Tightened sanctions on Iraq

Philip Ferguson plf13 at student.canterbury.ac.nz
Tue Jan 7 19:39:12 MST 2003


Iraq faces tougher sanctions after UN vote

31.12.2002
5.00pm
BAGHDAD/UNITED NATIONS - Iraq, its economy in tatters, faced tougher
sanctions today after the United Nations named goods such as drugs,
trucks and boats that cannot be imported without prior approval.

The 15-nation UN Security Council voted 13-0 to adopt the resolution
expanding the list of civilian goods under sanctions. Russia and Syria
abstained.

The United States and Britain cautioned Iraq against seeing this as a
sign of divisions over its obligation -- under former council
resolutions -- to give up weapons of mass destruction or face "serious
consequences".

Iraq said the resolution would aggravate the suffering of its people,
who have been under UN economic sanctions since Iraq invaded
neighbouring Kuwait in 1990.

"We confirm that the Security Council should lift the sanctions and that
Iraq has met all its obligations with regard to Security Council
resolutions," Iraqi envoy Mohammed S. Ali told reporters.

Additions to the UN sanctions list range from drugs to protect Iraqi
soldiers from poison gas and anthrax to boats like those used in a
deadly attack on a US warship two years ago.

A top adviser to Iraqi President Saddam Hussein said the United States
was trying to tempt scientists to leave Iraq and entice them to giving
false information with financial offers.

Iraq provided names of more than 500 scientists on Saturday, saying they
were linked to its nuclear, biological, chemical and ballistic weapons
programmes.

UN inspectors began interviewing scientists over Iraq's alleged weapons
programmes last week but the United States wants some of the interviews
to take place outside Iraq.

"This is an American plan with a clear aim. If it succeeds in tempting
some of those (scientists) through promises or maybe also through
threats it might get information, also false information," Amir
al-Saadi, Saddam's scientific adviser, said.

The United States has declared Baghdad in material breach of a UN
Security Council resolution passed in November which gave Iraq one last
chance to disarm or face possible war.

Washington said an Iraqi declaration over its weapons of mass
destruction fell short of revealing arms programmes. Iraq denies it has
any such programmes.

Hussam Mohammad Amin, the head of the Iraqi Monitoring Directorate, told
Qatar's al-Jazeera television station Iraq had not rejected the idea of
taking the scientists abroad.

Asked what guarantees Iraq sought, he said: "The guarantees concern
above all what the scientists will say. Perhaps something will be
attributed to them which they did not state and this would be dangerous
and can be used as a justification to launch an attack on Iraq."

UN weapons inspectors searched at least seven suspect sites in Iraq on
Monday, and the head of a missile facility accused them of acting like
gangsters.

"A team of 25 inspectors stormed into the plant...in a way never seen
before and in a manner similar to the work of gangs," Mohammad Hussein
told reporters.

He was speaking after the inspectors counted missile engines at the Al
Sumoud Company of Al Karamah Company in Abu Ghreib, 25km west of
Baghdad.

UN experts, absent since December 1998, have been working flat out since
resuming inspections on November 27 to check on Baghdad's assertion that
it has no banned weapons.

There are now 110 inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency
(IAEA) and the UN Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission
(UNMOVIC) in Iraq.

- REUTERS

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