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News, 6-13/7/02 (5) IRAQI/INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS * Iraq's Aziz says US attack would strengthen Saddam * Iraq's Saddam foresees changed US role * Iraq and India ties warmed by oil deals * India eyes Iran, Iraq to lift sagging sugar sales * Military action against Iraq inadmissible, says Russia * Russian, Jordanian leaders discuss Mideast peace, Iraq * Iraq appeals to [South African firm] Eskom to help rebuild power grids * Kiev Denies Iraq Arms Sales Report * Govt Ordered to Repay Loans to Iraq IRAQI/UN RELATIONS * Iraq: UN caving to United States pressure OIL MATTERS * Iraq says 35 bln bbls oil reserves postponed by sanctions. * West sees glittering prizes ahead in giant oilfields LEST WE FORGET * Missiles fired at US, British planes: Iraq IRAQIS OUTSIDE IRAQ * Saddam's Stepson Back in New Zealand IRAQI/INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS http://www.cnn.com/2002/WORLD/meast/07/06/safrica.iraq.reut/index.html * IRAQ'S AZIZ SAYS US ATTACK WOULD STRENGTHEN SADDAM CNN, 6th July CAPE TOWN, July 6 (Reuters) -- A U.S. assault on Baghdad would entrench and not weaken President Saddam Hussein, Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz said on Saturday. Aziz, on a six-day visit at the invitation of South African Deputy President Jacob Zuma, said Iraq was aware of the reported U.S. plan to attack Iraq. "Yes, we know they are preparing to attack Iraq...but I am not scared. We are very well prepared to protect our country, to protect our independence and to preserve our dignity," he said. The New York Times this week reported on alleged U.S. military plans to invade Iraq with thousands of troops for what President George W. Bush calls a "regime change." "We will survive," Aziz told a small rally of ruling African National Congress supporters in a Muslim district of Cape Town. "Whoever in the Arab world and in the Third World fights the Americans will become stronger in the eyes of his people, so no other leadership is going to come to Iraq. We will continue leading Iraq," he said to applause. Earlier on Saturday, Aziz visited the Robben Island prison where Nelson Mandela, South Africa's president from 1994 to 1999, spent 18 of his 27 years in jail for fighting white rule. Aziz met President Thabo Mbeki earlier in the week to discuss cooperation on issues including agriculture and transport, but failed to keep an appointment with Mandela. On Friday, Zuma said at a banquet for Aziz that South Africa opposed the U.N. sanctions in place since 1990 to force Baghdad to allow United Nations weapons inspectors back into the country. "We will maintain our position that the U.N. should lift sanctions," Zuma said. [.....] http://www.irna.com/newshtm/eng/16041322.htm * IRAQ'S SADDAM FORESEES CHANGED US ROLE Amman, July 7, IRNA -- Iraqi President Saddam Hussein on Saturday blamed the United States for the 12-year-long embargo of Iraq and predicted US domination would crumble within 20 years. "The U.N. siege of Iraq is unprecedented, because all U.N. Security Council resolutions pertaining to Iraq were adopted at Washington's behest in violation of international law," Saddam told visiting Indian Petroleum Minister Ram Naik, according to a DPA report. "At the time when the siege was imposed on Iraq, the United States used to say to the world: do this and don't do that, and the world, including the Security Council, obeyed," he added. Saddam's remarks, which were published by the official Iraq News Agency (INA), came during a meeting during which Naik relayed to the Iraqi leader a message from Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee "expressing desire in boosting ties with Iraq". "We believe that the United States... will become weak after two, five, 15 or 20 years, if we don't say its strength has already started to falter as of today," the Iraqi leader said. Saddam's remarks coincided with the failure of a new round of talks between Iraq and the United Nations, which wound up in Vienna on Friday. Iraqi Foreign Minister Naji Sabri, who led his country's delegation, accused Washington of being behind the failure of the negotiations, by pressing U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan to ignore Baghdad's demand for "a comprehensive discussion of the Iraqi file". Annan made it clear that the talks focused on a single issue - the return of U.N. arms inspectors to Iraq. Return of the inspectors is a precondition for lifting of the embargo against Iraq. During his meeting with Naik, the Iraqi president called for better ties between India and the Arab world, which he said shared "geographical proximity and joint interests". He expressed his government's readiness to boost ties with India "to the extent wanted by New Delhi". http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/business/newsid_2115000/2115930.stm * IRAQ AND INDIA TIES WARMED BY OIL DEALS BBC, 8th July Iraq and India have signed an