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News, 17­23/6/01 part 2

News, 17­23/6/01 part 2



*  NASYO [Malaysian youth organisation ­ PB] Calls For A Total Lifting Of UN
Sanctions Against Iraq
*  Iraq Wants To Buy Palm Oil Direct From Malaysia
*  Canada in tough at world under-20 soccer championship with Iraq first foe
[Iraq won ­ PB]
*  Bula [Irish oil company whose chairman is former Irish PM, Albert
Reynolds] says it has not signed Iraq deal
*  Wengi To Hear Iraq Case [about money owed to Iraq by Uganda from Idi Amin
*  South Africa to Rescue of Iraqis [on recent humanitarian plane from South
Africa and underlying diplomacy. Contains a rather naive reference to
Œdomestic and foreign pressureı on Iraq Œfor a more open economy and
societyı. I canıt see that anyone is exercising any such pressure on Iraq at
the present time. The only thing the ŒInternational Communityı seems to care
about is that somehow S.Hussein should disappear in a puff of smoke]
*  All Indian wheat shipments to Iraq stopped [because it is full of
weevils, apparently because UN rules require that it should be opened and
inspected, thus undoing the work of fumigation]
*  Malaysia knocking on Iraq's door [general article on pro-Iraqi policy
adopted by Malaysia]
*  French Senators Call for Lifting UN Embargo on Iraq


*  Book-Starved in a Land With a Literate Past [short extract from an
interesting article on general state of literature in Arab world]
*  Saddam in warning to 'wasteful' women
*  Iraq says drug industry hit by lack of materials


*  Iraq got around sanctions, reports say [more leaks from the old weapons
inspection team suitable for creating paranoia and keeping them all in
*  Iraq Calls U.N. Reports Lies [though it would be rather surprising if the
Iraqi government hadnıt been smuggling in the means to defend themselves
during the nineties]
*  Iraq close to building nukes - defector [Dr Khidhir Hamza again. Well, a
manıs got to make a living. And it doesnıt seem that Œthe former head of
Iraq's nuclear weapons programı is good enough to get a job in the American
nuclear industry]


*  Iraq unaware of possible changes in UN oil pricing
*  No Opec output rise if Iraq oil back soon: Iran [note that I havenıt been
bothering with the large number of articles saying that oil is going up, or
down, or whatever, as a consequence of Iraqi policy, or not, because I canıt
make any sense of them and so canıt tell whatıs important and what isnıt]


*  Time for Realism On Handling Iraq [surprisingly sensible article from the
Washington Post recommending the lifting of sanctions and suggesting that
carefully fostered US public perceptions are the main obstacle to progress:
ŒWhile Saddam Hussein is portrayed here as one of the greatest threats to
world peace, the rest of the world sees him as a ruthless dictator who is
neither powerful enough to pose such a threat nor so suicidal as to be
immune to military deterrence.ı]


KUALA LUMPUR, June 17 (Bernama, Malaysia) -- The East Asia regional centre
of the Non Aligned Students and Youth Organisation on Sunday called upon the
United Nations Security Council to totally abandon economic sanctions
against Iraq.

Its leader Yazid Othman said the only humane course for the Security Council
was to take the moral high ground and lift the sanctions totally and

He said in a statement here today that 11 years of economic sanctions had
wrecked havoc against the people of Iraq.

Yazid expressed regret against the proposed continuation of sanctions,
revised or otherwise, which was being forced through the Security Council by
the United States and Britain.

On July 4, a divided Security Council will vote for a draft resolution on
sactions against Iraq purportedly to ease restriction on civilian goods
while tightening controls on weapons related imports and oil smuggling to
Iraq's neighbours.

Yazid, who is also President of the Malaysian Malay Journalists Association
added that data conveyed by the Food and Agricultural Organisation, World
Health Organisation and UN Children's Fund showed that 1.5 million people
died over the past decade because of the lack of nutrition and medicine.

Of these, over 500,000 were children who died mainly due to malnutrition,
diarrhoea and pneumonia," he said.

ONBOARD FLIGHT MH4803 BAGHDAD-KUALA LUMPUR, June 17 (Bernama, Malaysia) --
Iraq hopes to purchase palm oil directly from Malaysia to enhance trade ties
between the two countries, said Malaysian Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Syed
Hamid Albar.

He said the Iraqi demand for palm oil amounted to 300,000 tonnes a year.

"Iraq wants to process vegetable ghee and needs to modernise its
refineries...we will follow up on this," he told reporters onboard the
aircraft on the way home Sunday after leading a Malaysian humanitarian and
friendship mission to Iraq.

Yesterday, Syed Hamid paid a courtesy call on Iraqi president Saddam
Hussein. During the three-day visit, Syed Hamid had also met with several
Iraqi ministers.

