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News, 2430/6/01 (1) CONTENTS: ŒSMART SANCTIONS¹ * Saddam's trump card: oil & troika * Jordan first to lose when 'smart' sanctions hit Iraq * China Favors Comprehensive Approach to Break Stalemate in Iraq Question * Russia: Its Proposal Can Solve Iraq Arms Dispute * Russian threat to Iraqi sanctions * Iraqi MPs starts Arab tour against "smart" sanctions * UN weighs Iraq oil options amid Russia veto threat * Russia Slams British Plan for Iraq * Powell: Iraq Sanctions Plan in Doubt * All eyes on Iraq IRAQI/MIDDLE EASTERN-ARAB WORLD RELATIONS * Iraq to resume train trips to Turkey * Mortar shell damages state-owned building in Tehran * Egypt, UN Discuss Ways to Seek Release of Kuwaiti POWs * [Lebanese PM] Al-Hariri received Thursday Iraq's Minister of State for Foreign Affairs * Jordan: New weekly tabloid pro-Iraqi, anti-Israeli * Kuwait sentences Iraqi spies to 10 years in prison AND, IN NEWS, 2430/6/01 (2), SENT SEPARATELY: OIL PROBLEMS * Cheney hit by Iraq deal row * Opec members harden against output rise NO FLY ZONES/KURDISTAN * Iraq poised to attack Kurds in [a rather complicated, I would have thought - PB] ploy to avert tighter sanctions * U.S., British planes strike Iraqi air defenses * U.S. navy fighter plane strikes at air defence sites in southern Iraq [this is probably the same incident as the preceding but here it is one navy fighter jet and there is was US and British warplanes] * Iraq says three people killed in attack on south * Iraq says its defences hit Western warplane [previous items on a raid on Monday. This one was on Tuesday] * Envoys mull need for flyovers [though the article is mainly on the military buildup near Kurdistan] IRAQ/INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS * Le Pen becomes the Good Samaritan of Iraq [the author, professing great contempt for Le Pen, doesn¹t seem to know that he has consistently opposed western policy on Iraq since even before he Gulf War] * German Industry Urges Rethink On Iraq Policy [conscious of lost opportunities to make money] * Iran should take German companies to international courts [for supplying material for chemical attacks on Sardasht and Halabja] INSIDE IRAQ * Iraqi Shi'ite cleric died mysteriously, says newspaper * Iraqi President Appoints New Interior Minister * Iraq's 'photocopy culture' GENERAL INTEREST * Annan's decency gives him UN job [second five years in office. The article suggests that Annan was a bit too decent and this led to him being taken for a ride by the likes of S.Hussein, eg in 1998 when he brokered a deal over UN weapons inspectors just before they were expelled. As has often been pointed out in this list, however, they were not expelled; they withdrew to make way for US and British bombers. My memory was that the deal was aimed to reduce the preonderant influence of the US on the inspection team at a time when it was quite obvious that their brief was to humiliate the Iraqis, to prolong sanctions for as long as possible and to spy for the US government. The problem arose because the US refused to comply with the spirit, whatever about the letter, of the agreement entered into. Annan at that time showed his weakness by not resigning in protest against the contempt with which he was treated, not by Saddam but by theUS and Britain. But that¹s probably why, unlike B.B.Ghali, he¹s got a second term in office.] ŒSMART SANCTIONS¹ http://dawn.com/fixed/subs/dinasub.htm * SADDAM'S TRUMP CARD: OIL & TROIKA by Dilip Hiro Dawn (Pakistan), 25th June LONDON: Iraqi President Saddam Hussein is preparing for yet another showdown with his arch foes the United States and Britain - this time over the United Nations oil-for-food programme. The scheme allows Iraq to buy food from the foreign exchange earned through the sale of Iraqi oil - money that he has to deposit into a UN-administered fund. The UN Security Council committee responsible for maintaining the sanctions on Iraq has to decide by July 3 whether to roll over the oil-for-food programme for another six months. At the same time the committee will also consider an Anglo- American draft resolution requiring Iraqi private oil sales to Jordan, Turkey and Syria - something the alliance has turned a blind eye to so far - to be placed under the oil-for-food scheme. Saddam Hussein is determined to keep this sales route open - it is his only major channel for obtaining foreign exchange outside the UN-administered oil account. Equally, the Anglo- American alliance is resolved to shut off this avenue by making it an integral part of their draft resolution at the Security Council. So far Iraq has sold oil at discount prices to the grateful troika, who have been paying for it directly to Baghdad - rather than into the UN escrow account as other buyers of Iraqi oil have had to do ever since it was opened in 1996. Were the three neighbours to go by the Anglo-American draft resolution - that is, pay the market price for the Iraqi oil - they would lose out. The supplies to Turkey are channelled through private traders - acting as intermediaries, significantly, are senior officials of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) in the Iraqi region of Kurdistan. This supply of about 65,000 bpd has been in train since 1993, at a throwaway cost of only about 10-12 dollars per barrel. Baghdad's price cut has enabled KDP officials to make substantial profits which in turn have been used to administer that part of the Kurdistan Autonomous Region - made up of three northern Iraqi provinces - that is under KDP control, with the assistance of Anglo-American air patrols. The Alliance intention is to deprive Saddam of the control of one-fifth of Iraqi territory