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NEWS 16-21/4/01 Most interesting items I think are the articles in the Oil section about the tankers¹ that have gone down off the UAE coast. Another good reason why the UAE should be anxious to see sanctions ended, if that means (of course it might not) the end of smuggling. Most amusing item is the last, in the New World Order section on the top notch American fighter pilot ace in Saudi Arabia forced to wear a big baggy full length robe every time she leaves the base. IRAQI-MIDDLE EAST RELATIONS * Saddam invites Arafat to Baghdad * Syria refuses an American request concerning Iraq [won¹t go along with smart¹ sanctions] * [Assistant Secretary of State Edward] Walker to Visit Iraq's Neighbors [Jordan, Syria, Turkey], Discuss Sanctions * A Syrian - Moroccan initiative on Iraq [but no details] * Iran, Saudi Arabia sign landmark security pact * Iranian Scud missiles fired into Iraq kill several people * Iran, Iraq Caution Each Other After Military Action on Border * Iran rebels apologize [on Iranian TV] for terror operations * Death toll from Iranian missile strikes rises to 6 * Al-Mahameed is a candidate for the Syrian diplomatic mission to Iraq * Pope Shenouda [of Egyptian Coptic Church]'s apology for not visiting Baghdad IRAQI/INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS * Iraqi Vice President in Moscow for Talks on UN Embargo * UN rights forum condemns Iraq for 'terror' * UN council seeks Iraq coop on Kuwaiti MIAs INSIDE IRAQ * Saddam reshuffles cabinet, appoints new minister * Saddam demotes foreign minister after setbacks [more detailed and interpretative version of above] * U.S. Planes Bomb Iraqi Radar PROBLEMS WITH OIL * Crews still cleaning oil from Dubai beaches [after sinking of Georgian registered tanker carrying Iraqi oil. Interesting detail. The tanker was being escorted¹ by two US navy ships at the time] * Sanctions-busting ship was disaster waiting to happen * Another ship spills oil off UAE coast [after being hit on Sunday by bullets from Multinational Interception Force¹] * U.S. energy task force seeks sanctions review [need for cheap oil may prove to be stronger than the need to impose virtue and the rule of law] * Bush: No Plans To Lift Sanctions [response to previous news item, with URL for original Washington Post article] * [Swiss oil trader] Glencore pays $3 million after diverting Iraqi oil [The problem seems to turn on the notion that Iraqi oil is less expensive if destined for the US market than it is for other markets. This is something I do not understand, especially since the Iraqis were talking of boycotting the US market. Which seems a very reasonable thing to do under the circumstances] * UN to scrutinize Glencore's Iraqi oil dealings [extract] * Kuwait denies stealing Iraqi crude oil * Iraq earns additional 418 million euros under UN Oil-for-Food program NEW WORLD ORDER * Former secretary of state [Madeleine Albright] asked to testify in terrorism trial [the lawyers of Mohammed al-¹Owhali, accused of the Kenya US Embassy bombing, think that US terror throughout the world is relevant to understanding his motivation] * Pentagon rethink on war doctrine? [excuses for spending billions of dollars on expensive new gismos at a time when there is clearly no possibility of any threat to the security of the US as such - whatever about US troops policing the universal imposition of American commerce elsewhere in the world] * Saudi rules anger top Air Force pilot Female officer speaks out against Muslim dress code for Americans [the poor woman seems to be under the impression that by flying missions over Iraq with the sole purpose of humiliating and antagonising the Iraqis she is risking her life¹ to protect Saudi Arabia] IRAQI-MIDDLE EAST RELATIONS http://www.washtimes.com/world/default-2001416212219.htm * SADDAM INVITES ARAFAT TO BAGHDAD by Andrew Borowiec The Washington Times, 16th April NICOSIA, Cyprus In a new twist to his policy of defying the world, Saddam Hussein has started subsidizing extreme Palestinian groups and is urging Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat to move to Baghdad, diplomats say. The developments are regarded as serious by moderate Arab countries that fear an escalation of the violence between the Palestinians and Israel. The disclosures of Saddam's apparently growing involvement in the crisis in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank followed the recent trip to the Middle East by Secretary of State Colin Powell. According to Arab diplomats, the trip revealed the weakness of U.S. policy in the area, including the Bush administration's inability to influence the Arab-Israeli crisis and Iraq's defiance of U.N. sanctions. Consequently, they say, it increased Saddam's prestige among Arab leaders, many of whom admire his tenacity. But Saddam, who claims that "we have 80 percent of Arab masses on our side," feels the Arab world is not doing enough for the Palestinians and has launched a massive, albeit symbolic, "recruitment" to encourage the intifada. "The army of Jerusalem boasts 6 million Iraqi volunteers," wrote the Baghdad Babil, published by Saddam's son, Udai. Another Iraqi publication, Al Tsaura, or Revolution, complained that the recent Arab League summit "refrained" from adopting any practical decision to meet the minimum requirements of "resisting the occupation, oppression, and crimes" against the Palestinians. "They ignored Iraq's call to take up arms, sided with those who speak on Washington's behalf," the newspaper said. Saddam has invited Mr. Arafat and his Palestinian Authority to relocate from Gaza to Baghdad promising $1 billion, including $10,000 to the family of each Palestinian killed in the intifada. While the investigation is generally regarded as a publicity gesture of the kind favored by Saddam, diplomats believe the offer to compensate the victims' families might be considered as tempting. Above all, Saddam's recent statements show that despite the sanctions and because of the porous frontiers, Saddam is not short of cash while the Palestinians are. Arab Gulf nations have promised $1 billion to the Palestinian Authority, but so far only $400,000 has been paid. Perhaps more alarming than Saddam's contact with the Palestinian Authority is his support for several organizations regarded by Israel as terrorist and committed to inciting violence. It is not known how much money they have received from Iraq. According to Arab estimates, Saddam is earning about $1 billion annually from oil smuggled out of the country with the tacit cooperation of Jordan, Syria and Turkey. These illegal earnings are in addition to money from oil exports allowed by the United Nations and held in an escrow account. The funds obtained through smuggling are considered to be Saddam's private "slush fund," which he can spend on building more palaces and conducting biological, chemical and nuclear programs. International inspectors have not visited Iraq for two years, and the Iraqi delegation at the United Nations has said they will never return. According to Iraqi Trade Minister Mohammed Saleh, over the past four years Iraq oil exports totaled $40 billion, while it received goods allowed under the sanctions worth $3 billion. http://www.arabicnews.com/ansub/Daily/Day/010416/2001041605.html * SYRIA REFUSES AN AMERICAN REQUEST CONCERNING IRAQ Arabic News, 16th April The United Arab Emirates UAE daily al-Khaleij issued on Sunday said that a Syrian source stressed to it that Syria had refused a request proposed by the American administration calling on Damascus to join what is called " smart sanctions" Washington had decided to impose on Iraq. The source explained that this position was expressed through contacts between the US administration and the Syrian leadership. The source added that the Syrian side told the American side on the futility of imposing any new sanctions on Iraq, noting that the official Syria view points conveyed to the US administration stressed that the Iraqi people are the ones who pay the price for the sanctions and that there are many countries which refuse to abide by the resolutions of the UN Security Council and the UN, foremost being is Israel and despite of that the International community did not imposed any sanctions on it. On the American request, the source added that the US wants Syria to close its land borders with Iraq and to stop pumping the Iraqi oil through the oil pipeline which passes through the Syrian territories for Damascus to obtain certain political and economic aids from the US. These circles did not rule out that the US pressure campaign against Syria to be increased during this phase because of Syria's position in supporting Iraq. The paper also said that well-informed Syrian sources told it that Syrian- Iraqi relations will witness during the coming weeks important developments that might result in resuming diplomatic relations between the two states. http://www.latimes.com/wires/wpolitics/20010416/tCB00a3825.html * WALKER TO VISIT IRAQ'S NEIGHBORS, DISCUSS SANCTIONS Los Angeles Times, 16th April WASHINGTON, Reuters: A senior State Department official will visit three of Iraq's neighbors this week to talk with the governments about details of the "smart sanctions" Washington wants to impose on Baghdad. Assistant Secretary of State Edward Walker will go to Jordan, Syria and Turkey -- countries that would play key roles in U.S. plans to tighten controls on Iraqi imports of military goods and on its revenue from oil exports. Secretary of State Colin Powell visited Jordan and Syria in February to sound out their views on a new sanctions system that would also ease the restrictions on imports of civilian goods. Walker