News Review Special Edition
International Developments, April 1 - May 10, 2003
Lessons Debated, Weapons Sought in Wake of Operation Iraqi Freedom
With the dramatic collapse of the Saddam Hussein regime in early April, the international debate over the future of the country - and the broader political, diplomatic and military lessons of the US-led invasion, codenamed Operation Iraqi Freedom - began in earnest. Although numerous, momentous questions arise from the stunning battlefield triumph, the main concern of Disarmament Diplomacy, and the focus of the following review, coincides with the issue at the heart of the conflict - Iraq's alleged weapons of mass destruction (WMD) programmes and capabilities.
In the months leading up to the outbreak of hostilities on March 19, two permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, the US and UK - echoed and supported by a political and military 'coalition of the willing' - presented the Iraqi WMD-threat as clear, present, potent and growing, encompassing vast quantities of chemical and biological warfare (CBW) stocks and munitions, and backed by ongoing attempts to acquire a nuclear weapons capability. This version of the danger was challenged without being dismissed by a large number of states from all regions, including the other three permanent members of the Security Council, China, France and Russia. All states agreed, however, that UN weapons inspectors - absent from Iraq since the large-scale US/UK air attacks of December 1998 - should be readmitted to the country to attempt to ascertain the main facts for themselves, on behalf of the entire international community. In November 2002, this desire was impressively expressed in the form of a unanimously adopted Security Council resolution, 1441, offering Iraq a last chance to cooperate with inspectors and comply with disarmament obligations set out in sixteen previous resolutions dating back to 687 (1991). With some reluctance, Iraq agreed to the stringent terms and conditions of 1441 - chiefly designed by London and Washington - and allowed the return of inspectors.
As detailed in recent issues, the inspection effort - directed by Dr. Hans Blix, Executive Chairman of the UN Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC), and Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei, Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) - mounted an increasingly intense effort across Iraq in the November-March pre-war period, reporting a high level of cooperation from the authorities in Baghdad on matters of process, and a much more mixed picture with regard to substantive cooperation, notably in the critical area of information-provision. In the absence of any major discoveries of WMD material or equipment, by early February the US and UK had assessed Iraq to be in "further material breach" of 1441, and began pressing the whole council to reach the same verdict, thus opening the unambiguous prospect of military intervention with UN backing. The counter-argument - that the inspections were making adequate progress to warrant more time and support, particularly considering the alternative course of large-scale armed conflict - was expressed with equal conviction by France and Russia, strongly backed by Security Council member Germany. For their part, both Blix and ElBaradei, while acting as servants rather than directors of the Council, stated clearly both that useful work was being carried out and remained to be done, and that numerous serious obstacles - particularly with regard to the chemical and biological 'files' - remained in the path of a final certification of Iraq as WMD-free.
Despite exhaustive efforts to find a middle-ground resolution, the gulf between these positions remained unbridged, leading to the withdrawal of the UNMOVIC and IAEA teams in the final build-up to invasion. Operation Iraqi Freedom was thus launched to the backdrop of deep disunity in the international community and its highest authority on questions of war and peace, the Security Council. The legality of the war was also questioned in many quarters, despite the deliberate crafting of 1441 by American and British diplomats to prevent such a controversy, notably by ensuring that the text did not explicitly require a subsequent resolution authorising the use of force.
No use or evidence of WMD was encountered by coalition forces (US, UK, Australian and Polish) during the three-week conflict. Since the end of major combat - and up to the time of writing in mid-May - no weapons or materials of mass destruction have been found, and no important leads reported from the detention and questioning of numerous senior Iraqi scientists and other officials. There are, of course, a multitude of explanations to explain the failure of the WMD-hunt so far, rarely from the purely logistical - the enormous number of potential sites to search and personnel to trace and question - to the sinister and alarming - transfer or loss of control of weapons or materials. A more immediate political question is who the hunters should be, and to whom they should answer. The Bush administration insists that coalition forces have now assumed responsibility from the UN for conducting the search, with a likely future role for UNMOVIC and the IAEA in the post-search monitoring period. Both Blix and ElBaradei have argued - ElBaradei extremely strongly - against this approach, stressing the many technical and political advantages their independent and experienced inspectors could offer. Many states have expressed strong sympathy with these views, with France and Russia again prominent among them.