that the area constitutes. Aware of the unwillingness of the US Congress to permit financial aid to the KDP due to the absence of any KDP lobby in Washington, the former administration of President Bill Clinton found the arrangement convenient - and overlooked its clear breach of UN sanctions. Syria is the latest addition to the trio, with Iraqi oil starting to flow through a newly re opened Syrian-Iraqi pipeline last January. Baghdad sells petroleum to Damascus at 15 dollars a barrel. Syria, an oil-exporting country, consumes the Iraqi oil domestically and exports an equivalent amount - 150,000 bpd - at the market price of between 25 and 32 dollars a barrel. On 4 June, Iraq stopped exporting two million bpd to its customers through the UN administered account in protest at the Security Council rolling over the oil-for-food programme for one month instead of the customary six. But its shipment of some 300,000 bpd to Jordan, Turkey and Syria remained unaffected. Under the circumstances, persuading Iraq's neighbours to give up this economic privilege will be hard to do - so the Anglo-American draft resolution proposes to compensate them for their losses. The choice is particularly hard for Jordan. It is reliant solely on Iraqi oil, and its economy is tied closely to Iraq. Jordan supplies Iraq's population of 23 million with food and medicine - something sanctioned by the oil-for-food scheme. But behind Saddam Hussein's resolve to continue the present oil shipment arrangement with Jordan, Syria and Turkey lies another aim: to loosen the stranglehold that the UN has placed on Iraq's prime resource, oil. In his ongoing effort to achieve this goal, Saddam last December decreed that buyers of Iraqi petroleum deposit a surcharge of 0.50 dollars per barrel into an independent Iraqi account. Unwilling to violate UN sanctions, the purchasers, including India, refused and Saddam backed down. As result, most experts agree that as long as the Security Council, prodded by the US and Britain, continues to exercise its economic mandate over Iraqi oil, Saddam Hussein will search for ever-new ways of undermining it. http://www.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,3604,512604,00.html * JORDAN FIRST TO LOSE WHEN 'SMART' SANCTIONS HIT IRAQ by Brian Whitaker The Guardian,26th June Jordan, battered economically by almost nine months of Israeli-Palestinian conflict, is preparing for another blow. As the first casualty of "smart" sanctions against Iraq, it could lose its entire oil supply, as well as its main export market. Under the proposed sanctions regime, to be debated by the UN security council next week, civilian trade with Iraq will be relaxed but border checks for military or dual-use goods will be tightened. This will place extra responsibility on Iraq's neighbours, and President Saddam Hussein has threatened to cut trade with any country that helps to implement the sanctions. The Iraqi threat, says one western diplomat, is both credible and - in the case of Jordan - devastating. "Jordan would have to abide by an international resolution, but Iraq would retaliate. It would be political and economic suicide," the diplomat said. Jordan gets a combination of free and cheap oil from Iraq, saving up to $300m a on market prices. In return, Jordan supplies Iraq with a variety of goods. No money changes hands, but the barter accounts for about one-third of Jordan's exports and thousands of livelihoods depend on it. "Whatever we do we are damned," said Taher al-Masri, a former prime minister. "If we go along with the new sanctions we will be really harmed. If we don't we are damned with the United States." Public opinion in Jordan is solidly behind Iraq and the newspapers are full of alarmist but misleading reports of what the new sanctions entail. The Jordanian government has publicly declared its opposition to "smart" sanctions but has privately assured the west that it will accept them. But it has little option but to defy public opinion and fall into line, not least because its free trade agreement with the US, signed last year, is still awaiting congressional approval. Replacing the Iraqi oil at market rates, according to a report for the World Bank by a Jordanian economist, May al-Taher, would cost $750m-$1bn a year. Jordan simply does not have the cash. Its total exports in 1999 were less than $2bn and its trade deficit was $1.5bn. One option would be a massive increase in petrol prices. But with super at 32 a litre and regular at 25p, that would be a political nightmare. The last time Jordan raised petrol prices six people died in the ensuing riots. Earlier this year the government proposed a modest increase but rapidly backed off in the face of fierce opposition. Last week the Foreign Office confirmed that security council members were holding talks with Jordan about compensating it for any losses caused by "smart" sanctions. "We are determined that they should not be disadvantaged in any way by the new arrangements, and that the new arrangements should be developed in consultation with them," a spokesman said. Although officials refuse to comment on possible mechanisms, the most likely option would be to make Iraq compensate Jordan - plus Syria, Turkey, and perhaps Iran - for their trade losses from the UN's oil-for-food programme. Iraq's oil revenue is paid into an escrow account controlled by the UN, and Iraq can draw on this to buy humanitarian goods. Iraq has been spending less than its entitlement: by the end of May there was $4.2bn in the account. This could be used to ensure the support of Iraq's neighbours if President Saddam carries out his threat. But Iraq has already accused Jordan of paying for the oil with shoddy