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[casi] News, 28/9-4/10/02 (3)

News, 28/9-4/10/02 (3)


*  Germany and Pakistan to join Security Council
*  Presidential sites - a 'deal-breaker'
*  Years have been lost, and it isn't all Saddam's fault
 *  Iraq Suggests Inspection 'Companion Team'-Indonesia
*  US Wants Iraqi Scientists to Bring Families Out
*  U.N. [or rather Iraq] to pay Kuwait $700M for land mine cleanup
*  The UN resolution on Iraq
*  Russia rejects automatic force against Iraq
*  Iraq Arms Experts Probably Spied - Swede Inspector
*  Britain and US secure UN arms victory


*  Anti-Iraq war protests in Italy
*  France waves the stick and carrot
*  India may not oppose action against Saddam
*  [Hungarian] Government backs US, Britain on Iraq
*  Butler accuses US of nuclear hypocrisy
*  Bulgaria offers air base for strikes on Iraq
*  Envoy: Canada Not for Iraq Change
*  Nato challenged to back action on Iraq


*  Profile: Iraqi defector Wafiq Samarra'I


by Dafna Linzer
The Plain Dealer, 28th September

United Nations (AP): Germany and Pakistan were among five countries voted
into two-year terms on the Security Council yesterday as the powerful United
Nations body struggled over how to deal with Iraq and global terrorism.

U.S. diplomats said they planned to push through a resolution on Iraq before
Germany takes its seat at the council table on Jan. 1.

The United States would need nine council votes to authorize using force
against Baghdad if it fails to comply with U.N. weapons inspectors.

There are signs that Norway, which is losing its seat, is ready to support
such a draft, but Germany, whose Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder was re-elected
last week on promises to oppose a war in Iraq, was expected to vote against
a resolution brought after it takes its seat, diplomats said.

However, the United States would probably be able to count on the support of
Pakistan, which has become a key U.S. ally in the war on terrorism in
neighboring Afghanistan.

Pakistan joins the powerful council as it is embroiled in tensions with
India over Kashmir. Pakistan's presence raises to six the number of nuclear
countries on the council.

All the permanent and veto-holding countries - the United States, China,
France, Russia and Britain - have nuclear arsenals.

A veto by any of the permanent members kills a resolution. The 10 other
members of the council are chosen by the General Assembly for two-year

The rotating members enjoy all other aspects of council membership including
the right to propose resolutions, hold committee chairmanships and the
rotating council presidency for a one-month period.

Countries are nominated by their regional groups and elected in a secret
ballot by the General Assembly - which represents all 191 members of the
United Nations. Once a year, the assembly elects five new members to replace
five retiring ones. This year, there were no contested seats. Germany and
Spain will formally replace Ireland and Norway in the Western European

Pakistan will replace Singapore in the Asian seat, Chile will take
Colombia's Latin and Caribbean seat and Angola will replace Mauritius in an
African seat.

by Paul Reynolds
BBC, 1st October

The exclusion of the so called "presidential sites" from the discussions in
Vienna on the return of the weapons inspectors means that a major problem -
potentially a deal-breaker - is unresolved.

The Vienna talks did not deal with them because they were the subject of a
special agreement between the UN and Iraq in 1998.

The United States and Britain are now demanding what they describe as
"unfettered" access to all sites.

If they continue to include presidential sites in this definition and Iraq
refuses, then it could be a cause for breakdown - and a cause for war.

If they make an exception for presidential sites, it would undermine their
own charges that Iraq uses these places to hide forbidden weapons.

The recently published British dossier on Iraq claimed: "Many of these
so-called palaces are in fact large compounds which are an integral part of
Iraqi counter-measures designed to hide weapons material."

So they are still regarded as potentially significant.

The presidential sites - eight in number - were the subject of a special
agreement between the UN and Iraq in early 1998.

The UN Secretary General Kofi Annan flew to Baghdad himself to meet Saddam
Hussein. He did so because Iraq had suddenly refused access to the sites
even though they were not given any special protection in the original UN

It was agreed that a special procedure should apply to them.

‹ Any inspections of such sites had to be ordered by the heads of the
inspection commission (at the time it was Unscom) and the International
Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). That meant that inspections could not be left
to the teams on the ground in Iraq.

‹ The inspectors had to be specially chosen for specific tasks by the heads
of the two agencies. That was supposed to allay Iraqi fears that spies would
be among the inspectors.

‹ The Iraqis had to be notified of the date of inspection in advance.

‹ A special group of senior diplomats would be chosen by the UN to observe
the inspections.

That was agreed on 23 February 1998.

An inspection was ordered for 25 March and a subsequent UN report noted that
"Iraq had over a month to make whatever preparations it desired."

A team of just over 70 inspectors from 11 countries assembled in Bahrain and
flew into Iraq.

>From 25 March to 4 April, they visited all eight sites and inspected 1,000

Their report said that the main purpose of the visits was to draw up a
database and to gain a better understanding of the sites.

The inspection, the report said, "was not intended to be a search for
prohibited material and none was found".

In fact, there was little equipment or documentation anywhere.

"It is clearly apparent that all sites had undergone extensive evacuation,"
the report said.

"The buildings were largely empty."

Iraq said that they had cleared the sites in anticipation of air strikes.

Later that year, the inspection teams ran into other problems with the
Iraqis and were pulled out.

They have not been back.

by Barbara Crossette
International Herald Tribune, 1st October

NEW YORK: A strange bipartisan amnesia has overtaken Washington, obscuring
the story of how United Nations weapons inspections in Iraq lost their punch
and effectiveness.

