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Dear All Further to Brian's excellent response, the relevant extract from a letter I wrote this morning to a UK news programme which completely missed the point is below. My notes on the Blair dossier, which incorporate some of this, are at: http://middleeast.reference.users.btopenworld.com/iraqncbfurther.html Otherwise, the CASI website has a list of links to security council resolutions with associated documentation at: www.casi.org.uk/info/scriraq.html - see 1998 for the links to the agreements. Glen. ---- The 8am report said that under the existing arrangements, weapons inspectors had no access to Presidential sites or ministries. This was used to explain the US position that a new SCR would be necessary before the resumption of inspections. This is clearly false: the two categories of "presidential and sovereign sites" and "sensitive sites" were dealt with under agreements between the UN and the Government of Iraq that permitted inspectors access. For the "presidential and sovereign sites", the agreement was the Memorandum of Understanding between Kofi Annan and Tariq Aziz: http://www.un.org/Depts/unscom/s98-166.htm of 23 February 1998. This allowed weapons inspectors access to all sites in Iraq, as long as they were accompanied by senior diplomats appointed by the UN Secretary-General at eight listed Presidential sites (the procedure for inspections is at: http://www.un.org/Docs/sc/letters/1998/s1998208.htm and the area of the sites is defined by the UN technical mission at: http://www.un.org/Docs/sc/letters/1998/s1998167.htm). The Memorandum of Understanding was endorsed by the UN Security Council in Resolution 1154 (2 March 1998); it was agreed to by the British government of the time, also headed by Prime Minister Blair. The Iraqi government seems to have fulfilled the terms of the Memorandum of Understanding, and no further delays and obstacles were reported by weapons inspectors over these sites in the remaining period of inspections. Satisfactory compliance from the Government of Iraq with regard to Presidential sites was noted in the reports to the Security Council of 15 April 1998 (S/1998/326) and 6 May 1998 (S/1998/377), and was welcomed in a statement of the President of the Security Council of 14 May 1998 (S/PRST/1998/11). The relevant URLs are: http://www.un.org/Depts/unscom/s98-326.htm http://daccess-ods.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/N98/134/09/PDF/N9813409.pdf?OpenElement For the sensitive sites (the reference to "ministries" on the Today programme, I guess), the relevant agreements were the June 1996 agreement between Rolf Ekeus (UNSCOM chair) and Tariq Aziz, which permitted teams of 4 inspectors to a defined set of sites; and the December 1997 agreement between Richard Butler (Ekeus' successor) and Aziz, which allowed the size of these teams to expand for larger sites. http://www.un.org/Depts/unscom/s97-987.htm These agreements were carried over to Unmovic, through SCR1284 para.4. Therefore, it's clearly inaccurate to suggest that existing arrangements prevent inspectors' access to existing sites of this nature. One counter-argument could be that these agreements hamstrung inspectors' work to such an extent that they left disarmament work unviable. Attempts to make this argument (eg: http://www.iraqwatch.org/wmd/defeatinspectors.htm) lack plausibility to me; a possible future discussion point on the programme? _______________________________________________ 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 email@example.com All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk