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]

[casi] Straw's comments on inspectors

Particularly noteworthy is Straw's statement that existing UN policy is
'defective'. He has also revised his estimate of the number of resolutions
Iraq is in breach of to nine.


'Saddam Hussein's games'

In a television interview on 2 October 2002, the Foreign Secretary, Jack
Straw said that Saddam Hussein had 'shifted ... because of the credible
threat of force which is being made by the international community'.

He said that the UN weapons inspectors 'can only operate with the existing
policy', a policy which is 'defective'. Mr Straw called for 'a new
comprehensive and tough resolution of the Security Council'. He reiterated:
'any action that is taken ... will always be consistent with international

Read the interview the Foreign Secretary gave to Sky News below.

Foreign Secretary:

We have to be absolutely clear that the only reason why Saddam Hussein has
shifted this far is because of the credible threat of force which is being
made by the international community because of the flagrant breach by
Saddam Hussein of United Nations Security Council resolutions over four

We've great respect for Hans Blix, the United Nations Chief Weapons'
Inspector, but Hans Blix is a senior Civil Servant of the United Nations
and can only operate within the existing policy. That policy is defective.
And what we have to have is upgraded weapons' inspection arrangements where
it's the international community, not Saddam Hussein playing games, which
determines how these inspections take place and what the consequences will
be for Saddam Hussein if he continues to play games as he's done so over
the past four years.


The Americans say that if Hans Blix goes ahead and goes in to Iraq, or
wants to go in to Iraq without a new resolution, they will go in to thwart
mode. Now would you back the Americans on that?

Foreign Secretary:

Look, Hans Blix is making a report to the Security Council tomorrow. I
intend to await that report. What is happening alongside that in parallel
is detailed negotiations with our partners on the permanent membership of
the Security Council, Russia, China, France and the United States and with
the elected ten members about a new Security Council resolution. And the
very fact that Saddam Hussein has shifted this far, but only under the
threat of force, makes the case even stronger for a new comprehensive and
tough resolution of the Security Council.


But if we don't achieve that tough resolution and if it's a question of
going with the UN or the US which do we go with?

Foreign Secretary:

We are aiming to achieve that new tough resolution, but I've made clear and
so has the United States that any action that is taken, in which we
participate or the United States participates, will always be consistent
with international law.

And never forget that Saddam Hussein's argument, is not with the United
States, is not with United Kingdom, it's with the United Nations. And he's
already in breach of nine separate Security Council resolutions.


Are you saying that the UN isn't effective enough by saying that Hans Blix
is a Civil Servant?

Foreign Secretary:

No. He's a remarkable Civil Servant, a man for whom I've got great respect,
but like all Civil Servants he has to operate within the law as it is and
it's the current law of the United Nations, particularly the inspection
resolutions of the Security Council, which are inadequate. Everybody now
recognises they're inadequate and Saddam Hussein is actually making our
case because just three weeks ago he was saying he would never permit
unconditional inspections. For four years he's been playing games.

Why has he changed? There's only one reason, because he recognises that he
has to because there is a credible threat of force out there. What we now
have to do is to put this pressure together in a new effective and tough


Why is it so important that the UN inspectors should be able to go in to
Saddam Hussein's palaces?

Foreign Secretary:

Some of these palaces have an area almost the size of this town of
Blackpool. It's well known that within these so called presidential palaces
much of the manufacture of weapons of mass destruction has taken place. And
it's just a further illustration of the way this man plays games.

Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.
To unsubscribe, visit
To contact the list manager, email
All postings are archived on CASI's website:

[Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq Homepage]