He said Malaysia's follow up mission would consist of investors, economic
planners and officials of government agencies to help in the rebuilding of
Iraq which is currently facing economic sanctions imposed by the United

He said the Iraq-Malaysia joint commission is expected to meet in Kuala
Lumpur in August to look into efforts to step up bilateral ties.

Baghdad is seeking Kuala Lumpur's cooperation to take in Iraqi students.

Syed Hamid said Iraq is also ready to accord priority to Malaysian
investors, including in the country's oil and gas sector.

by Neil Davidson
The Province (Vancouver), 17th June

TORONTO (CP) - Canada's campaign at the world under-20 soccer championship
starts Sunday against Asian champion Iraq. And the road gets even rockier
after that with games against Germany and perennial powerhouse Brazil.

Stuck in the toughest of the Argentina tournament's six groups, Canadian
coach Paul James figures his team will have to collect four points to have
any chance of making the second round. That means Sunday's game is crucial
because picking up points against the Germans and Brazilians won't be easy.

The top two teams in each group and the four best third-place countries move
on to the knockout second round after the opening round-robin.

"We've got a difficult challenge ahead but we're still upbeat and
confident," Canadian coach Paul James said from the Canadian team hotel in
Cordoba. "It's going to be good experience for all our players, which they
need at this level."

Iraq will pose a tough problem in Cordoba on Sunday. The Asian champions
have enjoyed some good results but remain a bit of a mystery.

"They're very difficult to get information on," said James. "Going into
international games blind is not easy but we've been able to gather some
information and they're definitely a very good team. They're quick,
physically big and strong and definitely fast."


by Cathal Hanley
Irish Times, 18th June

Irish oil company Bula issued a brief statement this afternoon saying it has
not entered into any agreements in Iraq.

"Contrary to persistent rumours on Internet bulletin boards the company
would like its shareholders to be aware that the company has not signed any
agreements in Iraq."

The statement was issued on behalf of Bulaıs chairman Mr Albert Reynolds.

by Hillary Nsambu
New Vision (Kampala), June 18, 2001

Justice Richard Okumu Wengi last week ruled that he will hear the US$10m
Iraq loan case against Uganda instead of sending it for arbitration. The
Attorney General on June 12 had requested the court to refer the matter for
amicable settlement, saying so long as there was an arbitration agreement,
the court should not hear it.

But Wengi last week said, "I would hold that there is no dispute between the
parties on the matters agreed to be referred to arbitration. I would,
therefore, not order the stay (stopping) of this suit, nor refer it to the
arbitration, but will proceed to dispose of it in the normal way, including
the use of alternative dispute resolution mechanisms employed in commercial
adjudication by this court."

He set July 12, for hearing it. The Iraqi Government, through Odere and
Nalyanya Advocates, sued Uganda to recover an unpaid soft loan amounting to
US$10,964,354 (over sh18b) advanced to former President Idi Amin's
government in May 1975. The loan was given in two phases for industrial

Amin was toppled from power in 1979, but the successive governments
inherited the debts in line with international protocol and convention. Mr
Cheborion Barishaki, the commissioner for civil litigation, represented the
Attorney General and Mr Charles Odere and Mathias Nalyanya appeared for the
Iraq Government. The court has heard that the loan was advanced in phases
under two agreements of May 1975 and June 1981.

It is alleged that Uganda has failed to pay the loan in accordance with the
terms of the agreement signed at the time.

The Sowetan (Johannesburg), June 19, 2001

South Africa's successfully executed humanitarian mission to sanctions-hit
Iraqis is leading to a new Western policy to deal with Saddam Hussein,
argues John Stremlau

On the eve of President Thabo Mbeki's triumphant state visit to Britain last
week, South Africa's long-delayed planeload of food and medicines landed in

When Pretoria announced the relief flight on January 18, British and
American warplanes were about to resume bombing sites near Iraq's capital,

There was concern that aiding Iraq could seriously strain SA's relations
with London and Washington. It might also contravene United Nations mandated
sanctions that had been in effect since the 1990-91 Gulf War.

But the June 10 flight to Baghdad has provoked no criticism from the British
or anyone else. Perhaps earlier fears were exaggerated. Or might the media
be missing an example of successful quiet diplomacy?

What little public evidence exists suggests Pretoria persevered with a
principled approach, but showed prudence and pragmatism in dealing with a
difficult international problem it could not ignore.

By early this year, South Africa had good domestic and foreign policy
reasons to want to demonstrate its sympathy and solidarity with the
long-suffering civilians of Iraq.

Pressure was building up among local Muslim communities, and the
Durban-based Iraqi Action Committee (IAC) was raising the flight's R1-
million worth of aid. Not responding was also increasingly at odds with
South Africa's broader people-centred approach to foreign policy.

Finally, as chair of the Non-Aligned Movement, Pretoria needed to show
solidarity with the majority of the organisation's members who want the
sanctions against Iraq imposed by the UN Security Council a decade ago

Yet there were hazards in confronting the new Bush administration, the
British, and Iraq's other enemies - notably oil suppliers Saudi Arabia and
Kuwait. And there were political risks in appearing to be unilaterally
undermining UN sanctions.

