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News, 1-7/7/01 (1) ŒSMART SANCTIONS¹ * Britain Changes Tactics on Iraq * U.S. still hopeful for UN Iraq sanctions deal * French President Proposes Suspending UN Vote on Modified Sanctions Against Iraq * US policy on Iraq in disarray * Iraq likes new oil, food pact * Trade deal made China back bid to revamp Iraqi sanctions [account of article in Washington Post showing the US using the UN sanctions holds mechanism as a means of bribery and arms twisting. The original article may be found in the Sydney Morning Herald at http://www.smh.com.au/news/0107/07/world/world3.html] * French stand on sanctions 'threatens Iraq deals' IRAQI/INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS * VIENNA: Rasheed to duck Vienna * US hell-bent on destroying Iraq: Envoy [Iraqi ambassador to India in public meeting of Indo-Arab League] * Baghdad flexes its oil-money muscle * Can't stay, can't be sent home [on Iraqi Kurdish refugees in Norway] IRAQI/UN RELATIONS * Damages caused by Iraq's invasion of Kuwait estimated, says Asefi [Iran trying to get its share of the compensation cake] * Two UN diplomats from Iraq defect, seek asylum in US * l9 Contracts Under Oil-for-Food Program Suspended: Iraqi Official SENT SEPARATELY IN NEWS, 1-7/7/01 (2): IRAQI/MIDDLE EAST-ARAB WORLD RELATIONS * Saudi says Iraqi soldier killed in border clash * Iraq denies Saudi border clash claim * Ayatollah Khamenei condoles on Iraqi cleric's death [suspicious death of Grand Ayatollah Bahr ul-Oloum in Najaf, Iraq] * 'Made in Syria' in Iraq [exhibition of goods manufactured in Syria] * Sanctions on Iraq stir neighbors: Turks and Kurds are anxious in advance of an expected UN decision tomorrow [poverty of Turks and Kurds in border regions blamed on sanctions] * Saudi's Iraqi refugees fast for resettlement * Syria denies smuggling Iraqi crude CAMPAIGNING * Breaking the law for love [very good account of visit of Voices activist, Frances Brodrick to Iraq] INSIDE IRAQ * Saddam orders early-marriage campaign * A new deputy for the Iraqi prime minister * US intercepts an Iraqi ship inside Iraqi territorial water WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION * Iran disclaims Iraqi allegations of her access to NBC [nuclear, biological, chemical] weapons * The Iraqi threat [what if he gets a nuke?] * Kuwait minister goes to Egypt for air defence deal * Biological Warfare: The Next U.S.-Europe Split? [how the US may veto international inspections on biological weapons because it might interfere with, um, the freedom of research] NEW WORLD ORDER * Iran alerts navy to face US attack [after US court ruling that Iran liable to pay compensation to victim of Lebanese Hezbollah kidnapping] * Gallipoli's lesson for America's war hawks [Extract. Surprising little piece reminding us that should the US back an INC invasion it might be resisted by patriotic Iraqis as the Gallipoli landing was resisted by idealistic Turks and, yes, the intervention in Vietnam was resisted by idealistic Vietnamese] * Top cleric [Rafsanjani - remember him?] urges anti-U.S. suits in Iran courts URLs ONLY: http://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/0,,8-2001230090,00.html * Q&A on Iraqi sanctions The Times, 3rd July [general information piece. Nothing we don¹t know but refers to sanctions Œleading to ... hundreds [sic] of children dying of curable disease¹] http://www.timesofindia.com/030701/03inte3.htm * Jordan plans to hike fuel prices Times of India, 3rd July Article says: ŒJordan imports all its daily requirement of 90,000 barrels of crude and fuel oil from Iraq at preferential prices. The deal is exempt from U.N. sanctions imposed on Baghdad following its August 1990 invasion of Kuwait.¹ Elsewhere this arrangement is sometimes described as illegal smuggling.¹ http://www.petroleumworld.com/story4316.htm * US May have to ease Iraq oil-smuggling fight-analysts by Campion Walsh, Dow Jones Newswires,WASHINGTON (Dow Jones) PETROLEUMWORLD, Caracas, July 3 A surprisingly uninteresting whip round the think tanks http://www.dawn.com/2001/07/03/op.htm#4 * Vietnam and war crimes by Omar Kureishi Dawn, 03 July 2001, 10 Rabi-us-Saani 1422 On Christopher Hitchens¹ book on Henry Kissinger. Talks about his Œlonely impounity¹ from accusations of war crimes, but I would have thought he had a lot of company - Bush, Clinton, Albright, Nixon, Schwarzkopf ... http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A23059-2001Jul5.html * U.S. Loses Clout In Arab World by Howard Schneider Washington Post , 6th July http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/07/010706081613.htm * Destruction In Mesopotamia: Ancient Mysteries Fall Prey To Looters In Iraq, Science Feature Reveals Science Daily, posted 6th July (Source: American Association For The Advancement Of Science (http://www.aaas.org/) Material we¹ve seen before, but it does refer to Œlaws in the United States and the United Kingdom continue to bar archeologists in those countries from entering Iraq.