In the critical late 1990s, it was the United States, the preeminent power
on the Security Council, that effectively stopped supporting the inspection
system, rendering it a sham. Democrats understandably do not want to
remember that. Republicans would find it inconvenient to have to share the
blame with an amorphous "UN" that the Bush administration pretends not to be
part of as it rattles sabers against the organization almost as frequently
as it threatens Iraq.

After the early, vigorous efforts of Madeleine Albright as ambassador to the
United Nations to hold Iraq to its disarmament obligations during the first
four-year Clinton administration, the steam went out of U.S. policy after
1996, when Albright moved to Washington as secretary of state and the
Clinton White House seemed indifferent to how the issue was handled in New
York. Just then, Saddam Hussein was beginning to demonstrate that he no
longer intended to play the cat-and-mouse game and would undercut the
experts who had found and destroyed more Iraqi weapons than had been
eliminated during the Gulf War.

At the United Nations, Washington was on "cruise control" by 1997. Crippling
sanctions could stay in place forever as far as Washington was concerned.
Saddam was "in his box." Others on the Security Council did not see this as
a policy, given that the Iraqis were finding novel ways of circumventing the
embargo, and especially the ban on oil sales, while propagandizing the
deprivations suffered by the Iraqi population, for which Washington was

The only nod to change came with U.S, backing for the "oil for food" program
that allowed UN-controlled petroleum sales to pay for civilian goods. That
program got off the ground late in 1997 and has been liberalized several
times since, bringing Iraq tens of billions of dollars in revenue. A more
thorough review of U.S. policy on Iraq was called for in the mid 1990s but
never materialized. Meanwhile, Russia, France and, intermittently, China
became increasingly willing to listen to Iraq's perennial lament that
unending, intrusive inspections were no longer necessary since weapons of
mass destruction were long gone - a claim that no one with any knowledge of
Saddam's government believed - and that steps toward the lifting of
sanctions could begin. By 1997, the year Richard Butler, a blunt Australian
disarmament expert, took over as executive chairman of the inspection system
- the United Nations Special Commission, or Unscom - the Security Council's
disarmament program in Iraq was in deep trouble. That year, the Iraqis
blocked inspection after inspection and tried to bar Americans from the
teams on the ground in Iraq.

There was bluster in Washington. But the Clinton administration was heading
into the Monica Lewinsky scandal and had been embarrassed by reports that
Washington was using inspection teams to set up spy operations for American
intelligence. Early in 1998, the United States acquiesced in a disastrous
diplomatic mission by Secretary-General Kofi Annan to Baghdad to sign an
agreement with Saddam to open disputed "presidential sites" to diplomats if
not inspectors.

By this time Iraq had a laundry list of places inspectors could not go. Iraq
was backing out of even this flimsy agreement before the ink was dry.

Washington said almost nothing. Nor did it put muscle behind the embattled
chief inspector, Butler, as he was stiffed, insulted and humiliated by the
Iraqis. By the summer of 1998, effective inspections were essentially over,
and the talents of a first-rate team of international arms experts put on
hold. The United States and Britain bombed Baghdad in December 1998,
ostensibly because of Iraqi noncompliance. The last inspectors had been
withdrawn by Butler hours before the attack.

Until this year, again under the threat of attack, Iraq never considered
allowing them back. A new inspection commission was created late in 2000, in
part because of Iraqi complaints about Unscom. Many diplomats at the United
Nations saw the U.S. bombing in 1998 as an easy alternative to tough
diplomacy or a more creative policy to deal with the recalcitrant and crafty
dictator in Baghdad. The U.S. ambassadorship to the United Nations was left
vacant for months on end. When Richard Holbrooke arrived at the United
Nations in 1999, he said he was too busy getting a deal to reduce American
dues to focus on Iraq. Later Holbrooke would acknowledge that U.S. policy
had reached a dead end.

Years were lost. Saddam Hussein is now richer and more belligerent. And
there is still no policy but war.

The writer, UN bureau chief for The New York Times from 1994 to 2001,
contributed this comment to the International Herald Tribune.


JAKARTA (Reuters) - Iraq has proposed Indonesia play a role in setting up a
"companion team" to monitor U.N. weapons inspectors should they re-enter the
country, Indonesia's foreign minister said Wednesday.

The proposal could further muddy diplomatic waters at a time when the United
States and Britain are demanding wide-open and condition-free arms
inspection in Iraq if that nation wants to avoid possible military action
against it.

Speaking to reporters after a meeting between Iraq's ambassador to Indonesia
and President Megawati Sukarnoputri, Foreign Minister Hassan Wirajuda said:

"The new thing from the meeting ... was Iraq's hopes that there should be a
companion team to the inspection team that will visit Iraq. This team can
witness the performance of the inspection team or at least be a witness to
the process so (it) can be transparent."

Wirajuda said the idea had originated with "friends of Iraq" and Baghdad
wanted Indonesia to play a role, but while Megawati said Jakarta was open to
participating it would first need further clarification and details.
Wirajuda did not elaborate.

by Evelyn Leopold, 2nd October

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - The Bush administration wants U.N. arms
inspectors to be able to evacuate Iraqi scientists, technicians and
officials along with their families, according to a draft U.N. Security
Council resolution.