Above all, South Africa did not want to be seen as endorsing the policies of
Iraq's dictator Saddam Hussein.

When announcing the flight six months ago - the first of its kind from
sub-Sahara Africa - Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Aziz Pahad stressed
that this was a purely humanitarian act by the South African people to ease
the suffering of the Iraqi people. The Government, he said, was responding
to a request from the IAC and "liaising with the UN".

Iraq's ambassador, Ghassan Al-Fatah, gave the flight a very different spin,
noting that it would be in "defiance of sanctions imposed by the Americans".
He applauded the South African Government for this action and arrangements
had been made to receive South African Cabinet ministers, clearly eager to
stress inter-governmental cooperation.

The American consul-general in Durban, Craig Kuehl, on the same day
predictably declared "the Iraqi regime" responsible for the suffering,
adding that Baghdad refuses to distribute food and medicine it receives with
the permission of the UN through the oil-for-food programme.

Pretoria stuck to its decision but delayed implementing it. Emissaries were
sent to the Gulf to consult with Iraq's neighbours. Care was taken to clear
the flight with the UN Security Council. Additional funds were raised from
private sources to cover the costs of the flight.

Critics might say that this should have been done sooner.

But the announcement of the flight sent an important signal, especially to
London and Washington where pressure for major reviews of Iraqi policy were
growing. What impact South Africa's announcement may have had is unclear.

But US and British policy towards Iraq appears to have moved closer to South
Africa's position.

A new Western policy is emerging, which has the support of the French and
may gain the backing of Russia and China. It concedes that the sanctions are
not working and that the oil for-food programme is so cumbersome and corrupt
its humanitarian goal cannot be met. New, so- called "smart sanctions" are
being proposed to target only military imports and the smuggled oil revenues
that sustain Saddam Hussein's dictatorship.

Otherwise, the Iraqi economy will be open for trade, investment and
humanitarian assistance.

By delaying but not backing down from its decision, South Africa was able to
lobby constructively. Domestic concerns were not ignored but carefully
balanced. The plane to Baghdad carried a 100-member delegation representing
SA's diverse humanitarian, religious, cultural and economic interests.

Notable among them were Public Enterprises Minister Jeff Radebe and Eskom
representatives looking for investment and trade opportunities.

Saddam Hussein has reacted furiously to the prospect of "smart sanctions".

He is withholding Iraq's daily production of 2,5 million barrels of oil, but
with no effect on world markets. If he is going to survive he may have to
yield to domestic and foreign pressure for a more open economy and society.

Sending the relief plane now serves more than humanitarian concerns. It also
demonstrates an interest in promoting a more people- centred approach to
international economic cooperation and development. This can help to reduce
poverty and inequity in Iraq and eventually in South Africa as well.

(The writer heads the International Relations Department at Wits

Economic Times (India), 20th June

INDIA will stop exporting wheat to Iraq until New Delhi can meet Baghdad's
demand that all food must be totally free of inorganic matter, Food Minister
Shanta Kumar said on Tuesday.

The decision was taken following an emergency meeting convened by the
minister after Iraq rejected a fourth consignment of 27,500 tons of wheat
from India, alleging poor quality.

"We have told exporters and public sector units handling wheat exports to
Iraq to stop further consignments till such time as their exact
specification for inorganic matter-free consignment can be met," the
minister said.

He said the Food Corporation of India had been asked to immediately set up a
cleaning facility at Kandla port in the western state of Gujarat.

The government had initially proposed such facilities at three ports in
collaboration with the private sector. Now it has directed the FCI to
undertake the project immediately on its own.

Though Iraq has rejected wheat exports from other countries too, officials
here admit the repeated rejection of Indian wheat has adversely affected the
country's image when it was trying to step up foodgrain exports.

Since April this year, Iraq has rejected a total of 73,500 tons of wheat
exported by three different Indian private exporters on grounds of poor
quality. Most of the wheat has since been sold in Dubai and Yemen.

Faced with the problem of stocking of 29 million tons of wheat and 22
million tons of rice, the government is going all out to promote exports.

It has relaxed rules of exports. Exporters can now buy foodgrains from the
Food Corporation of India and export them directly.

"While we have been able to able to export more than three million tons of
wheat to countries like Bangladesh, Indonesia, Myanmar, Oman, the
Philippines, South Korea, the UAE and Yemen this year, the rejection of our
consignments by Iraq has definitely affected our overall image," said the

New Delhi, which is targeting wheat exports of five million tons in the
fiscal year ending March 2002, is keen that exporters face no further

Iraq rejected the latest consignment of wheat shipped by Priyanka Overseas,
citing "unsatisfactory fumigation" resulting in weevils, officials said.

The company has, meanwhile, urged the Grain Board of Iraq to again fumigate
the consignment and has offered to pay the expenses.

Exporters attribute the presence of weevil on the procedure followed for
Iraq-bound wheat. All shipments to Iraq under the food-for-oil program of
the United Nations are opened for inspection before reaching Baghdad.

This makes fumigation ineffective. While the ship awaits a berth at Baghdad,
the consignment faces the risk of getting spoilt.

Iraq has given Indian exporters another four months to supply 350,000 tonnes
of wheat contracted under the UN programme.

by Anil Netto
Asia Times, 21st June

PENANG, Malaysia, - With its June "peace and friendship flight" to Iraq,
Malaysia has once again shown that it will go against Western opinion to
make its foreign-policy point.

To stress the message that international economic sanctions imposed on Iraq
a decade ago are crippling its people, the government of Prime Minister
Mahathir Mohamad last week sent a 280-member delegation on a humanitarian
mission to take thousands of dollars' worth of medical supplies to Baghdad,
the Iraqi capital.

The group, which left on June 13 and returned four days later, was led by
Malaysian Foreign Minister Syed Hamid Albar, who called on Iraqi President
Saddam Hussein.

Syed Hamid said a follow-up mission would comprise investors, economic
planners and officials of government agencies to help in the rebuilding of
Iraq. "We have always taken the view that sanctions should not be continued
as it has caused a lot of sufferings, injustice and the future generation in
Iraq is affected," he said.

In Malaysia, the mercy mission is seen as a key political statement.
"Malaysia may be a small country, but we have shown the world that in
affairs of state, we are not afraid to speak out or act independently when
we perceive that a wrong is being perpetuated," said an editorial in the
pro-establishment New Straits Times on Tuesday.

"Although largely symbolic, the mission is a reaffirmation of Malaysia's
rejection of the sanctions against Iraq which are cruel and no longer
justified," it added.

Opposition to continued economic sanctions against Iraq, imposed after the
Gulf War that Baghdad sparked in 1990 by invading neighboring Kuwait, is
something critics share.

Chandra Muzaffar of the International Movement for a Just World has pointed
to the resignations of at least three senior UN administrators in protest
over Iraq's humanitarian crisis, and in opposition to the US-led UN.
sanctions: Denis Halliday, Hans von Sponek and Jutta Burghardt.

"We are destroying an entire society. It is as simple and as terrifying as
that," Chandra has quoted Halliday as saying.

Other critics cite data compiled by UN agencies showing that 1.5 million
Iraqi people have died in the past decade because of the lack of nutrition
and medicine. Of these, over 500,000 were children who died mainly due to
malnutrition, diarrhea and pneumonia.

But last week's humanitarian mission from Malaysia was not without its
hitches. The flight was forced to take a detour on the way to Iraq after a
couple of countries along the route, which had earlier given the green light
for the flight, refused to allow it to pass over their territory.

Malaysia had earlier notified the UN Security Council of the mission to
Iraq. "But as we were in the air and were approaching certain countries,
there was some refusal for us to pass through their airspace," recounted
Syed Hamid, who declined to name the countries.

After some negotiations, the plane was allowed to fly directly to Baghdad
over another country, he added. The plane, which was carrying a mix of
government officials, private sector representatives, activists, medical
personnel and journalists - arrived back in Malaysia early on June 17 using
a different route.

Malaysia's latest mission - Mahathir's wife Siti Hasmah also went to Iraq in
March - comes at a time of growing international concern over the human cost
of sanctions against Iraq.

Indeed, more than a decade after the sanctions were imposed, Britain, with
US backing, has put forward a draft UN Security Council resolution
containing the so-called "smart sanctions" proposal. This would lift the ban
on civilian trade with Iraq while tightening a ban on weapons and controls
on smuggling outside a UN oil-for-food program in operation since 1996.

Syed Hamid said his team's trip to Iraq was never planned to coincide with
the smart sanctions debate at the UN Security Council, which is due for
voting in early July. But he said Saddam Hussein felt "the smart sanctions
are not smart after all because it will never be accepted". He added: "They
consider the sanctions unjustified and say the proposed smart sanctions are
going to worsen their position."

At the same time, however, the Malaysian mission to Iraq may be perceived as
a way for Kuala Lumpur to make amends - both to Iraq and to Malaysians who
were disturbed by the Gulf War - for its support for UN Security Council
Resolution 678. That resolution authorized member states to use all
necessary means to secure an Iraqi withdrawal from Kuwait in 1990, which led
to the Gulf War.

In Baghdad, the Malaysian delegation visited patients at the under-equipped
Saddam Central Hospital and toured the Amiriya Shelter, where 408 of 422
people taking shelter were reportedly killed by US missiles in February
1991. Among the fatalities were a hundred children, Iraqi officials said.