agreement to boost trade ties, especially in the oil sector. Indian Oil Minister Ram Naik told a press conference that the Indian oil firm Oil Natural Gas Corporation Limited (ONGC) would soon open offices in Baghdad. Iraqi Oil Minister Mr Naik added, after meeting his Iraqi counterpart Amir Muhammed Rasheed, that "work was progressing" on an ONGC oil concession in southern Iraq. Iraq has awarded Indian companies a number of contracts under the United Nations "oil for-food" programme, in return for India's diplomatic support. The programme allows Iraq to bypass sanctions imposed for its 1990 invasion of Kuwait and use oil revenues to buy food and humanitarian goods. The US has classified Iraq as a member of the "axis of evil" while it has strengthened relations with India to prosecute the war in Afghanistan. After meeting with Iraqi President Saddam Hussein on Saturday, Mr Naik said that India opposed the sanctions on Iraq, and called for them to be ended immediately. Mr Rasheed described India as a "strategic partner". "We have entered new projects in railways, oil and gas, health and industry in addition to technical co-operation and this will give a boost to the economic relations of the two countries, which in consequence will be reflected on the volume of trade exchange," Mr Rasheed said. Under the agreement, India is to supply Iraq with medicine, wheat, rice, railway equipment and turbines for electricity generations. Mr Rasheed said trade between Baghdad and New Delhi under an "oil-for-food" deal with the UN had reached $1.1bn. Iraq, India and Algeria are "in the final stage" of a deal to start exploring and drilling the Tuba oil field between Zubair and Rumaila in the south of the country. "It is a consortium between Indian companies and the Algerian Sonatrach company, and we hope to realise it by the end of summer," Mr Rasheed was quoted as saying in the ruling Baath party's Al-Thawra newspaper. The field was being developed by Iraq until the 1991 Gulf War, when storage facilities were destroyed. ONGC is awaiting approval from its board to invest approximately $63m in Iraq. India, which imports more than two-thirds of its crude oil requirement, has been seeking foreign sources as domestic output matures. Last month it took over a concession in Sudan from Canadian oil company Talisman. http://www.dailystarnews.com/200207/12/n2071205.htm#BODY4 * INDIA EYES IRAN, IRAQ TO LIFT SAGGING SUGAR SALES Daily Star (Bangladesh), from Reuters, 12th July India, struggling to sell sugar in a market saddled with surpluses is scouting for customers in Iran and Iraq to offload its bulging stocks, industry officials said Wednesday. But the country's surplus problems are unlikely to go away any time soon as falling global sugar prices have made Indian sugar exports uncompetitive. India also has limited overseas markets as it produces only white plantation sugar while global demand for raw sugar is high. "Iran and Iraq are the two major markets we are looking at seriously," said SL Jain, secretary general of the Indian Sugar Mills Association. Jain said the quality of Indian sugar was gaining acceptability in the global market and sales with Iran were looking positive as it opened its sugar trade to private importers. India, the world's second-largest sugar producer, is burdened with stocks of nearly 18 million tonnes. The government has put in place a slew of measures to boost overseas sales including lifting all curbs on exports and providing inland transport subsidies to exporters but orders have come in trickles. The country's sugar industry is reeling from a combination of tight government controls, regulating the prices it pays to cane farmers, stagnant domestic demand, narrow product range, slack world prices and high production costs. Analysts said bulging stocks in producing countries would continue to put downward pressure on world prices. http://www.dawn.com/2002/07/09/int1.htm * MILITARY ACTION AGAINST IRAQ INADMISSIBLE, SAYS RUSSIA Dawn, 9th July, 27 Rabi-us-Saani 1423 MOSCOW, July 8: Russia denounced on Monday as "absolutely inadmissible" any military action against Iraq, in a direct warning to the United States. "The Iraqi problem can only be resolved through political-diplomatic means on the basis of UN Security Council resolutions," the Russian foreign ministry said in a statement. "Any other options, especially military, are absolutely inadmissible," it added. The New York Times reported on Friday that a top secret US military document outlines a massive, three-pronged attack on Iraq by land, sea and air with as many as 250,000 troops and hundreds of warplanes. The prospect of US military action was heightened last week after talks between Baghdad and the United Nations on the return of UN weapons inspectors to Iraq broke down. The Russian foreign ministry, however, called for a resumption of dialogue which would lead to renewed cooperation by Baghdad with UN inspections in return for an end to UN sanctions imposed