¹ http://www.cbsnews.com/now/story/0,1597,191049-412,00.shtml * The First Casualty (Michael Scott Speicher) CBS, 6th July Again, we seem to have had this one before, on possibility that one of the very few US casualties in the Gulf War might still be alive. ŒSMART SANCTIONS¹ http://www.lasvegassun.com/sunbin/stories/w-me/2001/jul/02/070204222.html * BRITAIN CHANGES TACTICS ON IRAQ Las Vegas Sun, 2nd July UNITED NATIONS (AP) - Britain indefinitely postponed a Security Council vote on a U.S. backed plan to overhaul sanctions against Iraq on Monday, buying time to persuade Russia to support the proposal. Instead, the British introduced a new resolution late Monday to extend the U.N. humanitarian program for Iraq for five months, but it immediately ran into trouble with the Russians. The current phase expires at midnight Tuesday. Iraq, which halted its U.N.-monitored oil exports on June 4 to protest the British resolution, announced Monday it would resume shipments if the humanitarian program is extended without any mention of the proposed sanctions overhaul. But the British draft resolution to extend the oil-for-food program expresses determination to agree to principles adopted by the council on June 1 "at the earliest opportunity." Although the draft doesn't spell out the principles, those adopted June 1 are the guts of the British sanctions overhaul - lifting most restrictions on civilian goods entering Iraq, plugging up lucrative Iraqi smuggling routes and tightening enforcement of an 11-year-old arms embargo. Western diplomats said this reference could spark debate when the 15-member council meets Tuesday to vote on the extension of oil-for-food. Russia's U.N. Ambassador Sergey Lavrov signaled trouble ahead, saying: "We agreed to a neutral text. This is not a neutral text." Britain's U.N. Ambassador Jeremy Greenstock stressed that the British intend to keep working for consensus on their overhaul plan, citing an agreement last week with France and China on a list of goods with potential military use that would need to be reviewed by the committee monitoring sanctions against Iraq. "I'm saying that our draft resolution remains broadly supported in the council and very much alive," Greenstock said, calling Russia's opposition to the sanctions overhaul "unjustifiable and negative and national." Noting that there has been "a good deal of success in these last 30 days," U.S. State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said the United States will support an extension of the oil-for-food resolution in order to continue work on "getting Russia on board." The British plan to overhaul sanctions was incorporated in a resolution to extend the oil-for food humanitarian program. When agreement wasn't reached on a sanctions overhaul in early June, the program was extended until July 3. Britain and the United States spent several months this year crafting a new policy toward Iraq aimed at restoring flagging international support for sanctions imposed on Saddam Hussein's government after its 1990 invasion of Kuwait. The Iraqi government launched a vigorous campaign against the U.S.-backed British plan, which was introduced on May 22. Baghdad won support from Russia, its closest council ally, which threatened to veto the resolution if it was put to a vote. U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, the key U.S. architect of the sanctions overhaul lobbied Moscow to try to win its support, but said last week that Russia was protecting its commercial interests and was not convinced all sanctions on Iraq would ultimately be removed. In an indication of that pressure, acting Iraqi Foreign Minister Tariq Aziz urged Russian parliamentarians in Baghdad Monday to ignore sanctions, a move that would allow Moscow to receive dlrs 9 billion in debt owed by Baghdad and win billions of dollars in new trade, Russia's Itar-Tass news agency reported. Last week, Russia introduced a rival resolution aimed at speeding an end to Iraqi sanctions. It would suspend sanctions on civilian goods once U.N. weapons inspectors certify that a long-term program to monitor Iraq's weapons programs is fully deployed. Russia's Lavrov said Moscow still wants "a comprehensive solution of the Iraqi issue" and the Russian draft remains on the table, too. Under Security Council resolutions, sanctions cannot be lifted until U.N. inspectors certify that Iraq has dismantled its weapons of mass destruction and the missiles to deliver them. Weapons inspectors left Iraq ahead of U.S.-British airstrikes in December 1998, and Baghdad has since barred them from returning. http://www.gulf-news.com/Articles/news.asp?ArticleID=21229 * U.S. STILL HOPEFUL FOR UN IRAQ SANCTIONS DEAL Kuwait, Reuters, 2nd July The United States said yesterday it was still working for UN Security Council consensus over revamping sanctions against Iraq despite Russia's objection to a U.S.