went to Turkey in March for the same reason. The aim is to contain Iraqi President Saddam Hussein militarily without giving him a chance to blame the present U.N. sanctions for shortages of food and medicine. State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said: "The primary discussions (by Walker) will be on Iraq, pushing forward toward a system that removes Saddam Hussein's ability to use sanctions as a weapon against his own people and would establish controls on strictly military items and items related to weapons of mass destruction." Syria and Turkey import Iraqi oil outside the U.N. sanctions system, paying cash directly to the Baghdad government and not to the U.N. escrow account. The U.S. plan, as outlined by senior officials, would tighten controls on Iraq's borders and regularize the illicit trade between Iraq and its neighbors. U.S. officials said Jordan, Syria and Turkey want to be sure that they will not suffer economically from changes in the sanctions system and that the system will be enforced with equal vigor in all of Iraq's neighbors. http://www.arabicnews.com/ansub/Daily/Day/010417/2001041708.html * A SYRIAN - MOROCCAN INITIATIVE ON IRAQ Arabic News, 17th April Well-informed Moroccan sources told the London- based al-Wasat magazine issued on Monday that the main results of the visit held by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to Morocco at the Arab Level, represented in an approaching, jointly launched, Syrian- Moroccan initiative aiming at restoring back Iraqi- Arab relations to what they had been before the second Gulf war and based on debates that took place at the recent Amman's summit. However, no details are disclosed about this initiative. Moroccan sources indicated that a Moroccan envoy, may visit the Gulf region very soon on the ground of this initiative. The same Moroccan sources denied President Bashar al-Assad [t]o have [sic - PB] discussed during his visit to Rabat a mediation by Damascus to improve relations between Morocco and Algeria. http://www.timesofindia.com/190401/19mide2.htm * IRAN, SAUDI ARABIA SIGN LANDMARK SECURITY PACT Times of India, 19th April TEHERAN: Regional giants Iran and Saudi Arabia on Tuesday signed a landmark security pact to combat terrorism and drug trafficking, describing it as a "big step" in improving regional security and bilateral ties. Iranian Interior Minister Abdolvahed Mousavi Lari and his Saudi counterpart, Prince Nayef, signed the agreement that includes cooperation on combating organized crime, terrorism, drug trafficking, illegal immigration and a joint surveillance of borders. It also calls for cooperation between two police forces. "We have decided to take a big step toward security between our two countries. We consider Saudi Arabia's security as Iran's security and Iran's security as our security," Nayef told reporters after the signing ceremony. Nayef, the first Saudi interior minister to visit Iran since the 1979 Islamic revolution, said Riyadh hoped that similar security pacts will be signed between Iran and other countries in region. Relations between non-Arab Iran and Saudi Arabia soured after the 1979 Islamic Revolution brought a radical clerical government to power. Ties began to improve after President Mohammad Khatami, a moderate, took office in Iran in August 1997. Khatami made a historic trip to Saudi Arabia in 1999. Ties between the two Muslim countries, which are also the two largest producers inside the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, have been steadily improving over the past three years. Saudi Arabia used to be extremely wary of Iran's stated policy of exporting its Islamic revolution. The kingdom, a Sunni Muslim state, also disapproved of citizens from Iran, a Shiite Muslim state, holding demonstrations during the annual pilgrimage to Mecca. (AP) Lari said the accord was the "first step" toward closer cooperation and deepening of ties between the two "great and influential" states. The Iranian minister also said that Iran was "serious" in its confidence-building measures to deepen ties with Saudi Arabia. The agreement, which took two years to negotiate, does not include military cooperation. Saudi Arabia has a longstanding defense agreement with fellow Arab countries in the Gulf Cooperation Council, as well as with the United States. Tehran opposes the presence of U.S. military forces in the region and seeks to persuade its Arab neighbors to join it in a defense pact that would maintain security in the Gulf. However, the Gulf Arabs prefer to retain their strong military ties to the United States and have kept Iran at arm's length. Nayef said he had discussed with Khatami and parliament speaker Mahdi Karrubi bilateral ties, threats from Iraq, the situation in Afghanistan and Israeli attacks on Palestinians as well as an Israeli airstrike Monday on a Syrian radar position in Lebanon. (AP) http://independent-bangladesh.com/news/apr/19/19042001ap.htm#9 * IRANIAN SCUD MISSILES FIRED INTO IRAQ KILL SEVERAL PEOPLE Bangladeshi Independent, 19th April BAGHDAD, Apr 18: At least 48 Scud missiles fired by Tehran on Wednesday hit border camps run by Iran's armed opposition movement in Iraq killing one combatant and several Iraqis, the People's Mujahadeen said, reports AFP."At least one member of the Mujahadeen, Reza Zahmatkesh, was killed, and several Iraqi civilians died and others were injured," a spokesman told AFP. "The Mullahs' regime of Iran launched a new missile attack at dawn Wednesday against Mujahedeen positions ... which were hit by at least 44 Scud missiles," said Farid Suleimani.Another four Scuds hit two more camps several hours later.The Iraqi casualties had not been confirmed by official sources. Missiles crashed around bases in southern Iraq at Al Habib, near Basra, Faeza, near the town of Kut, and Al-amara, as well as at Ashraf, 190 kilometres (115 miles) east of Baghdad, the spokesman said.The pounding followed a report by Tehran on Saturday of clashes in western Iran between Pasdaran revolutionary guards and a seven-man Mujahadeen unit trying "to infiltrate into Kermanshah province to carry out terrorist operations".The organisation admitted six Mujahedeen fighters died in the clashes, the latest of regular reports of bloodshed. The Mujahadeen presence in Iraq, like the Iraqi opposition based in Iran, is a major stumbling block to the normalisation of relations between Tehran and Baghdad, who have failed to sign a peace treaty following the end of their eight-year war in 1988. http://www.bloomberg.com/fgcgi.cgi?ptitle=Top%20World%20News&s1=blk&tp=ad_to pright_topworld&T=markets_bfgcgi_content99.ht&s2=blk&bt=ad_position1_windex& middle=ad_frame2_windex&s=AOt_ZKhV.SXJhbiwg 04/19 22:04 * IRAN, IRAQ CAUTION EACH OTHER AFTER MILITARY ACTION ON BORDER by Paul Tighe Teheran, April 20 (Bloomberg) -- Iran and Iraq cautioned each other over their activities after Iran carried out military operations against Iranian rebels based in Iraqi territory, the Iranian news agency, IRNA, and other news services said. Iran said a missile attack into Iraqi territory this week was part of defensive measures to stop raids by the Mujahidin-e-Khalq. It reminded Iraq it must meet its commitment to end ``military and terrorism operations conducted from its soil'' against Iran, IRNA said. Iran is ``seeking to start problems with Iraq and block efforts to open a new page'' in their relations, Salem al-Qabissi, the head of Iraq's parliamentary commission for foreign affairs told Agence France-Presse. Iran and Iraq fought an eight-year-long war that began in 1980 over the disputed Shatt-al Arab waterway. The conflict was a humanitarian and economic disaster for both countries resulting in them losing their positions as the most powerful Gulf states. More than one million people on both sides were killed or wounded in the fighting. ``Iraq reminds the Iranian regime of its stupid behavior of 1980,'' AFP cited the Al-Iraq daily newspaper as saying. Iraq said its air defenses yesterday shot down an unmanned Iranian surveillance plane in its airspace. The Mujahidin said its air batteries drove away two Iranian jet fighters over Mendali 400 kilometers (250 miles) northeast of Baghdad, AFP said, citing a rebel statement. On Wednesday, Iran fired as many as 56 Scud missiles at Mujahidin camps, Iraq said. The Mujahidin said 66 missiles were fired, killing one of its members and several Iraqi civilians, Reuters reported. Iran told the United Nations Security Council its actions were ``limited and appropriate operations,'' IRNA said. ``Iran fully respects Iraq's territorial integrity and welcomes upgrading of friendly ties with its neighbor,'' IRNA quoted Iran's letter to the Security Council as saying. Still, it warned that it will strike at the Mujahidin if the rebel attacks continue. ``In the event of a repeat of sabotage and terrorist acts by the (Mujahidin) the Revolutionary Guards are prepared to continue their strikes until their definitive destruction,'' Reuters quoted a commander as saying on national television. More than a decade after their war ended in 1988, Iran and Iraq accuse each other of delaying the return of captured soldiers and fostering exiled opposition groups. The Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq is based in Iran's capital, Tehran. Iran and Iraq both belong to the 11-member Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. http://www.cnn.com/2001/WORLD/meast/04/20/iran.opposition.ap/index.html * IRAN REBELS APOLOGIZE FOR TERROR OPERATIONS CNN, April 20, 2001 TEHRAN, Iran (AP) -- Iranian authorities held a news conference Friday in which alleged members of an outlawed Iranian opposition group expressed regret for their actions, two days after Iranian armed forces bombed the group's Iraqi bases. The seven men and two women spoke to journalists about their alleged roles in the group, the Mujahedeen Khalq, and the group's ties with Iraq. In France, Mujahedeen spokesman Ali Safavi said those who spoke at the news conference were not members of the organization. Safavi spoke by telephone to The Associated Press in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, from his office near Paris. Iran and Iraq fought an eight-year war that ended in 1988 with a U.N.