The issue of the post-war inspections and disarmament process have a direct bearing on the broader diplomatic question of the lifting of sanctions against Iraq imposed after the 1990 invasion of Kuwait. Before the sanctions can be removed, UN resolutions clearly require a clean bill of WMD-health to be presented by Security Council-appointed inspection organisations. From humanitarian considerations, sanctions could be suspended pending such a certification, but the basic legal route out of the embargo leads necessarily through completion of the UN weapons inspections process. The only alternative scenario would be the Council's adoption of a resolution setting out a different set of terms and conditions; as detailed below, this has emerged as the strategy adopted by London, Washington and their supporters.
Finally, the future shape of the international non-proliferation and disarmament regime has to an important extent been recast as an open question by both the crisis and conflict in Iraq. What main lessons are being drawn by those on both sides of the pre-war divide? Will the post-war era see a revitalisation or dilution of multilateral processes and institutions dedicated to the peaceful resolution of disputes and the progressive reduction of military tensions? Will the monstrous threat posed by weapons of mass destruction, acknowledged by all sides in the debate, translate into an agenda for the irreversible global elimination of all such weapons, or will the narrower spectre of 'rogue state' or terrorist WMD acquisition and use continue to haunt and dominate discussion? The compilation of comment below attempts only to sketch the main outlines of an arms control landscape clearly in the throes of radical change.
Note: after the period under review, the Security Council agreed to the lifting of all sanctions against Iraq with the exception of the arms embargo. Resolution 1483 - adopted on May 22 by 14 votes to 0, with Syria absenting itself from the vote - grants the United States and United Kingdom full authority to administer Iraq prior to the establishment of a new national government. The US and UK are to be supported and advised in the exercise of their duties by the United Nations and other governments and international organisations. With regard to the role of UN weapons inspectors and the certification of Iraqi WMD-disarmament, resolution 1483 is unclear. The preamble reaffirms "the importance of the disarmament of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction and of eventual confirmation of the disarmament of Iraq". Operative paragraph 11 "reaffirms that Iraq must meet its disarmament obligations, encourages the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the United States of America to keep the Council informed of their activities in this regard, and underlines the intention of the Council to revisit the mandates of the United Nations Monitoring, Verification, and Inspection Commission and the International Atomic Energy Agency." See next issue, and our website, for further details and a summary of international reaction.
April 2: in an interview with Abderrahim Foukara of the Arabic-language Al Jazeera television network, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan is asked "why do you think the UN failed to avert the war"? He replies: "I think what you have to look at are the strenuous efforts that the UN and its member states made to try to resolve this issue peacefully through inspections. I cannot recall any issue, since I have been at the UN, that the UN had dealt with that had led to three or four Security Council meetings at the [foreign] ministerial level, with lots of capitals so actively involved - an issue that did not only engage governments and capitals, but also mobilised the public. I have never seen a situation where, before a shot is fired, you have millions taking to the street. So, we have a very active Security Council, with the support of the people in whose name the Charter was written, trying to do this thing peacefully. Obviously, the members could not come to a common position, they could not agree, and the US and UK led their allies into war. But the Council did try, and I think...there was a belief in the...original vision of the UN...that we should save succeeding generations from the scourge of war. ... I am as pained as anybody...that we failed and now we see what is happening on the ground."
April 3: as US forces close in on the Iraqi capital, Captain Adam Mastrianni, the senior intelligence officer with the 101st Airborne Division's Aviation Brigade, tells reporters that, "now...we've penetrated Baghdad's outer ring" of defences, "the likelihood" of Iraqi use of chemical or biological weapons "is negligible". Mastrianni adds: "We thought. if he was going to use chemicals, the first major town he was going to use them in was Karbala [60 miles south of Baghdad]... The next major zone was when we penetrated outer Baghdad... Now the 3ID [3rd Infantry Division] is in Baghdad, and no chemicals have been used... If he [Saddam] somehow survives this, and if he doesn't use them, then he looks kind of like the victim to the Arab world..."