-British plan. Assistant Secretary of State William Burns, the new U.S. Middle East envoy, told a news conference in Kuwait that Washington was trying to reach an accord by tomorrow's deadline for a vote on the UN oil-for-food programme. "Obviously, we have a great deal of work to do and have been working hard in the Security Council to try and arrive at a resolution...We have run into some questions, concerns, objections by the Russians which we are still working on," he said. "...You now have amongst the (five permanent Security Council members), I think, the emergence of a real consensus with regard to the list of items to be controlled...and a clear common understanding on other elements...to put this resolution into effect," said Burns, who is on a tour of Gulf Arab states. Iraq, rejecting the proposed new terms, stopped its oil exports under the UN's oil-for-food programme when it was renewed in June for one month instead of the usual six months. At issue is a Security Council resolution that seeks to ease restrictions on civilian goods, retain bans on military hardware and review a list of "dual use" supplies that can be used for both military and civilian purposes. Russia has told the Security Council it would reject the resolution if it was put to the vote. Instead it made its own proposals for gradually lifting sanctions imposed when Baghdad invaded Kuwait in 1990. "There are still some questions that need to be resolved. So with regard to the question on what might happen on July 3, what other options there might be, we are continuing to build on that progress. We just have to see," Burns said. "We are going to continue to make every effort between now and July 3 to put together a workable resolution," he said. He refused to say if Washington would accept a compromise to renew the oil-for-food deal for three months. Washington "is committed to moving to end (Iraq) sanctions on civilian trade and to focus on effective weapons control issue," in addition to the continued payment of compensation "for the severe damage Iraq caused to Kuwait and to many other countries", Burns added. Kuwait, deeply concerned with proposals to cut the amount of money Iraq pays in compensation, has been holding close contacts with the five permanent members of the Security Council - China, Russia, the United States, France and Britain. The deadline for a vote is tomorrow, but delegates at the UN do not expect agreement until the last minute. They could extend or "rollover" the current programme or change parts of it. This allows Iraq to sell oil to buy a wide variety of goods under UN supervision. The revenues go into a UN account, out of which claims against Iraq worth billions of dollars are paid. http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/200107/03/eng20010703_74099.html * FRENCH PRESIDENT PROPOSES SUSPENDING UN VOTE ON MODIFIED SANCTIONS AGAINST IRAQ People's Daily, 3rd July Visiting French President Jacques Chirac suggested here on Tuesday the UN Security Council put off a vote on an Anglo-American proposal to modify international sanctions against Iraq previously scheduled on Tuesday. Chirac made the suggestion in an interview with a popular Moscow radio after Britain and the US dropped the plan in the face of Russia's threat to veto the plan. "If we could not agree on a single text it was better to put off a final decision for a time. And I believe that is what will happen in the end," Chirac told the independent Ekho Moskvy radio on the last day of his three-day visit here. Russia opposed the proposal on the ground that it offered no time-frame for the lift of the sanctions, which were imposed on Iraq after its 1990 invasion into Kuwait. The plan had called for the introduction of "smart sanctions", under which the U.N. oil-for food program would be modified to allow Iraq import civilian goods more easily, while making it harder for the country to obtain military supplies. Russia had proposed an alternative under which the sanctions could be suspended if Iraq agreed to allow a resumption of UN supervision to ensure it had no weapons of mass destruction. Noting the difference between Moscow and the West, Chirac said he, however, shared Russia's concern on easing Iraq's sufferings and "on ultimately lifting sanctions." "President Putin and I share a position that it is vital to open Iraq's borders to the world and ease the sufferings of its people," he said. http://www.dawn.com/2001/07/03/int11.htm * US POLICY ON IRAQ IN DISARRAY by Robin Wright Dawn [probably from The Los Angles Times], 3rd July WASHINGTON: Four months after promising a bold new strategy on Iraq, the Bush administration is instead watching its first foreign-policy initiative fall into disarray. At the United Nations, a last-minute scramble by the United States and Britain to win passage of a resolution opening the way for the two-pronged strategy appears deadlocked. The resolution would provide the legal framework for easing the world's toughest economic sanctions - and the suffering of the Iraqi people - while tightening the arms embargo on Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. The current sanctions policy, which allows Iraq to use oil revenue to buy humanitarian goods under UN supervision, expires on Tuesday. It is now likely to be renewed for another month or two while the debate rages on. But even if the resolution does win passage, key Mideast governments once receptive to a revised policy are now either wary of the US formula or no longer keen to help make it work. Some who have been trading for cheap oil in violation of the sanctions can't afford to end such operations. Compliance would cost economically strapped Jordan, for example, at least one billion dollars a year, Arab envoys said. As a result, cutting off the world's largest and most lucrative oil-smuggling operation via four neighbouring states looks increasingly difficult. Smuggling provides Hussein with billions in illegal income annually, his only significant source of independent funds not channelled