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http://www.guardianunlimited.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,2763,492442,00.html Britain and US urge end to Iraq sanctions UN resolution seeks to ease plight of civilians by lifting ban on all exports to Baghdad, except for arms Richard Norton-Taylor Thursday May 17, 2001 The Guardian Britain, backed by the US, yesterday proposed the end of all sanctions on exports to Iraq, with the exception of weapons related materials . A British-drafted UN security council resolution, to be tabled next week, is the first concrete plan to emerge after President George Bush's administration indicated earlier this year that it wanted a new policy towards Iraq. "In essence we are ending sanctions on ordinary imports to Iraq, but replacing them with a tightly focused set of controls on military and 'dual use' goods," a British official said. "Iraq will be free to meet all of its civilian needs without impediment." However, the new resolution will maintain existing financial controls on Iraq and still compel exporters to be paid from a UN-controlled account which contains Baghdad's oil revenues. The International Institute for Strategic Studies yesterday urged the UN to drop sanctions on all commercial exports to Iraq, abandon restrictions on civil flights to and from Baghdad, and for Britain and the US to suspend their air patrols over the no-fly zone in southern Iraq. In its latest annual strategic survey, the London-based thinktank - known for its cautious approach - called for a new policy towards Iraq, including extra foreign investment in its oil industry. The report says that the UN should shift from a "presump tion to deny" to a "presumption to permit" exports of dual-use goods to Iraq - products with a civilian and potential military use. The report coincides with new attempts at the UN by Britain and the US to redefine their policy amid growing opposition to sanctions, most notably among Iraq's neighbours. The measures would include relaxing controls on exports of civilian goods. Though the institute says that most commercial contracts submitted to the UN sanctions committee are approved automatically, trade restrictions when applied "spur the black market, which increases the price of commodities to the further detriment of an already impoverished [Iraqi] middle class". The report says the policy also contributes to perceptions that the Iraqi people are the real target of sanctions, and says increased civilian trade would provide a much-needed economic boost for Jordan and Turkey. "It is true that some money will pay for cigars and champagne for Saddam and his cronies", the report says, "but this is a trivial reason to maintain a sanctions policy that undermines the regional public support required to sustain long-term containment of Iraq's revanchist ambitions." It says that as long as President Saddam remains in power, the US and Britain must at least be prepared to use force to prevent a return to his programme of building weapons of mass destruction. To be able to use such force when "absolutely essential" they must forgo their attacks against Iraqi air defences. In practice, this means suspending the southern air patrols whilemaintaining their bases in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. Greater efforts should be made to freeze the assets of members of the Iraqi regime and to thwart contraband, it says. The UN should also insist on tough guidelines on weapons inspection. The survey also discusses the "new security agenda", including terrorism, ethnic strife, food and energy scarcities, drug trafficking, population growth and organised crime. It describes global warming and the "ceaseless flow of refugees and economic migrants" as major threats. ***************************************** Co-ordinator, Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq www.casi.org.uk fax 0870 063 5022 ***************************************** Ali Draper tel: 07990 50 30 26 Girton College Cambridge, CB3 OJG -- ----------------------------------------------------------------------- This is a discussion list run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq For removal from list, email email@example.com Full details of CASI's various lists can be found on the CASI website: http://www.casi.org.uk