April 4: US Army Special Forces find a suspected chemical weapons production facility and a possible WMD warfare training centre at two sites in Iraq. In coming days, intense investigations seem to disprove these sinister interpretations. The incidents are given here only as examples of numerous similar false alarms and dispelled suspicions during the period under review.
April 8: meeting in Northern Ireland, US President George W. Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair issue a joint statement pledging success in coalition efforts to "eliminate the threat posed by Iraq's weapons of mass destruction."
April 9: the Ba'athist leadership vanishes from Baghdad as US forces take control of the centre of the city. White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer tells reporters that televised scenes of jubilation in some sectors of the capital, and the symbolic toppling of one of the main statues of Saddam Hussein, represented "an historic moment" and "heartening" evidence of "military progress and mankind's taste for freedom."
US Vice President Dick Cheney tells the American Society of News Editors in New Orleans: "[A] vital element of our strategy against terror must be to break the alliance between terrorist organisations and terrorist-sponsoring states. The chemical and biological weapons that Saddam Hussein is known to have produced are the very instruments that terrorists are seeking in order to inflict devastating harm on the people of this country, in Europe, and in the Middle East. That's why, from the day the Gulf War ended in 1991, the United States has supported the efforts of the UN Security Council to disarm Iraq of its weapons of mass destruction. And that is why the United States is today enforcing that demand."
April 10: in an address on the newly-established, US-run 'Towards Freedom TV', President Bush tells the Iraqi people - "The goals of our coalition are clear and limited. We will end a brutal regime, whose aggression and weapons of mass destruction make it a unique threat to the world. Coalition forces will help maintain law and order... We will respect your great religious traditions... We will help you build a peaceful and representative government... And then our military forces will leave. Iraq will go forward as a unified, independent and sovereign nation that has gained a respected place in the world."
The UN Secretary-General tells reporters that the UNMOVIC/IAEA mandate with regard to completing and certifying the WMD-disarmament of Iraq "is still valid" and "only suspended because it became inoperable on account of the war." Annan states: "I would expect Mr. Blix and Mr. ElBaradei to be able to return as soon as it is possible. ... [T]hey are the ones with a mandate to disarm Iraq, and when the situation permits they should go back to resume their work..." Responding to Annan's remarks, Britain's Ambassador to the UN, Sir Jeremy Greenstock, declares: "That suits us. We would like UNMOVIC to play a role in objective identification and verification of what WMD turns up".
April 11: in an interview with Brazilian television, US Secretary of State Colin Powell declares - "I am confident we will find weapons of mass destruction. There is no doubt in my mind that this regime had such weapons. We have the evidence." Powell continues: "For the first several weeks of this campaign, the troops have not been looking for weapons of mass destruction; they've been dealing with the military forces of Iraq. Now that they are slowly being defeated, we can turn our attention to looking for these systems which we know have been well hidden and concealed over time. So I don't think that will be an issue or a problem."
IAEA Director General ElBaradei tells reporters of his concern over the security of nuclear materials stored at the Tuwaitha Nuclear Research Centre in Iraq: "I have written yesterday to the United States government asking that it ensure the security and safety of all the nuclear material there, which has been under IAEA seal since 1991. I indicated that, until our inspectors return to Iraq, the US has responsibility for maintaining security at this important storage facility... As soon as circumstances permit, the IAEA should return to verify that there has been no diversion of this material..."
Submitting the Agency's latest 'consolidated report' on inspection activities in Iraq - the fifteenth biannual report required under paragraph 16 of UNSC resolution 1051 (1996) - ElBaradei informs the Security Council: "As of [its departure from Iraq on] March 17, 2003, the IAEA had found no evidence or plausible indication of the revival of a nuclear weapons programme in Iraq. Nevertheless, this does not mean that the IAEA had completed its investigations on whether Iraq had attempted to revive its nuclear programme between 1998 and 2002. Provided that Iraq's cooperation had remained active, and barring unforeseen circumstances, the IAEA would have been able to provide the Security Council with credible assurance regarding the absence of such a revival within two or three months of continuing verification activities." The consolidated report concludes: "While the implementation of the IAEA mandate in Iraq has been interrupted because of the ongoing military action, the IAEA's mandate in Iraq, pursuant to Iraq's Safeguards Agreement to the Treaty of the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons [NPT] and the relevant Security Council resolutions, remains valid and has not changed. The IAEA, as the sole legal authority to verify Iraq's nuclear activities, remains ready, subject to Security Council guidance, to resume its verification activities as soon as conditions permit."
April 12: General Amer al-Saadi, chief scientific adviser to President Saddam Hussein and a key point of liaison between Baghdad and UN weapons inspectors, surrenders to US forces. Speaking to German ZDF television before handing himself in, al-Saadi states: "I expect to be questioned, to be interrogated about the Iraqi armament programme... I tell you for history: we have nothing, not to defend the regime [with]... I know the programmes for weapons of mass destruction and have always told the truth about these old programmes - and only the truth. You will see, the future will show it, and nothing else will come out after the end of the war... [I am] in no way guilty..." Al-Saadi features - as the 7 of Diamonds - in an instantly notorious pack-of-cards, issued by US forces, naming 55 leading Iraqi regime figures. (Note: addressing the UN Security Council on February 5, Secretary Powell referred to General al-Saadi as "the Iraqi regime's primary point of contact for Dr. Blix and Dr. ElBaradei. It was General Saadi who last fall publicly pledged that Iraq was prepared to cooperate unconditionally with inspectors. Quite the contrary, Saadi's job is not to cooperate; it is to deceive, not to disarm, but to undermine the inspectors; not to support them, but to frustrate them and to make sure they learn nothing.")
The Guardian reveals details of the US-UK inspection team assembled before the war to spearhead the WMD-hunt during and after hostilities. According to the paper, the team is headed by Charles Duelfer, Deputy Executive Chairman of UNMOVIC's predecessor organisation, the United Nations Special Commission (UNSCOM), active in Iraq from 1991-1998. For obvious reasons, the officially-unacknowledged team has been dubbed USMOVIC. The Guardian quotes Ewen Buchanan, Public Information Officer for UNMOVIC, as noting: "Dr. Blix has said we are the body assigned to carry out this inspection. We believe we have the capability and the existing legal mandate." Professor Paul Rogers, of Bradford University's Department of Peace Studies, cautions: "If this team finds a 'smoking gun', people will not believe it." In the assessment of an unnamed British official, however, the 'gun' - in the sense of an active, in-service WMD programme - probably stopped smoking long ago. The search was now for the scattered, hidden parts: "The regime has not had time to reassemble the things... You will not find a factory of gleaming missiles. They would have been broken down ages ago." While this may be true - and is actually not inconsistent with General al-Saadi's careful remark that there were no weapons of mass destruction "to defend the regime" - it seems to raise doubts about the constant pre-war US/UK characterisation of Iraq as a nation armed with WMD.
Meeting in St. Petersburg, the leaders of Russia, France and Germany look ahead to the post-war dispensation in Iraq, and back to the pre-war diplomatic hostilities. French President Jacques Chirac tells reporters: "In the Iraqi crisis, the international community is divided... The division was never over the condemnation of a dictatorship - our differences concerned the way the world was to be managed, [how] its crises [should be handled], and notably the crises of proliferation... What is at stake today is our capacity to give a solid foundation to a new world order. No lasting international order can rest on a logic of power." Russian President Vladimir Putin argues that "the world is changing and the system of international law must evolve and improve in consequence". Putin adds: "We are not going to export capitalist, democratic revolutions - if we do, we're going to end up on a slippery slope to unending military conflicts. We can't let that happen." All three leaders call for a central role for the United Nations in the new Iraq. German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder calls the UN "the only organisation that rests on universal and cooperative notions."
April 14: US officials announce that Jaffar al-Jaffer, widely described as the 'father' of the Iraqi nuclear programme, is in American custody and under interrogation.
April 15: the UN Security Council requests a briefing, scheduled for the following week (April 22), from Blix and ElBaradei. The Council also agrees to meet to discuss details of the UN's contribution to Iraqi reconstruction, and requirements for declaring an end to the sanctions regime.
President Bush and President Chirac speak by phone, their first personal communication - according to Chirac's spokesperson, Catherine Colonna - since February 7. Chirac, Colonna adds, stressed France's intention "to act pragmatically", based on its belief that "the international community must do all it can" to assist Iraq's recovery. At the White House, Press Secretary Fleischer describes President Chirac's emphasis on playing "a pragmatic role" as "an interesting choice of words". Fleischer adds: "The President knows that despite what was a very overt difference with France about how to deal with military issues in Iraq...we are still allies, we share common values."
April 16: in an interview with the Associated Press, Hans Blix strongly defends the independence and integrity of the UNMOVIC effort to date - "We had credibility, and we didn't lend it to their [US and UK] contentions, and I think that we were right and I think so far nothing has proved us wrong..." Blix adds feelingly: "When American and British inspectors have been all over the country, I would imagine they would like to tell us what they have seen and perhaps show us what they have seen. But we're not going to be dogs on a leash. We have a mandate from the Security Council, and [our] credibility requires that we have independent judgment..."
Reuters quotes a "nuclear expert close to the IAEA" revealing the Agency had yet to receive a response to requests for information about its possible return to Iraq. According to the source: "We have not been contacted, and we have not been informed."
President Bush, addressing workers at a Boeing military aircraft manufacturing plant in St. Louis, argues: "Now that Iraq is liberated, the United Nations should lift sanctions on that country."
April 17: taking their cue from the President, US officials argue the case for the prompt removal of all sanctions with the exception of the arms embargo. State Department spokesperson Richard Boucher tells reporters: "One has to accept the fact that with the fall of the Saddam Hussein regime, the need for economic sanctions goes away... It should be fairly obvious to everybody that we're not in the same situation that we were a month or two ago, or several years ago when other resolutions were passed. ... In the end, in the future of Iraq - a future that's starting already - some restriction on trade in weapons would probably be necessary. But the need for broad economic sanctions goes away..."
Russia's position on the issue is set out by Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov: "[T]he sanctions...were imposed by the United Nations Security Council. ... Lifting the sanctions is possible only in accordance with a decision of the UN Security Council. For the Council to take that decision, it is necessary to become convinced of the...absence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. That question cannot be solved automatically. ... I think the earliest [possible] lifting of sanctions is in the interests of the international community. ... However, I repeat, lifting the sanctions has to occur on the basis of respect for international law..."
Addressing a Pentagon 'town hall' meeting, US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld states: "I don't think we'll discover anything" in the search for Iraqi WMD. Rather, the Secretary explains, Iraqi officials "will tell us where to go find it. It's not like a treasure hunt where you run around everywhere hoping you find something. I just don't think that's going to happen."
April 21: the New York Times reports that a scientist, said to have been involved with Iraq's chemical warfare programme over an extensive period, was telling US investigators of the destruction of chemical weapons and biological warfare equipment ordered by the Saddam Hussein regime in the days before Operation Iraqi Freedom.
April 22: the Security Council hears its first report from UNMOVIC and the IAEA since March 19, when a draft work programme envisioning the possible peaceful resolution of the Iraq crisis was presented by Blix and ElBaradei hours before the onset of military hostilities.