through the United Nations. "Without major incentives, Jordan, Syria, Iran and Turkey are unlikely to agree," concludes a new report sponsored by the Council on Foreign Relations. The bottom line is that the new strategy, which would allow trade of many civilian goods, might alleviate suffering among the Iraqi people, the issue that led Washington to succumb to international pressure and propose an overhaul of a decade-old policy. But the new policy would be as vulnerable to failure as the previous strategy in keeping a disparate array of countries on board, according to Mideast officials, European diplomats, US analysts and former UN weapons inspectors. Part of the problem is that much of the world is almost as weary as Iraq is of the punitive approach, which affects foreign investors, Baghdad's creditors and energy markets as well as Iraq's 22 million people. "The new policy will be highly vulnerable to several factors, many beyond US control. They include new factors like backlash from the Arab streets for US support of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon," said Judith Yaphe, a former intelligence analyst now at National Defence University in Washington. "They include ingrained practices that will make it almost impossible to cut off all Iraq's oil smuggling. "But they also include a world that simply doesn't care as much as we do and is anxious to do business with Baghdad again. It's going to be very hard to get cooperation from enough of the players to make a new policy work." The new strategy is most vulnerable on the issue of eliminating Iraq's deadliest weapons. Since 1991, the pre-eminent UN goal has been to ensure that Iraq does not again threaten stability in the oil-rich region. The mandate of the new inspection regime, approved by the UN Security Council in December 1999, has changed in subtle ways that may make it virtually impossible to ensure that all of Iraq's nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and long-range missiles are destroyed, US analysts and former inspectors warned. The original inspectors were charged with certifying that all the deadliest arms were found and eliminated. And they had UN carte blanche to do it, backed by the threat of military retaliation if Iraq didn't comply. Their mission was aborted, however, when they were withdrawn before the US-led Operation Desert Fox airstrikes in 1998. The strikes were launched in response to Hussein's obstruction of weapons inspectors, and Iraq never let them return. The new team, in contrast, must only certify that it is unable to find anything more. The inspectors are unlikely to comb the countryside or reconstruct what Baghdad acquired to determine everything it produced - meticulous detective work that depends as much on documents as war material, former inspectors and US analysts said. Under the previous rules of engagement, Iraq had to prove its innocence - by revealing all it had built or acquired and then completely destroying all arms and production facilities. Under the new system, the weapons inspectors have to prove that Iraq is still guilty. If they are unable to find anything in the places they look, then Baghdad may be given a clean bill of health. The United States will have little recourse and less input this time around. The new team, which reconfigured its membership to counter complaints of US domination, "contains" America's role by giving top jobs to inspectors from France, Russia and China. Those nations have been the most active in promoting an end to sanctions, former inspectors said. "The inspections are designed to be kinder, gentler and more transparent - to Iraq," said Charles Duelfer, a former assistant UN secretary-general and the longest-serving former US weapons inspector in Iraq. The bottom line is that getting a weapons team into Iraq may actually prove more of a danger under new rules that don't encourage the grinding, yearslong process of unravelling weapons production from beginning to end. "Within the constraints that the international community is now working, it will basically be impossible to disarm Saddam - short of occupying the country, which isn't viable either," Duelfer said. http://www.washtimes.com/business/nobyline-200176204350.htm * IRAQ LIKES NEW OIL, FOOD PACT Washington Times, 6th July NEW YORK (AP) ‹ Iraq will resume oil exports after a month-long halt and has accepted the terms of a new Security Council resolution extending the U.N. oil-for-food program, Iraq's U.N. ambassador said yesterday. But hours after Mohammed Douri said that "everything will be normalized," Iraq had still not signed off on a memorandum of understanding extending the humanitarian food program for an additional five months. Mr. Douri said the delay was due to some problems with the wording being worked out between Iraqi diplomats and the U.N. legal affairs department. U.N. officials downplayed the technical differences, saying they wanted to get Iraq's agreement as soon as possible. The sides were expected to complete the work by the end of yesterday. Iraq halted exports on June 4 to protest a U.S.