goods, and seems eager to switch to Syria. http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/200106/27/eng20010627_73615.html * CHINA FAVORS COMPREHENSIVE APPROACH TO BREAK STALEMATE IN IRAQ QUESTION People's Daily, 27th June Chinese Permanent Representative to the United Nations Wang Yingfan said Tuesday that China favors a comprehensive approach for breaking the current stalemate in the Iraq question by taking into account all aspects of the question. In his speech at a formal meeting of the U.N. Security Council on Iraq Tuesday afternoon, Wang Yingfan said the present stalemate in the Iraq question is not in the interest of peace and security in the Gulf region. It is not conducive to the upholding of the authoritativeness of the Security Council and to a fundamental easing of the humanitarian situation in Iraq, he added. Wang said China hopes that discussions in the Security Council will help create conditions for breaking the deadlock so that the Iraq question, which has been under consideration at the Security Council for 11 years, will not become a perpetual item in its agenda. The Chinese ambassador put forth a three-point view on a comprehensive settlement of the Iraq question. Want Yingfan said the Chinese government maintains that a fundamental amelioration of the humanitarian situation in Iraq constitutes an important and indispensable step toward breaking the stalemate. The sanctions against Iraq that have lasted for 11 years have brought untold miseries and pains to civilians, with women and children in particular, in the country, and thus the international community has voiced a strong call for a fundamental amelioration of the humanitarian situation in Iraq, according to Wang Yingfan. During the review of the "new arrangements" at the Security Council on the sale and supply of goods and commodities to Iraq, Wang noted, China emphasized that Iraq should be allowed to import freely any civilian goods that it needs; that financial control and restrictions on Iraq should be relaxed; and that foreign companies should be allowed to invest in Iraq, countries allowed to freely sign service contracts with Iraq and flights of civil aviation of various countries to and from Iraq allowed to resume. Wang Yingfan said China has always stressed the need to clarify the ambiguities in Resolution 1284, particularly the need to clearly define the criteria for terminating sanctions against Iraq, so as to motivate it to resume its cooperation with the United Nations. This, Wang added, constitutes another important and indispensable step toward a break of the deadlock and a comprehensive solution of the Iraq question. At the same time, he said, China also believes that the sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence of Iraq should be respected. Thus, countries concerned should demonstrate the required good will and sincerity by putting an early end to the bombing of Iraq and dismantling the "no-fly zone", so as to create conditions for an early solution to the Iraq question, he said. Wang also said China maintains that no "new arrangements" should bring further negative impact on the political, economic and social life of Iraq's neighbors. The Security Council should pay close attention to the views of Iraq's neighbors and seek their understanding and cooperation, he added. According to Wang Yingfan, the tabling of the draft resolution on "new arrangements" has caused serious concern among Iraq's neighbors, and China is deeply aware of the losses suffered by Iraq's neighbors as a result of the sanctions against the country. Moreover, Wang said, the question of missing Kuwaitis and the loss of property should be properly solved at an early date. China believes that a timely and proper solution of the this humanitarian question will contribute to the early normalization of inter-state relations in the Gulf and to the early comprehensive settlement of the Iraq question. http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/nm/20010627/wl/iraq_un_russia_dc_3.html More...Wednesday June 27 11:32 AM ET * RUSSIA: ITS PROPOSAL CAN SOLVE IRAQ ARMS DISPUTE MOSCOW (Reuters, 27th June) - A top Russian diplomat said on Wednesday that Moscow's resolution calling for the gradual lifting of U.N. sanctions on Iraq was the only way to produce a long-term solution to the West's dispute with Baghdad. Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ordzhonikidze was speaking to Interfax news agency hours after Russia rejected a U.S.-British proposal to revamp the sanctions, in force since Iraq's 1990 invasion of Kuwait. The statement also coincided with a meeting between Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov and a European Union envoy on the Middle East. A Russian emissary later announced he would undertake a new tour of Middle East nations. Ordzhonikidze told Interfax there was no alternative to the Russian resolution, submitted during Tuesday's Security Council debate, ``if we are interested in securing a long-term settlement to the Iraqi problem.'' He said Russia could not support the Anglo-American proposal, which called for an overhaul of the terms of the humanitarian oil-for-food plan under which Iraq is allowed to export oil and buy supplies under U.N. supervision. ``We cannot agree with such a draft resolution,'' he said. ''In essence, it freezes the current state of affairs, maintaining sanctions with unacceptable consequences for Iraq's people and economy in the absence of any progress on disarmament.'' Ordzhonikidze said Russia was concerned that the ``smart sanctions'' outlined in the U.S. British proposal could hurt the economies of many countries, including Russia. Moscow, he said, intended to press on with the draft at the United Nations, where a July 3 deadline has been set for the U.S.