-brokered cease-fire. But the two have never formally signed a peace treaty and relations have remained tense, with each government accusing the other of supporting its opponents. At the Tehran news conference, Arash Sametipour claimed Iraq rewarded frequent forays into Iran with weapons and supplies. He also apologized "to the Iranian nation for the treason and crimes we have committed." Marjan Malek Seidabadi, another alleged member, claimed the group raised money abroad through fraudulent charitable organizations. "My life was ruined after joining the group. I'm a mother of two but haven't seen my children for years," she told reporters. Their news conference came two days after Iran attacked Mujahedeen bases in Iraq in what it called a "limited and proportionate defensive measure." The attack killed three people and wounded 23 others, Iraqi official media and the Mujahedeen said Thursday. All but one of the casualties were Iraqis. Independent confirmation of the casualties was not possible. Meanwhile, Gen. Ahmad Kazemi, a top commander of the elite Iranian revolutionary guards, said late Thursday that more attacks against Mujahedeen bases in Iraq were possible, the official Islamic Republic News Agency quoted him as saying late Thursday. http://www.timesofindia.com/210401/21mide6.htm * Death toll from Iranian missile strikes rises to 6 Times of India, 21st April BAGHDAD: The death toll from the wave of Iranian missile strikes on Iraqi territory has risen to six, with more than 36 others wounded, the official INA news agency said on Friday. "Six Iraqi civilians were killed and more than 36 others were wounded in the Iranian bombing of several towns and villages in Iraq," the agency said. But the People's Mujahedeen, Tehran's main armed opposition, said on Friday that "in addition to one Mujahedeen member killed, so far nine innocent Iraqi civilians have been killed and 25 others were wounded and hospitalised." Iraqi officials initially put the death toll from Wednesday's attack at two, while the Mujahedeen reported one combatant dead in the strikes that Iran said targeted six of the group's bases. "Two people were killed and 17 others injured in Wasset, 170 km south of Baghdad, where eight houses were totally destroyed in the Iranian attack," INA said. "Two Iraqi martyrs died and several others were hurt" in the southern port city of Basra, the agency said, adding that another two were killed and 19 wounded in Jalula, 100 km northeast of Baghdad. Baghdad said Iranian forces had fired 56 surface-to-surface missiles at Iraqi territory in the biggest reported missile assault on Iraqi territory from Iran since their bloody 1980-88 war that left hundreds of thousands dead on both sides. According to the Iraq-based Mujahedeen, Iran fired 77 Scud missiles, targeting at least seven of the group's camps close to the border as well as nearby Iraqi towns. Tehran, meanwhile, dubbed the strikes as "limited and defensive" military attacks against Mujahedeen bases. Iraq threatened retaliation on Wednesday, saying it reserved the right to hit back with the appropriate means and at the appropriate time. And Baghdad said on Thursday its air defences had shot down an unmanned Iranian surveillance plane coming from Iranian airspace near Mendali, 400 km northeast of the capital. Iran and Iraq have yet to sign a formal peace treaty ending the 1980-88 war, and the presence of armed opposition groups on each other's territory is among the obstacles to a normalisation of ties between Tehran and Baghdad. Baghdad complains that Tehran supports Iraq's Shiite opposition, particularly the Iran based Supreme Assembly of the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SAIRI). (AFP) http://www.arabicnews.com/ansub/Daily/Day/010420/2001042008.html * AL-MAHAMEED IS A CANDIDATE FOR THE SYRIAN DIPLOMATIC MISSION TO IRAQ Arabic News, 20th April News reports in Damascus said that the former Syrian ambassador to Sudan Muhammad al-Mahameed was nominated as a chairman of a diplomatic mission in Iraq. This was in contrary to what has been said on the nomination of Muhammad Hussein Tawab, the director of the cultural department at the Syrian foreign ministry for this post. Al-Mahameed is in his late 60 s. He served as Syria's ambassador in Sudan for nine years and before that he was in the Republic of Yemen http://www.arabicnews.com/ansub/Daily/Day/010421/2001042106.html * POPE SHENOUDA'S APOLOGY FOR NOT VISITING BAGHDAD Arabic News, 21st April A source at the Egyptian Coptic Church has stressed that Pope Shenouda has apologized for not being able to visit Baghdad at the meantime, at an invitation he had received from the Patriarchy of the Catholic Keldans to attend the Christian peace conference due to be held in Baghdad in the mid of May. The source, which is close to the Pope said in a statement to the London Š based al-Sharq- al-Awsat daily issued on Friday that the current conditions in Iraq makes the travel of the Pope under the current conditions unsuitable so as his travel to Baghdad will be used for political purposes that do not help in establishing peace in the region, rather set the situation ablaze. IRAQI/INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS http://www.europeaninternet.com/russia/news.php3?id=379757§ion=default * IRAQI VICE PRESIDENT IN MOSCOW FOR TALKS ON UN EMBARGO BAGHDAD, Apr 17, 2001 (Agence France Presse) Iraqi Vice President Taha Yassin Ramadan arrived in Moscow Tuesday at the start of a visit likely to focus on seeking Russia's support for an end to international economic sanctions against his country. Ramadan said on leaving Bagdad that his visit was intended to examine "ways of boosting bilateral relations between two friendly peoples." The Iraqi vice president was due to meet President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov on Wednesday, Russian foreign ministry spokesman Vladimir Novikov told AFP. Earlier this month, Russia unveiled a plan to lift the UN embargo in return for the Iraq side agreeing to allow weapons inspections by UN-appointed experts suspended since December 1998. Ramadan has already rejected the proposal. Russia, which is one of the five permanent members of the UN security council, has regularly called for the end of the sanctions that were imposed on Iraq after its invasion of Kuwait in 1990. http://www.gulf-news.com/Articles/news.asp?ArticleID=14990 * UN RIGHTS FORUM CONDEMNS IRAQ FOR 'TERROR' Geneva, Reuters, 19th April The United Nations Commission on Human Rights yesterday strongly condemned Iraq for its "all-pervasive repression" and "widespread terror". The 53-member state forum, holding its annual six-week session, adopted a European Union (EU) resolution which also extended by one year the mandate of its special independent investigator for Iraq, Cypriot diplomat Andreas Mavrommatis. Mavrommatis told the forum in a report last month that he had continued to receive accounts of alleged arbitrary executions and torture of detainees in the past year. The EU resolution was approved by a vote of 30 states in favour and three against with 19 abstentions. "The resolution is therefore adopted," chairman Leandro Despouy announced after the public roll-call vote in Geneva. The United States, Britain and France - Gulf War allies - voted in favour of the EU text. The other two permanent Security Council members, China and Russia, abstained. Saudi Arabia voted in favour of the resolution, while Qatar and Syria abstained, expressing their concern over sanctions against Iraq which they said were harming innocent civilians. Libya and Algeria voted against the EU text. Iraqi Foreign Minister Mohammed Saeed Al Sahaf addressed the Commission last week and condemned the United States and Britain for their continued air raids on his sanctions-hit country. The EU resolution "strongly condemns the systematic, widespread and extremely grave violations of human rights and of international humanitarian law by the Government of Iraq, resulting in an all-pervasive repression and oppression sustained by broad-based discrimination and widespread terror". It denounced Iraq's repression of basic freedoms including those of thought, expression, information, association and assembly "through fear of arrest, imprisonment, execution, expulsion, house demolition and other sanctions". The text condemned Iraq for executions "including political killings and the continued so-called clean-out of prisons", as well as abuses including "rape as a political tool", disappearances, arbitary arrests and detentions and torture. The resolution called on Iraq to take steps including establishing an independent judiciary and abrogating all decrees allowing cruel punishments such as mutilation. It also urged Baghdad to respect the rights of all ethnic and religious groups and end "the practice of forced deportation and relocation" against the Iraqi Kurds and other groups. Finally, the text called on Iraq, which invaded Kuwait in August 1990 and occupied the emirate six months, to cooperate in resolving the fate of several hundred missing persons, including Kuwaiti prisoners of war and people from other countries. http://www.vny.com/cf/News/upidetail.cfm?QID=178983 * UN