Iraq Offers Talks, UN Demands Inspections as US Debates War
To the backdrop of incessant speculation about a US invasion of Iraq in the next six months, Baghdad continues to offer discussions on a possible return of UN weapons inspectors. While happy to discuss logistical arrangements for such a return, the UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, is expressing increasing frustration at Iraq's request for broader, or even protracted technical, talks. Amid a flurry of letters, statements and mixed messages from Baghdad, President Bush continues to signal that even a full, unconditional resumption of inspections is now considered a separate and lesser issue to the burning priority of 'regime change' - the complete replacement, by military means if necessary, of the government of Saddam Hussein. While such an objective may be generally desired, the prospect of a major military campaign has provoked an intense and wide-ranging debate, overtly in the Congress and reportedly also in the administration and among senior military commanders. Internationally, meanwhile, and particularly among key Middle East allies such as Jordan, Egypt and Saudi Arabia, the US is receiving negligible support for the 'regime change' agenda.
On August 1, Iraqi Foreign Minister Naji Sabri wrote to Secretary-General Annan requesting "technical talks" in Baghdad "at the earliest possible" date with a team of experts headed by Hans Blix, the former Swedish diplomat and Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), now head of the UN Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC). UNMOVIC, which has yet to visit Iraq, was established by the Security Council in 1999 to replace the UN Special Commission (UNSCOM), barred from returning to the country after the US and UK launched widespread air attacks in December 1998.
Sabri's offer came nearly a month after inconclusive talks involving Annan, Blix and other senior UN and IAEA officials in Vienna on July 4-5, the third such round of discussions between the sides since March this year. His letter stated that the purpose of the Baghdad talks would be to conduct a "comprehensive review" - as Sabri acknowledged Annan had long demanded - of "Iraq's implementation of its obligations". "We believe", Sabri declared, "that this review will be an important step towards the appropriate legal and technical assessment and treatment of the issues of disarmament and...establish a solid base for the next stage of monitoring and inspection activities". The desired outcome of the deliberations would be agreement on "practical arrangements to resume cooperation" and prevent misunderstandings or delay "when the inspection regime returns to Iraq."
Although falling short of the formal invitation to the inspectors technically required from Iraq, the August 1 letter was welcomed by many countries, notably Russia, which noted it came shortly after a Russian Foreign Ministry delegation visited Baghdad. The delegation was led by Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Saltanov, who told reporters in Moscow on August 3: "According to our information, the Iraqi proposals are linked to no conditions, or at least [no] conditions which could be unacceptable in terms of a long-term settlement... Our position is that given there has been a specific move forward, we should take full advantage of it".
Sceptical responses, however, were also evident. A UK government spokesperson noted (August 2): "Iraq remains in breach of at least 23 of 26 separate obligations placed on it by the UN Security Council. The requirement of Iraq is clear and unchanged: unfettered access for UN weapons inspectors - any time, any place, anywhere." US Secretary of State Colin Powell was equally unimpressed (August 2): "Inspections are not the issue, disarmament is the issue, and making certain that they have no weapons of mass destruction and they did what they were supposed to do but [that] we know they haven't... You can tell from the language the Iraqis have now sent...to the UN that they are looking for a comprehensive review. They are looking for some way to get out of the clear requirement they have".
On August 4, a senior Arab League official in Cairo described the invitation as "a positive, good step, and a proof that Iraq is calling for a practical political settlement, and we as Arabs strongly support it". The same day, however, Blix made clear his view - that he was compelled to decline the invitation to visit Baghdad in the absence of an invitation for UNMOVIC to begin work. Quoted in the London-based al-Hayat newspaper, Blix reasoned: "I think they have to say that they accept the return of weapons inspectors according to the resolutions of the Security Council. The situation would be much worse if I went to Baghdad and then talks broke down. We don't want that". Blix's stance was applauded by the former Chair of UNSCOM, Australian Richard Butler. Describing Sabri's letter as a "tired old proposal", Butler commented: "It is not a serious response to the incredibly serious situation in which they find themselves."
