aziz, who received reassurances from President Jiang Zemin of
China's opposition to UN sanctions on Iraq.

More than 80 flights have landed in Baghdad since mid-August despite an air
embargo which forms part of UN sanctions imposed on Iraq for its August 1990
invasion of Kuwait.

Kyodo News, 22nd December

TOKYO: Japan decided Friday to take part in the U.N. humanitarian program
which allows Iraq to sell oil to meet its people's basic needs, while
maintaining economic sanctions against Iraq, Foreign Minister Yohei Kono

The decision will enable Japanese businesses to take part in the U.N.
oil-for-food program, which they have not been able to do up to now because
of the strict enforcement of the government sanctions, ministry officials

Japanese companies have reportedly been disadvantaged in doing business with
Iraq, compared with some U.S. and European firms that have been able to
expand business there through their governments' participation in the U.N.

The U.N. Security Council imposed sanctions on Iraq in August 1990, but
implemented the oil-for food program in December 1996 to help alleviate food
shortages, lack of medicines and deterioration of essential social services,
while maintaining the sanctions.

Japan imposed its economic sanctions on Iraq in August 1990 in the wake of
Iraq's invasion of Kuwait, ahead of the Persian Gulf War in January 1991.

People¹s Daily, 22nd December

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak Thursday called for the establishment of an
Islamic common market and a regime of economic integration among all Arab
countries, the state-run Middle East News Agency reported.

Addressing a ceremony marking the anniversary of the revelation of Koran,
Mubarak said that all Muslims should work together to set up the common
market on the basis of "frankness and transparency", in order to meet the
challenges which the Islamic world is facing.

Egypt will promote a full-scale project to lift tariffs in service sector
among Arab countries at the next Arab summit to be held in Jordan's Capital
Amman in March 2001.

It has signed an agreement with Syria on establishing a free trade zone, a
step forward to realize the Arab common market.

Egypt is keen to boost economic cooperations with other Arab countries and
expects to sign an accord on setting up a free trade zone with Iraq and
Libya as well.

The Arab world, which aims to set up the pan-region free trade zone by 2007,
has been warming ties with Iraq in recent months with moves to boost trade
and resume flights despite a decade of United Nations sanctions imposed on
Iraq since its invasion of Kuwait in 1990.


BAGHDAD, Iraq (Associated Press, Fri 22 Dec) ‹ U.S. and British warplanes
struck targets in southern Iraq on Friday, and Baghdad said the attack
killed one person and injured two others.

The U.S. Central Command headquarters said in a statement that the
warplanes, patrolling the no-fly zone in southern Iraq, attacked a radar
system and anti-aircraft sites with precision-guided weapons.

The command, based in Tampa, Fla., had no report of casualties and still was
assessing the damage. ``We go to great lengths to avoid injuries,'' said
Maj. Jeff Blau at MacDill Air Force Base.

An Iraqi military spokesman said the warplanes struck ``civil and service
installations in the provinces of Basra and Nasiriya, resulting in the
killing of one civilian and the injury of two others,'' according to the
Iraqi News Agency.

``Our heroic (anti-aircraft) missile units confronted the enemy warplanes,
forcing them to leave our skies for Saudi Arabia and Kuwait,'' the
unidentified spokesman said. The report did not say where the casualties

Basra is 340 miles south of Baghdad and Nasiriya is 248 miles south of the

The U.S. Central Command said the sites ``were targeted to further degrade
Iraq's ability to jeopardize coalition pilots and aircraft.''


by Alan Travis, home affairs editor
Guardian, Saturday December 23, 2000


The latest Home Office figures show that asylum applications rose to 7,250
last month from 6,970 in October. Iraq (1,150 applicants), Iran (735) and
Sri Lanka (650) were the main countries of origin.


Moscow, Reuters, 23rd December

Russia said yesterday it was willing to work closely with the new U.S.
government on policy toward Iraq, despite remarks by Secretary of
State-designate Colin Powell that sanctions should be "re-energised".

Moscow has traditionally spoken out in favour of lifting the UN sanctions
imposed on Iraq after its 1990 invasion of Kuwait, while the United States
has been the key proponent of keeping the sanctions in place.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement it was necessary to
approach the Iraqi problem on the basis of "reasonable compromises" which
take into account the wishes of the Iraqi side.

"We are ready for close coordination on this with the new American
leadership, other partners in the United Nations, and all interested
parties," said the statement, issued in response to Powell's remarks.