-British proposal to overhaul economic sanctions imposed on the oil-rich nation after it invaded Kuwait in 1990. Mr. Douri indicated earlier Iraq would shortly restore its oil exports to a normal level of about 2 million barrels a day. According to U.N. estimates, the oil-for-food program has lost $1.3 billion in the four weeks Iraq stopped its oil sales. Facing a veto by Russia ‹ Iraq's key ally on the Security Council ‹Britain and the United States dropped their sanctions proposal on Tuesday and instead supported a simple extension of the oil-for-food program, something Baghdad had demanded before it would restart its oil exports. Created in 1996 as an exemption to sanctions against Iraq, the program allows Iraq to export unlimited amounts of oil to purchase food, medicine and other essentials and pay war reparations. It was not clear Tuesday whether Iraq would accept the new extension because that resolution had contained a mild reference to the U.S.-British proposal. In Baghdad, the Iraqi leadership has remained silent on the oil-for-food program extension and has not given an indication of when exports might resume. Immediately after the vote, Mr. Douri said Iraq needed time to study the resolution before making a decision. Washington and London said they would use the next five months to press for Russian support of their sanctions plan, which aims to ease the flow of civilian goods while tightening an 11-year-old arms embargo and plugging up oil-smuggling routes. But Moscow ‹ which is owed billions of dollars by Iraq ‹ has its own rival resolution aimed at hastening an end to sanctions by calling for a long-term monitoring program rather than intrusive inspections of Iraq's weapons program. Under Security Council resolutions however, sanctions cannot be lifted until U.N. inspectors certify that Iraq has dismantled its weapons of mass destruction and long-range missiles. Weapons inspectors left Iraq ahead of U.S.-British air strikes in December 1998 and Baghdad has barred their return. The Iraqi government maintains that it has eliminated its weapons programs and has demanded the immediate lifting of sanctions. http://www.dailystarnews.com/200107/07/n1070705.htm#BODY7 * TRADE DEAL MADE CHINA BACK BID TO REVAMP IRAQI SANCTIONS Daily Star, Bangla Desh, 7th July AFP, Washington: The United States unfroze more than 80 million dollars' worth of Chinese business deals with Iraq in June, as it sought Beijing's support in the UN Security Council to reform Iraqi sanctions, The Washington Post said Friday. The resolution failed because of a Russian veto threat, but China was persuaded to back a key element in the US-British effort to revamp the 10-year-old sanctions -- a list of dual purpose (military and civilian) items that Iraq could import with the council's approval, said the daily quoting diplomats and UN documents. In the days leading up to the June 29 announcement by Washington and Beijing that they had reached agreement with Britain and France on a list of items, the United Sates unfroze more than 80 million dollars of contracts China had with Iraq chiefly in the telecommunications and oil sectors, the daily said. US officials denied that they were buying China's support, but acknowledged that by relaxing the holds on contracts -- the US has frozen some three billion dollars in contracts between Iraq and several nations -- was aimed at winning broad backing for an Iraqi sanctions overhaul. "There wasn't quid pro quo," an unidentified senior US official told the daily. "But we wanted to demonstrate not just to China, but to other members of the Security Council, that the new system we are proposing would involve a real change of behavior." Although the details of commercial dealings through the United Nation's oil-for-food program for Iraq are kept confidential, the daily obtained internal UN records that describe the deals unfrozen by the United States. They include two Iraqi contracts with Chinese firms to buy close to 15 million dollars of microwave radio equipment, 15.5 million dollars of telecommunications equipment, and 28 million dollars of mobile telephone equipment. http://www.gulf-news.com/Articles/news.asp?ArticleID=21614 * FRENCH STAND ON SANCTIONS 'THREATENS IRAQ DEALS' Baghdad, Reuters, 7th July An Iraqi newspaper yesterday criticised France for backing a U.S.-British plan to revamp 11-year-old sanctions against Iraq, saying such a stand could jeopardise investment by French oil companies in Iraq. "France's losses on the political and economic levels will be much more than Iraq's losses," Al Thawra, the ruling Ba'th Party newspaper, said in a front page editorial. The paper was referring to privileges granted to French companies to invest in Iraq's oil sector. "We were watching closely France's role in drafting basic ideas of the 'smart sanctions' plan...but we have tried to maintain a dialogue with (France)," Al Thawra said. "We also tried to establish objective and balanced relations (with France) while keeping in mind its hypocrisy and perfidious stances," the paper said. France backed the Anglo American proposal on the condition that it still be allowed to invest in Iraq's oil industry. French company TotalFinaElf enjoys exclusive negotiating rights for the huge Majnoon and Bin Umar oilfields in southern Iraq and has been close to signing deals for some time. Baghdad has said it would favour Russian firms doing business in the country in return for Russia's opposition to the introduction of a new "smart sanctions" on Iraq. The UN