The aim is to make sure the inspectors, if they return to Baghdad to search
for weapons of mass destruction, would have unrestricted and private access
to knowledgeable Iraqis and conduct interviews outside as well as inside

The inspectors would be able to "facilitate" the travel of those interviewed
-- and their families -- for meetings outside of Iraq. Diplomats said this
provision was proposed by the Iraqi opposition as part of the draft U.S.

"It sounds like an invitation for people to defect," one Western council
member said on Tuesday, speculating that the right to take scientists out of
the country might not make it to the final version.

Specifically, the text obtained by Reuters says that the inspectors "may at
their discretion conduct interviews inside or outside Iraq, facilitate the
travel of those interviewed and family members outside of Iraq, and that
such interviews shall occur without the presence of observers from the Iraqi

The proposed resolution has been discussed among ministers of the council's
permanent five members with veto rights -- the United States, Britain,
France, Russia and China. All five met on Tuesday to review the draft, which
faces stiff opposition from France, Russia and China.

The other 10 smaller nations in the council have not received the text yet,
indicating that differences remain among the permanent five powers.

The provision on the facilitating interviews was included because the United
States wants to ensure the Iraqi scientists can be interviewed without an
Iraqi government representative present and are not subject to intimidation,
diplomats said.

The draft resolution has several other contentious points, including the
explicit authorization of military action when any member of the United
Nations ( news - web sites), such as the United States, concludes that Iraq
has violated the resolution's terms.

The draft would guarantee the inspectors access by air and road to suspected
Iraqi weapons sites. This would give inspectors the right to stop air and
ground traffic to prevent Baghdad from hiding any equipment or materials
while searches were under way. Ways to enforce this are still in dispute.

The text of the proposed resolution also allows any of the five permanent
Security Council members to join an inspection as well as to suggest sites
the inspectors should scrutinize and receive reports on their findings..

It sets a seven-day deadline for Iraq to accept the demands in the document
and a 30-day deadline for Baghdad to declare all its weapons of mass
destruction programs. Inspectors cannot return to Iraq to begin their work
until the declaration is submitted.

The U.S. draft would also declare Iraq in "material breach" of U.N.
resolutions dating back to a cease-fire measure adopted in April 1991 after
the Gulf War ( news - web sites). Any violation of the new text would be a
further breach that could lead to military action.

CNN, 3rd October

GENEVA, Switzerland (Reuters) -- The United Nations Thursday approved
payment of nearly $700 million to Kuwait for the cost of removing land mines
laid by Iraqi troops during the 1991 Gulf War, officials said.

The amount awarded by the U.N. Compensation Commission (UNCC) also covers
disposing of unexploded ordnance fired by Iraqi troops and the U.S.-led
coalition which drove them from the emirate, they told a news briefing.

At a three-day session ending Thursday, the reparations fund approved
payments totaling $995.8 million to individuals, companies and governments
from various countries proving damage from Iraq's August 1990 invasion of
Kuwait and its seven-month occupation.

In its claim against Iraq, Kuwait's defense ministry said 1.6 million mines
and 109 metric tons of unexploded ordnance had been "scattered in cities and
towns, oil facilities, beaches, coastal waters and desert areas."

"Some of the ordnance came from the coalition. ... It was ruled that it was
a direct effect of war whomever it came from, it had to be removed and
disposed of. So all ordnance removal and disposal was compensable,"
spokesman Joe Sills told a briefing.

The UNCC's Governing Council, made up of the same 15 states as the Security
Council, also awarded $8.2 million to state-owned Saudi Aramco for cleaning
up oil spills in the Persian Gulf.

It awarded just $67,000 for environmental damage to Iran, dismissing most of
a $64.3 million claim on grounds it had failed to prove that Iranian
airports and electrical facilities had been damaged from pollution from oil
fires. Iran has other environmental claims pending at the fund.

Smaller amounts were approved for Australia, Britain, Canada, Germany and
the United States that helped Kuwait and its neighbors in trying to contain
the environmental damage.

The Geneva-based fund has received claims valued at $300 billion. With the
latest awards, it has approved nearly $43.6 billion for payment, including
$16.5 billion to Kuwait for lost oil and the cost of putting out wellhead

The UNCC currently receives 25 percent of the proceeds from the U.N.'s
oil-for-food program, which allows Iraq to sell oil.

UNCC income is running at about $150 million per month.

The balance of its funds come from Iraqi assets seized abroad and donations
from various governments.,3604,803436,00.html

The Guardian, 3rd October

1. Decides that Iraq is still, and has been for a number of years, in
material breach of its obligations under relevant resolutions, in particular
through Iraq's failure to cooperate with UN inspectors and the IAEA
(International Atomic Energy Agency).

2. Decides that in order to begin to comply with its disarmament
obligations, Iraq shall provide to the security council prior to the
beginning of inspections and not later than 30 days from the date of this
resolution an acceptable and currently accurate, full and complete
declaration of all aspects of its programmes to develop chemical, biological
and nuclear weapons, ballistic missiles, and unmanned aerial vehicles.

3. Decides that Iraq shall provide [the arms inspectors] Unmovic and IAEA
immediate, unconditional and unrestricted access to any and all areas,
facilities, buildings, equipment, records, and means of transport which they
wish to inspect as well as immediate, unimpeded, unrestricted and private
access to all officials and other persons whom Unmovic wish to interview ...
further decides that Unmovic and IAEA may at their discretion conduct
interviews inside or outside Iraq, facilitate the travel of those
interviewed and family members outside of Iraq, and that such interviews
shall occur without observers from the Iraqi government.