in 1990. US President George W. Bush's administration, which has labelled Iraq - along with Iran and North Korea - as the world's "axis of evil," is demanding the return of arms inspectors barred from Iraq since pulling out in Dec 1998. Russia, which is owed eight billion dollars by its ally Iraq, has long sought to persuade Baghdad to allow UN weapons inspectors to return to the country in exchange for a total lifting of sanctions. http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2002-07/09/content_475700.htm * RUSSIAN, JORDANIAN LEADERS DISCUSS MIDEAST PEACE, IRAQ MOSCOW, July 9 (Xinhuanet) -- Russian President Vladimir Putin and Jordanian King Abdullah II met in the Kremlin Tuesday to discuss the Middle East peace process and the question of Iraq. "There are questions we would like to discuss and to compare notes on, to understand how you and other Arab leaders view the developments in the Middle East," Putin told King Abdullah at the start of the meeting. The Jordanian king praised Russia for its diplomatic role in the Middle East and said he would also discuss with Putin the future of Iraq. The king also said the two countries have cooperated effectively on regional questions such as the Israeli-Palestinian problem and Iraq. Putin said he would also discuss with the king the economic, military and technological cooperation between their two countries. "A relationship of good partnership" has been evolving between Russia and Jordan over the past two years and the two nations havebeen building up economic, technological and military ties, he added. This is the Jordanian king's third visit to Russia since he ascended the throne in 1999. The king arrived in Moscow on Monday,accompanied by his brother, Crown Prince Hamzeh, and General Saad Kheir, chief of the General Intelligence Department. http://www.busrep.co.za/html/busrep/br_frame_decider.php?click_id=345&art_id =ct20020710205622531P250948&set_id=60 * IRAQ APPEALS TO ESKOM TO HELP REBUILD POWER GRIDS by Khulu Phasiwe Independent Online, 11th July Johannesburg - The Iraqi government has asked South Africa's power utility, Eskom Holdings, to help the Gulf state rebuild its power stations as part of the UN food-for-oil programme. The move would not be in contravention of the UN embargo on Iraq, Ronnie Mamoepa, the foreign affairs spokesperson, said yesterday. Iraq's deputy prime minister, Tariq Aziz, said he had had "fruitful discussions" with President Thabo Mbeki. They discussed potential areas of trade and economic relations between the two nations, and opportunities for agreements in the oil, electricity and transport sectors. "Eskom is an important company in the energy sector and we believe it can help us to build power stations in Iraq." Aziz visited Eskom headquarters in Sandton, where he held business meetings with the utility's representatives. Devan Pillay, Eskom's international business development manager, was encouraged by Aziz's endorsement of the parastatal. He said his company had had many invitations from the Middle East, but no firm deals had been concluded. Through Eskom Enterprises, its non-regulated business division, Eskom has been involved in a number of joint ventures with other power utilities in Africa. The parastatal said its long-term vision was to be the leading energy and related services business in emerging markets. Last month Eskom Enterprises and Moroccan power utility Office National de l'Electricité agreed to create a joint venture company that will be responsible for implementing projects in the energy sector. The company will implement engineering and consulting studies in generation, transmission and distribution of electrical energy. It will also supply management services and market the use of electricity and renewable energy resources. http://www.themoscowtimes.com/stories/2002/07/11/017.html * KIEV DENIES IRAQ ARMS SALES REPORT by Tim Vickery Moscow Times (from The Associated Press), 11th July KIEV -- Responding to a recent news report, Ukrainian officials repeated Wednesday their strong denial of allegations that the country has violated UN sanctions and sold arms to Iraq. Citing arms control experts and a tape made by a President Leonid Kuchma's former bodyguard, the Financial Times reported Tuesday that "Iraq is exploiting its growing links with Ukraine in an effort to obtain weapons technologies." The paper said the Ukrainian government "has been taking an increasingly active role in organizing direct ties between Ukrainian companies and Iraq." Foreign Minister Anatoly Zlenko told journalists after meeting with NATO Secretary-General Lord Robertson that Ukraine's bilateral cooperation with Iraq is based on economic grounds, calling the news report "pure speculation." "Ukraine, as a founding member of the United Nations, cannot even allow itself to think about the possibility of violating UN sanctions," Zlenko said. "We are a young democracy ... and it is extremely crucial for us to upgrade our democratic image at a proper level." Earlier in the day, Ukraine's Security and Defense Council accused the Financial Times of publishing false information aimed at damaging Ukraine's reputation as an international partner. "The goal of the authors and those who ordered this article is obvious: to discredit Ukraine in the eyes of the international community at the very moment that it is officially promoting its intention to deepen cooperation with NATO," the council said in a statement, according to Interfax. The council also noted a June statement by U.S. government officials saying they had no verified information about Ukraine's alleged arms supplies to Iraq. The article reignited a long-simmering scandal about Ukraine's alleged illegal ties with Iraq. In January, Ukrainian lawmakers appealed to prosecutors to investigate media claims based on the bodyguard's tapes that Kuchma and his aides were involved in arms supplies to Baghdad. Kuchma and other officials have strongly denied the accusations, and prosecutors dismissed the charges. NATO's Robertson said Kuchma assured him that a full investigation will be made into the new allegations. "The Ukrainian authorities have made it clear to me that they would never be involved in anything that broke the United Nations sanctions regime with Iraq," Robertson said in comments to reporters after two days of meetings with Ukrainian officials in Kiev. http://hoovnews.hoovers.com/fp.asp?layout=displaynews&doc_id=NR20020713670.2 _cac700025cd683a0 * GOVT ORDERED TO REPAY LOANS TO IRAQ by Halima Abdallah Financial Times (Hoover's, from AllAfrica Global Media(allafrica.com)), 12th July The High Court has ordered government to repay a Shs 2.1bn loan, outstanding to the Iraq Development Fund. Justice Okumu Wengi, however, struck out the order for costs and the question of Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC). The loan was given to Uganda in 1975 for the development of ginneries, coffee processing and building of storage facilities. Iraq sued the government for the recovery of $10.9m it claims it loaned to Uganda between 1975 and 1977 with an interest of 2.5 percent per annum. Iraq refused to waive part of the loan under HIPC on grounds that it does not subscribe to the World Bank and International Monetary Fund. Government agreed it had borrowed money from the Fund, but said only $6.4m was disbursed, out of which $1.9m was repaid, leaving a balance of $5.8m. The amount has remained outstanding since June 2000. Government however, contends that the amount is subject to the Highly Indebted Poor Countries initiative because it is a condition under HIPC that no debtor gives preferential treatment to any creditors in the servicing of the loan. The amount now to be repaid takes into consideration HIPC. The HIPC initiative requires that a creditor waive 80 percent of the debt owed to him. IRAQI/UN RELATIONS http://www.cnn.com/2002/WORLD/meast/07/09/iraq.arms.reut/index.html * IRAQ: UN CAVING TO UNITED STATES PRESSURE CNN, 9th July BAGHDAD, Iraq (Reuters) -- Iraq Tuesday accused the U.N's chief weapons inspector of bowing to U.S. pressure and scuppering talks on the return of arms experts to Baghdad. "It was very clear that America pushed the head of the inspection team, Mr Hans Blix, to obstruct discussions and hinder a joint agreement," Foreign Minister Naji Sabri told reporters after returning from the talks in Vienna last week. Blix, executive chairman of the U.N. Monitoring, Verification and Inspections Commission, attended the two-day talks along with U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan. The sides failed to reach agreement on the return of arms inspectors, who left Iraq in December 1998 on the eve of a U.S.-British bombing campaign over Baghdad's refusal to cooperate with the weapons experts. Checking on Iraq's alleged efforts to build weapons of mass destruction is key to suspending U.N. sanctions imposed after Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990, sparking the Gulf War. Iraq wants the 12-year-old sanctions lifted before it allows the inspectors to return. Sabri said Blix had refused to hold "meaningful discussions" on what had and had not been achieved during years of U.N. inspections in Iraq from May 1991. "Without agreeing on what has not been achieved, we cannot go forward," Sabri said. President Bush Monday opened wide the door to possible military action against Iraq, saying the United States would use all tools available to oust Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. Bush has branded Iraq part of an "axis of evil" along with Iran and North Korea. Official U.S. policy is to bring about a "regime change" in Baghdad. OIL MATTERS NO URL: The article was sent without a url by the Mariam Appeal's IRAQ SANCTIONS MONITOR (Number 476). * IRAQ SAYS 35 BLN BBLS OIL RESERVES POSTPONED BY SANCTIONS. GENEVA, July 8 (Reuters) - Oil companies biding their time for an end to sanctions on Iraq for access to Baghdad's vast crude reserves