Dr. Blix summarises the basic political and legal case for a revival of the UN inspections, verification and monitoring effort as soon as circumstances permit: "I find it entirely natural that the coalition authorities, which entered Iraq, established units devoted to the search for and identification of weapons of mass destruction and other proscribed items. In the phase of active hostilities, the finding and neutralizing of such items was evidently a matter of security. Furthermore, as a stated objective of the war has been the assured eradication of all weapons of mass destruction, the search for these weapons and control of them would appear to be a logical part of the operations. I have publicly said that I wished these units every success in finding the truth about the weapons, which, at UNMOVIC, we have concluded could exist and which several governments are convinced do exist. I have no doubt about the determination of these units to work objectively. All this being said, it remains that finding the long sought truth about the suspected existence of weapons of mass destruction and other proscribed items in Iraq is an interest that is not limited to the governments that have pursued the war but is one which is shared by the whole international community. Indeed, the Security Council has devoted its attention and efforts to it for over a decade. I note further that, under several still valid resolutions, assessments and conclusions by UNMOVIC and the IAEA are needed as premises for Council decisions affecting the sanctions regime. Several resolutions also foresee long-term monitoring by these organizations."
Noting simply that "UNMOVIC and the IAEA need guidance from the Council on how to proceed", Blix sets out six "central points" that "might be considered". The first point concerns the 'chain-of-command' set up to ensure the independence of the inspections process: "UNMOVIC is a subsidiary body of the Council and both UNMOVIC and the IAEA receive their mandates from the Council and act independently of individual states. Their staff are obliged not to seek or receive instructions from any government or from any other authority external to the Organization". The second point concerns the UN's previous insistence on the inspectors' freedom of manoeuvre and operation: "UNMOVIC and the IAEA are given unrestricted rights of access to sites and persons, and to move and communicate freely and safely in Iraq." The third point concerns Iraq's obligations, whatever the nature of the authority in political control of the country, to "cooperate immediately, unconditionally and actively with both organizations." The fourth concerns the relation of inspections to sanctions: "UNMOVIC and the IAEA are to report on the disarmament of Iraq and on cooperation and progress made to this end, and such reports are to serve as the basis for Council action relating to sanctions - either lifting or suspension coupled with effective financial and other operational measures to prevent the acquisition of prohibited items." The fifth point concerns the post-inspections role of the two organisations: "Ongoing monitoring and verification is required to give long-term assurance that no revival occurs in any of the prohibited programmes." The final point concerns the broader regional context of the issue: under UN resolutions, "disarmament actions in Iraq are seen as steps toward the goal of establishing in the Middle East a zone free from weapons of mass destruction."
Having introduced the six points, Blix reflects that if the Council were to consider them "relevant for some new guidance, the inspecting authorities would need to remain independent of all individual governments and authorities to retain international credibility in their work for the Council. They would need to preserve their full rights to communication and to access to any Iraqi sites for inspection and to Iraqi persons for interviews. They would further need assistance and cooperation from any Iraqi authorities that are established and from the coalition authorities. They would notably need a new local counterpart to fulfil the role that was played by Iraq's National Monitoring Directorate. The draft work programme, which was submitted by UNMOVIC, would need to be adapted. It might be assumed that the inspection units of the coalition could relatively soon present results from their extensive activities and that with the assistance and cooperation of these units their findings could be verified and corroborated within a limited period of time, using some of the methods set out in the draft work programme presented. The rules, which have been guiding in the past pursuant to UN resolutions, required that any destruction of proscribed items should take place under international supervision. This would seem still advisable for international credibility. Lastly, the long-term international monitoring programme envisaged by the resolutions may continue to be required to maintain a high-level of confidence in the region and the world that Iraq remain free of weapons of mass destruction."
Prior to confirming that he did not "wish to prolong" his appointment as Executive Chairman of UNMOVIC beyond the end of June, Blix sets out for the record "some short comments on recent media coverage...which might have puzzled members of the Council." Blix explains: "In a few recent cases of interviews, which have been published first in other languages than English and then been translated into English there have been serious errors. On several occasions, I have pointed to weaknesses in intelligence provided about Iraq's weapons programmes and this has been reported by the media. I have at the same time always stressed the need for intelligence and the difficulties which the various agencies face in their work. I hardly need to add that I have at no time suggested or even remotely implied that any government was linked to the fabrication of any evidence. To take a second example, while I have at no time suggested that the war was a foregone conclusion, I have stated as my impression that US patience with further inspection seemed to run out at about the same time as our Iraqi counterparts began to be proactive in proposing new investigations, supplying more explanations and names. I did not imply that there was any causal link. Had I looked for one, I would have assumed that the accelerating Iraqi activity was prompted by the feeling that time was running out. Indeed, both Dr. ElBaradei and I said as much to our counterparts at meetings in Baghdad."