Security Council voted unanimously on Tuesday for a routine five-month extension of Iraq's oil-for food sales after the United States and Britain called off, for now, efforts to overhaul the sanctions regime. [.....] IRAQI/INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS http://184.108.40.206/feeds/worldoil/new/article_e.asp?energy24=238098 * VIENNA: Rasheed to duck Vienna Energy 24, 2nd July Reuters: Iraqi Oil Minister Amir Muhammad Rasheed will not head his country's delegation to Tuesday's OPEC meeting in Vienna, OPEC Secretary-General Ali Rodriguez has announced. Rodriguez was unable to say who will lead the Iraqi delegation in Rasheed's place. OPEC-member Iraq is not included in current cartel quotas. Its exports are administered by the United Nations but Baghdad has halted them in a dispute with the international body over the terms of sanctions. http://www.timesofindia.com/030701/03mhyd8.htm * US HELL-BENT ON DESTROYING IRAQ: ENVOY The Times of India, 3rd July HYDERABAD: Reiterating their resolve to fight `new colonialism' being perpetrated by the United States, Iraq's Ambassador to India Salah Al-Muqta alleged that America was attempting to dismantle Iraqi economy. "The US is trying to prevent Iraq from buying modern technological equipment like computers, steel and even medicines from other countries. The US is not taking such steps out of fear, but it wants to dismantle Iraq into smaller and tiny states," Al-Muqta said. The Iraqi ambassador, who was in the city in connection with a public meeting organised by the Indo-Arab League, told reporters here on Monday that over 300 Iraqis were dying every day due to shortage of medicine, while the attacks on all modern institutions were still continuing. "But we have learnt to struggle for our survival from the past 11 years since the embargo has been imposed on us," he averred. Though Iraq has expressed its willingness to participate in a dialogue with the US, the latter pressurised the UN secretary-general to stop discussions, he said adding Iraq was prepared to fight the US moves both on the political and military fronts. He alleged that the implementation of sanctions imposed by the US have crossed their limits in violation of the relevant resolutions passed by the United Nations. The US was aiming to topple the leadership of a sovereign nation like Iraq and as part of the practical plan towards this end, it had sanctioned $97 million funds to divisive elements in Iraq to perpetrate terrorism.. In this context, Al-Muqta praised India, which vehemently rejected any embargo on Iraq including the smart sanctions proposed by the US. He expressed confidence that India would continue to extend the same cooperation towards Iraq in the future too. Palestine Ambassador to India Khalid Shaik, who was also present, said the Palestinians were in favour of the UN's call for a peaceful settlement to the West Asia imbroglio. The Palestine issue could be resolved only through negotiations, he added. However, Palestinians should be guaranteed that Israel would stop its aggression into their territories and abide by the resolutions passed by international community for peace in West Asia. "The negotiations should not be a one-sided affair and we are not prepared to compromise on our legitimate rights for a homeland," he said. He appealed to the international community, including India, to encourage Israel to implement the Mitchell committee resolutions and pave way for the resolution of the Palestine issue. http://www.iht.com/articles/24965.html * BAGHDAD FLEXES ITS OIL-MONEY MUSCLE by Colum Lynch International Herald Tribune (Washington Post Service), 4th July UNITED NATIONS, New York: For more than four years, France has been the world's largest beneficiary of trade with Iraq through a United Nations-sponsored humanitarian aid program, signing sales deals for more than $3 billion on Peugeot minibuses, Renault garbage trucks, Alcatel communications equipment and other products. But in the last year, France's privileged status has begun to fade. Irritated by Paris's opposition to illegal surcharges on oil exports and France's training of UN weapons inspectors, Iraq has nearly halved trade with its most important European supplier. The change illustrates how Baghdad uses its buying power to reward allies and to punish opponents, complicating efforts by the United States to isolate Saddam Hussein's government and to prevent him from rebuilding his military or developing weapons of mass destruction. On Monday, the Bush administration was forced to concede defeat, at least temporarily, on one of Secretary of State Colin Powell's chief foreign policy initiatives: an effort to win approval in the 15-member UN Security Council for an overhaul of the 10-year old economic sanctions against Iraq. A principal factor in the U.S. defeat was Iraq's financial muscle. It has been growing along with Baghdad's oil revenue, which surged to $18 billion last year, from $4 billion in 1997. Moreover, analysts say Iraq has undertaken a broad shift in its trade policy, channeling ever more trade to its neighbors and making it harder for Washington to obtain their support. In the last six months of 2000, according to confidential UN records, Egypt signed contracts with Iraq for more than $740 million, making it Baghdad's No. 1 trading partner. Close behind is the United Arab Emirates, with $703 million in business. Syria, meanwhile, buys as much as $1 billion in oil from Iraq each year. The Iraqi government has used this leverage to try to block the Bush administration's plan and, gradually, to erode the sanctions imposed after Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990. To punish France, apparently for backing some aspects of U.S. policy, Baghdad cut its imports of French goods to $310 million in the second half of 2000, down from $616 million in the first six months of last year, according to UN records. Baghdad has also threatened retaliation against its neighbors, including Turkey and Jordan, if they go along with a U.S.