COUNCIL SEEKS IRAQ COOP ON KUWAITI MIAS by WILLIAM M. REILLY UNITED NATIONS, April 20 (UPI) -- Security Council members Friday asked Iraq to cooperate with a U.N. official looking for people missing since Baghdad's 1990 invasion of Kuwait. Secretary-General Kofi Annan's high-level coordinator on Iraq, Yuliy Vorontsov, briefed the council in a closed-door session on the plight of Kuwaiti and third-country nationals. Ambassador Jeremy Greenstock, of Britain, council president for April, later told reporters, "There has been no movement whatsoever" in the attempt to find the missing. Said London's envoy, "This is one area where the Security Council is unanimous on Iraq -- in support for the work of Ambassador Vorontsov and for his future and his continuing efforts, and also in expressing deep concern at the plight of Kuwaiti and third-country nationals still missing." Greenstock added that the 15 members of the panel hoped that "at some stage soon and at last" there would be some progress in what was a strictly humanitarian issue. He said the Council members, convinced that "there is more information to be given from the Iraqi side," had urged Baghdad to cooperate fully with Vorontsov and with all others dealing with the issue. Saying the matter had already taken "far too long" to resolve, Greenstock said council members "were very keen that when member states have contacts with Iraq, when the Secretariat has contacts with Iraq, that this issue should continue to be brought up and must be ground away at until we have some results." INSIDE IRAQ http://www.gulf-news.com/Articles/news.asp?ArticleID=14991 * SADDAM RESHUFFLES CABINET, APPOINTS NEW MINISTER Baghdad, Reuters, 19th April Iraqi President Saddam Hussein has reshuffled his cabinet, appointing Deputy Prime Minister Tareq Aziz acting Foreign Minister, state television said yesterday. The television, quoting presidential decrees, said Foreign Minister Mohammed Saeed Al Sahaf had been transferred to the Information Ministry. Information Minister Humam Abdul-Khaleq Abdul-Ghafur has been named Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, it added. Another presidential decree named Iraq's ambassador to Austria, Naji Sabri Ahmed, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs. He was undersecretary of the then Culture and Information Ministry during the 1991 Gulf War over Kuwait. Sahaf has been Iraq's Foreign Minister since July 1992. He was director-general of Iraqi television during the 1980s and has been ambassador to a number of countries. Abdul Ghafur has been the minister of information for the last three years. He replaces Fahad Salim Al Shaqra in his new post. http://www.gulf-news.com/Articles/news.asp?ArticleID=15087 * SADDAM DEMOTES FOREIGN MINISTER AFTER SETBACKS Beirut, Reuters, 20th April President Saddam Hussein has demoted his foreign minister after a series of diplomatic setbacks that drew sharp criticism from the Iraqi leader's influential son Uday, political analysts said yesterday. Saddam reshuffled his cabinet on Wednesday, moving Mohammed Saeed Al Sahaf from the foreign ministry to the information ministry and appointing veteran Deputy Prime Minister Tareq Aziz as Acting Foreign Minister. He named Iraq's ambassador to Austria, Naji Sabri Ahmed, to the vacant post of minister of state for foreign affairs. The analysts said the move was a clear demotion of Sahaf, foreign minister since 1992, three weeks after an Arab summit failed to agree on a joint position from UN sanctions against Baghdad and ties between 1991 Gulf War enemies, Kuwait and Iraq. Uday, through his Babel newspaper, criticised on April 5 the Iraqi delegation's handling of the debate at the summit, saying it had ignored Saddam's instructions not to discuss the Iraq issue and to focus instead on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Iraq refused at the summit to change its hardline position that Arabs lift the sanctions, imposed for Baghdad's 1990 invasion of Kuwait. It also rejected to make any apologies or give any guarantees on the future to Kuwait. Sahaf was a key member of the delegation, led by Izzat Ibrahim, vice-chairman of the Revolutionary Command Council, and also including Aziz. A few weeks earlier, Babel had criticised Sahaf for engaging in a heated exchange with his Kuwaiti opposite number during an Arab foreign ministers meeting preparing for the summit. "Sahaf's performance has been poor," an Arab analyst said. "We know that he doesn't charter Iraq's foreign policy but his undiplomatic and sometime plainly rude attitude has cost Iraqi diplomacy, especially on the Arab front." Another analyst said Uday's swipes at Sahaf were a key factor in his demotion and his appointment to the information ministry could be a prelude to sacking him from the government. "Uday has been behind the sacking of two information ministers over the past decade. I very much doubt that he would give Sahaf any respite now that he is in his territory," he said. Uday owns a number of other weekly newspaper and Shabab television station. Sahaf was director-general of Iraqi television and radio stations during the 1980s and has been ambassador to a number of countries. "Uday's influence seems to be growing further. He has shown more than ever before that he is in a formidable position and should be taken seriously by the regime's strongmen," he said. "No one would want to get on the wrong side of him." Aziz's appointment as acting foreign minister came as no surprise. He had served as foreign minister during the 1980s up until shortly after the Gulf War in 1991. He has never been away from the international scene. Working with him would be Ahmed, who enters the government as the new minister of state. Ahmed is an experienced diplomat who was undersecretary of the then Culture and Information Ministry during the 1991 Gulf War. "Ahmed, an able diplomat, will work under the patronage of the vastly experienced Aziz. If he proves his capabilities, I think he could then be made Foreign Minister," the analyst said. The changes at the foreign ministry came as a senior U.S. State Department official was touring Iraq's neighbours Jordan, Syria and Turkey, to discuss changes Washington wants to make to the UN sanctions against Baghdad. U.S. officials say the reviewed sanctions would tighten controls on Iraq's imports of military goods and its oil revenues while easing restrictions on imports of civilian goods. Iraq has said it would accept nothing less than a total lifting of sanctions. It has also vowed not to let arms inspectors back into the country before the embargo ends. Saddam also named Information Minister Humam Abdul-Khaleq Abdul-Ghafur, who has been in his post for the last three years, as Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research. http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/ap/20010420/wl/us_iraq_1.html * U.S. PLANES BOMB IRAQI RADAR WASHINGTON (AP, 20th April) - U.S. warplanes bombed a mobile early warning radar in southern Iraq in response to what the U.S. Central Command headquarters on Friday called ``recent Iraqi hostile acts'' against U.S. and British planes monitoring a ``no fly'' zone over southern Iraq. It said the U.S. attack was on Thursday. Few details were revealed. Central Command said the last such strike in southern Iraq was on April 12 against an Iraqi anti-aircraft artillery site. Thursday's strike was an act of self-defense, the statement said. ``If Iraq were to cease its threatening actions, coalition strikes would cease as well,'' it said. Iraq considers the ``no fly'' zone patrols over its territory to be a violation of its national sovereignty. PROBLEMS WITH OIL http://www.cnn.com/2001/WORLD/meast/04/19/emirates.oilspill.ap/index.html * CREWS STILL CLEANING OIL FROM DUBAI BEACHES CNN, April 19, 2001 DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) -- Cleanup crews have collected 5,000 trash bags of oily sand and dead fish in the five days since a ship smuggling Iraqi crude sank, a Dubai sanitation official said Thursday. Patches of oil that spilled from the Georgian-flagged Zainab continue to wash up along 32 kilometers (20 miles) of the Dubai and Sharjah emirates coastline, local officials said. "This is the worst oil spill here in 10 years," foreman Showki Abdullah said. It is unclear how much oil spilled from the vessel. Emirates officials have said a leak was plugged shortly after the ship sank Saturday about 17 miles (27 kilometers) off Dubai. However, Abdulaziz al-Madfa, director general of the Sharjah Environment and Natural Reserves Authority, confirmed to The Associated Press on Thursday that oil was still leaking. He did not say how big the leak was. Emirates officials say the ship had less than 380,000 gallons (1,444,000 liters) of fuel on board. But Cmdr. Jeff Gradeck, spokesman for the U.S. Navy 5th Fleet in Bahrain, said it was carrying more than 1 million gallons (3.8 million liters) of illegal Iraqi fuel. Abdullah said about 350 cleanup workers had been working shifts as long as 15 hours to clear the beaches. In the neighboring Sharjah emirate, also badly affected by the oil spill, officials on Thursday pulled all Water and Electricity Department workers from their regular jobs to help clean the oily mess from the beaches and coastal waters, an official with the department said, who spoke on customary condition of anonymity. The department also closed the emirate's only desalinization plant, the official said, because water intake areas were being contaminated by the oil. The plant has been closed for short periods of time throughout the week. As work continued on Dubai beaches Thursday, the first day of the weekend in the United Arab Emirates, beachgoers surveyed the