The following is an archived copy of a message sent to a Discussion List run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.

Views expressed in this archived message are those of the author, not of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.

[Main archive index/search] [List information] [Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq Homepage]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

interpreting SCR 1382

Dear list members,

Earlier in the week, CASI released a press release about the new Security
Council resolution on Iraq, 1382 (available at  The release focused on the
likelihood that the new resolution would considerably expand the length of
the `dual use' lists which currently filter exports to Iraq.  Another
important aspect of the resolution that the press release did not address is
the interpretation of operative paragraph two of the resolution.  I'm
writing this e-mail to bring this aspect of the resolution to the list's
attention and to discuss the implications of the resolution.

Paragraph two reads:

<quote begins>
Notes the proposed Goods Review List (as contained in Annex 1 to this
resolution) and the procedures for its application (as contained in Annex 2
to this
resolution) and decides that it will adopt the List and the procedures,
subject to any
refinements to them agreed by the Council in light of further consultations,
implementation beginning on 30 May 2002;
<quote ends>

Thus, the paragraph seems susceptible to two very different interpretations:

1. the Council has adopted Annexes I and II, and these Annexes will come
into effect on 30 May 2002.  If the Council modifies them in a further
resolution before that date, then the modified annexes will be the ones
coming into effect.  In this case, the resolution represents a major reform
to the sanctions.

2. the Council will adopt a goods review list and a set of procedures in a
future resolution before 30 May 2002.  The starting point for discussions on
the list and procedures will be Annexes I and II.  In this case, the
resolution represents little more than a routine rollover.

The words "notes" and "proposed" suggest a tentativeness that favour the
second interpretation.  The typos in the list of items in Annex I also
suggest to me that this is still provisional.  But "decides that it will
adopt the List and the procedures" does suggest a decision that has occurred
now (e.g. I decide to have lunch with someone next week).  That the
resolution was unanimously adopted strengthens, in my view, the "routine
rollover" interpretation.  Further, I think that this is generally how it is
being interpreted.  The British statement
( allows the "major reform"
interpretation, but it's still not clear (to my mind, at least).

If anyone noticed any clues in the other official versions, please do let us
know.  I suspect that the English version will be the most important, given
that the US and UK will be working from it, but it would be interesting to
know whether the same level of ambiguity is sustained in the others.  They
are available at:

Arabic: [not yet online, but should be at]

The second aspect of the resolution that I wanted to discuss was its
potential implication for Iraq's population.  The CASI press release
addressed a number of concerns associated with it, principally the
possibility that it could double the length of the `dual use' lists.  Some
of the items on the proposed lists are clearly problematic.  Most obviously,
from my point of view, were the fibre optic cables with length over five
metres in the Part C list (does the note in the Part B mention of fibre
optic cables, noting that this does not control civilian telecommmunications
override Part C?).

While I suspect that there will be many such examples, it is significant
that the proposed lists are drawn from technology transfer control
arrangements.  This is significant for two reasons.  First, the existing
`dual use' lists (the 1051 lists) are organised according to categories of
prohibited weapons (nuclear, chemical, biological, missiles with > 150 km
range).  These are not.

Second, other countries are subject to export controls similar to those
proposed by the new lists.  China, for example, is subject to technology
transfer controls under the Wassenaar Arrangement, from which the bulk of
the new lists are taken.  I have not heard it argued that China's economic
development has suffered as a result.  China is not a perfect analogy: it's
much larger, has not suffered the same recent harm as has Iraq, and the
transfer controls are only applicable to the 33 members of Wassenaar, not to
the whole world (as they would be under a Security Council resolution).
Nevertheless, my non-expert impression is that Wassenaar-style controls
would probably not be too harmful to Iraq's civilian economy.  I'd
appreciate others' assessments.

The second Annex, containing the list of procedures is also, I think, a step
forward.  It appears to give control for imports to Iraq to technical
experts - taking them out of the hands of Member States.  Only if the
technical experts believed there to be a contract containing `dual use'
items would the Sanctions Committee of Member States become involved.  Thus,
opportunities for Member states to block contracts are reduced to those
contracts containing items that the technical experts deem to be `dual use'.

Who will the technical experts be?  Will it be possible to manipulate them?
Possibly.  At the same time, I hear that the US and UK want to remove
themselves from contract vetting: some holds can bring them very bad
publicity.  Secretly manipulating technical experts may allow the best of
both worlds: one still retains control over contracts, but is easier to
deny.  One could also `encourage' companies to not make shipments.

The other significant aspect of 1382 and its annexes is that they do not
mention border controls.  This was one of the main concerns that I had with
the earlier versions: smuggling benefits Iraqis as well as the Iraqi regime;
clamping down on it would hurt them too.

Against this generally positive assessment of 1382, I should stress that it
is only a small step towards removing the sanctions' constraints on normal
civilian economic activity in Iraq.  For a long time, the sanctions have not
prevented civilian goods' flow across the borders; smuggling has been
rampant.  Large infrastructural contracts are harder to smuggle than Britney
Spears posters, so 1382 may allow things in that haven't been able to enter
by smuggling.

Other major sources of sanctions' harm that would not be addressed by 1382
include the prohibitions on foreign investment, Compensation Commission
deductions, impediments on using oil revenues to pay for services (including
wages) inside Iraq and prohibition of non-oil exports.  I outlined some of
these issues in a Press Information Note that was posted to the list in
August; a newer version is available at


Colin Rowat

work | Room 406, Department of Economics | The University of Birmingham |
Birmingham, B15 2TT, UK | (+44/0) 121 414 3754 | (+44/0) 121 414 7377 (fax)

personal | (+44/0) 7768 056 984 (mobile) | (+44/0) 7092 378 517 (fax) |
(707) 221 3672 (US fax) |

This is a discussion list run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq
For removal from list, email
CASI's website - - includes an archive of all postings.

[Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq Homepage]