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News, 1-7/7/02 (2)

News, 1-7/7/02 (2)


*  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


*  Breaking the law for love [very good account of visit of Voices activist,
Frances Brodrick to Iraq]


*  Saddam orders early-marriage campaign
*  A new deputy for the Iraqi prime minister
*  US intercepts an Iraqi ship inside Iraqi territorial water


*  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]


*  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


Riyadh, Reuters, 1st July

Saudi Arabia said yesterday its border guards killed an Iraqi soldier last
week during clashes with an Iraqi patrol which infiltrated the kingdom.
Foreign Ministry official Prince Turki bin Mohammed told Reuters the Iraqi
troops had penetrated 400 metres into northeastern Saudi Arabia last Sunday.
He said the Iraqi soldiers shot at a border outpost, drawing retaliatory

"An Iraqi soldier was seriously wounded in the shootout and was taken to
hospital by the Saudi guards as he was left behind by his colleagues," he
added. The soldier, named as Takei Abdel Amir Hussein, died on Monday and
Saudi Arabia asked the International Committee of the Red Cross to take his
corpse back to Iraq, the Foreign Ministry official said. There was no
independent confirmation of the incident but Saudi Arabia has often accused
Iraq of staging cross-border raids, warning its neighbour that its actions
could have "grave consequences".

Last month, the kingdom told the United Nations Iraqi troops had entered its
territory or fired at border outposts from the Iraqi side at least 11 times.
It also said that an Iraqi soldier was killed in such an attack on May 23.

Tension has flared periodically between Riyadh and Baghdad since Iraq's 1990
invasion of Kuwait and the ensuing Gulf War. The United States based troops
in Saudi Arabia after the war but withdrew them after a 1996 bombing in the
Saudi town of Khobar killed 19 U.S. servicemen.

Baghdad, Reuters, 4th July

Iraq dismissed as lies yesterday a statement by Saudi Arabia that its border
guards had killed an Iraqi soldier last week during a clash with an Iraqi
patrol which infiltrated the kingdom. "Once again the Saudi regime unleashes
lies and allegations to mislead public opinion and confuse cards," a Foreign
Ministry spokesman said in a statement carried by the state INA news agency.

Saudi Foreign Ministry official Prince Turki bin Mohammed told Reuters on
Saturday Iraqi troops had penetrated 400 metres into northern Saudi Arabia
last Sunday. "An Iraqi soldier was seriously wounded in the shootout and was
taken to hospital by the Saudi guards (after being) left behind by his
colleagues," he added.

The soldier died on Monday, the Foreign Ministry official said, and Saudi
Arabia asked the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to take the
body back to Iraq. "What the official said was untrue. There is no evidence
on infiltration of Iraqi troops into Saudi territory," the Iraqi spokesman

He said the soldier, Takei Abdel Amir Hussein, had suffered a minor leg
wound when Saudi border guards opened fire on him while he was walking with
a colleague near the border outpost. "The Saudi troops moved the soldier
inside the Saudi territory and then announced his death despite the fact
that his injury was mild," the spokesman said.

He said the Saudis did not inform the ICRC of his condition or save his
life. The spokesman said Saudi Arabia was trying to give the false
impression that there was a state of tension on the Iraqi-Saudi borders to
facilitate the implementation of a British-drafted "smart sanctions" plan.

Faced with a Russian veto, Britain and the United States on Monday shelved a
plan to revamp sanctions against Iraq and instead decided to extend the
current UN humanitarian programme without change.

The U.S.-British proposals seek to ease restriction 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.

Last month, the kingdom told the UN that Iraqi troops had entered its
territory or fired at border outposts from the Iraqi side at least 11 times.
It added that an Iraqi soldier had been killed in such an attack on May 23.

Tension has flared periodically between Riyadh and Baghdad since Iraq's 1990
invasion of Kuwait and the ensuing Gulf War.


Tehran, July 1, IRNA [Iranian news agency]: Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah
Ali Khamenei on Sunday extended his grief on the sad demise of top Iraqi
Shi'ite Muslim cleric Ayatollah Hussein Bahr ul-Oloum who died last month
under "mysterious circumstances."

"The mysterious death of the senior cleric Ayatollah Bahr l-Oloum made me
sad," Ayatollah Khamenei said in a message.

"The residence of this senior Shi'ite cleric had over the past years been
under attack by Iraqi security forces in Najaf and many other top clerics
(being taught by him) have been arrested or probably martyred," he said.

Grand Ayatollah Bahr ul-Oloum, a 75-year-old scholar, died in his home city
of Najaf June 22 and was buried there.

His relatives were quick to blame the Iraqi government for his death,
suggesting that he may have been assassinated.

The assassination of Ayatollah Bahr ul-Oloum brings to four the number of
top Shia clerics killed in Iraq over the past four years. The assassins have
never been identified.