mess. "We came to see how bad the problem was," said Muhammad Hamdan Nasr bin Ammar al Ghafri, 18, from the nearby desert town of Al-Ain. "It's very dirty," he said of the Al-Mamzar Park, where waves coated with oil lapped against blackened rocks. Just north of Dubai's public beach, officials prepared to tackle a 50-meter (yard) wide patch of oil floating just off the rocky jetties. The Zainab was being escorted by U.S. Navy ships that help enforce U.N. sanctions on Iraq when it broke up and sank on Saturday. http://www.gulf-news.com/Articles/news.asp?ArticleID=15025 * SANCTIONS-BUSTING SHIP WAS DISASTER WAITING TO HAPPEN by Joanna Langley Gulf News, Dubai, 20th April The doomed Iraqi ship which caused a 30-kilometre oil slick around the UAE's coast had been caught three times by UN naval forces and may have been sunk deliberately. Industry sources said that the Zainab, which went down 32 kilometres north of Jebel Ali and released as much as 1,300 tonnes of fuel oil into the Gulf, was well-known to shipping authorities as an environmental disaster waiting to happen. Commander Steve Bennett, Royal Naval Liaison Officer in the Gulf, described the ship's condition as "appalling". He said that in his opinion, sabotage for insurance claim purposes could not be ruled out. "Once the ship started to go down, parts of the structure collapsed, but how that first hole was made has yet to be established." The latest incident was the fourth time since September that the ship had been caught breaking UN sanctions. Bennett said, "Twice it was caught in international waters and tugs from Iraq were ordered to escort it back to shore because of its unseaworthy state. "It had also been arrested and taken to Abu Dhabi where its contents were auctioned off along with the ship itself. It went straight back to sea and was detained by the maritime intervention forces under suspicion of smuggling oil. The Zainab was then being escorted for hand-over to the UAE authorities when it sank." Explaining why the Zainab was allowed to go back to sea despite being unseaworthy Bennett said, "The trouble is that there is currently no regional Port State Control legislation which prevents an unseaworthy vessel like the Zainab from returning to sea. "An implemented policy would have prevented this from happening because it means national ports can take control of a ship which is sub-standard according to international maritime conventions." He described the Zainab as a typical sanctions-busting ship, and said its history with the authorities was not unique. "No repair works were carried out on the ship, and it was a disaster waiting to happen. The Zainab is not unusual for the types of vessels carrying out these operations in the Gulf, in fact I would say it is highly typical. I'm also amazed no one was hurt when it sank because its doors were welded shut to prevent interception force personnel from legally boarding the ship. "From my position as a mariner, I am extremely concerned that such vessels are continuing to endanger the lives of their crew and the environment." However, Captain Mohammed Alaa Farag, a Ship Inspection Expert for the Ministry of Communications, said that although enforcing Port State Control legislation would cut down on the number of sub-standard ships in the Gulf, it would not eradicate sanctions busting in unseaworthy vessels. "The trouble is that these ships don't come into the UAE's ports, but unload their cargo into vessels anchored off the coast. This means that unless they are caught and brought to shore, they won't get inspected, and these areas are notoriously difficult to police. "This issue is not just something the ports can take responsibility for. The municipalities, coastguard and other government bodies need to be involved too. "One of the greatest dangers is the fact that these ships are not designed for carrying oil anyway. The Zainab was, in fact, a container ship and not a tanker at all. "Another problem is that the present system of auctioning off the ships caught sanctions busting is not stopping the vessels from going back to sea. "On many occasions the same owners just buy them back and they continue with the trade. Ideally, anyone purchasing these ships at auction should have to agree that the vessel will go to scrap. In order to enforce this, a holding deposit would be required from the new owner, which could be collected once they can prove the ship has been scrapped." Farag added that plans to bring in a full port state control system to the UAE were in the pipeline. "Currently plans are drawn up to implement inspectors and offices around the UAE. There will be a main office in Abu Dhabi which controls three regional offices in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah. Then there would be a further six offices placed at key UAE ports. "In each of these offices there would have to be at least two inspectors because otherwise there would be too many vessels to check. At the moment the proposals are with the government, and we are waiting for funding." http://www.dawn.com/2001/04/21/int6.htm * ANOTHER SHIP SPILLS OIL OFF UAE COAST Dawn, 21 April 2001, 26 Muharram 1422 DUBAI, April 19: A second Iraqi sanctions-busting tanker is spilling oil in the Gulf waters by the United Arab Emirates near the site of a major oil spill last week, a UAE environmental official said on Thursday. "Oil has been escaping from another Iraqi ship near Dubai after being hit on Sunday by bullets from Multinational Interception Force," which has enforced sanctions on Iraq at sea since the 1991 Gulf war, the official said, refusing to identify whether the patrol ship was US, British, Canadian or French. "We do not know at this stage the actual size of this new oil spill, but we have spotted two black slicks off the Emirati coast," he said. The official added bullets hit the ship on its side, causing it to leak oil. "We do not want to turn this into politics and blame whomever, but rather stay focused on the pollution and consequences for the marine environment," the official said, alluding to criticism of the United States for stopping the first Iraqi tanker which leaked oil. He added a water desalination plant near Sharjah, one of the seven emirates, was still shut due to oil slicks nearby the plant from the earlier spill. The Zaineb, an Iraqi-owned vessel, was heading for Pakistan when the US navy intercepted it last week as part of efforts to enforce UN sanctions on Baghdad. The navy escorted the 36-year-old vessel to the spot where it sank off the coast of Dubai, causing Emirati authorities to treat the oil slick. The spill had a depth of around 40 metres and 30 kilometres, and authorities battled the spill through Tuesday.-AFP http://www.gulf-news.com/Articles/news.asp?ArticleID=14945 * U.S. ENERGY TASK FORCE SEEKS SANCTIONS REVIEW New York, Reuters, 19th April The United States should re-evaluate sanctions against Opec oil producers Iraq, Iran and Libya as it battles long-term energy supply woes, according to a draft from the Bush administration's energy task force. "The administration will initiate a comprehensive sanctions review and seek to engage the Congress in a partnership for sanctions reform," said the draft, obtained by Reuters. The Bush administration's Energy Task Force, chaired by Vice President Dick Cheney, will urge the review of sanctions policy as part of a report that is not expected to be released before mid-May, industry sources said. A spokeswoman for Cheney said the draft was not final and "everything is subject to change." "There have been many drafts of the energy proposals and many changes made," Juleanna Glover Weiss said. "We're still a ways out from a final product to be presented to the president and until the final decisions are made by the president, everything is subject to change." The United States currently bans its oil companies from investing in both Iran and Libya and has been the strongest supporter of the full United Nations trade embargo against Iraq in place since the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in 1990. The United States already depends on foreign sources for more than half its oil, and while the task force is aiming to reduce that reliance, it says sanctions are shutting U.S. oil companies out of some of the world's most important supply sources. "From an energy supply perspective, unilateral sanctions - including the executive orders on Iran and Libya and the Iran-Libya Sanctions Act - affect some of the most important existing and 'prospective' petroleum-producing countries in the world," the draft report says. The Iran-Libya Sanctions Act, enacted by President Bill Clinton in 1996, also threatens sanctions against foreign firms investing in energy projects in those two countries. U.S. oil companies have complained that loose enforcement of ILSA has allowed European and Asian firms to snap up Iranian and Libyan energy projects without punishment. Lawmakers in the U.S. Congress have said that they favor extending ILSA when its first five-year term expires in August, and analysts doubt the political climate will be right for lifting sanctions fully either on U.S. and foreign firms. "The bottom line is, I don't think we can see quick movement on trying to change sanctions," said Raad Alkadiri, of the Petroleum Finance Corp, in Washington, D.C. "There are many important groups and constituencies involved, and they have to be dealt with. It might be a long-term objective, as it would make prefect commercial sense and in terms of increasing supplies." The administration may try to balance opposing interests by renewing ILSA sanctions for two years rather than five, Alkadiri said. "As of right now there have been many drafts of