On August 5, clearly responding to Blix's remarks, Sabri sent a second letter to Annan, reissuing the invitation. The Foreign Minister warned: " We cannot think of starting a new stage without solving the pending issues of the previous stage, because that will surely mean that we are going back once again into the mine field, and the return of the inspectors will only be for a few weeks, and crisis will return... [Such a sequence of events would result in] the departure of the inspectors and then the United States will call for aggression on Iraq as was the case during 1991-1998".
Unmoved, Annan told reporters (August 5) he was preparing to send a letter to Sabri officially declining Iraq's invitation: "I hope once they've read the letter they will find their way to become more forthcoming... I have no problem with discussions at the technical level. But my concern is the agenda and how it proceeds. I think the letter will clarify that we welcome the invitation, but that we would want to proceed along other lines. ... All members of the Council agree that we should do everything to get the inspectors back, and if Iraq is open to that idea, there are practical bases for moving forward... We will need to get them to understand the requirements of the Council, and we are preparing to deal with them on that basis. ... [The invitation is] one of the first letters we have received from Iraq inviting the inspectors to come in, [though] obviously with the wrong work programme.... Whether this is a real break and a real change in attitude is something that we will have to test." Annan also made clear that rejection of the invitation was in no way intended to suggest the legitimacy of any subsequent military action: "It would be very unwise to attack Iraq, given the current circumstances...[particularly in light of] what's happening in the Middle East."
The letter itself, delivered on August 6, spelt out in detail the order of events required and anticipated by the Security Council. In so doing, it made clear that Annan's request for a "comprehensive review", mentioned in Iraq's invitation, referred to the inspection process itself rather than pre-inspection consultations:
"Paragraph 7 of resolution 1284 (1999) directs UNMOVIC to draw up, not later than 60 days after it has started work in Iraq, for approval by the Security Council, a work program, which will include, inter alia, 'the key remaining disarmament tasks to be completed by Iraq'. This resolution also stipulates that 'what is required of Iraq for the implementation of each task shall be clearly defined and precise'. The Security Council has thus clearly instructed UNMOVIC to start its work in Iraq by identifying and then submitting to the Council for its approval a list of 'key disarmament tasks'. As you will recall [from our discussions earlier this year]...Blix clearly expressed his readiness to transit for your government's comment these key remaining disarmament tasks before submitting his report to the Security Council. It should therefore be possible at that time for Iraq to express its views and to provide any additional information which may be relevant. ... It is my sincere hope that a speedy resumption of inspections will help facilitate the resolution of all outstanding issues. ... I look forward to receiving from your government a confirmation that it accepts the sequence of steps outlined above, along with a formal invitation to UNMOVIC".
The same day, US Ambassador to the United Nations John Negroponte commended Annan's response, noting that "we would be deeply sceptical, to say the least, of any move by the [UN] Secretariat to accept the Iraqi invitation". Also on August 6, Blix told Swedish Radio that, although the invitation contained "rather tricky diplomatic language", "everything indicates, when you read it very carefully, that it is the same sort of set-up as we've had during three rounds of discussions". The Chief Inspector added: "We want discussions with them about practical arrangements: how we fly in, what authorities we deal with there. We don't want conflict once we're in." In terms of the duration of any resumed inspections, Blix predicted: "It's necessary that they cooperate with us for a number of months, I think half a year or something like that, and cooperate in all aspects...[in order for] the Security Council to suspend sanctions."