The Iraqi government, dominated by a repressive one-party apparatus
controlled by Saddam Hussein and members of his extended family, has for
decades conducted a brutal campaign of murder, summary execution and
protracted arbitrary arrest against the religious leaders and followers of
the majority Shia Muslim population.

According to Amnesty International's reports of 1970's and 1980's, the Iraqi
government systematically deported tens of thousands of Shia population to
Iran, claiming they were of Persian descent.

Arabic News, 2nd July

The Iraqi vice- President Taha Yassin Ramadan opened on Saturday, in the
presence of the Syrian minister of supply and internal trade at the ground
of the Baghdad International fair the first Syrian industries exhibition
with the participation of 130 pioneering Syrian companies under the motto "
Made in Syria," organized by the Aleppo's chambers of commerce and indusry.

In a statement to the Syrian daily Tishreen issued on Sunday, Ramadan
[said]:" we see that the convening of this exhibition complies with the
nature of bilateral relations between Iraq and Syria in all areas. Certainly
this exhibition is a corner stone within these relations as an economic
activity and one of means to support such an activity is the convening of
qualitative exhibitions," noting " we see relations between the two
countries started to proceed for the better."

On the level of trade relations between Syria and Iraq, Ramadan said:" we
basically intend o establish developed Arab economic relations and therefore
we call for the establishment of a common maket and economic unity among all
Arab states. Certainly there are Arab steps towards Iraq and from Iraq
towards other Arab states, formost being Syria."

On the Iraqi side, the exhibition's opening ceremony was attended by the the
Iraqi minister of commerce Muhammad Mahdi saleh, the transport and mineral
minister Adnan Abdul Majid, the chairman of the planning commission and the
chairman of the chambers of commerce federation.

On the Syrian aide the exhibition's opening ceremony was attended by the
chairman of the Syrian interests branch in Baghdad Muhammad Hassan al-Tawab,
the chairman of the Aleppo's chamber of commerce Muhammad Saleh Mallah and
the chairman of the Aleppo's chamber of industry.

The exhibition, however, was held within two main halls each is of an area
of 2000 square meters.

by Chris Morris

HABUR, TURKEY, Jul 02, 2001 (The Christian Science Monitor via COMTEX) -- As
United Nations officials prepare to discuss so-called "smart sanctions" on
Iraq tomorrow, Turkey is increasingly anxious over the outcome of a debate
that could profoundly impact its most economically depressed and politically
sensitive region.

Although it has been a key US ally in containing Iraqi leader Saddam
Hussein, Turkey has lost some $40 billion in trade with its neighbor in the
past decade of sanctions. No one feels it more than Turkey's most restive
population, the Kurds.

To Turkey and other front-line countries, continued trade sanctions against
Iraq are becoming untenable, forcing them to straddle alliances abroad and
needs at home.

In the dusty border crossing of Habur - where the diesel trade dominates the
local economy - a long line of trucks disappears into the distant heat haze.
Men sit in narrow strips of shade sipping sweet tea, and the smell of oil
pervades the dusty air.

"Of course we want to help our allies, but enough is enough," says Abdullah
Erin, deputy governor in charge of the Habur border gate. "Everyone here
wants the sanctions to come to an end, so we can trade properly with our
neighbors like we used to."

The Turkish drivers buy their diesel oil from Iraqi Kurdish groups who
control the other side of the border. The Kurds, in turn, buy it from Iraqi
government officials farther south, and everyone makes a profit. The diesel
trade is the main source of income to tens of thousands of families in this

The trouble is that the diesel trade violates UN sanctions, and pours
hundreds of millions of dollars a year into the pockets of the Baghdad
government. Western officials say Saddam Hussein's son Uday is one of the
main beneficiaries.

The American- and British-proposed "smart sanctions" are designed to cut off
these unofficial profits, which enrich senior Iraqi officials. The new
regime would ease restrictions on many civilian goods entering Iraq through
the UN oil-for-food program. But it would also tighten a weapons embargo and
crack down hard on the oil-smuggling trade.

Russia opposes the new plan, and has threatened a veto at the UN Security
Council. A decision has to be made by tomorrow, and there may be another
temporary extension of the existing sanctions program as the diplomatic
haggling goes on.

For the estimated 50,000 Turkish drivers who ferry diesel across the border
in rickety trucks and tankers, the end of the trade would be a disaster.
There is no other work in Turkey's poorest and most volatile region. Many
local people agree that the economic hardship brought on by sanctions
against Iraq played a part in provoking the Kurdish uprising against Turkish
rule in the 1990s.

"People are nervous, they don't really understand what's happening," says
Deputy Governor Erin. "They just want the chance to make a living."

Under these domestic pressures, the Turkish government is preparing the
ground for normal trade ties. Despite strong American opposition, it sent an
ambassador back to Baghdad this year for the first time since the 1991 Gulf
War, and several business delegations have been allowed to fly to Iraq to
discuss joint projects.

"If there is one issue where the Americans and the Turks do not see
eye-to-eye, it is clearly policy toward Iraq," says Soli Ozel, who lectures
on international relations at Istanbul's Bilgi University. "Many Turks are
convinced that the Americans simply don't care what happens here, as long as
they get their way."

US officials promise they will try to address the problems of the front-line
states, but they also have their own strategic reasons for wanting to keep
Turkey happy. American and British planes fly patrols over northern Iraq
from an air base on Turkish soil, and the autonomous Kurdish region the
planes seek to protect is just as dependent on the border trade as local
Turks are.

The Kurds are the wild card in this complicated equation. Ten years ago,
Iraqi Kurds fled across the mountains toward the Turkish border in the
hundreds of thousands as the Iraqi government sought revenge for its
humiliation in Kuwait. A decade later, the border trade keeps the Iraqi
Kurds in relative prosperity, while Western air power guarantees their

"We're not scared of Saddam," says Selahattin, one of hundreds of drivers
who must wait in line for several days to bring their cargo back into Turkey
through the Habur gate. "As long as the border is open, everyone is safe."

Now, Washington sees northern Iraq as a potential building block for
opposition to Saddam Hussein, but Turkey is suspicious of Kurdish
intentions. It believes the Iraqi Kurds want to transform autonomy into full
independence - a move that Ankara fears could destabilize Kurdish regions
inside Turkey's own borders.

For that reason, Turkey would like to see central authority from Baghdad
restored throughout Iraq, including the north, as soon as possible. It is,
at best, a reluctant ally in the campaign against Saddam Hussein, even
though Turkish officials acknowledge that he could still pose a serious
threat to regional security.

While Washington and London believe trade and security issues in Iraq are
deeply entwined, there is a growing clamor in the border lands for a change
in approach. Many local people fear "smart sanctions" will be a step in the
wrong direction.

At the Habur gate, the discussion centers on more immediate issues of
economic survival.

"If the Americans want to fight Saddam, let them do it," says Mehmet,
another driver on the dusty border road. "But they should leave us alone to
get on with our business."

Dubai, Reuters, 3rd July

Dozens of Iraqi refugees, stranded in Saudi Arabia since the 1991 Gulf War,
are suffering from exhaustion a week after starting a hunger strike to press
for resettlement abroad, the United Nations said yesterday.

A spokesman for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in
Saudi Arabia said dozens of refugees, among 5,207 Iraqis living at the Rafha
camp near the Iraqi border, had been on hunger strike since June 23.

"Some 43 people have been taken ill, suffering from exhaustion and fatigue,"
the official told Reuters. "They are among a group of mostly young men who
are frustrated and angry. They want to be allowed to resettle in Europe,
Australia or North America."

The official said the protest had been peaceful and the situation at the
desert camp was calm, adding that the UNHCR was discussing the refugees with
possible host countries. The refugees were the last group among some 33,000
Iraqis stranded in Saudi Arabia after a U.S.-led coalition ended Iraq's
seven-month occupation of Kuwait in February 1991.

Many of them were Iraqi prisoners of war or Shi'ites who fled the country,
some with their families, after Iraqi government forces crushed a post-war
rebellion in the southern part of the country.

The UNHCR spokesman said around 25,000 refugees were resettled in Europe,
Australia or North America before host countries closed their resettlement
programme in 1997. Some 3,000 others have voluntarily returned to Iraq and
the rest remain stranded in Saudi Arabia.

He said most of the refugees still in Saudi Arabia have been refusing to
return to Iraq, despite financial incentives of up to 10,000 Saudi riyals
($2,666) offered by the Saudi government for voluntary return home.

Saudi Arabia has been providing financial assistance to help sustain the
refugees, who have no jobs and can leave their remote camp only with special
permits, UN officials say. "Although the Saudi government has been generous
to them over the past 10 years, the refugees are in a difficult
psychological situation," the official said.

London, Reuters, 6th July

Syria's Foreign Minister yesterday denied reports by oil traders his country
was smuggling Iraqi oil and marketing it as Syrian crude. Farouq Al Shara
blamed "misleading" media reports for market speculation that high Syrian
crude exports volumes meant oil was flowing again through the the
Iraqi-Syrian pipeline which had not been used for 18 years.

"The media has misled the world," al-Shara told reporters during a visit to
London. "A few months ago we said there was no oil flowing on the pipeline.
It is only being tested and yet the media insisted oil was flowing through
the pipeline from Iraq to Syria."

"I can assure you if you trace the ships leaving the Syrian coasts and ports
you wouldn't find one drop of Iraqi oil in them," he added. Market sources
said last month Syria's export plan for July remained well above the
country's estimated output capacity.

The sources said preliminary July loading slots from Syria indicate 15 full
80,000 tonne cargoes of Syrian Light and three half-cargoes, plus seven and
a half cargoes of heavy Souedie crude, the equivalent of about 460,000
barrels per day (bpd).