various sections of the energy proposals and there have been many more changes. We are still quite a ways out from the final product," a White House official said. In the past year, the United States has faced continued energy problems, from rolling blackouts in California, skyrocketing gasoline prices and concerns over heating oil shortages in the Northeast. A recent survey by UK consultants Robertson Research listed Libya and Iran as the two most popular countries for investment in new exploration activities worldwide. The Task Force draft says sanctions against Iraq, whose oil sales and pricing are controlled by the UN oil-for-food program, should also be reviewed. "Sanctions should be periodically reviewed for continued effectiveness and to minimize externalities," the draft report said. "With Iraq, there has been talk of easing economic sanctions - and you can't deal with economic issues in Iraq without eventually dealing with oil," Alkadiri said. The prospects of easing restrictions against Libya, in place since former President Ronald Reagan's executive order, dimmed in January when one of two Libyan suspects was convicted for the Lockerbie airliner bombing. Diplomatic progress with Tehran will also be slow until Iran's presidential election in June, analysts said. President George W. Bush last month extended the unilateral U.S. trade and investment ban pending a review of policy. http://www.lasvegassun.com/sunbin/stories/bw-wh/2001/apr/19/041908416.html * BUSH: NO PLANS TO LIFT SANCTIONS Las vegas Sun, 19th April WASHINGTON (AP) - President Bush said Thursday he has no plans to lift economic sanctions against Iran or Libya "anytime soon" as part of his energy strategy, though he did not rule out a review of America's sanction policies toward those two countries. A law that imposed sanctions on Iran and Libya is to expire in August and it's not certain whether the administration will support its reauthorization. In a brief exchange with reporters, Bush played down a report that his energy task force headed by Vice President Dick Cheney is considering a recommendation to lift sanctions against Libya, Iran and Iraq because of the importance of their oil. "In our energy review we're looking at all opportunities to create an energy supply to take pressure off of price," said Bush. "But I have no intention as of this moment for taking sanctions off countries like Iran or Libya." Nevertheless, said Bush, he considered it "important for the country to review all sanctions policies to make sure they're effective." Bush did not directly deny that his energy task force was considering the issue among recommendations it will issue next month as part of a broad energy plan. "It's one thing to consider and it's another thing to act, to act on sanctions, and I don't intend to act anytime soon," said the president. As for Iran, he said, "It's too early at this time in our relationship" to consider lifting sanctions. Economic sanctions have been a target of energy companies. They have complained the sanctions keep U.S. companies from helping Iran develop new energy facilities from oil and gas pipelines to refineries and drilling rigs. Before Cheney became vice president, when he was chief executive of Halliburton Co., the Dallas-based energy services company, he frequently criticized unilateral economic sanctions, arguing that they don't work but hurt U.S. companies. "Our government has become sanction happy," Cheney complained in a 1998 speech. While at Halliburton he also participated with other trade groups to lobby Congress against the 1996 sanctions law. Halliburton and other U.S. energy companies stand to gain significantly in potential business if the Iran sanctions were lifted. Sanctions also have inhibited efforts to develop a pipeline from the oil-rich Caspian area through Iran. As for Libya, the president indicated any decision on sanctions is tied to resolving disputes from the 1988 bombing of a Pan Am jet over Lockerbie, Scotland, that killed 270 people. "We made it clear to the Libyans that the sanctions will remain until such time as they not only compensate for the bombing of the aircraft but also to admit their guilt and express remorse," Bush said. Bush did not mention Iraq in the exchange with reporters during an Oval Office session with President Fernando de la Rua of Argentina. Unlike the unilateral actions against Iran and Libya, the Iraq sanctions were imposed by the United Nations after the Gulf War. Iran sanctions date back to the 1979 hostage crisis and those against Libya to the Pan Am jet bombing. The Washington Post reported on Thursday that an April 10 draft of the Cheney energy task force report recommended a "comprehensive sanctions review" and engagement with Congress over sanction policies. It said the current sanctions "affect some of the most important existing and prospective petroleum producing countries in the word." NOTE: The Washington Post article referred to above may be found at: http://www.iht.com/articles/17476.html * Cheney-Led Panel Seeks a Review of Sanctions by Peter Behr and Alan Sipress Washington Post Service International Herald Tribune, April 20, 2001 http://news.excite.com/news/r/010420/10/energy-iraq-glencore * GLENCORE PAYS $3 MILLION AFTER DIVERTING IRAQI OIL UNITED NATIONS (Reuters, 20th April) - Swiss trading firm Glencore International AG has agreed to pay the United Nations $3 million after diverting a cargo of Iraqi crude oil against U.N. rules, officials of the world body said Friday. Glencore bought crude that was contracted to be sent to the United States but the oil ended up in Croatia, according to a letter from the U.N.'s oil market advisers, called the overseers, to the 15-nation sanctions committee. According to the overseers' letter, Glencore acknowledged the crude was in Croatia but only because it was awaiting a tanker to take it to the United States. The overseers rejected that explanation as lacking in credibility, diplomats said. Glencore stood to gain from the diversion by paying a lower price for U.S.-bound crude and then selling it in Europe. After several discussions between the overseers and Glencore, the company agreed to pay the $3 million difference into the U.N. escrow account where proceeds of the humanitarian oil-for-food program are held. The program allows Iraqi oil sales despite U.N. sanctions imposed on Iraq over its 1990 invasion of Kuwait. Any future dealings of Glencore in the oil-for-food program will have to be approved by the full sanctions committee. This is more restrictive than the practice used with other companies. Normally, companies dealings with the program must be approved by the three oil overseers, not the full committee. The incident occurred before the United Nations started requiring masters of tankers carrying Iraqi crude to sign a document stating that they would be held responsible if the cargoes were diverted from stated destinations. http://www.gulf-news.com/Articles/news.asp?ArticleID=14950 * UN TO SCRUTINIZE GLENCORE'S IRAQI OIL DEALINGS (extract) New York, Reuters, 19th April [.....] The incident occurred before the United Nations started requiring masters of tankers carrying Iraqi crude to sign a document stating that they would be held responsible if the cargoes are diverted from stated destinations. That requirement was put in place after an earlier February incident in which small South African oil trader Montega lifted an oil cargo that was stated to be headed for the United States but then ended up in Singapore. Glencore was also due to be the recipient of the Montega cargo, diplomats on the committee said. In that case, Montega paid the price difference, about $8 million, into the UN escrow account, UN officials said. http://www.iol.co.za/html/frame_news.php?click_id=123&art_id=qw987670024165K 300 * KUWAIT DENIES STEALING IRAQI CRUDE OIL The Independent, April 19 2001 Kuwait - Kuwait's oil minister has dismissed accusations by Iraq that his country was stealing Iraqi crude oil from border fields, the official Kuwait News Agency reported late on Wednesday. "Kuwait produces crude oil from its internationally recognised borders and all its exploration and production activities occur inside its land," the agency quoted Oil Minister Adel al-Subaih as saying. "The latest Iraqi accusations are not new and are repetitive and have been made several times since the invasion of Kuwait," he added. Iraq seized Kuwait on August 2, 1990, citing a dispute over border oil fields and oil policy differences. An American-led alliance ejected Iraqi troops from Kuwait in February 1991. 