-British proposal to tighten border controls and halt Iraqi smuggling. "Politics is about interests," said Iraq's chief delegate to the United Nations, Mohammed Douri. "Politics is not about morals. If the French and others will take a positive position in the Security Council, certainly they will get a benefit. This is the Iraqi policy." The pressure is having an impact. Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov of Russia warned last week that Moscow would veto the U.S. backed sanctions resolution because it threatened Russia's commercial relations with Baghdad. Iraq owes Russia about $8 billion, largely for past arms deals, and Russian companies are major intermediaries in Iraq's oil trade. President Bashar Assad of Syria told Secretary-General Kofi Annan at a June 14 meeting that he would not allow UN inspectors into his country to enforce the U.S.-British plan. Jordan's prime minister, Ali Abu Ragheb, sent Mr. Annan a letter warning that cooperation by Jordan "might very well threaten its social, economic and political stability." Even some of Washington's most stalwart allies have been swayed by the prospect of gaining a foothold in Iraq's expanding oil economy. The Netherlands, whose exports to Iraq dropped after it backed a U.S. plan for weapons inspectors in 1998, has been pressing the 15-member Security Council to lift a ban on foreign investment in Iraq's oil sector. Diplomats said the Netherlands, like many other countries, was eager to obtain commercial contracts for its own companies, including the powerful Royal Dutch/Shell Group. "Iraq is using money and oil as a weapon against the international community," said James Cunningham, the acting U.S. chief delegate to the United Nations. The UN Security Council first voted in December 1996 to allow Iraq to sell oil to purchase food, medicine and other humanitarian goods. Gradually, all limits have been removed on the amount of oil that Iraq can sell through the "oil-for-food" program, but the revenue must go into a UN escrow account, and Iraqi purchases are carefully reviewed by a Security Council committee. Under the U.S.-British proposal, the Security Council would, in effect, end restrictions on imports for civilians. But it would establish a series of highly targeted, or "smart," sanctions to prevent Iraq from smuggling oil through neighboring countries, evading UN scrutiny and using the profits to buy military supplies. Some analysts contend that the Bush administration miscalculated the degree of opposition to this plan. http://rigg.aftenposten.no/english/local/d220131.htm * CAN'T STAY, CAN'T BE SENT HOME Aftenposten [?], 4th July More than 2,000 Iraqi Kurds are living a limbo existence in Norway. Their temporary residence permits are running out and they should be deported, but the authorities will not force them to go home. The immigration office decided earlier this year not to extend the temporary permits issued to Kurds from northern Iraq. But even if they are denied permission to reside in Norway, the special status of their homeland means they will not be deported. "There is no practical possibility of sending people back to northern Iraq," said head of information at the immigration office Frode Forfang. He says political obstacles prevent them from sending Kurds home via Baghdad. It is understand Kurdish refugees go in and out of Iraq via so-called "unauthorised border crossings" from Turkey and Syria, but Norway will not use these routes to send expelled Kurds home with a police escort. Asylum seekers from the southern half of Iraq are generally granted residence in Norway on humanitarian grounds. This used to be the case with seekers from the north, until the immigration office switched its policy in the winter of last year. Iraqi Kurds were from then offered one year's temporary residence, but denied the right to be joined by other family members. A little more than 2,000 Kurds took up the offer during the course of last year, the majority of them younger men now living in immigration centres. Most have already lost or stand to lose the right to reside in Norway. Nevertheless they will probably remain here. However, they will probably be denied work permits and the right study, and in principle will not be eligible for welfare benefits. They will be able to live in designated accommodation for asylum seekers and will be given enough money to cover necessary expenses. The authorities hope such an unsatisfactory existence as well as an incentive payment of NOK 15,000 if they leave and a free ticket home will encourage many of them to quit the