Iraq expressed deep disappointment at the UN's reception of its initiative. UN Ambassador Mohammed al-Douri expressed himself baffled (August 4): "The ultimate goal for the United Nations is the return of inspectors. Why shouldn't we prepare for that properly? Those people need the help of the Iraqi government, and the Iraqi government has some problems to discuss... If we have a dialogue nobody will be a loser." On August 7, Foreign Minister Sabri, in remarks quoted in the al-Bayan newspaper in the United Arab Emirates, launched a fierce attack on Blix, accusing him of succumbing to "US pressure and blackmail". Sabri railed: "Blix has inherited the same duties undertaken by the spy [Richard] Butler, who used to project an authority exceeding that of the Security Council and the Secretary-General".
Russia was also disappointed, as Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov told reporters (August 7): "Russia believes it [is] extremely important not to miss the opening opportunities for a political and diplomatic settlement of the situation around Iraq... Other means, especially forceful, are unacceptable from the viewpoint of international law and could only exacerbate the already difficult situation... [The August 1] invitation had unequivocally shown that Baghdad is seriously considering a possibility of [readmitting] the UN inspectors..."
On August 5, Iraq invited a Congressional delegation, accompanied by weapons experts, to visit suspected facilities in the country. According to the written invitation from Sadoun Hammadi, the Speaker of the Iraqi Parliament, the delegation would be welcome to take "whatever data your government chooses to supply...in substantiation of its misguided claim that Iraq has produced chemical and biological weapons and is in the process of constructing nuclear weapons". The offer was alternately rejected and ridiculed by Congressional leaders and administration officials. Democratic House whip Nancy Pelosi immediately (August 5) described the invitation as "disingenuous", arguing: "Every country should insist that Iraq allow United Nations weapons inspectors into the country." According to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld (August 5): "I can't think of anything funnier than a handful of Congressmen walking around. They'd have to be there for the next 50 years trying to find something. It's a joke."
In a nationally televised address on August 8, Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, referring to 19 questions posed by his government to the UN at the first round of talks in March, declared that the "right way" forward was for the Security Council to "reply to the questions raised by Iraq and...honour its obligations under its own resolutions." Responding to the speech, Annan (August 8) drew the obvious inference: "I don't see any change in attitude...[or] flexibility from their previous position... At this stage it seems as if they are not giving an inch".
On August 12, Iraqi Information Minister Mohammed Saeed al-Sahhaf told the Arabic al-Jazeera television network that "work under the framework of...United Nations resolution 687, i.e. what is called prohibited weapons in Iraq...[has] been completed... Inspections have finished." It was not clear whether the minister's remarks amounted to a rejection of further inspections, or an expression of confidence that fresh inspections would vindicate Iraq's claims of compliance. As of mid-August, Iraq and the Security Council were still at odds over the need for further discussions - see next issue for details and coverage.
The focus of Congressional debate was provided by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which held two days of hearings on the objectives, practicalities and implications of 'regime change' on July 31-August 1. In a powerful editorial in the New York Times on July 31, Committee Chair Joseph Biden (Democrat) and acting ranking Minority member Richard Lugar (Republican) argued: "Through tragedy and pain, Americans have learned a great deal this past year about why foreign policy matters. In recent months, President Bush has made clear his determination to remove Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein from power - a goal many of us in Congress share. But to date we've seen only leaked reports of competing military plans. These have reflected deep divisions within the administration about whether and how to proceed. The time has come for a serious discussion of American policy toward Iraq."
As suggested in Biden and Lugar's remarks, many senior figures in both parties are voicing concern that the administration may launch an attack without seeking Congressional approval. As Lugar noted more explicitly as the special hearings opened on July 31: "If President Bush determines that large-scale military action is necessary against Iraq, I hope he will follow the lead established by the previous Bush administration and seek Congressional authorisation. This is not an action that can be spring on the American people." The previous day, two Democratic Senators, Diane Feinstein and Patrick Leahy, introduced a resolution seeking to ensure, in Feinstein's words, that "if we are to use force...we do so only after full debate and consideration of the options and with a united government and the specific statutory authorisation of Congress." On July 31, Senate Minority Leader Trent Lott (Republican) countered that seeking such approval would amount to telling "Mr. Saddam Hussein, 'we're coming, we're coming, get ready'."