Last year Syria's exports regularly came to about 330,000 bpd as domestic
refineries consumed the balance. June volumes were also estimated at around
460,000 bpd. Traders say the pipeline from Iraq was restored to use last
November, pushing exports consistently up to more than 100,000 bpd above
year-ago levels.

As domestic production is limited, the higher export volumes indicate that
Iraqi crude is feeding refineries, freeing up large amounts of Syria's home-
produced oil for export, industry experts say.

Neither Baghdad nor Damascus has admitted to the trade but Washington has
called on Syria to bring the sales under the terms of the United Nations
oil-for-food programme with Iraq. Iraq is still studying a United Nations
resolution extending its "oil-for-food" deal for another five months and a
decision could be announced any time, Iraqi sources said yesterday.

They said officials of the Iraqi Oil Ministry were meeting yesterday with
top Iraqi leaders to decide on the new resolution adopted by the UN Security
Council on Tuesday after Russia theatened to veto a U.S.-British plan to
revamp 11-year-old Gulf War sanctions against Iraq.


by Roger Lytollis
Edinburgh Evening News, 4th July

EVEN a decade after the Gulf War, Iraq retains the power to shock. Just two
weeks ago television viewers around the world saw the charred remains of 23
young footballers on a playing field in the town of Mosul.

The Iraqi government claimed they had been killed by American bombers. It
was not the best time to be a Westerner in Iraq.

An Edinburgh student was caught in the political crossfire. Frances
Brodrick, a third-year student of Arabic at the University of Edinburgh, was
in Iraq when the footballers died. The last thing on her mind was killing.
She was risking her freedom to save lives.

Frances was breaking the United Nationsı economic sanctions on Iraq by
delivering medical supplies to the country, risking imprisonment. But she
says the sanctions have devastated Iraqi civilians while having little
impact on Saddam Husseinıs government.

Her interest in Iraq was sparked two years ago when a journalist spoke at
the University about her experiences there. "She told us about the suffering
of the Iraqi people," says Frances. "I was taken aback. I had no idea of the
problems out there."

The Bruntsfield student joined Voices In The Wilderness, an organisation
dedicated to raising awareness of the plight facing Iraqi civilians and
helping to alleviate their problems.

Frances found while fundraising that many people in Edinburgh were unaware
of the suffering. Others did not care. "I was collecting on Lothian Road.
There were a few people who werenıt very sympathetic. They said they hate
Iraqis. I think it had more to do with racism than with economics."

After volunteering for a Voices In The Wilderness delegation to Iraq,
Frances attended an open day in London underlining the illegal aspect of
what she would be doing. She was then lucky enough - in her eyes at least -
to be picked for a journey into the unknown.

Local businesses helped her fund-raising efforts. Nile Valley and Jordan
Valley restaurants provided food for a Middle Eastern lunch at university.
Natureıs Gate donated creams for burns and ezcema. Frances also took toys,
medicines and medical supplies.

The day before departure she joined five Voices in the Wilderness colleagues
in handing a letter to Ten Downing Street. This informed the Government that
the party was about to break the economic sanctions.

They flew to Oman and drove across the Syrian Desert to the Iraqi capital,
Baghdad. First impressions were deceptive. "The buildings and the city
itself seemed really modern. But scratch the surface and thereıs a lot of
poverty," says Frances. "Ten years ago Iraq was a very prosperous country.
Now you see street children. Iraq used to have excellent health and
education facilities but these are not there now. Itıs all been destroyed by
ten years of sanctions."

The volunteers visited an electricity station which regularly breaks down.
Spare parts are hard to come by so if something malfunctions it can take
weeks to repair. While Frances was at the plant news broke of the deaths on
the football pitch at Mosul.

"It was on the TV there. Twenty-one of the men killed were under 17. We were
shocked. It was a harsh way to establish our meeting. They were saying,
ŒLook at what is happening to our children. Please tell your people what is
happening to usı."

Frances saw more problems in Iraqıs infrastructure during a visit to a water
treatment plant in the city of Basra. "Chlorine is on the list of banned
substances because it can be used in chemical warfare. They canıt get enough
of it to treat the water properly. There are seven stages of water
purification. Only four can be carried out."

The consequences were evident in the four hospitals Frances visited during
her eight days in Iraq. She saw children with kidney problems, diarrhoea,
malnutrition and meningitis. A lack of antibiotics means the most virulent
organisms cannot be combated.

Many children in Basraıs hospitals have cancer. The city is close to Kuwait,
where uranium shells, remnants of the Gulf War, still lie in the ground.

Children find it difficult to fight radiation because their immune systems
are weakened by poor diet and unhygienic water.

"I wanted to take photographs of the children to illustrate their plight but
it felt obtrusive," says Frances. "Iıd talk a bit in Arabic, give the child
a toy and ask to take a picture. Some of the Polaroids are the last
photographs mothers have of their children.