-British proposal. The Anglo-American draft would ease U.N. controls on civilian goods entering Iraq and tighten enforcement on military supplies. It would also try to stem Iraq's smuggling routes. Tuesday's debate has left the Security Council at an impasse. Diplomats expected an extension of the current sanctions regime on July 3, but are uncertain for how long and whether any changes would be introduced. Russian ambassador Sergei Lavrov told the Security Council that the Anglo-American resolution ``cannot go through.'' ``The deeper we go into detail, the greater the doubts we have that this draft is workable...in terms of a long-term Iraqi settlement,'' Lavrov said. A Foreign Ministry statement said Russia and the European Union believed tension had eased in the Middle East. They called for ``further efforts for its normalization,'' based on the plan drafted by former U.S. Senator George Mitchell. Russian envoy Andrei Vdovin told Interfax he would leave on Thursday for a trip including stops in Israel, the Palestinian Authority, Egypt and Jordan. He would remain in the region ``as long as necessary.'' Vdovin undertook a Middle East trip earlier this month and Ivanov has also toured the region in recent months. http://news.ft.com/ft/gx.cgi/ftc?pagename=View&c=Article&cid=FT3VQQ1EHOC&liv e=true&useoverridetemplate=ZZZFKOXOA0C&tagid=ZZZCWHK1B0C&subheading=energy%2 0%26%20utilities * RUSSIAN THREAT TO IRAQI SANCTIONS by Roula Khalaf Financial Times, 27th June The fate of the US-backed smart sanctions on Iraq was hanging in the balance on Wednesday after Russia threatened to derail the proposals at the United Nations Security Council. Sergie Lavrov, Russia's UN ambassador, said on Tuesday the US proposals "cannot go through" - a statement seen by UN diplomats as a threat to veto the measure. The US' smart sanctions are contained in a UK-sponsored draft resolution that would revamp the decade-old UN sanctions on Iraq. Part of the Bush administration's efforts to toughen policy towards the Baghdad regime, the new sanctions aim to facilitate the flow of civilian goods while maintaining controls over Iraqi funds and curbing the smuggling that provides direct revenue to the government. UN discussions on Iraq are closely watched by oil markets. Iraq suspended oil exports on June 4 to protest against US attempts to introduce smart sanctions. It has threatened to keep its oil off the market if the UK resolution is adopted. Russia, insisting that the UK resolution would do nothing to alleviate the "humanitarian catastrophe" in Iraq, has introduced counter-proposals. Moscow has called for a suspension of sanctions - including giving Iraq access to its oil money - if UN inspectors re-install a monitoring system in Iraq, but do not declare it free of weapons of mass destruction. Sanctions would be reintroduced if Iraq failed to co-operate with inspectors. UK officials said on Wednesday they were determined to pursue efforts to reach agreement on the British-American proposals by July 4, when the Security Council decides whether Iraq's oil-for-food programme, the exception to the sanctions, should be restructured or extended as they are. "The Russian proposals do not appear to be a serious attempt to achieve a consensus," said a UK official. http://www.dailystarnews.com/200106/27/n1062705.htm#BODY10 * IRAQI MPS STARTS ARAB TOUR AGAINST "SMART" SANCTIONS Daily Star (Bangladesh), 27th June AFP, Baghdad: Iraqi MPs have started to tour Arab countries to whip up support for Baghdad's rejection of the "smart" sanctions proposed by Britain and the United States, parliamentary sources said Tuesday. Deputy Prime Minister Tareq Aziz, meanwhile, met a Russian envoy and urged Moscow, which has veto power in the UN Security Council, to block the revision of an 11-year-old sanctions regime. A first parliamentary delegation, led by deputy speaker Ojeil Jalal Ismail, left Monday on a tour of Egypt, Syria and Libya, while another team of MPs left for Yemen, Sudan and Lebanon. The MPs are carrying a message from parliament speaker Saadun Hammadi in which he criticises smart sanctions as a bid "to reinforce sanctions and turn Iraq into a protectorate under the cover of international law." Next week, another delegation will start a North African tour with stops in Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria. The United Nations is to hold a series of key meetings this week to decide on the US-British proposal to impose smart sanctions on Iraq, which has been under embargo since its 1990 invasion of Kuwait. Kicking off the process, the 15-member Security Council was to hold a public debate Tuesday with non-council members on UN policy toward Iraq, allowing Baghdad's Arab neighbours and Turkey to air their views. "Baghdad rejects the evil proposal that reveals a Zionist plot against Iraq and its neighbours," Aziz stressed during talks with Russian envoy Nikolai Kartouzov, the official INA news agency reported. Aziz called on Moscow to oppose the proposal, dubbing it "detrimental not only for Iraq's interests but also for those countries, led by Russia, who have trade relations with it." Kartouzov, for his part, "reiterated his country's solidarity with Iraq and its determination to work to obtain a lifting of the embargo," INA said. Russian deputies and companies urged President Vladimir Putin on Monday to use Moscow's veto to block the draft resolution, saying it "would seriously harm Russian economic interests." Britain has circulated a draft resolution that would abolish curbs on civilian trade with Iraq, but tighten a weapons ban and controls on smuggling outside the UN oil-for-food deal. In protest at smart sanctions, Iraq on June 4 suspended its exports of more than two million barrels of oil per day through the UN programme. The Security Council has given itself until July 3 to reach agreement on the draft. http://www.gulf-news.com/Articles/news.asp?ArticleID=20799 * UN WEIGHS IRAQ OIL OPTIONS AMID RUSSIA VETO THREAT United Nations, Reuters, 27th June Russia's decision to block a planned overhaul of Iraqi sanctions has left oil traders guessing whether it will bring an end to Iraq's oil export halt. A U.S.