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News, 1-7/7/02 (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 IRAQI/MIDDLE EAST-ARAB WORLD RELATIONS http://www.gulf-news.com/Articles/news.asp?ArticleID=21150 * SAUDI SAYS IRAQI SOLDIER KILLED IN BORDER CLASH 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 fire. "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. http://www.gulf-news.com/Articles/news.asp?ArticleID=21387 * IRAQ DENIES SAUDI BORDER CLASH CLAIM 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 said. 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. http://www.irna.com/newshtm/eng/10215439.htm * AYATOLLAH KHAMENEI CONDOLES ON IRAQI CLERIC'S DEATH 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. http://www.arabicnews.com/ansub/Daily/Day/010702/2001070210.html * 'MADE IN SYRIA' IN IRAQ 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. http://quotes.freerealtime.com/dl/frt/N?art=C2001070100182x1795&SA=Latest%2 0News * SANCTIONS ON IRAQ STIR NEIGHBORS: TURKS AND KURDS ARE ANXIOUS IN ADVANCE OF AN EXPECTED UN DECISION TOMORROW 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 region. 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 security. "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." http://www.gulf-news.com/Articles/news.asp?ArticleID=21301 * SAUDI'S IRAQI REFUGEES FAST FOR RESETTLEMENT 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. http://www.gulf-news.com/Articles/news.asp?ArticleID=21562 * SYRIA DENIES SMUGGLING IRAQI CRUDE 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. CAMPAIGNING http://www.edinburghnews.com/citylife_people.cfm?id=EN01118117 * BREAKING THE LAW FOR LOVE 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, Look 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 How 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 suffering. "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." INSIDE IRAQ http://www.dawn.com/2001/07/02/int9.htm * SADDAM ORDERS EARLY-MARRIAGE CAMPAIGN 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. http://www.arabicnews.com/ansub/Daily/Day/010706/2001070608.html * A NEW DEPUTY FOR THE IRAQI PRIME MINISTER 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. http://www.arabicnews.com/ansub/Daily/Day/010706/2001070614.html * US INTERCEPTS AN IRAQI SHIP INSIDE IRAQI TERRITORIAL WATER 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. WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION http://www.irna.com/newshtm/eng/11223654.htm thr 095 * IRAN DISCLAIMS IRAQI ALLEGATIONS OF HER ACCESS TO NBC WEAPONS 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 destruction. 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 letter. http://www.boston.com/dailyglobe2/184/editorials/The_Iraqi_threat+.shtml * THE IRAQI THREAT 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 allies. 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. http://www.gulf-news.com/Articles/news.asp?ArticleID=21389 * KUWAIT MINISTER GOES TO EGYPT FOR AIR DEFENCE DEAL 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. http://www.iht.com/articles/25284.html * BIOLOGICAL WARFARE: THE NEXT U.S.-EUROPE SPLIT? 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 Europe. 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 verification. 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 release. 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. NEW WORLD ORDER http://www.dawn.com/2001/07/02/top18.htm * IRAN ALERTS NAVY TO FACE US ATTACK 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. http://www.vny.com/cf/News/upidetail.cfm?QID=199836 * GALLIPOLI'S LESSON FOR AMERICA'S WAR HAWKS 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 too." 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. http://www.gulf-news.com/Articles/news.asp?ArticleID=21616 * TOP CLERIC URGES ANTI-U.S. SUITS IN IRAN COURTS 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 1988. 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. -- ----------------------------------------------------------------------- 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