Iraq's Masterstroke

D OC donaloc at
Tue Sep 17 02:54:26 MDT 2002

Tuesday, 17 September, 2002, 07:16 GMT 08:16 UK
Iraq agrees to weapons inspections

Iraq has told the UN it is ready to readmit weapons inspectors.
UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan said the offer - in a letter from Iraqi
Foreign Minister Naji Sabri - was unconditional.

Inspectors would be allowed to continue their work and Iraq was ready to
discuss the practical arrangements for the return of inspectors, he said.

[Now the interesting bit...]

But the US - which wants Iraqi President Saddam Hussein deposed - quickly
dismissed the offer as a cynical ploy and urged people to remember that Iraq
had a long history of playing games.

The Iraqis said they had made the decision in order to remove any doubts
that they still possessed weapons of mass destruction.

They also said that their decision was a response to a speech from Mr Annan
in which he said the admission of inspectors should be the first step
leading to the eventual lifting of sanctions.


Russia, a key member of the security council, has given its support to the
Iraqi move.

"We welcome this decision," Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov said.


Mr Annan paid "particular tribute" to all the states of the Arab League who
played a "key role" in the Iraqi offer.

Mr Annan said he would pass the letter on to the Security Council "and they
will have to decide what they do next".


[Russia has already indicated its opposition to any UN resolution supporting
military intervention - effectively they will veto any 'threats' in the
Security Council. Bush and his Cronies are now faced with losing any level
of international support for their invasion. The British are giving
skeptical signals on this too. I was nervous that France and Russia would
'cave in' to US demands but it seems that their own imperialist interests
still come first - we are not yet at the neo-Kautskian world trust stage! -

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