Highlights of the discussions in Congress feature prominently in the following compilation of international comment.
Iraqi Vice President Taha Yassin Ramadan, August 3: "Iraq's invitation was genuine, so as to open a dialogue... But if a dialogue, even at the technical level, is rejected, then how will it be possible to reach an agreement?"
Iraqi UN Ambassador Mohammed al-Douri, July 3: "If we can take [something from our talks with the UN, certainly we can give a lot. But if we cannot take, certainly we cannot give a lot..."
Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov, July 25: "There are all the signs that the Americans have become more active [over Iraq]. I think that some movement may start in the Security Council in order to prepare public opinion for a dangerous turn of events. We, however, believe that the politico-diplomatic potential for resolving the situation around Iraq is far from exhausted yet."
Former President Bill Clinton, June 17: "Looking down the road, the most important thing is to get our priorities right... I don't have any use for Saddam Hussein. But I think you have to ask yourself in what order do we have to do this? ... He [currently] has no missiles to put warheads on that could reach us..."
Vice President Dick Cheney, August 7: "Left to his own devices, it's the judgment of many of us that in the not too distant future he will acquire nuclear weapons. And a nuclear-armed Saddam Hussein is not a pleasant prospect for anyone in the region, or for anyone in the world for that matter. ... [Saddam Hussein has] gotten very good at denial and deception. A debate with him over inspectors...would be an effort by him to obfuscate and delay and avoid having to live up to the accords that he signed at the end of the Gulf War."
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, July 30: "It would take such a thoroughly intrusive inspection regime agreed to and then lived up to by Iraq that it's difficult to comprehend - even [to] begin to think - that they might accept such a regime. It would have to be without notice. It would have to be anywhere, any time."
Paul Wolfowitz, Deputy Defense Secretary, July 15: "It's too dangerous to wait ten years for them [Iraq] to hit us. September 11 was nothing compared to what an attack with chemical and biological weapons would be. We have a problem. We're not going to wait forever to solve it."
John Bolton, Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security, August 3: "We continue to favour the reintroduction of the inspectors... But...our policy at the same time insists on regime change in Baghdad. That policy will not be altered whether the inspectors go in or not... There are all kinds of ways for regime change to take place. The Iraqi opposition has long felt the country is really burdened intolerably by Saddam Hussein's presence in Baghdad, and that opposition continues to grow."
John Wolf, Assistant Secretary of State for Non-Proliferation, August 2: "[I]t is very clear to anybody who cares to look that in the four years since [the expulsion of UNSCOM]...Iraq has been working very hard, without the benefit of inspectors being there, to reconstitute its chemical, biological and nuclear weapons and the missiles that would deliver them."
General Richard Myers, Chair of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, August 9: "Obviously new intelligence isn't perfect, but what we are certain of [is] that he [Saddam Hussein] has a great interest in chemical and biological weapons, conducts research and development into those systems, that he still weaponises those capabilities, [and] that he's very interested in nuclear capabilities... Some of these capabilities are easily hidden and almost any kind of inspection programme would not reveal them if that's what the regime wanted to do - they could hide them."
Democratic Senator Joseph Biden, August 4: "I believe there probably will be a war with Iraq. The only question is, is it with others and how long and costly will it be? ... Saddam either has to be separated from his weapons of mass destruction or taken out of power. ... We should make the case straight out... And the President should, in my view, when the time comes, come to the United States Congress and say, 'I want authority. I want you with me to go in after Saddam and take him out, and here's why. Here's the justification. I want your support.'"
Democratic Senate Majority Leader Thomas Daschle, August 4: "Do we have the support [for a war] from our allies? Do we have an appropriate plan for what happens once the regime change takes place? Do we have the ability to do this logistically? Is the military supportive of the efforts overall?"