country voluntarily. IRAQI/UN RELATIONS http://www.irna.com/newshtm/eng/11180334.htmthr 061 * DAMAGES CAUSED BY IRAQ'S INVASION OF KUWAIT ESTIMATED, SAYS ASEFI Tehran, July 2, IRNA -- Iran's Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hamid-Reza Asefi said here Monday some 43,000 Iranians had been compensated for losses incurred as a result of Iraq's 1990 invasion of Kuwait. The amount was made available from the U.S. dlrs 176 million received from U.N. Compensation Commission as part of its personal claims compensation scheme, he said. Speaking at a press conference, Asefi said an office set up in 1999 on President Khatami's order was evaluating damages to Iran as a result of Iraq's 1990 invasion of Kuwait. The office was working in close cooperation with U.N. Compensation Commission, he said. Asefi noted that the office had registered Iran's claims under two categories of the Commission, namely 'real entities,' and 'state losses'. The U.N. has allocated some U.S. dlrs 19 million to Iran and requested it to estimate its total state losses in the Persian Gulf War, said Asefi. Analyses conducted by experts on developments in the Persian Gulf show that Iraq's invasion of Kuwait has caused millions of dollars in material losses to Iran's industrial, oil, and shipping facilities, the environment and water desalination equipment. http://www.boston.com/dailyglobe2/185/nation/Two_UN_diplomats_from_Iraq_defe ct_seek_asylum_in_US+.shtml * TWO UN DIPLOMATS FROM IRAQ DEFECT, SEEK ASYLUM IN US by Dafna Linzer, Associated Press Boston Globe, 4th July UNITED NATIONS - Two senior Iraqi diplomats at the United Nations have requested asylum in the United States for themselves and their families, diplomatic and police sources said yesterday. Police sources said Mohammed Humaimidi, Iraq's deputy ambassador to the United Nations, walked into a police station alone Friday, identified himself, and requested political asylum. Senior diplomatic sources said Fela Hesan Rubaie, a senior counselor and fourth in rank at the mission, had also made an asylum request. The diplomatic and police sources all spoke on condition of anonymity. The Iraqi diplomats were two of three or four diplomats at the Iraqi mission who were scheduled to return to Iraq this month, according to diplomats. Rubaie disappeared somewhere in New York two weeks ago, after he and his family failed to show up for a flight out of the United States, diplomats said. Calls to his New York City home went unanswered yesterday. The doorman at the luxury Manhattan apartment building where Rubaie lived said the family moved out two weeks ago. The apartment lease, which expires at the end of the month, is paid by the Iraqi mission, according to the doorman, who declined to give his name. As senior diplomats, both men would have detailed knowledge of Saddam Hussein's foreign policy objectives. Another diplomat said as many as three Iraqis apparently made asylum requests. But a police source could confirm only one. Iraq's ambassador to the United Nations, Mohammed Douri, said three or four career diplomats were supposed to return to Iraq but he did not know whether they had. Douri said he had seen one of the diplomats last week and another this week. ''If someone wants to stay, what can we do?'' he said. Douri would not directly confirm or deny whether anyone in the mission had defected. There was no official confirmation from US authorities. Previous defections by Iraqi government officials have caused considerable embarrassment to Baghdad. An Iraqi nuclear physicist defected to the United States in 1994. A year later, Saddam Hussein's sons-in-law defected from Iraq to Jordan. The brothers were debriefed by Western intelligence officials and reportedly disclosed secrets of Iraq's military and weapons programs. However, they failed to gain the trust of Iraqi exiles and returned to Baghdad six months later with their families. They were killed shortly after their arrival. During the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, the weightlifter who carried the Iraqi flag in the opening ceremony sneaked out of the Olympic village, hopped into a waiting car, and sped off to begin a new life in the United States. [.....] http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/200107/04/eng20010704_74134.html * L9 CONTRACTS UNDER OIL-FOR-FOOD PROGRAM SUSPENDED: IRAQI OFFICIAL People's Daily, 4th July A senior Iraqi trade official has said that 19 contracts signed between Iraq and foreign enterprises under the UN-Iraq oil-for-food program were suspended by the United States and Britain. US and British representatives at the UN Sanctions Commission 661 suspended the contracts that had been signed in line with financial allocations of the oil-for-food deal, the INA news agency quoted the official as saying on Tuesday. The contracts involve power equipment, trucks, water treatment units, air compressors, diesel generators, digging machines, and medicine and other necessities, according to the official. [.....] -- ----------------------------------------------------------------------- This is a discussion list run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq For removal from list, email email@example.com Full details of CASI's various lists can be found on the CASI website: http://www.casi.org.uk