4. Decides that any permanent member of the security council can recommend
to Unmovic and IAEA sites to be inspected, persons to be interviewed, the
conditions of such interviews, and data to be be collected, and receive a
report on the results.

5. Decides that ... Unmovic and IAEA shall determine the personnel on their
inspection teams - except that any permanent member of the security council
may request to be represented, with the same rights and protections accorded
other members of the team - shall have unrestricted rights of entry into and
out of Iraq, the right to free, unrestricted and immediate movement to and
from inspection sites, and the right to inspect any sites and buildings,
including unrestricted access to presidential sites ... (Inspectors) will be
provided regional bases and operating bases throughout Iraq, including
offices for inspection teams in regions outside Baghdad, shall have the
right to the names of all personnel associated with Iraq's chemical,
biological, nuclear and ballistic missile programmes and the associated
research, development and production facilities.

Teams shall be accompanied at their bases by sufficient US security forces
to protect them; shall have the right to declare for the purposes of this
resolution no-fly/no-drive zones, exclusion zones and/or ground and air
transit corridors which shall be enforced by UN security forces or by member
states; shall have the free and unrestricted use and landing of fixed and
rotary winged aircraft, including unmanned reconnaissance vehicles; shall
have the right verifiably to remove, destroy or render harmless all
prohibited weapons, subsystems, components, records, materials and other
related items and the right to impound or close facilities or equipment for
the production thereof; shall have the right to unrestricted voice and data
communications, including encrypted communication; shall have the right to
free import and use of equipment or materials for inspections and to seize
and export any equipment, materials, documents taken during inspections; and
shall have access to any formation that any member state is willing to
provide. Further decides these procedures shall be binding on Iraq.

6. Decides further that Iraq shall immediately cease, and shall not take or
threaten hostile acts directed against any representative or personnel of
the UN or of any member state taking action pursuant to any security council

9. Directs the executive director of Unmovic and the director general of the
IAEA to report immediately to the council any interference with or problems
with respect to the execution of their mission.

10. Decides that false statements or omissions in the declaration submitted
by Iraq to the council and failure by Iraq at any time to comply and
cooperate fully in accordance with the provisions laid out in this
resolution, shall constitute a further material breach of Iraq's
obligations, and that such breach authorises member states to use all
necessary means to restore international peace and security in the area.

by Richard Balmforth
Financial Times, 3rd October

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia's top foreign ministry official on Iraq has
sharply attacked a U.S.-British draft for a tough U.N. resolution against
Baghdad, saying Moscow cannot accept mention of an automatic use of force.

Russia is one of the five veto-wielding permanent members of the U.N.
Security Council which will debate the U.S.-proposed resolution backed by

"Attempts to make the U.N. Security Council subscribe to automatic use of
force against Iraq are unacceptable for us," Deputy Foreign Minister
Alexander Saltanov told news agencies on Thursday.

The Bush administration has hesitated to introduce to the 15-member Security
Council its draft resolution, which allows a U.N. member, such as the United
States, to determine if Iraq has violated U.N. demands and follow up with
military action.

"What the U.S. and the British have provided us with only strengthens us in
the correctness of our position in favour of the quickest possible
resumption of inspection activities in Iraq, and a political settlement
around this country as a whole without automatic use of force," Saltanov

France and Germany also have opposed the draft.

The Iraq crisis presents President Vladimir Putin and Russian policy-makers
with a tough dilemma.

Commentators say that by siding with Iraq, Moscow could squander the capital
it built up in Washington through support of the U.S. global war against
terror. By abandoning Iraq, with which it has close economic ties, Moscow
could lose face in the Arab world, a traditional region of influence.

Russia has close oil industry links with Baghdad going back years and is
also owed about $7 billion (4.5 billion pounds) from Soviet times.

The closeness of the relationship was underlined by the presence of Iraqi
Industry Under Secretary Ahmed Rasheed at a Moscow "round-table" discussion
on the crisis.

Rasheed told the meeting Washington wanted to seize control of Iraq's huge
oil wealth. "The military aggression which is being initiated by the United
States is aimed at establishing hegemony over the world and our oil
industry," he said.

Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov meanwhile said Moscow hoped Thursday's report
by chief U.N. arms inspector Hans Blix to the Security Council would clear
the way for the return of inspectors to Iraq.

"Russia favours the fastest possible return of international inspectors and
we hope that today's session and the Blix report will make it possible for
us to find a way for inspectors to return to Iraq and begin their work with
full powers," Ivanov told reporters after meeting Norwegian counterpart Jan

"Their mission should, in turn, answer the question of whether or not Iraq
has weapons of mass destruction," he added.

Iraq has agreed to let inspectors back in under existing U.N. deals to look
for weapons technology which Washington says Baghdad is holding. But
Washington does not want inspections to begin until the U.N. has issued
tough new orders.

Saltanov told RIA Novosti news agency that Russia had prepared its own draft
resolution which he said foresaw the return of U.N. inspectors to Iraq
followed by the gradual lifting of sanctions -- Moscow's long-established

Yahoo, 3rd October

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Some United Nations inspectors looking for weapons of
mass destruction in Iraq in the 1990s probably spied on behalf of their
governments, a Swede who worked as an inspector said on Thursday.

"There were episodes you could sense were strange. One team member made too
many copies of documents. Then there were those who went to their embassies
at night although they were not really allowed to do so," Ake Sellstrom told
Swedish public service SVT television news.