Democratic House Minority Leader Dick Gephardt, June 4: "I share the President's resolve to meet this menace [of Saddam Hussein] head-on. We should use diplomatic tools where we can, but military means when we must, to eliminate the threat he poses to the region and our own security."
Democratic Senator Carl Levin, Chair of the Armed Services Committee, August 11: "It's almost certain that if we did attack Saddam that he would use the weapons of mass destruction because he'd have nothing to lose in response to that kind of attack... He would not, in my opinion, initiate an attack with a weapon of mass destruction, because it would lead to his own destruction. ... He's a survivalist. He is not a suicide bomber".
Democratic Senator Joseph Lieberman, August 4: "Every day that Saddam remains in power, with chemical weapons, biological weapons, and the development of nuclear weapons, is a day of danger for the United States of America. ... I think we're at a point where it's critically important for the President, as the Commander-in-Chief, to take hold here. He's got obvious disagreement within his administration."
Republican House Majority Leader Dick Armey, August 8: "If we try to act against Saddam Hussein, as obnoxious as he is, without proper provocation, we will not have the support of other nation states... I don't believe that America will justifiably make an unprovoked attack on another nation. It would be inconsistent with what we have been as a nation or what we should be as a nation. ... My own view would be to let him bluster, let him rant and rave all he wants and let that be a matter between he and his own country. As long as he behaves himself within his own borders, we should not be addressing any attack or resources against him."
Republican Senator Chuck Hagel, August 4: "If we would move in a pre-emptive way against Iraq, that would change a doctrine that this country has had as long as we have existed, and that would set in motion - or certainly could set in motion - a change in world military doctrine on a pre-emptive basis."
Republican Senate Minority Leader Trent Lott, August 4: "America needs to be united. ... We need to try to bring the world in. I think we're eventually going to have to do something about Saddam Hussein and Iraq..."
Republican Senator Richard Shelby, August 2: "I believe they [the Iraqis] are continuing to manufacture weapons of mass destruction at many sites. A lot of them we don't know about, some of them we are suspicious of. Every month, every week, Saddam Hussein will have more weapons of mass destruction to use against us. Why put it [war] off?"
Samuel Berger, National Security Adviser under President Clinton, Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearings, July 31: "[T]here's no question that the world will be a better place without Saddam Hussein's regime. As you've said in the past, 'if he is around five years from now, it means we haven't done something right'. But if we don't do this operation right, we could end up with something worse. We need to be clear and open about the stakes, the risks and the costs that genuine success - meaning a more secure America and a more secure world - will require."
Former UNSCOM Chief Executive Richard Butler, Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearings, July 31: "I have seen no evidence of Iraq providing weapons of mass destruction to non-Iraqi terrorist groups... I think we've got to go a little further way [diplomatically] if for no other reason than to make clear to the world that we went the full distance to get the law obeyed and arms control restored before taking other measures..."
Anthony Cordesman, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearings, July 31: "Blundering into war is not a plan, and while Iraq has many military weaknesses it is not a 'cakewalk'. The human costs of fighting Iraq can be all too real, and betting the lives of other men's sons and daughters on anything other than decisive force can be exceedingly dangerous. Military adventures that kill US or allied troops and local allies and still end in defeat or frustration are even worse, and civilian casualties and collateral damage have a moral price tag."
Charles Duelfer, former Deputy Executive Chair of UNSCOM, Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearings, July 31: "[E]ven if one could imagine the most extensive and intrusive system of inspections, accompanied by significant military forces, could the international community sustain this forever? ... Is the problem really the weapons or the leadership? Not being clear on this matter has left the weapons inspectors in the miserable position of being tasked with a goal that cannot be achieved while greater powers avoid facing the tough issues embodied by the Baghdad leadership. The Security Council's inability to force permanent compliance by Iraq with...very intrusive and stringent disarmament and monitoring measures leads to the case for regime removal."