"A man came up to us and said ŒHow can you do this? You bomb our country and
now you want to take our photographsı. When we explained that we were trying
to educate people in the West he apologised profusely.

"The parents were obviously distressed. One woman had her only son in
hospital. She broke down several times. Her son had said goodbye to his
father and sisters. He wasnıt going home. That was one insight into what
hundreds of people suffer."

Free health care in Iraq ended during the Gulf War. It now costs the
equivalent of about 70p a day to keep a child in hospital. Many families
cannot afford it. Their children are sent home. Some children do not receive
the full course of treatment because medicine has run out. Most of those she
saw in hospital were closer to death than recovery.

Despite the conditions many Iraqis blame on the West, Frances found most
people welcoming. "I was surprised. I thought they would have been angry and
accusing because we were representatives of the countries causing their

"But they were willing to talk about what they were going through and how
their lives have changed over the last ten years. Many have lost their jobs.
I met families who have to share a tiny house. They sleep outside with six
beds crammed together. Itıs too warm inside - electricity is rationed so
fans donıt work.

"They asked us to go back and ask the British people why we are targeting
civilians. Couldnıt we see weıre hurting them?"

SHE adds: "Sanctions donıt seem to be having any effect on Saddam Hussein.
The idea was that they would make the Iraqi people want to get rid of him.
If anything, they are strengthening his position. Because conditions are so
hard itıs difficult for opposition forces to mobilise. They are putting all
their energy into surviving."

Despite the impression often given by Western media, Frances found Saddam
Hussein far from a hated figure in Iraq. "Thereıs a lot more support for him
than you would think. Itıs largely because of the Iraqi media. They blame
sanctions on the West rather than him. Even if they felt strongly against
Saddam they wouldnıt be able to criticise him.

Frances broke UN sanctions again as she left Iraq by taking dates, rugs and
headscarves - sanctions prohibit exports from Iraq to any UN country. She
has auctioned them off to help the people who have become such an important
part of her life.

"My experiences in Iraq have had a huge impact on me," says Frances. "I will
continue to work until the truth about sanctions comes out."


Dawn, 02 July 2001, 09 Rabi-us-Saani 1422

BAGHDAD, July 1: Iraqi President Saddam Hussein has given directives to
encourage early marriage in the country, an Iraqi satellite channel reported
on Sunday.

The report said Saddam gave the strict orders at a recent cabinet meeting.
It added that a symposium was being held in Baghdad to help "enhance
awareness" in young Iraqi men and women of the social, moral, religious and
health benefits of early marriage as well as to emphasize its positive
impact on maintaining "psychological stability".

"Early marriage serves as a base for building a great society," one
researcher stressed at the symposium.

One leading Saudi daily, Asharq al-Awsat, reported last month that Saddam
had given orders compelling all his unwed presidential employees to take a
spouse within one year in return for the equivalent of 1,100 dollars.

Arabic News, 6th July

A decision was taken by the Iraqi revolution council on Thursday saying that
the chairman of the Cabinet court to be in the post of the deputy prime
minister. This decision, in particular includes Ahmad Hussein who has the
post of the chairman of the court. Therefore, he will replace Muhammad
Hamzeh al-Zubeidi who was exempted from all his posts.

Worthy mentioning that each of Tareq Aziz and Hikmat al-Azzawi currently
occupy also the position of the post of the deputy prime minister.

Arabic News, 6th July

Iraq on Thursday announced that the US had intercepted an Iraqi ship in June
inside the Iraqi territorial waters.

In a message handed by the Iraqi permanent representative at the UN Muhammad
al-Douri to the UN secretary general Kofi Annan, Iraq stressed that two
gun-ships of the US forces escorted by a helicopter broke on June 9, a
container for transporting the Iraqi commodities, just one mile far from the
Iraqi al-Ameeq ( the deep) port and held its crew to the south of al-Baker
port for three and a half hours.

Al-Douri stressed that what was done by the American forces was a flagrant
violation to Iraq's sovereignty, an armed aggressive act which constitutes a
violation to the UN charter and the principles of the international law. He
called on the UN to interfere to prevent such violations.

Al-Douri stressed that Iraq preserves its full right to taking necessary
measures to defend its territorial sovereignty and waters and to ask for
material and morale compensation inflected on it as a result of these "
aggressive acts," according to UN principles.



United Nations, New York, July 2, IRNA -- Iran Monday categorically and
strongly condemned an Iraqi diplomat's baseless accusation of Islamic
Republic's access to nuclear, biological and chemical (NBC) weapons of mass

Iran's envoy to U.N. Mohammad Ziaifar in a letter addressed to the Security
Council chief said that the deputy Iraqi Foreign Minister Riadh al-Qeysi's
words resemble a bitter historic irony, since, he said, his country has
constantly been in pursuit of manufacturing such weapons while Iran has been
a victim of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction.