'The latest Iraqi accusations are not new'A leading Iraqi newspaper on Wednesday renewed accusations against Kuwait of stealing Iraqi crude oil from reserves "beyond the border". It said Iraqi oil experts had valued the amount of Iraqi oil stolen by Kuwait at $2-billion (about R16,24-billion) and said Iraq had the right to ask for compensation. Iraq accused Kuwait last year of stealing Iraqi oil from a border field and said it was ready to take unspecified measures against Kuwait. Kuwait denied Iraq's accusations, said Baghdad was a threat to the vital oil-rich Gulf region and called for international steps to contain its former occupier. Under a sanctions regime imposed by the international community after the Gulf War, Iraq is allowed to export only controlled quantities of oil under a UN-authorised oil-for-food programme. - Reuters http://www.arabicnews.com/ansub/Daily/Day/010420/2001042038.html * IRAQ EARNS ADDITIONAL 418 MILLION EUROS UNDER UN OIL-FOR-FOOD PROGRAM Arabic News, 20th April Iraq has earned an additional 418 million Euros under the United Nations "oil-for-food" program which allows Baghdad to use a portion of its petroleum revenues to purchase humanitarian relief, the UN announced. According to the UN Office of the Iraq Program, Baghdad exported 17.4 million barrels of oil last week at an average price of $21.45 (24.05 euro) per barrel. During the same period, the UN oil overseers, on behalf of the Security Council committee monitoring the sanctions against Iraq, approved three more oil purchase contracts covering 5 million barrels of oil, bringing the total number of approved contracts to 149. As of 13 April, there were 1,682 contracts worth $3.52 billion on hold, the oil-for-food program reported. Most of those -- 1,138 contracts worth over $3 billion -- were for humanitarian supplies, while the remainder was for oil industry spare parts and equipment. The statistics released Tuesday also showed progress in the housing sector, with the committee having approved a cumulative total of shelter-related goods worth $1.1 billion. Materials worth $98 million have arrived in Iraq, where imported building materials were being sold at less than 50 per cent of their cost. A review of distribution sites in Baghdad showed that some 54 per cent of the beneficiaries were located in low- or medium-low income areas. NEW WORLD ORDER http://www.cnn.com/2001/LAW/04/17/embassy.bombings/index.html * FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE ASKED TO TESTIFY IN TERRORISM TRIAL by Phil Hirschkorn NEW YORK (CNN, 17th April) -- U.S. District Judge Leonard Sand Tuesday signed a subpoena for former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright to testify in the embassy bombings trial, but it's not believed she will appear. The subpoena comes from trial defendant Mohamed al-'Owhali, one of two defendants who would be subject to a death penalty if he is convicted. In a hearing after trial testimony had concluded for the day, Sand said he signed the paperwork "simply to move the matter forward," not to suggest Albright is a "proper witness." In fact, Sand said, her personal view on matters the attorneys wished to put before the court "is really irrelevant." Al-'Owhali is one of four men on trial for participating in an alleged terrorist conspiracy to kill Americans and destroy U.S. property allegedly led by Saudi exile Osama bin Laden. Al 'Owhali is charged with a direct role carrying out the Kenya embassy bombing August 7, 1998 that killed 213 people, including 12 Americans, and injured thousands of other people. The Albright subpoena -- like al-'Owhali subpoenas of the Pentagon and the media, including CNN -- seeks information and evidence about U.S. foreign policy and military actions. In the penalty phase, al-'Owhali attorneys would like to suggest to the jury that the U.S. government had reckless disregard for human life in its killing of Iraqis through economic sanctions and airstrikes since the Gulf War ceasefire in 1991, and in its failure to warn Kenyans about bomb threats against the Nairobi embassy. The signing of the subpoena paves the way for State Department and Albright attorneys to argue in court why the subpoena should be quashed. "It is far from clear that such testimony should be received at all and it is also far from clear that Secretary Albright is the appropriate witness," said Assistant U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald in a letter opposing the subpoena. "The requests are irrelevant to al-'Owhali's state of mind." Defense subpoenas served on CNN and other news agencies -- seeking archival footage of U.S. strikes in Iraq, Somalia, Panama, and Libya -- were quashed by Judge Sand or withdrawn by al-'Owhali's lawyers Monday. http://www.timesofindia.com/170401/17amrc5.htm * PENTAGON RETHINK ON WAR DOCTRINE? by Paul Richter Times of India, 17th April WASHINGTON: Without fanfare, the Pentagon is expected soon to abandon a concept that has guided and organized America's armed forces since the Cold War. The doctrine provides that the US military should have enough troops and gear to vanquish two foes the size of Iraq or North Korea in quick succession. For much of the last decade, critics have complained that the concept was a shortsighted notion that kept America's generals busy thinking about how to refight the last war. Yet as the new Pentagon management team assembled by US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld completes a sweeping strategic analysis expected to recommend a new approach, many in the department still raise a critical question: Are we sure we can find something better? The military is, in fact, deeply ambivalent about whether to give up a concept that one officer referred to as ``our most comforting national security blanket.'' This stems, in part, from the desire of the services to protect traditional missions and budgets. But it also reflects the reality that in the new century the world's greatest power is in a muddle about how it will fight adversaries that, for the moment, it so dominates. Will the enemy of the future field familiar conventional forces, such as those of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein? Will there be a larger opponent, such as China, in a fight primarily centered in the air and sea? Should the military be tailored to seize and occupy nations, such as Pakistan, whose disintegration could destabilize a region; or to take on multiple simultaneous peacekeeping missions? And how much money should the military divert from other purposes to meet the new threats of chemical, germ and ``cyber'' weapons? While the issue sounds abstract, a change would have a huge effect on the services' roles and budgets. The Army might have the most at stake because the two-war doctrine supports the need for heavy ground forces. But a change also could lead to a reduced role for large aircraft carriers, or even trim the fighter force that is so dear to the Air Force leadership. Over time, the two-war doctrine has come under increasing attack by a loose-knit group of military planners, administration officials, members of Congress, nongovernment analysts and think tank experts. For one thing, Iraq's shrunken military now bears little resemblance to the million-man force that appeared so threatening at the outbreak of the Persian Gulf War. The North Korean military also is weaker, and the South Korean military stronger, than they were given credit for when the two-war doctrine was adopted. The critics also contend the two-war concept focuses spending on a kind of war that is far less likely. It assumes scenarios in which the US would build heavy ground and naval forces over a period of weeks and then -with the advantage of forward bases and air dominance - unleash an intense battle. But the Persian Gulf War as well as the Kosovo conflict of 1999 have taught adversaries they cannot hope to take on the US in such a traditional manner. Instead, many defense experts predict they will try to prevent US forces from gaining access to the battle theater by using cheap and powerful missiles, mines and ``weapons of mass destruction'' -germ and chemical bombs. If this view proves correct, the US needs fewer heavy tanks, artillery units and short-range fighter squadrons. It needs more equipment that can provide speed, stealth and long-range punch: long-distance bombers, precision munitions, pilotless planes and ships that are harder to detect and hit, for example. So far, President Bush has not stated a preference on the two-war doctrine, although he has indicated a general desire to reform the military. Rumsfeld, too, has spoken only in the broadest terms about the need for a new direction. But several members of Rumsfeld's management team are advocates of aggressive reform, and have made it clear they want to ditch the old paradigm. Yet military officials and analysts close to the discussions say it has not been easy to develop a new strategy or abandon the old. Some analysts maintain that fighting two wars is something the US must be able to do as part of its role as a superpower. And others, including some influential members of Congress, fear that jettisoning the two-war standard will open the door for a further downsizing of the military. ``There's a fear of free fall,'' said Daniel Goure, a former Defense Department official now at Lexington Institute, a defense research concern in Virginia. http://cgi.usatoday.com/usatonline/20010418/3243325s.htm * SAUDI RULES ANGER TOP AIR FORCE PILOT FEMALE OFFICER SPEAKS OUT AGAINST MUSLIM DRESS CODE FOR AMERICANS by Edward T. Pound USA TODAY, 18th April WASHINGTON -- Maj. Martha McSally is the highest-ranking female fighter pilot in the U.S. Air Force, the first woman in that service to fly a combat aircraft into enemy territory. And she does not like the way she and other American military women are treated in Saudi Arabia, the male-run oil kingdom they are risking their lives to protect. In Saudi Arabia, McSally says, she is ''treated like a Muslim piece of property.'' Whenever she and other women leave their military installations, their commanders require them to wear a black head scarf and a black neck-to-toe robe, known as an abaya, to satisfy the Saudis' strict interpretation of Islamic religion. They also must sit in the back seat of cars. The Defense Department, McSally says, does not want to offend its host. ''It is a customary Muslim outfit for women,'' she says, ''but I'm not Muslim and I'm not Saudi. I am a Christian.'' The Pentagon sees the dress code as a necessity. Officials say it respects cultural and religious customs, avoids conflict with the Saudi public and helps the military complete its mission. To McSally, the Pentagon is abandoning American values by imposing such a dress code on its women while allowing men to dress in casual Western clothes