could find an even bigger prize awaits them than previously estimated, a senior Iraqi official said on Monday. Baghdad believes sanctions have prevented another 35 billion barrels of discoveries on top of the recognised 115-billion-barrel estimate for Iraq's oil wealth Faleh al-Khayat, director general of the technical department at the Iraqi Ministry of Oil, told a CWC- organised conference. The oil has remained off-limits to foreign companies since the United Nations imposed sanctions for Baghdad's August 1990 invasion of Kuwait. The prize is huge. Second only to those held by Saudi Arabia, the reserves are already four times the volumes held in the United States and eight times the reserves of the combined UK and Norwegian sectors of the North Sea. With speculation mounting over the timing of an end to sanctions following a U.S. military strike, Baghdad's easily tapped and inexpensive onshore fields could soon be within reach. Khayat said officials estimated eventual Iraqi reserves at as much as 220 billion barrels. The estimates are untested, as Iraq has done little exploration in the past decade. "The Iraqi oil industry cannot develop or prosper under the (sanctions) regime," Khayat said. Iraq's current production would also have risen to six to seven million barrels per day (bpd) without the sanctions, versus the current sustainable level of around 3.1 million bpd, Khayat added - supplies that could have helped meet rising demand and keep a lid on prices. "One day soon the world will very much regret that the development of the Iraqi oil industry was hindered all these years," he said. Iraq has been able to use oil revenues to buy necessary equipment for maintaining its oil infrastructure for the last five years, but Khayat said they had only received around $1 billion versus $4.2 billion in allocations due to the failure of U.N. approval for a number of contracts. Potential exports of a total 2.2 million bpd are hindered both by capacity restrictions and by a lack of demand for Baghdad's oil, but the former issue is already being addressed in anticipation of higher output. Repairs to a pumping station on the Kirkuk-Turkey pipeline should be completed in the next few months, boosting capacity on the line to 1.5 million bpd from 1.15 million bpd, Khayat said. However, with Kirkuk production on the decline and no immediate need to add extra Mediterranean exports from the southern oilfields, the additional capacity is not expected to be filled in the near term. While French and Russian oil firms have often been tipped as likely frontrunners once the industry is opened thanks to their warmer national ties, Baghdad appears to have run out of patience on some pending projects. In May Iraq brought on stream the giant 10-30 billion barrel Majnoon field at 50,000 bpd, a prospect on which TotalfinaElf has been hoping for exclusive negotiating rights. It is also moving ahead on the eight billion barrel West Qurna field, for which a $3.5 billion contract with a Russian consortium led by Lukoil was signed 1997, pending the lifting of sanctions. And instead of exporting countries to invest regardless of the restrictions imposed by the United Nations, Baghdad is attempting to turn the PR tables. "We will not allow any foreign investment under the sanctions regime," Khayat said. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,3-352935,00.html * WEST SEES GLITTERING PRIZES AHEAD IN GIANT OILFIELDS by Michael Theodoulou in Nicosia and Roland Watson The Times, 11th July THE removal of President Saddam Hussein would open Iraqs rich new oilfields to Western bidders and bring the prospect of lessening dependence on Saudi oil. No other country offers such untapped oilfields whose exploitation could lessen tensions over the Western presence in Saudi Arabia. After Kuwait's liberation by US-led forces in 1991, America monopolised the postwar deals, but the need to win international support for an invasion is unlikely to see a repeat. Russia, in particular, and France and China all permanent members of the United Nations Security Council have high hopes of prising promises of contracts in a liberated Iraq from a United States that may need their political support. President Bush has used the War on Terror to press his case for drilling in a protected Arctic refuge, but predicted reserves in Alaska are dwarfed by the oilwells of the Gulf. Anthony Cordesman, of the Centre for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, said that the issue for the US was as much the security of the Gulf as access to particular oilfields. "You are looking down the line to a world in 2020 when reliance on Gulf oil will have more than doubled. The security of the Gulf is an absolutely critical issue." Gerald Butt, Gulf editor of the Middle East Economic Survey, said: "The removal of Saddam is, in effect, the removal of the last threat to the free flow of oil from the Gulf as a whole." Iraq has oil reserves of 112billion barrels, second only to