Powell, who was chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and oversaw the U.S.
military during the Gulf War, has said Iraq is not living up to its
obligations under the 1991 Gulf War truce, which called for UN inspections
of Iraq's weapons programmes.

The Russian Foreign Ministry statement said it was still too early to
predict what policy Washington would adopt toward Iraq, but added: "the
history of the last years has clearly demonstrated that political threats
and strong pressure on Baghdad are counterproductive".

This year the sanctions have been eroded, with countries including Russia,
France and Arab states resuming flights to Baghdad and moving to revive
trade with the oil-rich state.

Los Angeles Times, 23rd December

BAGHDAD--Iraqi President Saddam Hussein met a senior official from China on
Saturday for talks on improving relations, the Iraqi News Agency INA

INA said the Chinese State Councilor Ismail Amat delivered a message from
Chinese President Jiang Zemin to Saddam on "friendship between Iraq and
China and his country's desire to improve bilateral relations."

Amat arrived on Friday aboard the first Chinese plane to fly to Iraq since
the 1991 Gulf War over Kuwait. He heads a 70-strong delegation of officials
representing Chinese communications, oil, agricultural, industrial and
educational organizations.

INA said Jiang expressed in his letter "deep concern about the deterioration
of the humanitarian situation in Iraq as a result of the (U.N.) sanctions."

The United Nations imposed trade embargoes on Iraq after its invasion of
Kuwait in 1990. China has always opposed the sanctions but also says Iraq
should comply with U.N. Security Council resolutions.

Jiang assured Iraq's Deputy Prime Minister Tareq Aziz during a visit to
Beijing last month that China would work to lift U.N. embargoes and restore
civilian flights to Baghdad.

INA said Jiang's letter expressed "support for the Iraqi people in its
struggle against the embargoes."

Amat was also received by Aziz and Vice-President Taha Yassin Ramadan.

UPI, Sat 23 Dec 2000

Iraqi scientists who worked on building nuclear weapons for Saddam Hussein
before the Gulf War have been ordered back on the job, according to an Iraqi
defector. Salman Yassin Zweir, quoted by The Sunday Times, said the orders
came in a secret document issued in August 1998, four months before Saddam
Hussein expelled international weapons inspectors from the country. The new
headquarters for the operation, he said, was identified as a research center
on Al-Juadriya Street in Baghdad, the Iraqi capital. Mehdi Shurq Ghali, head
of the research program, signed the order.

"Saddam is very proud of his nuclear team," the newspaper quoted Zweir, who
has escaped Iraq to Jordan. "He will never give up the dream of being the
first Arab leader to have a nuclear bomb." The Sunday Times said the
39-year-old design engineer, who worked for 13 years for the Iraqi Atomic
Energy Commission, is to be interviewed by U.S. intelligence agents and
officials of the International Atomic Energy Agency. The IAEA carried out
more than 1,000 inspections of sites between 1991 and 1997 in Iraq that they
suspected had and were possibly still being used in connection with
development of weapons of mass destruction.

The inspections were ordered following the 1990-1991 Gulf War, sparked by
Saddam's invasion and occupation of neighboring Kuwait. Zweir, who said he
was arrested and tortured after refusing to return to nuclear weapons work,
said that during the war the Iraqi security service moved weapons
development components around to keep them from reach of allied warplanes.
They did the same after the war to keep them from the U.N. inspectors.
Charles Duelfer, the former deputy chief of U.N. inspectors in Iraq, told
the newspaper he was "very concerned" to hear Zweir's story. "When we were
working in Iraq there was a pattern that appeared to show ongoing (weapons)
research, but we never found direct evidence."

The Iraqi nuclear weapons program was called Project 3000 and at one time
was under Hussein Kamel, Saddam's son-in-law, who was later executed. U.N.
inspectors believed Iraq was between one and four years from making a
nuclear bomb when the war broke out and research and development facilities
were destroyed.

Zweir escaped from Iraq later in 1998 and lives in Jordan with his wife and
children, the newspaper said. The report comes as more countries are
beginning to break ranks on U.N. sanctions imposed on Iraq following the war
and as a result of its non-cooperation with mandated weapons inspections.
Iraq has been waging a steady campaign for economic sanctions to be lifted.

This is a discussion list run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq
For removal from list, email
Full details of CASI's various lists can be found on the CASI website:

[Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq Homepage]