Iraq's ambassador to Malaysia Adnan Malik al-Ghazali said last week the
Iraqi health system could not meet medical needs because of the sanctions,
and that several sick Iraqi children would be brought to Malaysia soon for
treatment. Malaysia's private sector donated 1.2 million ringgit
(US$315,000) for the June humanitarian mission to Iraq.

There are also more links coming up, including in trade, which appears to
have figured prominently in last week's Malaysia-Iraq talks. Iraq wants to
buy palm oil directly from Malaysia instead of through third countries as at

"Iraq wants to process vegetable ghee and needs to modernize its refineries.
We will follow up on this," Syed Hamid said. Iraq has also offered
joint-venture oil and gas production deals with Malaysia's national oil
corporation, Petronas. The Malaysian carmaker Proton, for its part, has
offered to export 5,000 cars to replace taxis in Baghdad.

Iraq is also seeking Kuala Lumpur's cooperation to admit Iraqi students for
information technology training. An Iraq-Malaysia joint commission is
expected to meet in Kuala Lumpur in August to discuss efforts to strengthen
bilateral ties.

People's Daily, 21st June

A group of French senators visiting Baghdad have called for the 11-year-old
UN embargo on Iraq to be lifted, newspapers reported Wednesday.

"The embargo must be lifted, Iraq having fulfilled its obligations to the UN
Security Council resolutions," said senator Serge Mathieu, head of the
France-Iraq friendship group in the French Senate.

Mathieu, accompanied by four other senators and three doctors, arrived in
Baghdad on Monday on a five-day visit to "bear witness to the solidarity of
several fringes of French society with Iraq."

The visit comes at a time when Iraq, which has been under a sweeping embargo
since the 1990 invasion of Kuwait, is accusing Paris of working behind the
scenes to promote US and British proposals for a new regime of "smart"

In talks with the French delegation on Tuesday, Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister
Tareq Aziz "regretted" the French-US rapprochement on the proposal for the
revision of sanctions.

Iraq's parliamentary speaker Saadun Hammudi, meanwhile, told the delegation
in a separate meeting that he hoped Paris will adopt "a fairer attitude, in
harmony with international law and conventions." Mathieu commented that
"France has its character, and in my view, bilateral discussions could
dispel some of the ambiguities" between Paris and Baghdad.

"I would prefer that France have a more nuanced position in this affair," he
went on, saying that after he returns home "we will explain the position of
the Iraqi government and we will tell the French government the truth" about
the situation in Iraq.


By Neil MacFarquhar
The New York Times [posted on Yahoo! 16th June]


The old maxim about Arab books maintained that "Cairo writes, Beirut
publishes and Baghdad reads." That has changed. Publishers say the real
numbers of books published annually are hard to come by in any Arab country.
But one suggested that the figures for 1998 showed about 12,000 books
published in Egypt, only about 5 percent of them literature. The vast
majority were textbooks, the auxiliary books that explain them, or religious

Even more devastating to reading was the collapse of the cultured,
sophisticated Iraqi middle class under the economic sanctions imposed since
the Persian Gulf War. The price of a book says it all. Before the war, when
one Iraqi dinar was worth about $3, you could purchase a book in Baghdad for
a little more than two dinars, or about $7. With one dollar now worth 1,500
dinars, it takes roughly 10,000 dinars to buy that same paperback. On a
once-decent government salary of something like 3,000 dinars a month, it
would now require three months' pay to buy one novel.


by Anton La Guardia, Diplomatic Editor
Daily Telegraph, 21st June

SADDAM HUSSEIN has warned Iraqi women to stop burdening their menfolk with
"frivolous" shopping trips as the country endures its 11th year of
international sanctions.

Even at the times of greatest economic hardship, the Iraqi president has
continued to build lavish palaces in Baghdad and elsewhere. But in
yesterday's newspapers, he was quoted as lashing out against his country's
women for wasting their families' savings.

Saddam said: "A good number of Iraqi women continue to go to the shops
without knowing why and without needing to, while women in other Arab
countries and the rest of the world only go when their family is lacking

He was speaking to a group of artists and engineers who presented him with
models for a "monument to the martyr" to be constructed in several towns
across the country. The project's cost was not disclosed.

The president told them: "Women must lend their support to men instead of
being a burden by their excessive demands. The current situation in Iraq is
difficult because of the embargo. Women must help men." He also warned
Iraqis against holding lavish wedding celebrations.

CNN, June 23, 2001

BAGHDAD, Iraq (Reuters) -- A senior Iraqi official said on Saturday Iraq
desperately needed raw materials and equipment to maintain production in its
main pharmaceutical plant, and slammed the United Nations for holding up
important contracts.

"The drug plant of Samarra is currently working at only 24 percent of its
designed capacity because of the lack of raw materials and production
lines," Hamoudi Hameed, Director- General of Samarra Company for Drug
Industry, told reporters.