Sellstrom was employed by the U.N. weapons inspection organization UNSCOM
led by American Scott Ritter, whom Baghdad repeatedly accused of spying. The
inspectors were forced to leave Iraq in December 1998.

A divided U.N. Security Council is currently debating whether a new team of
inspectors, now called UNMOVIC and led by Swede Hans Blix, should travel to
Iraq and begin a new search for Baghdad's alleged stockpiles of chemical,
biological and possibly nuclear weapons.

Sellstrom said information obtained by means of electronic surveillance of
Iraqi security forces' communications had clearly fallen into wrong hands --
such as the U.S. and Israeli military -- during his time with UNSCOM.

Some targets checked out by the weapons inspectors were bombed by the United
States and its allies just a week later, Sellstrom said.

Jean Pascal Zanders, head of chemical and biological warfare studies at the
Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), told a news
conference earlier on Thursday that new Iraqi weapons inspections would be
extremely difficult to carry out.

"If they don't come up with something in one or two months, then the United
States will say 'This shows that inspections don't work' while Iraq will say
'You see, we don't have any weapons'."

"We need inspections over a large timeframe," Zanders said.

SIPRI researcher John Hart said Iraq had managed to keep its biological
weapons program secret for four years after the inspections began in the
aftermath of the 1991 Gulf War.

Pointing out that "chemical and biological weapons leave very small
footprints that cannot be picked up by satellites," Zanders said it was
vital that UNMOVIC's inspectors get unfettered access to all areas in Iraq.

Discrepancies between information provided by Iraq and data gathered by
UNSCOM by the time the inspectors had to leave suggested Baghdad may have
had more than 20,000 pieces of munitions and 1.5 tons of VX nerve gas by the
end of 1998, he said.

U.N. arms inspectors made clear on Thursday they would delay their initial
inspections in Iraq until the U.N. Security Council completed work on a new
resolution the United States and Britain have drafted.,,3-435633,00.html

by James Bone in New York and Roland Watson in Washington
The Times, 4th October

AMERICA and Britain yesterday won their battle to stop international weapons
inspectors returning to Iraq without a tough new resolution to box in
President Saddam Hussein.

Under heavy pressure, the inspection team agreed to wait for new
instructions from the UN Security Council before resuming the task they had
to abandon four years ago because of Saddam's obstruction.

The outcome of yesterday's UN Security Council meeting was a victory for the
US and Britain, which believe the inspectors' existing mandate would permit
the Iraqis to resume what the White House has called their "cat and mouse
game" with the West. Washington and London are determined to obtain a new
resolution threatening automatic military action if the inspectors are

Diplomats said that Hans Blix, the chief inspector for missiles and chemical
and biological weapons, and Mohamed Elbaradei, the head of the International
Atomic Energy Agency, told the private meeting that inspectors had the legal
right to go back immediately but would wait for practical and political
reasons. "We need unanimous support by the Security Council to be able to do
effective inspections," Mr Elbaradei said.

Despite pressure from France and Russia for inspections to resume without
delay, Mr Blix and Mr Elbaradei are to travel to Washington today for talks
with US officials on a tougher mandate.

Mr Blix had made tentative plans for the first inspectors to go to Baghdad
on October 19, but he conceded that that could be postponed. "It would be
awkward if we were doing our inspections and a new mandate with new
directions would arrive," he said.

Britain and the US want new ground rules giving the UN teams sweeping
powers, such as declaring "no-drive zones" around inspection sites, taking
Iraqi scientists and their families out of the country, and to revoke a 1998
"memorandum of understanding" limiting access to 80 presidential sites.
British and US officials seized on Mr Blix's mention of "loose ends" in his
agreement with the Iraqis in Vienna this week to argue that a further
Security Council resolution was necessary.

According to a text of his briefing, obtained by The Times, Mr Blix told the
council that many existing arrangements remained viable but differences
remained over the format of interviews of Iraqi officials. The UN wants the
right to interview Iraqi officials and scientists without any "official
presence", but Iraq said some Iraqis might not then be willing to
participate. Iraq also suggested it could not guarantee the safety of UN
overflights in the "no-fly zones".

Britain and the US yesterday found support within the 15-nation Security
Council from Bulgaria and Norway and more limited backing from Cameroon,
Colombia and Singapore. Although France took a strident line, both Russia
and China appeared muted. "It's clear now there is going to be some kind of
resolution," one non-permament council member said.

France has, however, threatened to table its own proposal ‹ reaffirming the
existing inspection procedures and requiring a second UN vote before any use
of force ‹ if the US and Britain presented their hardline text for a vote.

If rival texts were put forward, the French proposal would probably attract
more support and the US-British draft could go down. But Jean-David Levitte,
the French Ambassador, signalled that he wanted to avoid an open clash and
emphasised that France wanted any resolution to be adopted unanimously.

President Bush stepped up the pressure on Security Council members saying he
would lead a coalition to disarm Saddam if the UN failed to show its

But he used more conciliatory rhetoric and avoided talking of toppling
Saddam, choosing instead to say that his aim was for the UN to help to keep
the peace. "My intent is to put together a vast coalition of countries who
understand the threat of Saddam Hussein. Military option is my last choice,
not my first," he said. "But Saddam has got to understand, the UN must know,
that the will of this country is strong."


Times of India, 29th September

ROME (AFP): Italian peace activists thronged the streets of Rome on Saturday
marching against a looming war in Iraq, challenging Prime Minister Silvio
Berlusconi's support for belligerent US threats against Saddam Hussein.

