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[casi] News, 13-20/9/02 (1)

News, 13-20/9/02 (1)


*  UN agrees: Saddam's a threat
*  A Letter From Iraq to the Chief of the U.N.
*  Text of Annan's statement on Iraq
*  Text of White House Response to Iraq
*  Going Into Iraq With an Army of Inspectors
*  A semantic game
*  U.S. and Russia Differ Over Iraq
*  U.S.-Iraq Timeline
*  Date for next Security Council meeting on Iraq not settled
*  Iraq, UN inspectors to meet in 10 days in Vienna
*  How Iraq cheated in the past: an inspector's tale
*  Tubes sent to Jordan put focus on Iraq


*  OPEC at a glance
*  Iraq up to half capacity
*  Opec unanimously decides not to raise output


by Barry Schweid
Chicago Sun-Times, 15th September


But the secretary gave no indication that he received endorsement for using
force against Baghdad, as Bush has suggested may be necessary. And Chinese
Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan said in a speech to the General Assembly that
his government sought a political settlement, hinting that it would not
endorse force.

"Efforts should be made to prevent the arbitrary enlargement of the scope of
a counterterrorism campaign," he said.

As a permanent Security Council member, China could kill any resolution with
a veto.


Bush also wants congressional backing for possible military action against
Iraq, and he spoke mockingly of Democrats who have been holding back.

"Democrats waiting for the UN to act?" Bush asked with chuckle. "I can't
imagine an elected . . . member of the United States Senate or House of
Representatives saying, 'I think I'm going to wait for the United Nations to
make a decision.' "


While Russian support could be a boost for Bush, the president was still
struggling to draw support from Congress.

Democratic leaders said the administration must provide more information on
threats posed by Saddam and on U.S. plans for removing the Iraqi president
before Congress considers a resolution in support of military action.

"This is very serious business. Let's slow it down a bit," Sen. Joseph
Biden, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, said Friday.

Senate Majority Leader Thomas Daschle, a South Dakota Democrat, has said he
hasn't yet seen enough evidence to justify going to war against Saddam.

Still, on Capitol Hill, there was some good news for the administration.
Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman (D-Conn.) said he would work with members of both
parties to try to draw up a congressional resolution. The aim, he said, is
"the broadest possible bipartisan support for the president, as commander in
chief, as he works to protect our nation and the world from Saddam Hussein."

Congress is preparing to hold at least five hearings on the confrontation
with Iraq.


New York Times, 17th September

Following is the text of a letter that was sent yesterday by Naji Sabri,
Iraq's minister of foreign affairs, to Secretary General Kofi Annan,
allowing the return of United Nations weapons inspectors without conditions:

I have the honor to refer to the series of discussions held between Your
Excellency and the Government of the Republic of Iraq on the implementation
of relevant Security Council resolutions on the question of Iraq, which took
place in New York on 7 March and 2 May and in Vienna on 4 July 2002, as well
as the talks which were held in your office in New York on 14 and 15
September 2002, with the participation of the secretary general of the
League of Arab States.

I am pleased to inform you of the decision of the Government of the Republic
of Iraq to allow the return of United Nations weapons inspectors to Iraq
without conditions.

The Government of the Republic of Iraq has responded, by this decision, to
your appeal, to the appeal of the Secretary General of the League of Arab
States, as well as those of Arab, Islamic and other friendly countries.

The Government of the Republic of Iraq has based its decision concerning the
return of inspectors on its desire to complete the implementation of the
relevant Security Council resolutions and to remove any doubts that Iraq
still possesses weapons of mass destruction.

This decision is also based on your statement to the General Assembly on 12
September 2002 that the decision by the Government of the Republic of Iraq
is the indispensable first step towards an assurance that Iraq no longer
possesses weapons of mass destruction and, equally importantly, towards a
comprehensive solution that includes the lifting of the sanctions imposed on
Iraq and the timely implementation of the other provisions of the relevant
Security Council resolutions, including Resolution 687 (1991).

To this end, the Government of the Republic of Iraq is ready to discuss the
practical arrangements necessary for the immediate resumption of

In this context, the Government of the Republic of Iraq reiterates the
importance of the commitment of all member states of the Security Council
and the United Nations to respect the sovereignty, territorial integrity and
political independence of Iraq, as stipulated in the relevant Security
Council resolutions and Article II of the Charter of the United Nations.

I would be grateful if you bring this letter to the attention of the
Security Council members.

Please accept, Mr. Secretary General, the assurances of my highest

Minister of Foreign Affairs
Republic of Iraq

Houston Chronicle, from Associated Press, 16th September

The following is U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan's statement on Iraqi
weapons inspections:

"A lot has happened in this building since Thursday. I believe the
president's speech galvanized the international community. As most of you
heard, almost each speaker, every speaker in the General Assembly urged Iraq
to accept the inspectors, the return of the inspectors, and I can confirm to
you that I have received a letter from the Iraqi authorities conveying its
decision to allow the return of the inspectors without conditions to
continue their work and has also agreed that they were ready to start
immediate discussions on the practical arrangement for the return of the
inspectors to resume their work.

"I would want to pay particular tribute to all the member states and the
Arab League who played a key role in this and to thank Secretary-General Amr
Moussa of the Arab League for his strenuous efforts in helping to convince
Iraq to allow the return of the inspectors. I am now passing the letter on
to the Security Council and they will have to decide what they do next, and
of course (executive chairman of the U.N. Monitoring Verification and
Inspection Commission) Mr. Hans Blix and his team will be ready to continue
their work."

Las Vegas Sun, from The Associated Press, 16th September

The text of a statement by the White House in response to Iraq's offer for
the unconditional return of weapons inspectors:

As the president said, the U.N. Security Council needs to decide how to
enforce its own resolutions, which the Iraqi regime has defied for more than
a decade.

This will require a new, effective U.N. Security Council resolution that
will actually deal with the threat Saddam Hussein poses to the Iraqi people,
to the region, and to the world. That is the course the Security Council is
on, and the United States is engaged in consultations with Council members
and other partners in New York at this time.

This is not a matter of inspections. It is about disarmament of Iraq's
weapons of mass destruction and the Iraqi regime's compliance with all other
Security Council resolutions.

This is a tactical step by Iraq in hopes of avoiding strong U.N. Security
Council action. As such, it is a tactic that will fail.

It is time for the Security Council to act.

by Rolf Ekeus
The Washington Post, 17th September

For seven years, a United Nations team of inspectors under my direction
uncovered biological, chemical and nuclear weapons programs in Iraq by
scouring financial records, tracking down imported equipment, searching
laboratories and bases, and accounting for every one of the more than 900
Scuds the Soviet Union had provided to Baghdad. The Iraqi government did its
best to conceal most of this dangerous infrastructure.

Our experience from those years proves beyond doubt that Iraq has the
ambition and ability to acquire weapons of mass destruction. But it also
shows that international weapons inspectors, if properly backed up by
international force, can unearth Saddam Hussein's weapons programs. If we
believe that Iraq would be much less of a threat without such weapons, the
obvious thing is to focus on getting rid of the weapons. Doing that through
an inspection team is not only the most effective way, but would cost less
in lives and destruction than an invasion.

The question is whether weapons inspections can provide credible assurance
to an international community anxious to disarm Iraq. On that, there is
considerable debate and disagreement. But many people underestimate the
sophistication of inspections and the experts who devoted themselves to this

Take Iraq's biological weapons program, often cited as evidence of Baghdad's
ability to deceive weapons inspectors. In his speech to the UN General
Assembly on Thursday, U.S. President George W. Bush attributed the
successful uncovering of the bioweapons program to the fortuitous defection
of a senior Iraqi weapons official in 1995. In this case, the president does
not appear to have been well briefed. In fact, in April 1995, four months
before the Iraqi official defected, UN inspectors disclosed to the Security
Council that Iraq had a major biological weapons program, including a
sizable production facility. In later reports in June and July, the
inspection team, known as the UN Special Commission on Iraq, or UNSCOM,
added details about Iraq's research into weapons that could spread anthrax,
botulism, aflatoxin and gas gangrene. The defection of the Iraqi weapons
official, a son-in law of Saddam, in August provided some additional
confirmation and prompted the Iraqi regime to make some more admissions, but
the inspectors learned few new details.

The discovery of Iraq's bioweapons program was the work of smart inspectors,
not a godsend. One example of the many discoveries shows the detective work
involved. By examining letters of credit issued by Iraq's central bank,
UNSCOM found a Western company that had exported a spray drying system to
Iraq. The piece of equipment is common in agriculture. But when we
interviewed them, puzzled company officials said the Iraqi importer wanted
to use it to mill particles so small they would stay suspended in the
atmosphere. That set off alarm bells, because the only reason to do that
would be to make sure that particles could be inhaled. There is no civilian
reason to do that with this piece of agricultural equipment. To find other
corroborating evidence, UNSCOM searched normally innocent institutions such
as hospitals, university labs, health centers and veterinary centers, and
slowly a picture emerged of a major weapons program. UNSCOM profited from
breakthroughs in genetic analysis to discover traces of biological weapons
in samples obtained earlier at suspect facilities. If, in the face of Iraq's
total denial and noncooperation, the inspectors could find that kind of
carefully concealed activity, that should give us reason to trust a renewed
UN inspection system.

UNSCOM had other successes as well. In 1995, we found out about missile
guidance systems Iraq had smuggled in from Russia the same year, even as
inspections were going on. With inspectors in hot pursuit, Iraqi officials
tried to avoid detection by throwing the equipment into the River Tigris,
but UNSCOM divers were able to fish it out. This case was proof that Iraq
not only concealed but tried to reconstitute prohibited weapons programs.

The UN inspectors also found that Iraq was more advanced in its pursuit of
nuclear weapons than it had admitted or than was widely believed. Iraq had
obtained practically the entire design of a nuclear explosion device, and
appeared to have mastered most other technical aspects of the production of
nuclear weapons. It had not managed to acquire enough fissile material for a
nuclear device, though. To remedy this, Iraq had embarked on expensive
efforts to enrich uranium. This capacity was also dismantled by inspectors.

For a while, notwithstanding obstacles, the inspection regime worked. Then,
in 1998, Hussein started systematically blocking inspectors from entering
certain sites that were under suspicion. The five permanent members of the
UN Security Council were divided about how to react, the inspectors withdrew
and U.S. and British planes were sent to bomb Iraq in Operation Desert Fox.
Since then, there have been no UN inspectors in Iraq.

Thanks to the work of UN inspectors, not much was left of Iraq's once
massive weapons programs when inspections halted. The question now is how
much Baghdad has managed to acquire since then. Because of Saddam's
clandestine techniques, little can be proven. Assessments can be made on
what is possible and what is probable. A strong case can be made that Iraq,
with access to considerable financial resources from oil sales since 1998,
is making extensive efforts to rebuild its capabilities in weapons of mass
destruction. Given his proven recklessness and boundless ambitions, Saddam
is again posing a threat to the peace and prosperity of the Gulf region and

With his UN speech, Bush has opened the door for the UN to send in
inspectors again. If the UN now said it wanted to send in inspectors, Bush
would be hard-pressed to say no to an organization he sought to spur to
action. But the door might not be open long. The UN should take this
opportunity to create a system of coercive or armed inspections in order to
guarantee access to suspected weapons sites, as proposed by Jessica Mathews
and others at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

How should a UN inspection regime be reconstituted to prevent Iraq from
blocking inspectors and sowing discord among the five permanent members of
the Security Council? The answer lies in a radical strengthening of the
inspection system, based on the existing and largely untested UN Monitoring,
Verification and Inspection Commission, or UNMOVIC. The inspectors should be
backed up by an inspection implementation force positioned in neighboring
countries and possibly in some parts of Iraq. Such a multinational force,
preferably under a U.S. commander, should be mandated by the Security

Any obstruction by Iraq should be met with immediate reaction. The head of
the inspection team, the executive chairman of UNMOVIC, should be given the
exclusive authority to call upon the military backup forces for support if
inspectors are blocked. No prior approval by the Security Council should be
required. The force commander would be responsible for military operations
in each situation. The goal of such an arrangement would be to deter Iraq
from a policy of obstruction and force it to give up its notorious efforts
at intimidation.

Bush is right to be concerned about Iraq. There are strong reasons to
believe that Saddam has designs on the Persian Gulf's oil resources and that
he seeks unchallenged leadership of the Arab world.

Bush is also right to be worried about what we don't know about Iraq's
weapons. The status quo cannot be an option. All the more reason to turn to
inspectors to eliminate these tools. If we live in fear of not knowing what
Iraq possesses, this is the only alternative to an invasion of Iraq, which
would carry high risks for innocent Iraqi civilians, U.S. and other
international forces and the stability of the region.

But the UN must ensure high quality inspections, strengthening their
presence and guaranteeing access by providing inspectors with robust
military backup so they can carry out their mission in full.

Rolf Ekeus served as executive chairman of the United Nations Special
Commission on Iraq from 1991-97. He contributed this comment to The
Washington Post.

Interview by CASI list contributor, Nermin Al-Mufti with Scott Ritter
Al-Ahram Weekly, week beginning 15th September

Q. Your 1999 book on Iraq was entitled Endgame: Solving the Iraq Problem
Once and For All. What about the game now, has it come to an end?

A. Personally I never played any game. Endgame is a term used by political
scientists when they speak of a situation where the players pursue the
conflict to the bitter end. I gave my book that title because I was dealing
with US and UN involvement in Iraq, trying to find out how both players were
going to exculpate themselves from that situation.

The endgame option is the choice of the American government, which is at war
with Iraq. I find this unacceptable -- a choice that has no support in
international law, and that cannot be justified by the facts on the ground
given the extent of the disarmament programme carried out in Iraq. Speaking
about an endgame strategy does not mean I am here to play a game, I am not
playing any games.

Q. Iraqis early discovered the nature of the UNSCOM game -- a US game played
under the UN umbrella. Now it is natural to ask what is the next move?

A. Allowing the inspectors back in Iraq without any conditions. This way you
can bring the Iraqi issue to an end and lift the economic sanctions. If you
do this Iraq will regain normal relations with the world and enjoy better
economic conditions.

Q. But how can Iraq be sure that the new inspectors will not engage in
spying activities on behalf of the US?

A. There is no way to ensure that. The best way I could see, based on my
discussions with officials in various countries, is that UN inspectors have
to be honest brokers. Their mandate is one of independent and objective
monitoring, you cannot ensure that none of the observers is a spy but you
can make sure that they do not overstep the Security Council mandate.

Q. Could you elaborate on how did UNSCOM overstep this mandate in the past?

A. UNSCOM was manipulated by the US, especially under the lead of Richard
Butler, the second executive director of UNSCOM. From 1997-1998 Butler
stopped being a man objectively carrying out the will of the Security
Council and became the head of a US controlled UNSCOM, carrying out the will
of the US and the UK. When you enter that kind of buddy-buddy relationship,
when you become such buddies you give your buddy the green light to misuse
and abuse the relationship.

Q. How can inspectors such as Butler be avoided?

A. Let us concentrate on the basics first. Unless Iraq unconditionally
allows the inspectors back, there will be a war and Iraq will be destroyed.

Let us play a semantic game, whereby it is understood that inspectors must
return or there will be a war. Now, there are some governments saying that
if Iraq allows the inspectors back, they will make sure that those
inspectors do not overstep their mandate.

It is the only way. Can anybody guarantee the success? No.

Q. But Rumsfeld has said the issue is no longer one of inspectors

A. Donald Rumsfeld does not speak on behalf of the Security Council, or even
for the whole US administration. He speaks for Donald Rumsfeld. What he said
exposes the hypocrisy of the Bush administration regarding the present
situation in Iraq.

The Bush administration says on the one hand that a strike against Iraq is
necessary because of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), and in the same
breath it says that the issue of the inspectors no longer matters. This
suggests WMD are not the issue. What is the issue then? Why are they
advocating war? They tell the American public that war against Iraq is
necessary because Iraq, with its WMD, poses a threat to US security.

The only way out of this situation is to allow the inspectors back, so that
they can tell the world that Iraq has no WMD. Only when they say so can the
American public discover that a war against Iraq is not a war in defence of
the interests of the Americans, but is a war waged to further the interests
of the Bush administration.

Q. If the inspectors are allowed back, how much time do you think they will

A. Hans Blix, the director of the UNMOVIC said that his team could
reestablish basic facts regarding Iraq's WMD within six months. After that,
he will set forth outstanding issues that need to be resolved. If you have
honest brokers overseeing this work then the inspectors will focus on the
scientific and technical aspects. This process will not allow the return of
the political game as before with the US.

I myself believe that if the inspectors are allowed back, within six months
you will start seeing the positive results. Before a year the economic
sanctions will be lifted.

Q. Do you seriously believe that?

A. There is no other way but hope. Or else within six months Iraq will be

Q. In an interview with Swedish Radio Rulf Ekeus said that the new
inspectors will be equipped differently. What did he mean? Are they going to
be armed?

A. With the establishing of UNSCOM in 1991, the UN proposed to have armed
soldiers escorting the inspectors but that proposal was turned down.
Inspectors must be provided with all the facilities and must enjoy the
cooperation of the Iraqi government. If the Iraqi government chooses not to
cooperate, the inspectors should be withdrawn and the Security Council
should come up with other solutions, including military force.

But inspectors with arms, this is a prescription that will never succeed.

Q. You were one of the toughest UNSCOM inspectors. What had changed your

A. I have always worked for peace, even when I was in the Marines and during
the [Second Gulf] war. I think it is great when one fights a just war. As an
inspector, I was working under the mandate stipulated by UN Security Council
resolutions .

by Charles J. Hanley
Las Vegas Sun, 17th September

UNITED NATIONS (AP): The United States and Russia, divided by Iraq's
surprise acceptance of U.N. weapons inspectors, clashed on Tuesday over
whether to still confront Baghdad with new conditions or ultimatums.

The U.N. inspectors, meanwhile, moved ahead with arrangements for their
return, meeting with Iraqi officials and scheduling talks this month to make
final plans.

Secretary of State Colin Powell nonetheless reaffirmed Washington's call for
a tough anti Iraq resolution by the U.N. Security Council. "We have seen
this game before," a skeptical Powell said of Iraq's sudden about-face on

But Russia's foreign minister said he saw no immediate need for new U.N.
demands if the inspectors are quickly dispatched. He was backed up by Arab
leaders, Moscow's traditional allies. The "logic of war" may now be replaced
by "the logic of peace," said one.

In the Middle East, the business of preparing for war went on, as American
warplanes flew under aggressive new rules over Iraq, and U.S. commanders
considered basing heavy bombers closer by.

At a U.N. news conference at which Powell and Russia's Igor Ivanov laid out
conflicting views, Secretary-General Kofi Annan appealed for them to stick
together on Iraq.

This is "the beginning, not an end," he said. "We should try to maintain the
unity of purpose that has emerged."

The 15 member nations of the Security Council then went into closed-door
consultations on a timetable for dealing with the fast-changing Iraq issue.

The council majority decided, despite a U.S. request for more time, to
quickly schedule a meeting, possibly Wednesday, with chief weapons inspector
Hans Blix to discuss practicalities of renewed inspections. The Americans,
supported by Britain and Colombia, wanted first to prepare a new resolution,
diplomats said.


The Associated Press, 17th September

Timeline detailing history of efforts to obtain weapons inspections in Iraq,
as released by the White House:

—April 3, 1991: U.N. Security Council Resolution 687 (1991), Section C,
declares that Iraq shall accept unconditionally, under international
supervision, the "destruction, removal or rendering harmless" of its weapons
of mass destruction and ballistic missiles with a range over 150 kilometers.
One week later, Iraq accepts Resolution 687. Its provisions were reiterated
and reinforced in subsequent action by the United Nations in June and August
of 1991.

—May 1991: Iraq accepts the privileges and immunities of the Special
Commission (UNSCOM) and its personnel. These guarantees include the right of
"unrestricted freedom of entry and exit without delay or hindrance of its
personnel, property, supplies, equipment."

—June 1991: Iraqi personnel fire warning shots to prevent the inspectors
from approaching the vehicles.

—September 1991: Iraqi officials confiscate documents from the inspectors.
The inspectors refuse to yield a second set of documents. In response, Iraq
refuses to allow the team to leave the site with these documents. A four-day
standoff ensues, but Iraq permits the team to leave with the documents after
a statement from the Security Council threatens enforcement actions.

—Oct. 11, 1991: The Security Council adopts Resolution 715, which approves
joint UNSCOM and International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) plans for ongoing
monitoring and verification. UNSCOM's plan establishes that Iraq shall
"accept unconditionally the inspectors and all other personnel designated by
the Special Commission."

—Oct. 1991: Iraq states that it considers the Ongoing Monitoring and
Verification Plans adopted by Resolution 715 to be unlawful and states that
it is not ready to comply with Resolution 715.

—Feb. 1992: Iraq refuses to comply with an UNSCOM/IAEA decision to destroy
certain facilities used in proscribed programs and related items.

—April 1992: Iraq calls for a halt to UNSCOM's aerial surveillance flights,
stating that the aircraft and its pilot might be endangered. The President
of the Security Council issues a statement reaffirming UNSCOM's right to
conduct such flights. Iraq says that it does not intend to carry out any
military action aimed at UNSCOM's aerial flights.

—July 6-29, 1992: Iraq refuses an inspection team access to the Iraqi
Ministry of Agriculture. UNSCOM said it had reliable information that the
site contained archives related to proscribed activities. Inspectors gained
access only after members of the Council threatened enforcement action.

—January 1993: Iraq refuses to allow UNSCOM to use its own aircraft to fly
into Iraq.

—June-July 1993: Iraq refuses to allow UNSCOM inspectors to install
remote-controlled monitoring cameras at two missile engine test stands.

—Nov. 26, 1993: Iraq accepts Resolution 715 and the plans for ongoing
monitoring and verification.

—Oct. 15, 1994: The Security Council adopts Resolution 949, which demands
that Iraq "cooperate fully" with UNSCOM and that it withdraw all military
units deployed to southern Iraq to their original positions. Iraq withdraws
its forces and resumes working with UNSCOM.

—March 1996: Iraqi security forces refuse UNSCOM teams access to five sites
designated for inspection. The teams enter the sites after delays of up to
17 hours.

—March 19, 1996: The Security Council issues a presidential statement
expressing its concern over Iraq's behavior, which it terms "a clear
violation of Iraq's obligations under relevant resolutions." The council
also demands that Iraq allow UNSCOM teams immediate, unconditional and
unrestricted access to all sites designated for inspection.

—March 27, 1996: Security Council Resolution 1051 approves the export/import
monitoring mechanism for Iraq and demands that Iraq meet unconditionally all
its obligations under the mechanism and cooperate fully with the Special
Commission and the director-general of the IAEA.

—June 1996: Iraq denies UNSCOM teams access to sites under investigation for
their involvement in the "concealment mechanism" for proscribed items.

—June 12, 1996: The Security Council adopts Resolution 1060, which terms
Iraq's actions a clear violation of the provisions of the council's earlier
resolutions. It also demands that Iraq grant "immediate and unrestricted
access" to all sites designated for inspection by UNSCOM.

—June 13, 1996: Despite the adoption of Resolution 1060, Iraq again denies
access to another inspection team.

—Nov. 1996: Iraq blocks UNSCOM from removing remnants of missile engines for
in-depth analysis outside Iraq.

—June 1997: Iraqi escorts on board an UNSCOM helicopter try to physically
prevent the UNSCOM pilot from flying the helicopter in the direction of its
intended destination.

—June 21, 1997: Iraq again blocks UNSCOM teams from entering certain sites
for inspection.

—June 21, 1997: The Security Council adopts Resolution 1115, which condemns
Iraq's actions and demands that Iraq allow UNSCOM's team immediate,
unconditional and unrestricted access to any sites for inspection and
officials for interviews.

—Sept. 13, 1997: An Iraqi officer attacks an UNSCOM inspector on board an
UNSCOM helicopter while the inspector is attempting to take photographs of
unauthorized movement of Iraqi vehicles inside a site designated for

—Sept. 17, 1997: While seeking access to a site declared by Iraq to be
"sensitive," UNSCOM inspectors witness and videotape Iraqi guards moving
files, burning documents and dumping ash-filled waste cans into a nearby

—Nov. 12, 1997: The Security Council adopts Resolution 1137, condemning Iraq
for continually violating its obligations, including its decision to seek to
impose conditions on cooperation with UNSCOM. The resolution also imposes a
travel restriction on Iraqi officials who are responsible for or
participated in instances of noncompliance.

—Nov. 3, 1997: Iraq demands that U.S. citizens working for UNSCOM leave Iraq

—Dec. 22, 1997: The Security Council issues a statement calling upon the
government of Iraq to cooperate fully with the commission and stresses that
failure by Iraq to provide immediate, unconditional and unrestricted access
to any site is an unacceptable and clear violation of Security Council

—Feb. 20-23, 1998: Iraq signs a Memorandum of Understanding with the United
Nations on February 23, 1998. Iraq pledges to accept all relevant Security
Council resolutions, to cooperate fully with UNSCOM and the IAEA, and to
grant to UNSCOM and the IAEA "immediate, unconditional and unrestricted
access" for their inspections.

—Aug. 5, 1998: The Revolutionary Command Council and the Ba'ath Party
Command decide to stop cooperating with UNSCOM and the IAEA until the
Security Council agrees to lift the oil embargo as a first step toward
ending sanctions.


UNITED NATIONS, Sept. 17 (Xinhuanet) -- The UN Security Council failed
Tuesday to reach any agreement on the date for next meetingon Iraq, a
diplomat said.

"Most council members want a quick meeting to discuss the issue prompted by
Iraq's letter, but they faced strong objection from the United States and
Britain and decided to keep it open," a diplomat attending the closed-door
council meeting told Xinhua, oncondition of anonymity.

Ignited by Iraq's letter Monday night indicating its readiness to accept UN
inspectors unconditionally, the UN is undergoing hot debate over "what
should be done by the council."

Every issue in the complex, including the ongoing annual high-level debate
and the diplomatic Quartet meeting on the Middle East,seems to have been

But the council still moved slowly, under heavy risk of splitting. UN
spokesman Fred Eckhard announced earlier Tuesday that the closed
consultation of the council will try to figure out"when will they met on the
issue of Iraq," before it can move to discuss whether or not a new
resolution would be needed.

Meanwhile, the Iraqis have been reacting quickly to the supportgenerated
from its letter of invitation.

"We are ready for the speedy and immediate resumption of the inspections of
weapons," Iraqi Foreign Minister Naji Sabri told reports after a meeting
between chief UN inspector Hans Blix and senior Iraqi officials on
"practical arrangements" for the return of inspectors.


UNITED NATIONS, Sept. 17 (Xinhuanet) -- Iraq and the United Nations weapons
inspectors have agreed to meet in Vienna in 10 days, former Iraqi ambassador

Saeed Hassan told the UN on Tuesday that the meeting was designed to
finalize the Practical Agreement for the return of UN weapons inspectors.

He made the announcement at the end of an hour-long meeting with Chairman of
UN Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC) Hans Blix,
which he called "useful and fruitful."

"Also in this meeting we reiterate and express the readiness ofIraq for the
speedy and smooth resumption of UNMOVIC and IAEA (International Atomic
Energy Agency) activities," Hasan said.

Also presented at the meeting was Hussam Amin, head of the Iraqi National
Monitoring Directorate, the office used for liaisonwith UN inspectors.

Describing the meeting "preliminary," Iraqi Foreign Minister Naji Sabri said
he had not brought his full team to New York this week.

"We are ready for the speedy and immediate resumption of the inspections of
weapons," he reiterated. "We hope to continue lateron when we agree on
timings and other procedures."

According to Sabri, who did not take part in the meeting, the aim of the
talks was "to set dates and to speak about this question so we can move
quickly to the immediate implementation of our decision.",3604,794009,00.html

by Tim Trevan
The Guardian, 18th September

>From the outset, the weapons inspection process was a game of cat and mouse
or "cheat and retreat".

Iraq was supposed to declare all its holdings of nuclear, biological and
chemical weapons and long-range missiles, components of these, and their
means of production and use. We, the inspectors, were then to take
possession of these items and destroy them or otherwise render them unusable
for weapons purposes and to undertake inspections to ensure all weapons had
been declared.

Iraq's initial declarations were blatant lies. They declared no nuclear or
biological programmes, and far fewer missiles and chemical weapons than we
knew they had. We told them that, and started inspections to prove it.

The fourth nuclear inspection tried to gain access to a military site. The
unarmed inspectors were blocked by armed Iraqi guards. They could see the
Iraqis loading trucks with equipment and driving them out of the back gate.
They tried to give chase, but were shot at. Meanwhile, aerial and satellite
surveillance tracked the Iraqi convoy carrying the equipment.

Saddam refused access to the removed equipment. We informed the [UN]
security council, who dispatched the Unscom chairman and the head of the
International Atomic Energy Agency to Baghdad to deliver a stern warning to
Saddam - allow access or suffer "severe consequences" - UN code for military
action. Faced with this, Saddam backed down.

The removed equipment proved to be calutrons - equipment for making
weapons-grade uranium. Even faced with this incontrovertible proof of its
plans to build nuclear weapons, the Iraqi regime dissembled, claiming that
the calutrons were for a civil nuclear programme.

This pattern of "cheat and retreat" happened many times over the next seven

Iraq, faced with incontrovertible evidence that it was lying, would amend
its declarations to take into account any new evidence. We would analyse
their new declarations, and find them to be new lies. We would gather
information from other sources, such as Iraq's former suppliers, to prove
that Iraq was still lying. Iraq would again admit that it had not told the
whole truth, and make a new declaration. Each of these declarations turned
out to be just a new lie. With each iteration, Iraq would promise a new
chapter of full cooperation, similar to its current promise of unconditional
access to inspectors.

We forced Iraq to admit to programmes to produce nuclear and biological
weapons, and additional chemical and missile programmes they had initially
denied or not declared. Massive amounts of weapons, material and factories
were destroyed.

However, as time went on, it became ever more difficult for inspections to
find hidden materials. We used up all our good intelligence, and the stream
of defectors slowed down, so there was less information to act upon.

And the Iraqis learnt how to take counter-measures to thwart our efforts.
The lack of new "weapons finds" after 1995 emboldened the Iraqis to argue
that there was nothing left to find, whereas it really meant they were
hiding things better. Tonnes of materials for making the nerve agent VX and
the biological agents anthrax and botulinum toxin were never accounted for.

The inspectors' task is more daunting now than when I was with Unscom. There
are fewer external sources of information. Iraq's new suppliers know they
are acting illegally and so will not cooperate. Iraq has learnt how to build
weapons in ways which are harder to detect - underground, in radiation
shielded buildings, in mobile facilities.

But hardest for the inspectors is that the international community is
divided. Iraq only ever acceded to inspections because of the threat of
military action. They have done so again, but will block the inspectors
whenever they get close to finding something. Even in their letter accepting
renewed inspections, the Iraqi government has signalled its "right" to limit
access to certain sites. The letter refers to the need to respect Iraq's
sovereignty and national dignity, code for no inspections of palaces or
government ministry buildings.

Saddam will try to guess which sites will be inspected and sanitise them
before the inspectors arrive so that Iraq can "prove" its full cooperation
by allowing "unconditional access".

It will be back to the game of cat and mouse. The security council must
remember that inspections are not the objective - confirmed disarmament is.
Saddam has yet to cooperate with that goal.

— Tim Trevan was political adviser and spokesman from 1992-95 for the UN
special commission for Iraq, whose main task was to monitor compliance with
UN resolutions

Saddam's box of tricks

Britain and the United States claimed yesterday that Iraq's decision to
grant access to arms inspectors "without conditions" is another ruse by
Saddam Hussein to string along the United Nations. In the past Saddam has
employed a series of tricks to defy the UN and he may be tempted to use them

— Pedantry One of his oldest techniques is to wrangle over the wording of
documents presented to the UN. Past form suggests Saddam may insist that the
security council accept Iraq's offer exactly as spelt out in Monday night's
letter. This would give Iraq a chance to string out negotiations because the
letter calls for the implementation of the 1991 resolution 687 which said
inspections should start within 90 days.

— Restrictions The last round of inspections collapsed after Iraq demanded
that the purpose of some inspections be put in writing. Iraq may also be
tempted to restrict inspectors to military facilities. The Arab League said
yesterday that civilian sites should be out of bounds, to the fury of
Britain and America who believe that Saddam's palaces are used to hide

— Surveillance Hans Blix, the chief weapons inspector, fears the Iraqis may
demand that his officials are escorted, limiting their ability to carry out
no-notice inspections.

— Dispersal The new inspections team, the Unmovic, fears that the Iraqis may
provide accommodation which is awkward and a long way from where the
inspectors' helicopters are based - complicating impromptu inspections.

— Bugging Mr Blix fears that his staff may be forced to use the Iraqi
communications system, restricting their ability to talk freely to their
headquarters in New York and Vienna.

— Divide and rule Iraq is likely to try to ingratiate itself with Russia,
France and China - the three permanent members of the security council who
are sceptical of military action. Moscow said yesterday it saw no need for a
fresh resolution.

— Arab solidarity Iraq may try to build on the work of the Arab League,
which was instrumental in the negotiations in the runup to Monday's letter.
Improved relations with the Arab world will strengthen Iraq's hand in
resisting Anglo-American attempts to draw up a tough new resolution which
could include "coercive" inspections.

Saddam's overall aim, Britain and the US fear, would be to divide the five
permanent members of the security council and delay any military assault
until well into the New Year when the approach of summer will make the task
more difficult for the allies.

by George Jahn,
Boston Globe, from Associated Press, 19th September

VIENNA - Aluminum tubing sent from China to Jordan may have been destined
for Iraq to be used in enriching uranium for atomic weapons, international
nuclear officials and a former UN weapons inspector say.

The reports could suggest that contrary to its denials, Iraq harbors nuclear
ambitions but hasn't been able to buy the uranium it needs. On the other
hand, some specialists say the data isn't complete enough to make a definite
judgment of Iraq's intentions.

The shipment of aluminum tubing was reported by officials working for
international organizations in Western Europe in interviews last week and
Tuesday. The tubes were found in Jordan in the last 14 months, said one of
the officials. All of them spoke on condition of anonymity.

Authorities in China and Jordan denied there was any such shipment, however.

The Bush administration alleges that thousands of pieces of tubing have been
intercepted en route to Iraq. Administration officials believe the material
was being sent to Iraq to build centrifuges for developing nuclear weapons.

The centrifuges are high-speed rotating drums that take raw uranium and
separate it into different varieties of the element: a heavier form, which
is not useful in nuclear weapons; and a lighter form, which is. Because the
process is highly inefficient, it requires hundreds or thousands of linked
centrifuges to concentrate the light form of uranium sufficiently to be used
in an atomic bomb.

In the past, Iraq has used heavy-gauge aluminum tubing to build centrifuges
for refining raw uranium into fuel for a nuclear weapon. Those devices were
destroyed during the 1990s by UN weapons inspectors.

If Iraq is seeking to rebuild centrifuges for a nuclear program, it could
indicate it lacks an outside source of weapons-grade nuclear fuel.

Garry Dillon, who went to Iraq as a weapons inspector in the 1990s, said the
lack of information from the Bush administration makes it difficult to
determine the significance of the alleged Iraqi attempts to ship in aluminum

"Aluminum tubes come in all shapes and forms, from crutches to centrifuge"
parts, Dillon said from London. "Nobody has enough information to decide
what was the objective of this piping."

Because the material must be spun repeatedly by hundreds of centrifuges,
Iraq would need "miles" of such tubing, Dillon said.

Tim Brown of Global, a nongovernment nuclear monitoring group
based in Alexandria, Va., said the centrifuges Iraq once used spin at speeds
of 1,000 revolutions per minute.

One of the two nuclear officials who spoke to the Associated Press said the
tubing intercepted in Jordan fits a profile that would raise alarms in
Washington, but added it was not clear if US officials were referring to
that shipment.

"The end user was never officially identified," the official said. "But this
may be one of the shipments they are referring to."

President Bush touched on the aluminum tube shipments in a UN speech last
week, warning that Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction pose a
threat to the world.

One US-based specialist said Bush administration officials have told him of
at least two attempts to secure aluminum tubing in the past 14 months. The
specialist has close ties to the administration and formerly worked with the
International Atomic Energy Agency to monitor Iraq's nuclear program.

He said he had been consulted over the past year by a government other than
the United States for his opinion on a shipment of aluminum tubing
apparently suspected of having been ordered by Baghdad. He said the
government divulged no details on the find.


The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries still carries a lot of
weight when it comes to setting prices in the world oil markets, but because
of the growth of Mexico, Norway and Russia, its influence is diminishing.

— Founded Baghdad, Iraq, in 1960.
— Accounts for 40 percent of world oil production.
— Makes up 77 percent of the world's proven oil reserves.
— OPEC price band: $22 to $28 per barrel.

The date joined is in parentheses for countries that are not original OPEC

— Oil reserves: 261.8 billion barrels
— Production: 7.567 million barrels/day
— Quota: 7.053 million barrels/day
— Surplus capacity: 2.4 to 2.9 million barrels/day

— Oil reserves: 89.7 billion barrels
— Production: 3.4 million barrels/day
— Quota: 3.186 million barrels/day
— Surplus capacity: 450,000 barrels/day

— Oil reserves: 77.7 billion barrels
— Production: 2.732 million barrels/day
— Quota: 2.497 million barrels/day
— Surplus capacity: 5,000 barrels/day

— Oil reserves: 97.8 billion barrels
— Production: 1.99 million barrels/day
— Quota: 1.894 million barrels/day
— Surplus capacity: 590,000 barrels/day

— Reserves: 112.5 billion barrels
— Production: 1.971 million barrels/day
— Quota: No export quota.
— Surplus capacity: 1.055 million barrels/day

NIGERIA (1971)
— Reserves: 24.0 billion barrels
— Production: 1.926 million barrels/day
— Quota: 1.787 million barrels/day
— Surplus capacity: 290,000 barrels/day

— Oil reserves: 96.5 billion barrels
— Production: 1.91 million barrels/day
— Quota: 1.741 million barrels/day
— Surplus capacity: 480,000 barrels/day

LIBYA (1962)
— Oil reserves: 29.5 billion barrels
— Production: 1.32 million barrels/day
— Quota: 1.162 million barrels/day
— Surplus capacity: 70,000 barrels/day

— Oil reserves: 5.0 billion barrels
— Production: 1.11 million barrels/day
— Quota: 1.125 million barrels/day
— Surplus capacity: 105,000 barrels per day

ALGERIA (1969)
— Reserves: 9.2 billion barrels
— Production: 850,000 barrels/day
— Quota: 693,000 barrels/day
— Surplus capacity: 230,000 barrels/day
QATAR (1961)
— Reserves: 15.2 billion barrels
— Production: 630,000 barrels/day
— Quota: 562,000 barrels/day
— Surplus capacity: 170,000 barrels/day


— Oil reserves: 48.6 billion barrels
— Production: 7.29 million barrels/day
— Exports: 4.76 million barrels/day

— Reserves: 26.9 billion barrels
— Production: 3.59 million barrels/day
— Exports: 1.65 million barrels/day

— Oil reserves: 9.4 billion barrels
— Production: 3.41 million barrels/day
— Exports: 3.22 million barrels/day

Sources: Energy Information Administration, BP Statistical Review of World

World Oil (AFP), 18th September

Iraqi oil exports under UN supervision rebounded to 914,000 barrels a day
last week, about half Iraq's capacity, the office administering the United
Nations oil-for-food programme said.

The weekly total of 6.4 million barrels was up from the previous week's low
of 2.6 million barrels.

Independent experts estimate Iraq's export potential at about 2.1 million
barrels a day.

With Iraqi oil priced at an average of €26.35 per barrel, revenue last week
was estimated at €170 million.

The UN's oil overseers approved three new contracts last week, bringing to
157 the number approved so far for the current 180-day phase of the

The contracts cover a total of 354 million barrels of oil, of which Iraq has
exported only 98 million barrels since the start of the phase on May 30.

Estimated revenue so far in this phase, which runs to November 25, is €2.43
billion, the office said.

by Bayan Rahman in Osaka
Financial Times, 18th September

Saudi Arabia has agreed with other members of the Organisation of Petroleum
Exporting Countries not to increase oil output at its formal meeting in
Osaka on Thursday.

Sheikh Ahmad al-Fahd al-Sabah, acting oil minister for Kuwait, indicated
that Saudi Arabia had accepted the consensus view among other ministers. "We
(Opec) will continue with same production we have now," Mr al-Sabah said.

But the 11-member cartel is likely to meet again in December to review its

All eyes had been on Saudi Arabia on Wednesday on the eve of Opec's meeting
on oil production for the fourth quarter of this year. Saudi Arabia has the
world's largest oil reserves and is the dominant player in a meeting mindful
of the possibility of a US-Iraq war.

Other Opec ministers had said early that they did not see the need to
increase output, despite pressure from consumer countries to increase
production and curb oil prices, which had increased to $30 a barrels on
prospects of a war US-Iraq war. Prices eased a little after Baghdad said it
would allow United Nations weapons inspectors unconditional access.

Abdullah bin Hamad al-Attiyah, Qatar's oil minister, had earlier said Qatar,
Venezuela and Nigeria were opposed to an increase. "We are agreed that Opec
has no reason to increase production," Mr al-Attiyah said. This view has
also been expressed by Indonesia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates.

Opec members area already exceeding their quota by about 2m barrels a day.

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