"Out of $204 million allocated for the health sector under the oil-for-food
deal, we have received materials worth only $45 million for the last five
phases of the deal, that is only 22 percent of the whole amount," Hameed

He said some production lines were out of order and needed to be replaced,
including those for antibiotics and ampoules.

"Some of the lines are 20 years old. Unless special efforts are made by the
committee members to free all the hold-ups in raw materials and production
lines for the pharmaceutical industry, it will be difficult to maintain

Samarra Company for Drug Industry has five plants -- one each in Baghdad,
Samarra and Babylon and two in Nineveh province.

The oil-for-food program permits Iraq to sell oil and, under strict control,
buy food, medicine and other supplies to ease the impact of U.N. sanctions
slapped on the country in August 1990. The goods are ordered by Iraq
according to a plan it submits that is then approved by Security Council

Hameed criticised sluggish procedures adopted by the U.N. Security Council
sanctions committee in approving contracts.

"The contracts have to undergo complicated and slow procedures in order to
be processed, which sometimes take a year or at best several months, while
other contracts are put on hold because they could have dual use," he said.

He said the committee sometimes approved part of an application while
placing holds on others, as was the case with a contract for the purchase of
a disposable syringe line.

"What is the use, if approval is given for the purchase of a production line
for disposable syringes while the application for the purchase of its
sterilization equipment is placed on hold?" he said.

The Iraq sanctions committee, which includes all 15 members of the Security
Council, has to approve numerous contracts from Iraq while others can be
dealt with by U.N. officials. The complicated program often means goods
arrive piecemeal or are defective, without Iraq being able to return them.

Iraq has regularly accused the U.N. committee of blocking purchases of
materials needed to alleviate the sufferings of its people under the
sanctions in force since Iraq's invasion of Kuwait in 1990 provoked the Gulf


by Edith M. Lederer
Seattle Times (from the Associated Press), 19th June

UNITED NATIONS - Iraq evaded U.N. sanctions in the 1990s, importing military
equipment to build missiles and nuclear weapons from companies in Eastern
Europe and Russia, according to unpublished U.N. weapons-inspection reports.

The U.S. arms-control researchers who obtained the reports conclude Saddam
Hussein's shopping spree is likely to intensify as the enforcement of
sanctions wanes and Iraq's revenue from smuggled oil grows.

The findings by Gary Milhollin, director of the Washington, D.C.-based
Wisconsin Project on Nuclear Arms Control, a nonprofit watchdog group, and
researcher Kelly Motz are being published in the July-August issue of
Commentary magazine.

The release of the reports comes as the U.N. Security Council is negotiating
a U.S.-British proposal to toughen enforcement of a decade-old arms embargo
on Iraq.

"The new proposal ... has little hope of stopping the Iraqis from sneaking
in what they need to rebuild their weapons sites and sneaking out the oil to
pay for it," Milhollin and Motz wrote in the article, made available

The Security Council imposed sanctions on Iraq after its 1990 invasion of

The researchers quote a U.N. Special Commission (UNSCOM) assessment before
the inspectors left in 1998 that said that throughout the '90s Iraq imported
goods from at least 20 countries. On Iraq's purchase list were "full-sized
production lines, ... high-tech spare parts and raw materials," the UNSCOM
report was quoted as saying.

The contraband cargo was almost always flown or shipped to Jordan and
transported by truck into Iraq, the researchers found.

The Commentary article describes trips by Iraqi delegations to companies in
Belarus, Ukraine, Romania and Russia.

by Waiel Faleh

BAGHDAD, Iraq (Associated Press, 19th June) - A top Iraqi foreign ministry
official on Tuesday night called reports that Baghdad evaded U.N. sanctions
in the 1990s ``sheer lies and fabrications.''

Naji Sabri, Iraq's state minister for foreign affairs, said the unpublished
U.N. weapons inspection reports obtained by U.S. arms control researchers
were aimed at ``preparing excuses'' to drum up support for a U.S.-British
plan to overhaul sanctions, which the Iraqi government vehemently opposes.

``The lies were leaked by intelligence offices to prolong and tighten
sanctions, to prevent Iraq from using its resources and practice its rights
in independence and conducting trade ties with other countries,'' he told
The Associated Press.

The findings by Gary Milhollin, director of the Washington-based Wisconsin
Project on Nuclear Arms Control, a nonprofit watchdog group, and researcher
Kelly Motz, are being published in the July-August issue of Commentary

The unpublished U.N. weapons inspection reports were obtained by sources
outside the United Nations, according to Motz. Their publication coincides
with the U.N. Security Council's consideration of a U.S.-British proposal to
lift most restrictions on civilian goods entering Iraq while tightening
enforcement of a decade-old arms embargo and plugging up lucrative smuggling

The reports cited have never been made public by the United Nations.

According to the report, Iraq decided in the early 1990s to target Eastern
Europe for purchases, following the collapse of the Soviet empire, which
spurred a wholesale weapons market.