Former senior US State Department official Robert Galucci, Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearings, July 31: "I do not think it would be prudent for the United States to leave Iraq free to pursue WMD acquisition indefinitely. This assessment stands even if we lack any intelligence that Iraq would, in fact, transfer WMD to a terrorist group. It is also an assessment that leads some analysts to favour military action against Iraq aimed at overturning the regime... It seems to me...that if the United States is to block Iraq acquisition of WMD, it should look for ways to do so short of such a war... The question is, then, can a politically plausible inspection regime be put in place that would offer sufficient assurance of preventing Iraq from acquiring WMD over the long term? ... [The objective should be] to strike the right balance, linking the inspection regime to an invasion if Iraq fails to cooperate, without being so robust as to appear to inevitably presage a move to overthrow the Iraqi government."
Morton Halperin, Senior Fellow, Council on Foreign Relations, Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearings, July 31: "If we choose this course [of invasion] we must deploy...sufficient military forces... We must be ready to accept substantial casualties in our own military forces and those of our allies...and also on the civilian population of Iraq and of neighbouring countries including Israel. We must acknowledge the risk that weapons of mass destruction and chemical weapons will be used against our troops and against civilians. ... Finally, we need to debate the costs of actually implementing the new policy of pre-emption that the President has announced. It is not clear to me if the administration is arguing that the policy is consistent with our obligations under the UN Charter or if he is saying that we cannot be bound by that commitment. Either approach has very profound implications and moves us away from what has been the effort of every American President since Truman to explain how our use of force is consistent with the Charter and reinforces our efforts to prevent other nations from using force. All of these costs and risks may be worth taking, but I do not see that the case has yet been made."
Khidir Hamza, Iraqi defector and former nuclear engineer, Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearings, July 31: "With a workable design and most of the needed components for a nuclear weapon already tested and in working order, Iraq is in the final stages of putting together its enrichment program to enrich uranium for the final component needed in its nuclear core. Thus Iraq's nuclear achievement when it happens, together with its history of use of its available WMD, will turn it into a serious threat to US interests in the region. Serious punishment - regime change - will be largely discounted. Iraq's posturing, aggressiveness and harassment of unfriendly regimes will increase considerably. The window of opportunity to abort this option is closing down, possibly within the next two or three years..."
Caspar Weinberger, Defense Secretary under President Reagan, Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearings, August 1: "[Saddam Hussein] has violated all of the promises which we accepted when we crushed his military in the Gulf War. He cannot be believed and he is an implacable foe of the United States. ... If we're alone in the actual removal operations, so be it..."
James Woolsey, former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Director, August 1: "The Iraqi military is at about 40% of what it was in 1991... [The US accounts for] 40% to 45% of what the entire world spends on the military, and to say that the United States cannot succeed in this endeavour is, I think, ridiculous."
Ramsay Clark, former US Attorney General, letter to UN Security Council members, July 29: "Threats to attack, invade and overthrow the government of Iraq by President George Bush, Vice President Cheney, Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld, various cabinet officers and Pentagon officials have been routine for a year. The psychological warfare is itself a crime against peace and violates the UN Charter. ... If the United Nations is unable to restrain the United States, a permanent member of the Security Council, from committing crimes against peace and humanity as well as war crimes against a nation that has already been violated by the US beyond endurance, then what is the United Nations worth?"
UK Prime Minister Tony Blair, July 25: "We have not got to the stage of military action. If we do get to that stage...we will, of course, make sure Parliament is properly consulted. ... If he [Saddam Hussein] were to [readmit inspectors]...of course, as I have said before, that makes a difference. But I see no sign that he is prepared to do that. The omens don't look very good, frankly..."
UK Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, July 16: "We share an obligation to hold the cheats, such as Iraq, to account... We say the ball is in Iraq's court."
UK Foreign Office Minister Mike O'Brien, August 7: "Nobody wants war for the sake of it... The ball is now in Saddam Hussein's court. He must ensure that the inspectors go into Iraq and that international law is complied with. If international law is complied with, of course the position will then be very different. ... Whilst regime change might be desirable...our objective is clear. What is important us that we focus on getting the inspectors in and we make sure that the threat of weapons of mass destruction is dealt with."
Sir Michael Quinlan, former senior UK Ministry of Defence official, August 7: "Why should the international containment [of Iraq] that has held for over a decade be now thought likely to break down? To oppose the US administration would be a very serious step...but this is a very serious matter and what is influence for?"
Retired Field Marshall Lord Bramall, former Chief of the UK Defence Staff, August 5: "This is a potentially very dangerous situation, in which this country might be swept into a very, very messy and long-lasting Middle East war... You don't have license to attack someone else's country just because you don't like the leadership. Nowadays, you are supposed to get UN backing for all this."
Canadian Foreign Minister Bill Graham, June 17: "We prefer as Canadians to work through the United Nations. We believe very strongly in building strong legally based multilateral reactions to [the] problems of the world, and we would urge the United States to respect that, and international legal norms, in the way it approaches this problem... The UN continues to work on dealing with inspectors for the weapons of mass destruction, and that's where we out our accent in terms of the best way in which to deal [with the issue]..."
Foreign Minister Graham, August 7: "If we say that we're going to just attack him [Saddam Hussein], clearly he's going to take defensive measures, and that could lead to a very dangerous position, which our Turkish allies and various others in the region have said... I would urge the Americans to encourage and make the UN system work."
French President Jacques Chirac, July 30: "I do not want to imagine an attack against Iraq, an attack which - were it to happen - could only be justified if it were decided on by the Security Council. ... I believe Iraq would be very well advised to understand the necessity for it to reach an accord very, very quickly with the UN Secretary-General."
German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, August 9: "On military intervention...Germany will not take part. After America, we have the largest number of troops deployed internationally, more than any other European country. The limit of what can meaningfully be asked of us has been reached... There's a difference between a situation where a partner is attacked, as the Americans were attacked in New York and Washington, and...what's being discussed about Iraq. That has to be considered wholly differently... One has to stay free, to make decisions in one's own interest, in Germany's interests."
Chancellor Schroeder, August 5: "I say yes to pressure on Saddam Hussein... But I can only warn against playing games with war and military intervention..."
King Abdullah of Jordan, August 1: "Everybody is saying this is a bad idea. If it seems America says we want to hit Baghdad, that's not what Jordanians think, or the British, the French, the Russians, the Chinese and everybody else..."
Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah al Ahmed al Sabah, July 27: "Iraq has to take seriously and understand the intentions of the United States toward it...[and] accept the Security Council resolution regarding inspectors of weapons of mass destruction."
Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal, August 3: "We oppose any military attack against Islamic and regional countries and we are opposed to any American military attack against Iraq..."
Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal, August 7: "We have told them [the US] we don't [want] them to use Saudi grounds [for an attack against Iraq]".
Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa, July 30: "The UN inspectors should return to Iraq and verify the situation. The Iraqis have not rejected that proposal, they are negotiating the terms and certain points of clarification. ... Our position is clear, and a unanimous resolution was adopted during our last summit [in Beirut in March this year]... The resolution was to oppose...any invasion of any Arab country, in particularly Iraq."
Reports: Gephardt backs use of force on Saddam, Reuters, June 4; Clinton to Bush - tackle Mideast peace before Iraq, Reuters, June 17; Canada says best way to deal with Iraq is via UN, Reuters, June 17; Iraq says there will be 'concrete results' from talks with UN Secretary-General this week, Associated Press, July 3; As UN-Iraq talks open, Annan voices hope for 'conclusive decisions', UN Newswire, July 4; Iraq talks wrap up in Vienna after producing 'some movement', Annan says, UN Newswire, July 5; UN officials urge Iraq to permit the return of weapons inspectors, Associated Press, July 5; Iraq fails to OK UN inspections, Associated Press, July 6; US has no answers on how to unseat Saddam, Reuters, July 15; British foreign minister - Iraq and North Korea must be held accountable, Associated Press, July 16; Europe must reform, end hostility to US, to become a superpower, Blair says, Associated Press, July 24; Blair - Iraq decision not imminent, Associated Press, July 25; Interview with Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Igor Ivanov in Rossiiskaya Gazeta, July 25, 2002, Russian Foreign Ministry transcript; 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Congress wants a say in Iraq decision, USA Today, August 1; Transcript - Senators Feinstein, Leahy submit resolution on using force against Iraq, Washington File, August 1; Iraq braces for war 12 years after invading Kuwait, Reuters, August 1; Iraq invites chief UN weapons inspector to Baghdad for technical talks, Associated Press, August 2; Iraq trying to dodge disarmament, Powell says, Reuters, August 2; Iraqis, reversing course, ask to meet UN arms inspectors, New York Times, August 2; On Iraq's initiative, Russian Foreign Ministry Statement, Document 1577-02-08-2002, August 2; Iraq offers arms inspections talks, BBC News Online, August 2; Iraq hints at UN arms inspectors return, Reuters, August 2; Middle East bubbles over US-Iraq confrontation, Reuters, August 3; Bush dismisses Iraq inspection offer, BBC News Online, August 3; Shelby warns of pre-Sept. 11 anniversary terror attacks, Iraqi weapons, Associated Press, August 3; UN expert rebuffs Iraq offer on weapons talks, Reuters, August 4; UN chief weapons inspector won't visit Iraq without inspectors returning first, Associated Press, August 4; Iraq's invitation to chief weapons inspector Blix puts UN in difficult position, Associated Press, August 4; War against Iraq appears to be in the offing, Senator says, Associated Press, August 4; Britain's Blair warned to tread carefully on Iraq, Reuters, August 5; Iraq invites US Congress for tour, Associated Press, August 5; UN wants clarification on Iraqi invitation, Washington File, August 5; Senators air views about use of force against Iraq, Washington File, August 5; Transcript - Iraqi efforts to rearm cannot be ignored, Washington File, August 6; UN rejects Iraqi proposal on weapons talks, Washington File, August 6; UN to ask Iraq about inspectors, Associated Press, August 6; Annan - Iraq must invite UN inspectors before talks, Reuters, August 6; UN weapons inspection chief says he found little new in Iraqi letter, Associated Press, August 6; Bush reviews military options for Iraq with top general, key advisers, Associated Press, August 6; Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Igor Ivanov answers a question from Interfax news agency about the situation around Iraq, August 7, 2002, Russian Foreign Ministry transcript; Prince says Saudi Arabia will deny US access to attack Iraq, Associated Press, August 7; War against Iraq not inevitable, British government minister says, Associated Press, August 7; Russian foreign minister warns Washington against striking Iraq, Associated Press, August 7; Saddam will have nuclear weapons soon unless he is stopped, Associated Press, August 7; Annan - Iraq must accept UN terms, Associated Press, August 7; Iraq brands UN arms team chief Blix as 'spy', Reuters, August 7; Canada wary of attack on Iraq, says none imminent, Reuters, August 7; Extracts from Saddam's speech, BBC News Online, August 8; Annan - Saddam Hussein's speech didn't give 'an inch' in meeting Security Council demands on return of inspectors, Associated Press, August 8; US military chief says Iraq can hide weapons, Reuters, August 9; Schroeder rules out German role in Iraq, Associated Press, August 9; Hussein foes hold US talks as Capitol Hill unease grows, New York Times, August 9; Iraq minister rejects inspectors, BBC News Online, August 12; Iraq - weapons inspectors not needed, Associated Press, August 12; Iraq says work of UN weapons inspections over, Reuters, August 12.
© 2002 The Acronym Institute.