Organizers said they had brought together 100,000 people, but police gave no
official figures for the demonstration, which wound its way from Rome's
Coliseum to the Piazza del Popolo through the historic old city.

"Our ambition is to help build a new peace movement. This is the first big
demonstration organized in Italy against war and for peace," Communist
Renewal party secretary general Fausto Bertinotti said, heading up the

"A mounting peace wave is sweeping Europe and it can counter that in favor
of war," Titti de Simone, a legislator with the party said, in an allusion
to another large peace demonstration under way in London on Saturday.

Berlusconi on Wednesday offered his support to the United States in its
drive against Iraq, but told legislators he also favored a new tough UN
resolution threatening the use of force against Iraqi President Saddam

by Jon Henley in Paris, Nick Paton Walsh in Moscow, John Gittings in
Shanghai and Nicholas Watt
The Guardian, 1st October

France voiced its toughest opposition yet to the US-sponsored draft UN
resolution threatening military action against Iraq yesterday, and warned
Washington that any attempt to bring about a "regime change" would violate
international law.

In a front-page article in Le Monde, the foreign minister, Dominique de
Villepin, said France wanted Iraq disarmed but could not and would not
support action that threatened to further destabilise the Middle East,
without full UN approval.

"We will not give carte blanche to military action," he wrote. "We cannot
accept a resolution that authorises at this stage the recourse to force,
without the issue coming back before the UN security council. France refuses
an intervention that would not take fully into account all that is required
for collective security."

But President Jacques Chirac hinted for the first time that, providing those
conditions were met, France - a permanent member of the security council -
would play its part in any UN backed action.

"If international prevention efforts fail... we should be ready to assume
our responsibilities," he said.

The US draft, agreed with Britain last week, proposes giving Baghdad one
week to accept its demand to disarm, and 30 days to declare all its weapons
of mass destruction.

The draft threatens military action - which could include a unilateral US
strike - if Iraq fails to comply.

Mr De Villepin said a two-step UN approach proposed by Mr Chirac "was the
only one capable of ensuring control at every stage of the crisis".

The French president wants two resolutions, the second authorising military
action only if Baghdad does not give weapons inspectors the unfettered
access demanded in the first.

The French foreign minister also warned that the Bush administration's
policy of regime change in Iraq was illegal. "Any action aiming for regime
change would contradict the rules of international law and open the door to
things getting out of hand," he said.

France, Russia and China have all expressed strong misgivings about the US
proposal. Russia distanced itself further from Washington yesterday by
sharply criticising Anglo American bombing raids on Iraq this weekend.

Jack Straw, the foreign secretary, and Colin Powell, the US secretary of
state, prepared the ground yesterday for the formal tabling of the
Anglo-American resolution at the UN this week.

That will herald the start of what diplomats are calling the "real
negotiations" as the "sceptical three" spell out their key demands.

After a meeting between the Chinese deputy foreign minister, Wang Guangya,
and a senior Foreign Office official, William Ehrman, in Beijing yesterday,
the embassy said China had agreed to consider the points raised by Britain
in defence of the resolution. China's foreign ministry said it would work to
promote "a political solution" to the crisis.

There have been signs that Beijing may be preparing to abstain from the
security council vote.

Times of India, 1st October

NEW DELHI: India is unlikely to air any opposition to 'armed action against
Iraq', if the use of force is mandated by the United Nations.

Though the earlier Indian position was that it had 'consistently opposed
armed action against Iraq as it is counter- productive and only serves to
aggravate the sufferings of the Iraqi people', India is unlikely to
reiterate this position if the UN authorises the use of military force.

Acceptance of the changed situation has been made easier by the US decision
to put the issue of a regime change on the backburner.

Though the details of the UN resolution, whether it would be two-part, as
suggested by French President Jacques Chirac, and on the timeframe set for
enforcement is still being debated, official sources said the government was
already making contingency plans.

Explaining that the earlier opposition was to the use of 'unilateral force
by the US', the official sources pointed out that any Indian opposition at
this stage mattered little since the issue was before the UN.

India is not only outside the scope of the debate, which is centred around
the permanent members of the Security Council with some engagement with some
Western and Arab countries, but it sees little to be gained in airing any
opposition to a fait accompli.

Therefore, despite Indian scepticism about the 'evidence' provided by the US
and the UK, it is unlikely to take any public posture during the ongoing
debate, the sources said.

A pointer to this change was the deft juggling exhibited in the Prime
Minister's recent statement during a press conference in New York where he
spoke of India's 'historical relationship with Iraq' but expressed
understanding of 'the international community's desire to see the relevant
UN resolutions on weapons of mass destruction complied with fully'.

The official sources said the government has now begun calculating the
immediate and long term costs of a possible invasion.

The main issues confronting the government at this stage is the possibility
of an increase in the oil import bill and a temporary disruption of

by Fraser Allan
Budapest Sun, 3rd October

FOREIGN Minister László Kovács has given the United States and Great Britain
a more favorable signal than most European allies over the pressure the US
and the UK continues to pile on the international community to sanction a
possible attack on Iraq.

Speaking to Hungarian news agency MTI as both US President George Bush and
British Prime Minister Tony Blair continued to threaten Iraqi dictator
Saddam Hussein with military action if his regime continued to hoard weapons
of mass destruction, Kovács agreed with the US and British assessment of
Saddam's regime as a significant threat to regional and world security.

