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[casi] letters to papers re Iraq's key disarmament tasks

Hi folks

I really think this key disarmament tasks stuff is critical
right now. Here's a couple of letters. Wish I had the
links for the articles, perhaps will add tonight.



Letter to FT
Letter to Telegraph
re Iraq's 'key disarmament tasks'


Sir, Congratulations to Roula Khalaf and Mark Turner
for noting that UN resolution 1284 requires the UN
weapons inspectors to define Iraq's "key disarmament
tasks". ('Blix expected to tell Iraq to destroy missiles',
22 February 2003, p. 6) This should be a critical
element of the present inspection process.

Paragraph 7 of Resolution 1284 states that 'what is
required of Iraq for the implementation of each task
shall be clearly defined and precise'. This was inserted
into the Resolution in order to stop the US and UK
from continually moving the goalposts, and to create a
transparent, fixed process which might give Iraq an
incentive to co-operate.

Contrary to your report, however, these 'key
disarmament tasks' are not required by 'the end of
March': they should have been defined after 60 days of
inspections resuming - on 27 January, in other words.

Mr Turner and Ms Khalaf report that the US and UK
are resisting suggestions to include the 'key
disarmament tasks' in any new Resolution, 'amid fears
that a list of tasks could be used to string out the
process.' One can only conclude that Washington and
London are responsible for the fact that the 'key
disarmament tasks' were not produced on 27 January
as required by Resolution 1284.

US officials have done their best to rubbish the
inspections process - Secretary of State Colin Powell
stated on 22 January, 'Inspections will not work'.
Every sign of Iraqi co-operation with inspectors is
disparaged and discounted - President George W.
Bush said on 6 February, 'The game is over', dismissing
Iraqi compliance with inspectors' demands as 'another
round of empty concessions'.

Washington must not be allowed to block the
implementation of a key element of Resolution 1284,
and the development of a process whereby the status
of Iraq's weapons programmes can be objectively

Milan Rai



It is of the utmost importance that we understand
clearly Iraq's disarmament duties. It is therefore
regrettable that UN Resolution 1284 was
misrepresented in a report. (22 February, p. 14)

True, the Resolution does require UN weapons
inspectors to draw up a list of 'key disarmament tasks
to be completed by Iraq' - 'what is required of Iraq for
the implementation of each task shall be clearly
defined and precise', according to paragraph 7 of the

But this should have been done by 27 January (60
days after the resumption of inspections), not 'by the
end of March' as stated in your report.

If the weapons inspectors had defined the key
disarmament tasks as required, we would now be well
into a clearly defined process by which Iraq could
prove it has been disarmed.

It is essential that the 'unanswered questions' being set
out by Dr Blix over the next few days are developed
into clear and precise 'key disarmament tasks' by
which to test Iraq, whether as a separate document,
or as part of any new Resolution.

The US and Britain appear to be resisting efforts to
fulfil this critical element of Resolution 1284. Yet the
'authority of the UN' is at stake if the procedures laid
down in the Resolution are flouted as the result of US

Yours sincerely

Milan Rai

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