Al-Qeysi had last Thursday harshly criticized the SC for renewing the U.N.
sanctions against his country and suggested them to stop the process of
Iran's ceaseless efforts aimed at getting access to mass production of
weapons of mass destruction.

Iraq's disastrous use of chemical bombs against his own nation in Halabja
and against Iranian troops across the western borders of Iran with that
country for some eight years, too, will never be forgotten, the letter said.

Such moves were against the 1925 Geneva Protocol and were condemned by the
SC, says the letter, adding that the heart breaking photographs of the
victims of Iraq's atrocious act in Halabja will never be cleared from the
memory of mankind.

"Members of the international community and particularly Iraq's neighbors
have sufficient proof of Iraq's efforts aimed at manufacturing NBC weapons
that was documented and revealed by UNSCOM and will never be forgotten,"
says the letter.

It is also mentioned in the letter that Iran is an active member of the
International Atomic Energy Association IAEA and the non-military nuclear
activities of the Islamic Republic of Iran in this regard are constantly
monitored by IAEA, while no trace of violation of the international codes
has ever been found in them.

"At the same time, unfortunately it is quite worrying for both Iran and all
regional countries that Iraq has still not signed the international
conventions regarding banning the usage of chemical weapons, the document on
international ban against nuclear tests and has several times violated the
articles of the 1925 Geneva Protocol, of which it is a signatory," says the

Boston Globe, 3rd July

CRUCIAL LESSON that ought to have been learned from the last century is that
the world paid a terrible price for not stopping criminals with state power
before they were ready to kill millions. Sad to say, there is mounting
evidence that this lesson has been forgotten by policy makers who have been
looking on passively as Saddam Hussein accumulates billions of dollars
through oil smuggling and acquires weapons of mass destruction and the
missiles to deliver them.

The danger of ignoring this threat is driven home in a recent article on
Saddam's methods of importing his weapons of mass destruction. The article,
published in Commentary and written by the director of the Wisconsin Project
on Nuclear Arms Control, Gary Milhollin, and a research associate, Kelly
Motz, draws on confidential reports compiled by United Nations weapons
inspectors before they were kicked out of Iraq in 1998.

The authors recount in detail how Saddam peddles oil to Jordan and Syria
outside the UN's oil-for-food program and then how some of the proceeds from
these illegal oil sales are used to pay for weapons of mass destruction,
missiles, and the means to manufacture them. These lethal materials are
delivered to middlemen in Jordan, Syria, or Lebanon and then transported
easily as contraband to Iraq.

When the UN inspectors were compiling their reports, they kept secret what
they had learned about the countries and the companies that sell Iraq
machine tools and parts for nuclear weapons and long-range missiles.
Milhollin and Motz name countries, companies, and even some of the
middlemen. Saddam's four principal suppliers are Russia, Belarus, Ukraine,
and Romania. The first three have obstinately refused to halt their
violations of the UN arms embargo on Iraq.

The UN inspection team had kept their discoveries about Saddam's supply
networks secret for two ignoble reasons. They did not want to cause the four
culpable countries to cease all cooperation with the UNSCOM team, and since
all permanent members of the UN Security Council were needed to authorize
weapons inspections in Iraq, they were chary about offending Russia and its

One ominous conclusion reached by Millholin and Motz is that Saddam's
nuclear and long range missile programs were not halted even when UN
inspectors were able to operate inside Iraq. As the defecting Iraqi nuclear
scientist, Khidir Hamza, has explained, Saddam has dispersed components of
his nuclear weapons program to hospitals, schools, and other civilian sites.
According to Hamza, Saddam now has everything needed for nuclear weapons
with the possible exception of fissionable material.

Once he has nuclear weapons and the missiles to deliver them, it could be
too late to stop Saddam.

Kuwait, Reuters, 4th July

Kuwait's Defence Minister Sheikh Jaber Al Hamad Al Sabah flew to Egypt
yesterday to revive an air defence deal, possibly worth $130 million and
explore cooperation in arms manufacturing. Sheikh Jaber also indicated
before leaving for Cairo that a long-awaited programme to purchase from
Western firms a state- of-the-art command and control system, originally
valued at $1.2 billion, could come to fruition this year.

Kuwait's Supreme Defence Council has a priority list..."and no doubt this is
an important issue. I hope the military procurement budget will cover
this...God willing, this year."

Some Western defence sources said there were unconfirmed reports that the
command, control, communications, computers and intelligence (C4I) project
could be reopened for bidding. An alliance between Britain's BAE Systems and
Lockheed Martin of the United States was seen as front runner in an earlier
stage of the race for the lucrative deal.

A second consortium is led by Raytheon Co while Litton Data Systems, also of
the U.S., led a third group. Sheikh Jaber told reporters of his Cairo visit,
"The issue of the (Amoun) air defence system is almost a done deal, there
are no problems with it."