"The worst-case scenario would be the world passively watching the Iraqi
dictator continue his arms buildup and waiting for the day when Saddam
Hussein threatens the whole world with weapons of mass destruction," he

Unlike many other European foreign ministers, with the notable exception of
Spain and Poland, Kovács suggested implicitly that unilateral action by the
US and Britain without prior UN sanction would be acceptable to the
Government of Hungary.

"As far as any military solution is concerned, it should rather be executed
with the consent of the UN Security Council, but even military action
carried out without UN authorization would be better than to wait idly by
for the tragic consequences of Saddam's arms buildup.

"If military action becomes inevitable, Hungary, as an ally of the United
States and a NATO member committed to the struggle against terrorism, will
know where its place is," he added.

Kovács however stressed that military action should only be used as a last
resort against Iraq should it continue to defy existing UN resolutions
demanding unfettered access by weapons inspectors and the complete and
verifiable destruction of all weapons of mass destruction.

"The best scenario would be one where the international community exerted
strong pressure on the Iraqi leader and forces him to cease the production
of all weapons of mass destruction and destroy all existing stockpiles," the
Foreign Minister said.

The remarks followed a visit to a NATO Defense Ministers' meeting in Warsaw
by Defense Minister Ferenc Juhász, who said he had been shown detailed
evidence of Iraqi preparations to manufacture various weapons of mass
destruction including nuclear devices.

Juhász said the evidence appeared to be "convincing".

The statement pleased the US Administration. Public Affairs Officer César D
Beltrán, of the US Embassy in Budapest, stated that, "The US is always
pleased to receive the support of its allies, and is particularly encouraged
that the briefing given in Warsaw to Defense Minister Juhász was seen as
stating a compelling case."

British Ambassador to Hungary Nigel Thorpe also welcomed Kovács' comments.

"This demonstrates that the Hungarian Government's position is very close to
that of the British, which is that we would prefer if at all possible a
solution allowing for the return of the weapons inspectors with full
unfettered access resulting in the destruction of all weapons of mass
destruction in Iraq, which are detailed in our recently-released report,"
the Ambassador said.

At a conference of the Parliamentary NATO Club, Foreign Ministry State
Secretary András Barsony said Hungary was prepared to play a more prominent
role in European defense issues.

"The time is ripe for radical reform in NATO's way of thinking and
strategy," Barsony said.

NATO's director of information Jamie Shea, who came to prominence as the
Alliance's spokesman during the Kosovo campaign, also spoke at the
conference, saying that among issues of enlargement and relations with
Russia, the forthcoming NATO summit in Prague would also tackle the issue of
biological and chemical weapons.

by Gerard Noonan, Education Editor
Sydney Morning Herald, 3rd October

The former chief weapons inspector in Iraq Richard Butler has lashed out at
United States "double standards", saying even educated Americans were deaf
to arguments about the hypocrisy of their stance on nuclear weapons.

Mr Butler, an Australian, told a seminar at the University of Sydney's
Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies that Americans did not appreciate they
could not claim a right to possess nuclear weapons but deny it to other

"My attempts to have Americans enter into discussions about double standards
have been an abject failure - even with highly educated and engaged people,"
Mr Butler said. "I sometimes felt I was speaking to them in Martian, so deep
is their inability to understand."

Mr Butler's comments to the seminar, held on September21, are reported in
the university's latest newsletter.

"What America totally fails to understand is that their weapons of mass
destruction are just as much a problem as are those of Iraq," he said,
adding that Hollywood storylines fuelled such attitudes.

Mr Butler said the horror of September 11 had only entrenched the idea in
Americans that there are 'good weapons of mass destruction and bad ones'.

Mr Butler, who headed the United Nations weapons inspection team in Iraq in
the early 1990s, is a former Australian ambassador for disarmament.

Earlier, delivering the university's Templeton Lecture, Mr Butler said one
of the most difficult times with the Iraqi regime had been dealing with this
issue of inconsistency.

"Amongst my toughest moments in Baghdad were when the Iraqis demanded that I
explain why they should be hounded for their weapons of mass destruction
when, just down the road, Israel was not, even though it was known to
possess some 200 nuclear weapons," he said.

"I confess, too, that I flinch when I hear American, British and French
fulminations against weapons of mass destruction, ignoring the fact that
they are the proud owners of massive quantities of those weapons,
unapologetically insisting that they are essential for their national
security, and will remain so."

Mr Butler said that manifest unfairness - double standards - produced a
situation "that was deeply, inherently unstable".

"This is because human beings will not swallow such unfairness. This
principle is as certain as the basic laws of physics itself."

Mr Butler said one problem encountered in Iraq was that materials and
technologies employed in making a chemical or biological weapon were
identical to those used in a range of benign products for medical,
industrial or agricultural use.

The UN Security Council's decision in 1991 to destroy, remove or render
harmless Iraq's weapons of mass destruction was unique and far-reaching, far
tougher than past attempts to disarm defeated countries like Germany and

Times of India, 4th October

SOFIA (AFP): Bulgaria, a NATO candidate nation, is prepared to open its air
space and provide an air base for a future attack against Iraq, Defence
Minister Nikolai Svinarov said.

"We make clear our willingness to respond to certain requests if they are
put to Bulgaria," notably concerning "Bulgarian air space and eventually
Sarafovo airport," the national BTA agency quoted the minister as saying on

He stressed that thus far no such request had been received.

However Bulgaria, "will take no position on Iraq until there is a clear (UN)
Security Council resolution on Iraq and clarity within the international
community; the UN, NATO, and America and its partners," the minister added.

