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Guardian on new UN Security Council Resolution,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

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                      fax 0870 063 5022

Ali Draper                               tel: 07990 50 30 26
Girton College
Cambridge, CB3 OJG

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