when off base. She says she's not arguing for unrestricted dress but believes women should be allowed to ''cover up in American clothes.'' McSally has quietly tried to persuade the Pentagon to modify the policy for the past six years. She discussed the issue with then Defense Secretary William Perry in 1995. She lobbied then-Air Force Secretary Whit Peters last year, and she has written memos and met with top generals in the Air Force. She says she got nowhere. Now, she says, it is time to speak publicly -- and she hopes her candor will not damage her career. ''I've fought and spoken and been patient and worked within the system for so long to try and effect some change in this policy so, the fact that I would just be truthful I would hope wouldn't hurt me and, if it does, then so be it,'' she says. Not all women see it her way. Air Force Maj. Lisa Caldwell, a senior spokesman for U.S. forces in the Middle East, has no problems with the restrictions. She says the policy allows military women to ''show respect for Islamic law and Arabic customs.'' Caldwell is based at the Eskan Village military compound near Riyadh, the Saudi capital. She says whenever she leaves the compound, she puts on her scarf and robe. ''I am a guest here and I want to blend into the culture,'' she says. ''That old saying, 'When in Rome, do as the Romans do.' '' Capt. Richard Johnson, an Air Force spokesman based in the United States, adds, ''We abide by the rules set by the government. It is not just a cultural issue, it is a force-protection issue. You always have to be on the alert for terrorist attacks. We just want to blend in with the population, be less of a target to terrorists.'' Home to the holiest of Islamic sites, Mecca and Medina, Saudi Arabia is a religious state where freedom of worship is not allowed. The country's leaders also prohibit or restrict freedom of speech, press, assembly and association. Women's rights are restricted. In public, they must cover themselves head-to-foot, they can't drive and they must sit in the back seats of cars. Rules and codes of conduct are enforced by the mutawa, the religious police. ''Culturally, they are different and it's their country,'' says Col. Jet Jernigan, an F-16 pilot with the South Carolina National Guard and a Gulf War veteran. The strict Islamic customs, he adds, ''clearly make it more complicated to operate there.'' In recent years, that reality has hit home for Jernigan's F-16 unit and others who have deployed to Saudi Arabia. While the Saudis allow female Air Force air traffic controllers to work there, they are not permitted to talk to pilots. Jernigan says the male Saudi pilots don't like to be given instructions by females. ''They wanted them off the radio,'' he says. The U.S. relationship with Saudi Arabia is based on mutual need. The Saudis want a strong U.S. military presence and the United States wants to safeguard global oil prices and the huge reserves in the Middle East. Since the Gulf War, the United States and allied air forces have enforced no-fly zones over southern and northern Iraq to protect ethnic minorities and to prevent troop movements that could threaten Kuwait or Saudi Arabia. U.S. forces keep a low profile. The June 1996 terrorist bombing of Khobar Towers, which killed 19 Americans, caused the U.S. military to move to heavily guarded, remote sites such as Eskan Village and Prince Sultan Air Base at Al Kharj. The Air Force says that it has about 5,000 people in Saudi Arabia, 17% of them women. McSally, 35, who deployed to Saudi Arabia for a one-year tour last November, is one of the Air Force's great success stories. The valedictorian of her high school class in Riverside, R.I., McSally placed 25th in her graduating class of 1,000 at the Air Force Academy. But, at 5 foot-3, she was one inch shy of the minimum height requirement for pilots. She got a waiver, based on her academic credentials and physical strength. A champion triathlete, McSally later became one of the first seven women trained as fighter pilots. She also served as a flight instructor and did tours in Kuwait in 1995 and 1996. While there, she flew her single-seat A-10 Warthog jet 100 hours over southern Iraq enforcing the no-fly zone. Now, she runs search and rescue for that operation, based at Eskan Village. McSally is one of 39 female fighter pilots in the Air Force. She has been promoted to lieutenant colonel, effective May 1. She gave her blunt assessment of the dress policy in interviews with USA TODAY while on leave in the United States and in an exchange of e mails. She says men do not face the same indignities. They are directed, in writing, not to wear Muslim attire, she says, and are instructed to wear collared shirts and long pants when they leave their bases. McSally says she's no crusader. But, as a Christian, she says, she is highly offended by the policy. ''Just as we don't want to make someone who is not Jewish wear a yarmulke on their head, why would we have our female troops being mandated to wear Muslim clothing?'' Other women find the policy off-putting, she says, but are reluctant to tell the brass. McSally tells of some discomfiting encounters with religious police: ''Some of our gals who have walked through a mall -- they are kind of lax on the headgear thing where some of them just wear them around their neck -- but there have been times where a mutawa comes up and just gets angry and starts kind of hitting them with little sticks and telling them, 'cover your head, cover your head.' '' McSally says she's not arguing for tank tops and short-shorts. ''All I am saying is I will wear baggy pants or a baggy skirt, I will wear a long sleeve shirt. I will even wear a hat if you want me to,'' McSally says. ''I mean, American clothes. I appreciate that (the Saudis say) cover up, well, fine, these gals are American soldiers. They are not Saudi Muslim women.'' At a minimum, she says, American women should be allowed to wear long-sleeve shirts and long pants when traveling at night in a car, between bases. On official business, she says, women should be able to wear their uniforms, without covering themselves with the required black robe. McSally acknowledges that change could take time. ''Going downtown in free time to shop or eat dinner with friends'' in casual clothes, she says, would be a marked change requiring a commitment by the United States and the Saudis. She says U.S. officials could start by telling the Saudis how important it is for the two countries ''to have a mutual respect.'' She believes she can prompt change. When she was deployed to Al Jaber Air Base in Kuwait in the mid-1990s, women had to wear long pants and long-sleeved shirts on base. After she raised the issue, the policy was changed to allow women to wear shorts on base. Separately, she says, military women in Kuwait were allowed to wear long pants and shirts off base. McSally says she understands the Air Force concern about protecting women from possible terrorist attacks but says there are times when there would be no risk if women dressed in American clothes. ''Women driving in a car with other American soldiers from one base to another or to the airport -- there is just no risk whatsoever,'' she says. After learning she would be deployed to Saudi Arabia last year, McSally says she did not plan to wear the Saudi robe and scarf. When she informed senior officers of her decision, she says, she was warned that she would suffer ''serious consequences'' if she refused to comply with the regulations. Later, she consulted a superior, Gen. Michael Moseley, in Washington. She says he advised her to wear the abaya and to press her views within the military, if she felt so strongly. She decided to wear the abaya. ''I almost tubed my whole career over this,'' she says. Moseley says many soldiers don't want to wear the abaya but understand the necessity. ''The policy inside of this is huge,'' he says. After arriving at Prince Sultan Air Base in the evening last November, McSally put on an abaya and a scarf for the 70-mile ride to Eskan Village. ''I rode in a Suburban with tinted windows with a bunch of American men in collar shirts and jeans,'' she recalls. Since then, she seldom has left the base. ''I don't want to go off base and wear the abaya.'' She sends others off base on work-related duties. Her logic, she says, is: ''Saudi Arabia is a nation that does not have the same values as us. They are not democratic. Their human rights record is not real super.'' McSally adds, ''I understand for security reasons why we need to be allies with the Saudis. But, it is also part of our national security strategy to promote American values abroad. We, in the military, sign up to give our lives for the freedoms that we value deeply and people have died for before us. ''I am certainly willing to suck it up with the rest of the troops in some harsh condition when we are all treated the same. But, when you separate your troops into two groups and then impose the values of your host nation on one of them, to me that is abandoning your American values.'' She says superiors have told her that there was no intent to demean, that the Defense Department wanted to maintain good relations with Saudi Arabia and complete its mission without major incidents. ''I believe that,'' she says, ''but I wonder if I were a two-star general, would I have to wear an abaya and not drive.'' McSally says the Air Force has given her great opportunities. ''In general, the leadership has been very supportive of women in the military,'' she says. But the dress policy is ''ridiculous and unnecessary.'' -- ----------------------------------------------------------------------- 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