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Dear list members, Some US politicians seem to be presenting the latest Security Council resolution on Iraq (SCR 1441, see http://www.casi.org.uk/info/scriraq.html for a complete list of Iraq SCRs) as calling on the Iraqi government not to fire on US and British warplanes over Iraq. Glenn Kessler's recent article in the Washington Post attributed this view to "senior administration officials" and Richard Perle, speaking on the BBC's Radio 4 this morning, made the claim directly. The clause to which they are referring is OP 8, which reads: <begins> Decides further that Iraq shall not take or threaten hostile acts directed against any representative or personnel of the United Nations or the IAEA or of any Member State taking action to uphold any Council resolution; <ends> In the context of the resolution's contents, its positioning immediately after a paragraph on the rights of inspectors, and the negotiations more generally, it seems fairly clear that this was intended to refer to the safety of inspectors, their aircraft and other property. However, if the US and British warplanes systematically destroying Iraq's air defences in the 'no fly zones' are upholding Council resolutions, then this would override Iraq's Article 51 right to self-defence (see http://www.un.org/aboutun/charter/). Thus, the interpretation of 1441 preventing Iraqi firing on US/UK warplanes depends on the claim that they are upholding Council resolutions. As we've discussed before, the usual resolution cited in this context is SCR 688. 688 is not a Chapter VII resolution (and therefore cannot, under the UN Charter, be interpreted as mandating enforcement action). Further, it makes no mention of Iraqi aircraft, or no fly zones: it merely calls for the Iraqi government to cease the repressive action that it was taking to suppress the Iraqi intifada. The zones' boundaries have been defined and extended by US presidents rather than by the Security Council. While they are felt, in the north, to have added a level of protection to Iraqi Kurds, the pilots' rules of engagement are not designed to allow protection of human rights on the ground: they may attack if threatened. Thus, State Department reports over the 1990s have made clear that the Iraqi government was able to prosecute its efforts against rebels in the south without interference from US and UK jets. Best, Colin Rowat work | Room 406, Department of Economics | The University of Birmingham | Birmingham, B15 2TT, UK | web.bham.ac.uk/c.rowat | (+44/0) 121 414 3754 | (+44/0) 121 414 7377 (fax) | firstname.lastname@example.org personal | (+44/0) 7768 056 984 (mobile) | (+44/0) 7092 378 517 (fax) | (707) 221 3672 (US fax) | email@example.com _______________________________________________ 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