In the Commentary article, the experts describe trips by high-level Iraqi
delegations to companies in Belarus, Ukraine, Romania and Russia. The only
other company mentioned in the article is one based in Taiwan.

``These are no more than sheer lies and fabrications aiming at preparing
excuses to support atmosphere for the Anglo-American proposal which aim at
forcing the colonial domination on Iraq,'' said Sabri, who until recently
was Iraq's ambassador to Austria.

An embargo and wide-ranging sanctions were imposed on Iraq following its
1990 invasion of Kuwait and the subsequent 1991 Gulf War.

Sanctions cannot be lifted until U.N. weapons inspectors certify that the
country's programs to build weapons of mass destruction have been

by Janine Zacharia
Jerusalem Post, 21st June

WASHINGTON: Iraq has all the basic components necessary for a nuclear bomb,
but it is unclear whether it has acquired the fissile material to power it,
the former head of Iraq's nuclear weapons program said yesterday.

Describing Iraq's nuclear weapons program as "more or less complete," Dr.
Khidhir Hamza, who defected from Iraq in 1994, told the American Enterprise
Institute that no sanctions or inspectors could thwart the well-concealed
Iraqi program.

"The basic bomb components are there in Iraq. The casting is there. One of
the casting furnaces was taken out but another one was built... The fuse
components are there. Explosives are there. And the initiator for the
nuclear reaction is there. So bomb-wise, Iraq is finished. It has the full
technology to make a nuclear bomb," Hamza said.

Hamza said he understood that Iraq now has a much better bomb design than
the one he was involved in producing, "but the bottleneck remains the supply
of fissile material."

If Iraq has managed to purchase such nuclear-ready material, he said, "Iraq
has a nuclear weapon by now. If it [has] not, it will have within a short
time a nuclear weapon. I expect, another year."

Citing German intelligence estimates, Hamza said Iraq is said to have 1.3
tons of low enriched uranium and 12 tons of natural uranium, which in their
processed form would supply enough material for roughly six bombs.

Now, he said, scientists are focused on adapting the bombs to missiles that
can transport them. With continued sanctions making smuggling difficult,
Hamza speculated that Iraq is also pursuing a program to develop the
technology to produce its own fissile material primarily through what is
known as "diffusion."

"Iraq has the material right now, has the technology right now, to go into
uranium enrichment if it wants," he said.

Israel bombed an Iraqi nuclear reactor in 1981.

Hamza said the Iraqi nuclear program is so well disguised and dispersed - in
hospitals, schools, and small buildings in industrial complexes - that even
if UN inspectors, absent since 1997, returned, they would never be able to
detect it. And since most of the material necessary for the bomb is already
inside Iraq, sanctions, he said, can do little to prevent Saddam Hussein
from acquiring a nuclear weapon.

"The program is now harder to target, probably impossible to target," he


Dubai, Reuters, 17th June

Iraqi oil marketer SOMO has not been consulted about any potential changes
to the United Nations pricing mechanism for its crude oil sales,an Iraqi oil
official said yesterday.

"We cannot say anything now (about proposed changes to the UN price
mechanism)...this is news to us," an Iraqi oil official told Reuters by
telephone from Baghdad yesterday. Asked whether the UN oil overseers had
consulted with SOMO over the proposed changes, he replied: "Not at all."

The UN Security Council is mulling changes to the pricing mechanism in a bid
to overhaul sanctions against Baghdad, diplomats said on Friday. They are
considering a pricing system that would be "more scientific and reactive" to
changes in the oil market, and be geared towards eliminating an illegal
surcharge oil traders claim Iraq has been charging lifters of its crude.

The new price system will be presented to the council next week, diplomats
said. The current price system allows SOMO to propose a price that is then
approved by the UN Iraqi sanctions committee, usually once or twice a month.
Critics say the system has allowed Baghdad to set sub-market prices in order
to charge smaller oil firms a surcharge, which goes directly to Baghdad
rather than designated UN accounts.

Dawn (Pakistan), 21st June

DUBAI, June 20: Opec does not need to boost output at its July 3, meeting if
Iraqi oil exports resume early next month especially given the current
supply-demand balance, a senior Iranian oil official said on Wednesday.

If Iraqi oil exports are back in July, it is very obvious that more supplies
are not needed from Opec, Hojjatollah Ghanimifard, acting vice president of
the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) told Reuters.

The NIOC official said the $1 per barrel price drop in the past few days has
underscored the fact that supplies of crude oil are adequate - even with 2.1
million barrels per day (bpd) of Iraqi oil removed from the market. And the
global economic slowdown has also taken its toll on demand for oil, he said.