Kuwait recently revived a requirement to buy up to four additional batteries
of the Egyptian-Italian Amoun system, a plan which was first announced after
the 1991 Gulf War that ended Iraq's seven-month occupation of Kuwait. An
Egyptian negotiating team held talks on the deal in Kuwait just ahead of the
minister's three-day visit.

Defence sources told Reuters that Kuwait was expected to order two batteries
in the first phase of the programme. Amoun is a standard air defence system
comprising surface- to-air missiles and anti-aircraft guns linked to a fire
control radar network. Sheikh Jaber earlier told Reuters the deal was worth
around $130 million.

Egypt sold Kuwait five Amoun batteries at the height of the 1980-88
Iran-Iraq war which were mainly used against Iranian missiles fired to
punish the small state for supporting Baghdad. The new deal is expected to
include upgrades and maintenance for the five batteries sources said were in
poor condition.

Iraq seized another five Amoun batteries from Kuwait which were delivered
only three months before Baghdad's troops invaded in 1990. Sheikh Jaber's
hosts plan an extensive programme of visits in Egypt, including tours of
military industrial plants. The most populous Arab state has one of the
strongest Arab armies and a relatively advanced arms industry.

by François Heisbourg IHT
International Herald Tribune, 7th July

PARIS: Behind the missile defense debate and the dispute about greenhouse
gases lurks another, potentially even more divisive trans-Atlantic
disagreement, on how best to counter the spread of biological weapons.

Given the breakthroughs in genetic engineering, biological warfare may be to
the new century what the threat of nuclear weapons was to the previous one.
Effective multilateral measures to head off the threat are essential, but
they will only work if there is agreement between the United States and

Unfortunately, all is now set for a momentous head-on collision between U.S.
unilateralism and attempts by the Europeans and other Western states to
craft a multilateral verification regime.

In principle, the production and use of biological weapons have been banned
since 1972 by an international treaty that 143 states, including all the
major military powers, have signed and ratified. Unfortunately, this treaty
contains no verification mechanism. This glaring omission was exploited by
countries such as the Soviet Union, which operated the giant "Biopreparat"
complex exclusively dedicated to germ warfare.

The growing military potential of biological weapons has given new urgency
to the establishment of a verification mechanism. Since 1993 an ad hoc
group, the Geneva-based Conference on Disarmament - which includes nearly
all militarily significant countries, not least the United States - has been
working toward a draft verification protocol.

This summer, the members of the working group are supposed to eliminate the
remaining areas of dispute in the draft protocol. Not surprisingly,
countries such as China or Iran are not particularly eager to facilitate
such an outcome. However, Beijing or Tehran would hesitate to single
themselves out as proponents of germ warfare if other members of the
international community supported the protocol.

Here is where the potential tragedy begins, with the distinct possibility
that the United States will join China and Iran in their obstruction. An
initial interagency review in Washington has come to the conclusion that the
United States should not press for the conclusion of the protocol.

Three reasons are given for this U.S. stance. First, the verification
measures are considered a possible hindrance to legitimate efforts at
defense against biological warfare, since such efforts involve technical
work on biological weapons. Other military powers, including U.S. allies in
Europe, do not consider such a concern as a show-stopper. Yet the
governments of Britain, France and Germany are no less interested than the
United States in ensuring the safety of their soldiers and civilians.

Second, the verification regime is considered a threat to the growth of the
biotechnology industry, notably in the pharmaceutical sector. Yet Europe,
with its world-class Swiss, German and French pharmaceutical industries, has
come to terms with the protocol. The difference between the United States
and Europe is that lobbying by the "pharmas" is allowed to influence policy
in Washington in a way that does not occur in Europe.

Last, the Americans believe that the verification protocol is exceedingly
weak in terms of detecting potential violators. No verification regime is
perfect and biological warfare is a particularly difficult area. Even the
United Nations' highly intrusive inspections in Iraq could not provide 100
percent assurance of Baghdad's compliance.

The question here should not be "Is this regime foolproof?" since the
answer, as for any arms control treaty, can only be "No." The relevant query
is: "What are the alternatives?" America's impossible quest for a perfect
verification regime plays into the hands of countries that would prefer no

If President George W. Bush reverses the unilateralist and rejectionist
course of U.S. policy on biological weapons within the next few weeks, the
United States, Europe and like minded countries will probably be able to
carry with them the bulk of the international community, as they did in the
mid-'90s with the treaty banning chemical weapons.

Otherwise, we will have something even worse than the U.S.-European clash on
the Kyoto Protocol. The United States would have a particularly hard time
explaining why its bottom line is the same as that of countries such as Iran
or China.

The world will not thank those who refuse to take even imperfect measures to
curb the man made plagues that unbridled use of biotechnology threatens to

The writer, director of the French Foundation for Strategic Research and
chairman of the Geneva Center for Security Policy, contributed this comment
to the International Herald Tribune.


Dawn, 02 July 2001, 09 Rabi-us-Saani 1422

WASHINGTON, July 1: Iran is said to be concerned at the possibility of a
punitive United States attack and has asked its naval units to be on alert.