Saudi Arabia, which has some 265billion barrels. Iraqi reserves are seven times those of the combined UK and Norwegian sectors of the North Sea. But the prize for oil companies could be even greater. Iraq estimates that its eventual reserves could be as high as 220billion barrels. Three giant southern fields - Majnoon, West Qurna and Nahr Umar have the capacity to produce as much as Kuwait. The first two could each equal Qatar's production of 700,000 barrels a day. "There is nothing like it anywhere else in the world. Its the big prize," Mr Butt said. Extraction costs in these giant onshore fields, where development has been held up by more than two decades of war and sanctions, would also be among the lowest in the world. Provided that the US can ensure stability in a post-Saddam Iraq, it would take five years, at most, to develop the oilfields and Iraqs prewar capacity of three million barrels a day could reach seven or eight million, industry experts said. However, regime change in Baghdad will be of little value to international oil companies unless it is followed by a stable Iraq with a strong central government. Companies cant go in unless there is peace. To develop Majnoon, you need two to three billion dollars and you dont invest that kind of money without stability, one industry analyst said. LEST WE FORGET http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow.asp?art_id=15280430 * MISSILES FIRED AT US, BRITISH PLANES: IRAQ Times of India (from AFP), 7th July BAGHDAD: Iraq said it fired surface-to-air missiles Sunday at US and British warplanes launching raids over the south of the country and claimed it forced them to flee. "Enemy warplanes coming from Kuwait, supported by AWACS from Saudi airspace, carried out raids" over 16 locations in southern Iraq at 0300 GMT "before fleeing under fire from missile batteries and anti-aircraft artillery," a military spokesman said, quoted by Iraq's INA news agency.AWACS (Airborne Warning and Control Systems) is a high tech airborne radar system. Almost daily skirmishes are reported in the skies of Iraq, which Washington and London patrol to impose a policy of containment on Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's forces.[.....] IRAQIS OUTSIDE IRAQ http://cgi.worldnews.com/?action=display&article=14568311&template=baghdad/i ndexsearch.txt&index=recent * SADDAM'S STEPSON BACK IN NEW ZEALAND The Associated Press, 10th July Auckland, New Zealand: Saddam Hussein's stepson arrived in his adopted home country of New Zealand early Wednesday after being deported from the United States, where he had tried to enroll in a flight school used by a Sept. 11 hijacker. Mohammed Nour al-Din Saffi arrived in New Zealand in the custody of an FBI officer, said Mark Champion, a spokesman for Air New Zealand, the company Saffi works for as an engineer. Saffi, 36, a naturalized New Zealand citizen, was arrested by U.S. authorities in Florida on July 3 for immigration violations. Officials led him through a side exit at Auckland's airport to avoid waiting news crews. At his modest suburban home in Auckland, New Zealand's largest city, curtains were drawn and nobody answered the door. ``I'm sorry, we're not interested (in speaking),'' a woman who answered the Saffi family's telephone said to The Associated Press before hanging up. Saffi was deported Monday because he did not apply for a student visa that would have allowed him to take courses at a Miami-based flight school. Instead he traveled as a tourist under a visa waiver as a citizen of New Zealand. According to the FBI, Saffi planned to attend classes at Aeroservice Aviation Center, where one of the Sept. 11 hijackers, Ziad Jarrah, had trained. Jarrah was aboard a United Airlines flight that crashed in rural Pennsylvania. Authorities in New Zealand said that there was no evidence that Saffi was connected to any terrorist group. No criminal charges are pending against Saffi in the United States, the Naturalization and Immigration Service said. Saffi is the eldest son of Samira al-Shahbandar, who is now Saddam's second wife. His father is Nour al-Din Saffi, an aviation engineer and former head of Iraqi Airways. Saffi, who is married and has two teenage children, has lived and worked in New Zealand for about six years. Air New Zealand said Saffi was expected to return to work ``soon.'' He has been on vacation, and the flight training was a private activity not related to his work, airline spokesman Champion said. Jimmy Brooks, director of air freight company Tiger Lines Cargo, claimed Friday he sent Saffi to a Miami flying school to get his Boeing 727 pilot's license re-certified. Brooks told The Associated Press that Saffi planned to work part time for his Auckland-based company as a flight engineer. The company has yet to begin operations. _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-discuss To contact the list manager, email firstname.lastname@example.org All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk