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All, It doesn’t appear that the ‘new agreement’ with Iraq differs substantially from the 2/23/98 MOU. If the details of the agreement as reported by today’s Times Online are accurate, the ‘new agreement’ uses (a) the same MOU language of “immediate, unconditional and unrestricted access”; (b) the same MOU restriction of access to Presidential sites, that is, the adherence to “specific detailed procedures which will be developed given the special nature of the Presidential Sites, in accordance with the relevant resolutions of the Security Council”. If this is what is accepted and put into practice, I see a repeat of late-spring – December 1998 on the horizon: inspectors go in; they are (a) unable get enough information to determine whether or not the Iraqi government is engaging in deception at presidential sites or sensitive sites, or (b) they find evidence of possible deception; pressure is applied to get Iraq to comply and open up; Iraq claims violation of sovereignty, bad faith on the part of the United States and UK and puts its foot down; then military action. In my view, the US draft SCR has some strengths that the new UN-Iraq agreement doesn’t: (1) By establishing no-fly and no-drive zones, it limits the potential harassment of inspectors, while at the same time, it makes it somewhat less likely that equipment/materiel of possible interest can be transported out the back door as inspectors come knocking at the front. (2) Again, unrestricted access to Presidential and sensitive sites (access not limited by existing MOU language). (3) Openness for diplomatic representation, but from P-5 Security Council members only. This provides the opportunity for ‘checks and balances’ and/or insurance against accusations that the inspectors are acting as intelligence officers. At the same time, the '98 MOU Special Group had diplomatic representation included (but was not limited to): Hungary, Romania, Sudan, Brazil, Gambia, Gabon, Slovenia – just to name a few. Limiting it to the P-5 ensures that there are fewer ‘in-roads’ by which Iraq can divide team member from team member. (4) The American request for a weapons declaration from Iraq might have been answered already with the provision of the four CD-ROMs. It is a matter of evaluating them for accuracy, possible gaps, and inconsistencies. (5) Finally, and I realize this will be the most contentious (and I will admit my own political-philosophical bias as a political realist), states listen to diplomacy when it is made clear that military force will be used (either implied or explicitly stated). As with the 1998 MOU, the new/old UN-Iraq agreement has no provision for ‘what happens if Iraq chooses to comply or not comply”. The United States’ draft SCR at least spells out the punishment. As I read it, the only reference to any reward/punishment for compliance/ noncompliance in the ’98 MOU was, “The lifting of sanctions is obviously of paramount importance to the people and Government of Iraq and the Secretary-General undertook to bring this matter to the full attention of the members of the Security Council.” Not a “you comply-we lift sanctions” contract. I think one might make a good argument that this intentional ‘skirting around’ the issue of explicit reward/punishment in the ’98 MOU (whether it was sanctions-removal or military action) contributed in large measure to the “August crisis” in 1998 and Desert Fox. It could easily do the same in 2003. Interested in feedback. Cheers, Brian Auten _______________________________________________ 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