-British overhaul discussed by the UN Security Council yesterday is in grave danger after Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov told the United States that Moscow would not allow the draft resolution to pass. Even if Russia fulfills its threat, the UN Security Council could yet pass a measure that Iraq rejects, spurring Baghdad to prolong an oil export stoppage started three weeks ago in protest at the sanctions plan, UN diplomats said. Oil traders say the only option guaranteed to bring a quick renewal of Iraq's oil sales, nearly five per cent of world oil exports, is if the oil-for-food programme is renewed unchanged for six months. Other options open to the council include adopting a modified version of oil-for-food for six months, or a further short-term extension of the programme to allow more time to continue negotiations, diplomats said. If the modifications include an effort to clamp down on an illegal surcharge Baghdad has been charging for its oil exports, then Iraq could yet persist in its export halt, oil traders said. Council diplomats say that a short-term extension for anything less than three months is unlikely without hard assurances that Moscow will change its tune. The current phase of oil for-food sales was extended by one month to July 3 to allow more time for talks. More likely is a six-month extension of the oil-for-food programme, with talks on the sanctions overhaul allowed to continue separately, one diplomat said. "It's really for the U.S. and (Britain) to make up their minds," said a council diplomat who wished to remain anonymous. "They are the author, so they are the ones who are expected to prepare Plan B." Under the proposals the United States and Britain want to overhaul sanctions and revise the oil-for-food programme. Russia has been consistent for half a year in not accepting proposals to revamp sanctions, or even to constructively engage in the talks, diplomats said. Russia on Tuesday proposed its own draft resolution seeking a lifting of sanctions if Iraq allows the re-entry of UN weapons inspectors. But the United States and Britain said the Russian proposal has no chance, and Iraq's UN Ambassador Mohammed Aldouri yesterday said Iraq won't allow the inspectors in anyway. "The position of Iraq on that is never," Aldouri told reporters. Moscow is demanding a revision of the list of goods allowed to enter Iraq without close scrutiny by U.N. monitors or the UN Iraqi sanctions committee. Talks on revising that list were held with little progress in New York on Tuesday and will continue on Wednesday, but diplomats involved in the talks said there was little hope of progress significant enough to sway Russia to support the U.S.-British proposals. "There surely will be no (U.S.-Britain) resolution by July 3," said a council diplomat, referring to the council's self-imposed deadline. Even if the United States and Britain support an unchanged six-month rollover of the oil sales programme, it will probably take several weeks before Iraq returns to the 2.1 million barrels per day (bpd) level of exports seen in May, industry analysts said. Iraq's absence from the oil market has not had the impact on oil prices that some had feared. Oil prices have fallen $2 since the stoppage began. Prices have been under pressure from growing U.S. inventories and slack demand, hurt by the sluggish U.S. economy. http://www.themoscowtimes.com/stories/2001/06/28/020.html * RUSSIA SLAMS BRITISH PLAN FOR IRAQ by Edith M. Lederer Moscow Times, 28th June UNITED NATIONS (Associated Press) ‹ Russia rejected a U.S.-backed British plan to overhaul sanctions on Iraq on Tuesday and proposed its own resolution that would speed up an end to sanctions. Britain and the United States dismissed the Russian initiative as unacceptable. The rival drafts left the 15-member Security Council bitterly divided on how to break a 2 1/2-year stalemate on the future of sanctions imposed on Iraq after its 1990 invasion of Kuwait. It also highlighted the vastly differing approaches the major powers are taking on Iraq 11 years after the Gulf War. Britain said it wants to continue negotiations on its draft and hopes the council will reach agreement by a July 3 deadline. But Russia's outright rejection ‹ indicating it would exercise its veto power if necessary ‹ casts serious doubt on the possibility that the U.S.-British draft could be adopted in just a week. The British proposal was introduced May 22 in a resolution to extend the UN oil-for-food program, which allows Iraq to sell unlimited quantities of oil provided the money mainly goes to the purchase of food and humanitarian supplies. When the council couldn't agree on a sanctions overhaul by early June, members extended the oil-for-food program for 30 days, instead of the usual six months, to give negotiators extra time to reach agreement. Iraq, in protest, stopped UN-monitored oil exports to all but its neighbors. Diplomats said there will be a vote by July 3 ‹ at a minimum to extend the oil-for-food program. Russia, Iraq's closest ally on the council, demanded Tuesday's meeting to consider the humanitarian impact of sanctions and then used the session immediately to denounce the British proposal. London and Washington say their plan would lift most restrictions on civilian goods entering Iraq while tightening enforcement of the 1990 arms embargo and plugging up lucrative Iraqi smuggling routes. "We cannot agree to this draft resolution," Russia's UN ambassador, Sergei Lavrov, told council members, saying it would tighten rather than ease sanctions against Iraq, politicize the humanitarian program and lead to regional tensions and a "new level of danger." Lavrov then introduced a rival resolution that would suspend civilian sanctions on Iraq once UN weapons inspectors certify that a long-term program to monitor Iraq's weapons programs is fully deployed. Earlier Tuesday in Baghdad, Iraqi Vice President Taha Yassin Ramadan "praised Russia's stance in rejecting the evil British-American proposal," according to the Iraqi News Agency. Britain's UN ambassador, Jeremy Greenstock, called the Russian draft "a disturbing text" that apparently seeks to rewrite conditions for the lifting of sanctions against Iraq. "If that is the case Š then that is just not a credible approach for the council," he said. Under Security Council resolutions, sanctions cannot be lifted until UN inspectors certify that Iraq's chemical, biological and nuclear weapons programs have been dismantled. The Russian proposal would require UN inspectors, within 60 days of starting work in Iraq, to draw up a list of the key remaining disarmament tasks to be completed by Iraq so sanctions can be lifted. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ordzhonikidze told Interfax there is no alternative to the Russian proposal if the international community wants a stable settlement. http://www.baghdad.com/?action=display&article=8007869&template=baghdad/inde xsearch.txt&index=recent * POWELL: IRAQ SANCTIONS PLAN IN DOUBT The Associated Press, Fri 29 Jun 2001 PARIS (AP) ‹ Secretary of State Colin Powell voiced doubt Friday that a U.S.-British plan to overhaul sanctions on Iraq would be approved soon by the U.N. Security Council. The problem is Russia, which is holding out. ``We've had some progress over the last 24 hours with the French and the Chinese, but I'm not saying they are all aboard yet,'' Powell said. In New York, acting U.N. Ambassador James Cunningham announced that four of the five permanent council members ‹ the United States, Britain, China and France ‹ had agreed on a list of military-related items that might be exported. The list would have to be reviewed by the U.N. committee monitoring sanctions against Iraq. ``We were very encouraged'' by the support from France and China, Cunningham said, calling the list a key part of the U.S.-British plan. But Russia, Iraq's closest council ally, remains adamantly opposed to the proposal, and did not agree on the list. Russia has threatened to veto the resolution if it comes to a vote. Powell said Russia was protecting its commercial interests and was not convinced all sanctions would ultimately be removed. The secretary of state said he would speak to Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov over the weekend. Cunningham and other diplomats said they expect high-level diplomatic contacts to continue ahead of a Tuesday deadline. The Security Council scheduled another meeting on Iraq for Monday afternoon. The U.S.-British plan would lift most restrictions on civilian goods entering Iraq while plugging up lucrative Iraqi smuggling routes and tightening enforcement of an arms embargo imposed after Iraq's 1990 invasion of Kuwait. The Iraqi government vehemently opposes the plan. The proposal is incorporated in a resolution to extend the U.N. oil-for-food program, which allows Iraq to sell oil if the proceeds are spent on food, medicine and other essential goods. When agreement wasn't reached on a sanctions overhaul in early June, the program was extended until July 3. The current Security Council president, Bangladesh's U.N. Ambassador Anwarul Chowdhury, said he expects another temporary extension because of differences on the sanctions overhaul. ``I believe the bigger resolution is not possible,'' Chowdhury said. ``It is absolutely difficult.'' He explained that his assessment was based on a discussion on Iraq held by the council behind closed doors Friday afternoon. While in the Middle East, Powell lobbied Foreign Ministers Hubert Vedrine of France, Tang Jiaxuan of China and Jack Straw of Britain by telephone. As he flew from Jordan to Paris for a meeting with Crown Prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, Powell told reporters he was pleased with the success he had rallying other Security Council members to support a new sanctions policy. In Jordan, Powell said, he promised King Abdullah II that the United States would try to minimize the impact of the new sanctions. Jordan, a neighbor and key trading partner of Iraq, has voiced deep reservations about the U.S.-British proposal, worried that it would devastate its economy. In New York, Iraq's Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Riyadh Al-Qaisi reiterated Baghdad's vehement opposition to the plan during an open Security Council meeting Thursday and at a press conference on Friday. Iraq halted all oil exports, except to its neighbors, in protest. Al-Qaisi said Friday that Iraq will not resume oil exports if the Security Council approves a resolution that makes any mention of altering the current sanctions. http://hoovnews.hoovers.com/fp.asp?layout=displaynews&doc_id=NR20010630670.4 _e099000268885b48 * ALL EYES ON IRAQ Hoovers, June 30, 2001 [from: The Scotsman, June 27, 2001] OIL markets marked time yesterday as dealers speculated about what will happen to Iraq's UN-supervised oil exports now that Russia appears to have put paid to UK-US efforts to revise Gulf war sanctions. Traders were pondering how long Baghdad might persist in its self-imposed stoppage once the UN decides on the next step for the oil-for-food programme under which Iraq delivers nearly 5 per cent of world oil exports. The North Sea benchmark, Brent blend, eased back a few cents to around 27 dollars a barrel, and American light crude was off 10 cents or so, trading at around $27.15. As the UN Security Council prepared to discuss the Iraqi sanctions issue last night in New York, Russia's decision to reject a UK-US proposal aimed at revamping the 11-year-old embargo appeared to have killed off the plan. Iraq's deputy prime minister, Tareq Aziz, received a letter from the Russian foreign minister, Igor Ivanov, yesterday saying Moscow would not allow the draft resolution to pass. The same letter has also gone to fellow Security Council members and it makes plain that Moscow, with the power of veto, was threatening to kill the measures. The UN has set a deadline for a vote of 3 July. Under the proposals, the United States and Britain want to overhaul sanctions and revise the oil-for-food programme, an exception to the Gulf war embargo imposed when Iraqi invaded Kuwait in August 1990. IRAQI/MIDDLE EASTERN-ARAB WORLD RELATIONS http://www.arabicnews.com/ansub/Daily/Day/010624/2001062401.html * IRAQ TO RESUME TRAIN TRIPS TO TURKEY Arabic News, 24th June The director general of the Iraqi railways Ghassan Abdul Razzaq Mustafa said on Friday in Baghdad that Iraq will resume its railways trips to Turkey. These trips which have been suspended since 19 years will be resumed as from July 20. The Iraqi weekly al-Zawraa quoted Mustafa as saying that his country will operate on July 20 a train from Baghdad to the Turkish city of Ghazi Intab with an average of one trip weekly through the Syrian territories, noting that starting this trip comes in the course of an agreement signed recently in Baghdad between the Iraqi and Turkish railways companies. http://www.irna.com/newshtm/eng/04234327.htm Iran-Blast /POL/ * MORTAR SHELL DAMAGES STATE-OWNED BUILDING IN TEHRAN Tehran, June 25, IRNA -- A mortar shell has hit a state-owned building in northern capital earlier tonight and caused damage, witnesses told IRNA Monday. They said the mortar hit the building which fields the wealthy Mostazafan and Janbazan Foundation (entity for the poor and war disabled), located around Argentina Square. The officials IRNA contacted declined to comment on the explosion, nor did they give any word on the damage inflicted on the building. No group has yet claimed responsibility for the blast. Such mortar attacks are on certain occasions carried out by the Iraq-based terrorists, known as Mujahideen Khalq Organization (MKO). MKO's are usually dispatched from their bases in the neighboring Iraq to carry out subversive operations inside the Islamic Republic. MKO, officially outlawed in the wake of the discovery of political assassinations, bomb blasts and terrorist schemes by its members in Iran in 1979 and thereafter, have long since moved their headquarters to neighboring Iraq from where they launch sporadic attacks against the Islamic Republic while Baghdad consistently supports or connives at them. Iran last month launched dozens of missiles at MKO bases inside Iraq and threatened more attacks unless the rebels stopped military operations against Tehran. http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/200106/28/eng20010628_73703.html * EGYPT, UN DISCUSS WAYS TO SEEK RELEASE OF KUWAITI POWS People's Daily, 28th June Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Maher held talks Wednesday with a U.N. envoy on ways of seeking release of more than 600 people missing after Iraq's invasion of Kuwait in 1990. Yuli Vorontsov, UN coordinator for the return of missing Kuwaitis and nationals of third countries, described as "very hard" his mission to help release 615 Kuwaiti prisoners of war (POW) and other detainees, who are believed to be imprisoned by Iraqi forces. "My mission is simply to find those POWs and help repatriate them. It is a very hard work," said Vorontsov after talks with Maher, quoted by Egypt's state-run Middle East News Agency. He said that he has asked Maher to help contact with the Iraqi government to facilitate his mission in Iraq, as Baghdad does not recognize his mission and he thus has not been allowed to visit the country since he took the post in February 2000. The U.N. envoy has also been asking other Arab countries to help convince Baghdad to accept his mission. He has visited some Gulf countries and will soon fly to Jordan to seek support. Kuwait maintains that more than 600 of its own and other countries' nationals disappeared during the Iraqi occupation from August 1990 to February 1991, and that the POWs and those missing in action (MIA) are still being held in Iraq. Iraq said that there had been prisoners, but that it lost track of them during an uprising by Shiite Muslims in southern Iraq following the country's retreat from Kuwait. Iraq has so far submitted files on 68 of those POWs and MIAs. Meanwhile, Baghdad claims that following the Gulf War, triggered by Iraq's invasion of Kuwait, 1,037 Iraqis have disappeared and are being held in Kuwait. http://www.arabicnews.com/ansub/Daily/Day/010630/2001063031.html * AL-HARIRI RECEIVED THURSDAY IRAQ'S MINISTER OF STATE FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS Arabic News, 30th June Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq al-Hariri received Iraq's Thursday Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Naji Sabri al-Hadithi, who was on a short visit