Last November, during the Afghan operation, US supply planes used the
Sarafovo airport, north of Bourgas on the Black Sea, while some 200 US
troops used the nearby military base.

Bulgaria has agreements for transit and provisional stay of NATO and US

Newsday, 4th October

MONTREAL (AP): Unlike the United States, Canada doesn't believe Saddam
Hussein must be removed from power, Foreign Affairs Minister Bill Graham
said Friday.

The United States is seeking a new U.N. Security Council to toughen weapons
inspections and authorize military force if Iraq doesn't comply. President
Bush has said he wants Saddam removed.

"Canada's not in any way naive about Saddam Hussein," Graham told a news
conference, but said changing the Iraqi regime is outside of the competence
of the United Nations.

But short of a world government, countries cannot accept "that if we don't
like someone or we have problems with them, that it's legitimate to have a
regime changed," he said.

The solution, Graham said, is for Saddam to give total access to inspectors
who would destroy any weapons of mass destruction Iraq has.

Canada's defense ministry said Wednesday that no decision has been made on
whether Canada would take part in any military action against Saddam but the
armed forces would contribute if ordered to.,,3-435476,00.html

by Michael Evans
The Times, 4th October

WASHINGTON put Nato on the spot yesterday by challenging the alliance to
give its full backing to American military action against Iraq.

Stephen Hadley, the US deputy national security adviser, told a Nato
conference in Brussels that he expected the alliance to show solidarity for
America's approach towards President Saddam Hussein at next month's summit
in Prague. France and Germany are opposed to American unilateral action
against Iraq and Nato is excluded from planning for a US-led war, so the
issue of Saddam is not on the agenda for the Prague summit.

Mr Hadley told Nato delegates: "Prague will be a place where Nato must speak
about Iraq. The Iraq regime poses a unique threat to the national security
of each of our countries. This means that it is a challenge for Nato
implicitly, if not explicitly." He added: "The summit will be a valuable
opportunity to show allied solidarity in the face of this common threat."

However, Nato diplomatic sources said that although the alliance would not
have a role in dealing with Iraq, the issue of weapons of mass destruction
would be on the agenda.

The sources said that Iraq would be discussed in the margins and during
bilateral talks with America.

The last time that Nato was used for a military operation was in August last
year when British and other alliance troops were deployed to the Former
Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia to oversee the handover of arms by the rebel
ethnic Albanian National Liberation Army.

At yesterday's conference in Brussels on Nato's future, Lord Robertson of
Port Ellen, the Nato Secretary-General, made no reference to Iraq in his
speech. He did give warning, however, that the US should use Nato to consult
European allies if the alliance was not to become irrelevant. "We must not
shy away from putting even the most controversial topics on our agenda,"
Lord Robertson said.

Several European delegates spoke of dangerous consequences if Washington
started wars without the approval of the United Nations.

"We must all resist the temptation of declaring the (Nato) alliance
irrelevant," Kristin Krohn Devold, the Norwegian Defence Minister, said.
"What we need is reassurance that the alliance remains vital to all of us.
The United States carries a special responsibility when it comes to giving
this message." She said that small Nato members may quit the alliance,
reducing its legitimacy.

Javier Solana, the EU's top foreign policy official, similarly urged the
United States to stick to multilateralism. "Ad hoc coalitions of docile
followers to be chosen or discarded at will is neither attractive nor
sustainable," he said.


BBC, 4th October

Once a trusted member of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's inner military
circle, Wafiq Hamud Samarra'i now lives in London, from where he heads a
recently-formed opposition group, the National Salvation Movement.

Major-General Samarra'i headed Iraq's General Military Intelligence until
his retirement in 1991, following the Gulf War. He then became
director-general of Saddam's presidential office.

In November 1994 Mr Samarra'i defected by walking for 30 hours from the
northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk into the region's Kurdish enclave. In a 1995
radio interview, he cited the Iraqi leader's "injustice, personal behaviour"
and "tyranny" as prompting his action.

The opposition is now present throughout Iraq... It will topple the
dictatorial regime in Baghdad very soon

>From the Kurdish enclave, Mr Samarra'i attempted to organise a rebellion
with the help of the Iraqi National Congress (INC) - an umbrella
organisation of opposition groups - and American CIA operatives.

The plan was to attack Iraqi military forces stationed near the Kurdish zone
with the aim of fomenting a wave of military revolts.

Despite what Mr Samarra'i described as "brilliant" military successes, and
the defections of hundreds of Iraqi soldiers, the planned mass rebellion did
not happen. He broke with the INC and left northern Iraq.

In 1995 Mr Samarra'i became leader of the Iraqi National Movement, an
opposition organisation dedicated to toppling Saddam. He lived in Jordan and
Syria and by 1998 was reported to be based in London.

Some reports have implicated Iraq's military intelligence forces in the
deadly chemical weapon attacks on Iraqi Kurds in 1988. In June 2002 Kurdish
campaigners called for Mr Samarra'i to be tried as a war criminal.

He has occasionally been mentioned as a possible candidate for a post-Saddam
Iraqi leadership. In 1998 he was mooted as industry minister in a

His National Salvation Movement advocates a democratic government for Iraq
and the upholding of Kurdish "legitimate options" within a united Iraq.

During his years in exile Samarra'i has often spoken of the Iraqi regime's
military capabilities, its weapons stocks and intelligence network.

He has been generally supportive of US-British-led air strikes, but recently
warned of the dangers of using major military force to oust Saddam,
favouring instead "scientific and rational" ways of changing the regime.

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