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FW: US Wins???






Published on Friday, November 30, 2001 by Reuters
Going Backwards
US Wins Defeat of Depleted Uranium Study
by Irwin Arieff

 UNITED NATIONS - After lobbying by Washington, the General Assembly
rejected yesterday an Iraqi proposal that the UN study the effects of
the depleted-uranium shells used by US-led forces in the Gulf War.

Baghdad has insisted for years that there is a link between the depleted
uranium used in armor-piercing weapons during the 1991 war and an
increase in the number of Iraqis with leukemia and other kinds of
cancer.

Iraq's Health Ministry has said that cancer cases rose to 10,931 in 1997
from 6,555 in 1989, especially in areas bombed during the war, in which
a US-led coalition drove Iraq out of Kuwait after it invaded its
oil-rich neighbor.

The 189-nation General Assembly voted down the Iraqi plan 45-54, with 45
abstentions. The assembly's committee on disarmament and international
security had approved the plan earlier this month, 49-45.

Diplomats credited a lobbying campaign by Washington for the turnaround.

Acting at Baghdad's request, the World Health Organization began an
in-depth study this year of the health impact of depleted-uranium
munitions used in Iraq. Baghdad has cited studies saying that coalition
forces used 944,000 depleted-uranium shells against Iraq during the Gulf
War.

A resolution drafted by Iraq said the shells had spread radioactive
particles and chemical dust over large areas and contaminated ''animal
and plant life and the soil.''

It asked UN Secretary General Kofi Annan to survey UN member nations and
relevant outside groups ''on all aspects of the effects of the use of
depleted-uranimum armaments'' and submit a report on his findings to the
assembly next year.

The use of ammunition containing depleted uranium sparked a furor across
Europe earlier this year, after some allied peacekeepers in Bosnia and
Kosovo said they had developed leukemia because of exposure to the
material.

NATO and many health officials have denied that the munitions cause
cancer.

Copyright  2001 Reuters Limited

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