to Lebanon, INA reported today. http://hoovnews.hoovers.com/fp.asp?layout=displaynews&doc_id=NR20010630670.2 _36ab0018ace2c9b0 * JORDAN: NEW WEEKLY TABLOID PRO-IRAQI, ANTI-ISRAELI Hoover's, 30th June A new Jordanian political and cultural weekly entitled Al-Wahdah (Unity), which published its first issue on 13 June, takes a pro-Iraqi editorial line and vehemently opposes the peace process and normalization with Israel. In an unattributed article on the back page of the first issue, entitled "Al-Wahdah: From Dream to Reality," Al-Wahdah describes itself as "a pan-Arab, progressive paper committed to the constants of the nation and its crucial issues". The paper "opens its pages to esteemed writers who believe in the nation's message, unity and culture". The article contains a list of the newpaper's founders. These include, among others: the Jordanian Writers Association [JWA]; well-known opposition leader Layth Shubaylat, known for his opposition to normalization with Israel; Yaqub Zayyadin, former secretary general of the Jordanian Communist Party; lawyer Husayn Majali, former head of the Jordanian Bar Association; and Hakim al-Fayiz and Dafi al-Jam'ani, both former Ba'thists who were jailed in Syria in the early 1970s for political dissent and only released a few years ago. The paper, the report adds, was registered at the Ministry of Industry and Trade as being published by Sawt Al-Arab [The Voice of the Arabs] Press Company. Its editor in chief, Fakhri Qa'war, a short-story writer and an established columnist for Al-Dustur daily, was JWA head until his term ended last month. As the head of the JWA, he frequently lashed out at Arab writers who sought relations with Israeli counterparts. The paper consists of 16 pages in tabloid format. The masthead includes the name of the paper in black letters and a map showing the Arab countries as one bloc appears above the name. The words "a cultural, political weekly" appear in small red letters on the right-hand side of the masthead. A line of Arab poetry signifying unity is printed at the bottom of the masthead: "United We Stand, Divided We Fall." The paper lists Na'im Al-Madani, a lawyer representing the Jordanian Anti-Normalization Committee, as chairman of the Board of Directors, which is comprised of: Muhammad Hayil Malhas, Musallam Busaysu, Muhammad al-Bashir, Fakhri Qa'war; and Managing Editor Hisham Awdah. The paper says it has correspondents posted in Lebanon, Iraq, and Morocco. Al-Wahdah covers a variety of domestic, regional, and international issues, with an emphasis on developments in Iraq and the West Bank/ Gaza, in particular popular opposition to normalization with Israel and US policy towards Iraq. The majority of articles deal with the Palestinian intifadah and Arab and Jordanian writers' criticism of Israel and the US. The first issue carries several frontpage reports under the following headlines: "The Palestinian Public Rejects Security Coordination and Insists on Resistance"; "Jordanian Popular Moves Against Smart Sanctions Kick Off"; and "The Government Bans Palestinians From Entering Jordan." On page four, the managing editor interviews Layla Khalid, member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, who is known for her role in hijacking planes in the 1970s. Khalid recalls stories about hijacking operations she planned, and, asked about the intifadah, says: "The intifadah came to rectify the course and say that struggle is our option to gain freedom and independence." On page 12, an exclusive report quotes Palestinian opposition figures as saying that Palestinian-Israeli security coordination, the Mitchell report, and the Jordanian-Egyptian initiative all aim at aborting the intifadah. A cartoon shows Sharon and Peres sitting at a table eating a pie representing the map of Palestine while a smiling US waiter stands by. On Iraq, a frontpage report announces the start of "popular moves in response to the new sanctions draft resolution." Another report on page 12 cites Iraqi President Saddam Husayn's statements during a party meeting in which he rejected the smart sanctions plan. Moreover, an approximately 200-word backpage report cites an Iraqi physician on the effects of depleted uranium on Iraqi children. Although not directly stated, Al-Wahdah can be considered the mouthpiece of Jordan's Anti-Normalization Committee. The paper's pro-Iraqi and anti-US stand is manifested in its criticism of US policies towards Iraq and the Palestinian issue. http://europe.cnn.com/2001/WORLD/meast/06/30/kuwait.iraq.spies.reut/index.ht ml * KUWAIT SENTENCES IRAQI SPIES TO 10 YEARS IN PRISON CNN, June 30, 2001 KUWAIT CITY, Kuwait (Reuters) -- A Kuwaiti court on Saturday sentenced two Iraqi intelligence agents and three Arab residents to 10 years in prison for their role in an Iraqi spy ring. A Kuwaiti citizen was also sentenced to five years in prison for his role in the ring. The court also ordered the deportation of the Iraqi agents, Khaled al-Anzi and Mutcher al Anzi, and the three "bedoun" residents after completing their 10-year sentences. They were also fined 10,000 Kuwaiti dinars ($32,000) each. The term bedoun, Arabic for "without," is used in Kuwait to refer to some 100,000 stateless Arab residents. Many bedoun have applied for Kuwaiti nationality, but officials say some of them are from neighboring Arab states and have hidden their original nationalities. In May 2000, Kuwait arrested the two Iraqi spies crossing the border into Kuwait. They had confessed to being agents working for Iraq and had planned to circulate anti-government pamphlets. Kuwait at the time filed an official complaint with the United Nations. 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