Regardless of Iraq or not, there is ample crude oil, Ghanimifard said.
Inventories of crude and products in the main consuming countries are more
than what was expected for this time of year. Baghdad halted exports on June
4 for the duration of a one-month extension of the oil-for-food scheme,
which awaits a United Nations vote on so-called "smart sanctions" proposed
by Britain and the United States. But a key European diplomat said if there
were no agreement by then, Washington would likely endorse a no-changes
six-month rollover of oil-for-food instead of a second one-month extension
of the humanitarian programme. Iraq has vowed to resume shipments, some five
per cent of world exports, if oil-for-food are renewed as normal.

The NIOC official said a prolonged outage of Iraqi exports which pushed
prices above the upper threshold of Opec's $22-$28 price band would force
the cartel to honour its promise of filling any resulting supply gap. If
Iraq does not come back and prices remain above $28 a barrel, then Opec will
need some modification in output, Ghanimifard said. But he said it was
unlikely the Opec basket would stray above $28 for long given the current
supply demand balance. If Iraq is out for a longer period, supply-demand is
such that it's unlikely that the basket price will remain above $28 for a
lengthy period, Ghanimifard said. Opec's basket price for its seven crude
oils - at $25.35 per barrel on Tuesday - now stands mid range of its $22-$28
price band.

The NIOC official said non-fundamental factors could still have an upside
impact on oil prices. Speculation in the oil market and some factors outside
the oil market - such as a potential decrease in US interest rates - could
affect prices, he said.-Reuters


by Shibley Telhami
Washington Post, June 20, 2001

Frustrated by the reluctance of Russia and other members of the U.N.
Security Council to go along with a plan to modify sanctions on Iraq, the
Bush administration has accepted delaying U.N. action on the issue for one
month. But the central problem for Iraq policy is here at home, not abroad.
There is no winning policy option for the United States, given the nature of
the American discourse on Iraq and the persistent perception that the
administration remains divided on this issue.

Here is the problem: Given the prevalent assumptions on Iraq, few people
will be satisfied with any outcome short of removing Saddam Hussein, or at
least visibly weakening him, and few are willing to pay the price of a
ground war that might be required to ensure his removal.

While Saddam Hussein is portrayed here as one of the greatest threats to
world peace, the rest of the world sees him as a ruthless dictator who is
neither powerful enough to pose such a threat nor so suicidal as to be
immune to military deterrence.

Even a successful restructuring of U.N. sanctions that will improve the lot
of Iraq's people and limit Iraq's weapons will be read as a failure in the
United States before long. Surely the increased funds that Iraq will
receive, and the new opening it will have in trade and travel, will be
claimed as a victory by its leaders, whose posture will become even more
strident. Opponents of this policy will continue to claim that Iraq is
secretly developing weapons of mass destruction -- an allegation that can
never be fully refuted. And with every blow to the prospects of Arab-Israeli
peace, Saddam Hussein's popularity in the region will rise -- if only as a
form of defying the United States. Charges of appeasement will soon resonate
all over Washington.

Those who are calling for a more aggressive policy on Iraq aimed at
overthrowing Saddam Hussein stand to lose more by having their policy tested
first than by awaiting the failure of revised sanctions to please the
Washington mainstream. In reality, there is no military solution that can
guarantee the removal of Saddam Hussein, short of a ground war. Sure, one
can get lucky with less, but no president can commit to such an option
unless the chance of success is high, and that means making a commitment to
go to war if necessary.

But the lack of public support for this level of commitment at home is even
surpassed by insurmountable opposition abroad -- not to mention the
consequences of war for oil markets, or the uncertainties that would follow
the regime's removal. Either way, the White House stands to lose.

There is a way out -- and it's not in sending talented American diplomats
around the world persuading people to see things our way, or in pretending
that the problem is only with greedy Europeans anxious to do business with
Iraq. It begins with the president unifying his own advisers and then
leveling with Congress and the American people. George W. Bush cannot afford
a divided house on Iraq, since it means that neither option will be given a
full chance to work.

The president can use the change of power in the Senate as an opportunity
for a national consensus on Iraq. Conventionally, Iraq's threat is certainly
containable by the presence of American forces in the region, even if Iraq's
income increases. While the United States should work to limit Iraq's
weapons of mass destruction, one should not be intimidated by the prospect
that Iraq may end up acquiring them anyway. Iraq had chemical weapons during
the 1991 Persian Gulf War, which failed to deter the United States from
waging a full war against it. More important, Iraqi leaders didn't use them
because they knew they would be committing suicide, since the United States
would have marched to Baghdad. Their survival instinct has trumped their
grand ambition every time.

Saddam Hussein will continue to pose a threat to U.S. interests, but his
specter in Washington is much larger than the man himself. Inflating a
third-rate power is self defeating; it limits policy options and sets aside
more important priorities. Removing the economic sanctions while containing
Iraq militarily is the only workable policy short of waging a war. But the
obstacles to this policy are greater here at home than they are abroad. It's
time for an honest national debate.

The writer is Anwar Sadat professor of peace and development at the
University of Maryland.

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