Reporting this in a write-up in its Sunday issue, The Washington Times
quoting intelligence sources says the Iranian fears of a US strike flow from
the indictments recently handed down against 13 people for involvement in
the bombing of a US military installation in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, in 1996,
in which 19 Americans were killed.

There is no Iranian in the group of 13 that comprises a dozen Saudi
nationals and a Lebanese citizen. But links between the convicted persons
and Hezbollah were cited during the trial, and the US Attorney-General John
Ashcroft commented: "Elements of the Iranian government inspired, supported
and supervised members of Saudi Hezbollah."

The Washington Times says the Iranians may have warned their naval units
against letting themselves be provoked by US warships in the Gulf that are
on heightened alert because of anxiety of terrorist acts by elements said to
be associated with Osama bin Laden.

The US military has conducted bombing strikes in response to alleged
terrorist activities on at least three occasions. Missiles were launched
against sites in Afghanistan and Sudan following the bombings of two US
embassies in East Africa in 1998. Before that, in 1993, Iraqi intelligence
headquarters in Baghdad were hit on the basis of accusations that the Iraqi
government was linked to a plot to assassinate the then US president, George
Bush Senior. In 1986, air attacks were carried out against Libya following
allegations of Libyan involvement in the bombing of a discotheque in Berlin
used by US military personnel. It was later discovered that US planes had
mistakenly targeted a Libyan pharmaceutical factory.

Iran continues to be on the US State Department's list of countries
designated as state sponsors of terrorism. But theWashington Times report
appears to conflict with the impression in diplomatic circles here that the
State Department does not want to adopt a high-profile hostile attitude to
Iran, particularly after the re-election with a sweeping majority of
President Mohammad Khatami. President Khatami is widely regarded as a
moderate who has often expressed his desire for normalization of relations
with the US.

However, how fragile the regional situation is underlined again by Sunday's
Israeli raids on what are described as Hezbollah bases in south Lebanon.

by MARTIN SIEFF, UPI, 4th July


But the battlefield of Gallipoli and war cemeteries around it bear grim and
eloquent witness that other peoples too are capable of extraordinary
exertions of sacrifice, heroism and endurance to defend their own homelands
from invading empires. And that they often succeed, whatever the odds
against them might be.


Many in the Middle East believe that Bush's hawkish Pentagon planners, urged
on by Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, want to entice Turkey and
Israel to support their plans to support the Iraqi National Congress in the
hopes of getting rid of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.

There is no doubt that Saddam's totalitarian regime in Iraq is harsh and
cruel. There is no doubt that, had Bush's father, President George Herbert
Walker Bush, ordered Gen. Norman Schwartzkopf and his victorious legions to
drive on to Baghdad at the end of the 1991 Gulf War, Saddam's regime would
have fallen apart.

But none of that means that Saddam's regime will fall apart now if U.S.
forces assemble to confront it a second time. To assume that it will, and
take for granted its fall, runs making the same mistake that the confident
young Churchill made in 1915.

Decades after the catastrophe of Gallipoli, an older and wiser Churchill
mused, "Never, never, never go to war. Always remember that there would
never be any war, unless the other fellow is convinced that he has a chance

Men fight with ruthless and desperate bravery and the ability to defend
their country, especially against foes they see as invaders from half a
world away. The 36,000 Australian and other British Empire dead at Gallipoli
pay mute testimony to that. Americans celebrating their Fourth of July in a
nation still blessedly at peace do well to remember it too.

Tehran, Reuters, 7th July

Iran's courts should accept lawsuits filed against the United States in
retaliation for large U.S. compensation rulings against the Islamic republic
in terrorism cases, a senior Iranian cleric said yesterday.

"When such rulings are handed out (by U.S. courts)...we should draw up
similar plans. We have to retaliate as a form of resistance," former
president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, who now heads a powerful state body,
said in a weekly sermon broadcast on state radio.

"Our parliament has passed a law to this effect, which  surprisingly has not
been carried out. Why should we not get damages from them?" Rafsanjani asked
thousands of Muslim worshippers gathered at the Tehran University campus.

Rafsanjani was reacting to rulings by U.S. courts ordering Iran to pay
hundreds of millions of dollars in damages mostly to former American
hostages held in Lebanon in the 1980s by pro-Iranian groups.

Iran has rejected the courts' jurisdiction and refused to pay. Tehran has
voiced concern that the suits targeted Iranian assets blocked in the United
States but U.S. administrations have so far not allowed the assets to be
used for compensation.

Rafsanjani said anti-U.S. suits could be brought by relatives of 290 people
killed when a U.S. warship shot down an Iranian airliner over the Gulf in

Iran-U.S. relations remain tense despite a modest thaw since the 1997
election of reformist President Mohammed Khatami. U.S. Secretary of State
Colin Powell said on Thursday the impetus for improving bilateral relations
must come from Tehran, not Washington.

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