Dr. ElBaradei does not attend the meeting. In a short statement delivered on his behalf, the IAEA Director General argues that the Agency "should resume its work in Iraq as soon as possible. The IAEA continues to be the sole organisation with legal powers - derived from both the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and successive Security Council resolutions - to verify Iraq's nuclear disarmament. We await the guidance of the Council as to the modalities of our return."
Speaking shortly after the meeting, White House Press Secretary Fleischer is quick to douse hopes for a speedy resumption of the UN disarmament effort. Telling reporters that "the President is looking forward, not backward", Fleischer stresses: "We'll work with Security Council members, the United Nations, and our friends and allies on the issue of the post-Saddam Iraq and how best to achieve our mutual goals. But make no mistake about it; the United States and the coalition have taken on the responsibility for dismantling Iraq's WMD." With regard to the requirements to be satisfied prior to the lifting of sanctions, Fleischer states: "Clearly the United Nations has the ability to pass new resolutions that supersede old resolutions, particularly when the old resolutions are predicated on the existence of a regime that is now gone".
Speaking to reporters after Blix's presentation, delivered behind closed doors, Russian Ambassador Sergei Lavrov tells reporters: "We are not at all opposed to the lifting of sanctions. What we are insisting on is that Security Council resolutions must be implemented. ... We all want to know that there are no WMDs in Iraq, and the only way to verify it is to have the inspectors in Iraq and to see for themselves and to report back to the Security Council. As soon as they deliver their report, the sanctions could be lifted". French Ambassador Jean Marc de La Sabliere stresses the need "to take into account the new realities on the ground" and embrace "a very pragmatic approach". To reflect the transformed situation, de La Sabliere adds, "I have proposed that the decision should be taken to immediately suspend the civilian sanctions", pending a full, formal "lifting of sanctions" which is necessarily "linked to the certification of the disarmament of Iraq." Lavrov signals Russia's willingness to entertain the idea of a suspension: "Anything short of that [final lifting] could be done on the basis of a Security Council decision, so the French proposal is not against Security Council procedures." US Ambassador John Negroponte argues both that the sanctions can be lifted immediately and that responsibility for certifying Iraqi disarmament need not be assumed by UN inspectors: "The coalition has assumed responsibility for enforcing pertinent UN Security Council resolutions and conducting the operation of disarming Iraq of its weapons of mass destruction". Blix himself remarks: "My overall impression is the Council is sort of groping for some way" in which America's preferred "process of inquiries" in Iraq "can be converged with the process we were pursuing". Going into the Council chamber, Blix stresses: "We may not be the only ones in the world who have credibility, but I think we do have credibility for being objective and independent."
In an interview with BBC World Service radio, excerpts of which were broadcast a few hours before his presentation, Blix gives voice again to his doubts about the legitimacy of the war: "I think it's been one of the disturbing elements that so much of the intelligence on which the capitals [London and Washington] built their case seemed to have been shaky". Referring to US allegations that his pre-war reports to the Security Council had deliberately omitted evidence suggesting Iraqi non-compliance - in particular, details of an unmanned drone and a cluster bomb design developed by the regime - Blix reflects: "At that time, the US was very eager to sway the votes of the Security Council, and they felt that stories about these things would be useful to have and they let it out [to the media]... Thereby they tried to hurt us a bit and say we'd suppressed this..." Responding to the comments, Fleischer insists the administration did not try to undermine the inspectors "in any way": "The United States is working with Iraqis to build a new country for them, and I think that would just be unfortunate if his position today is to criticize the United States. We know they [Iraqi WMD] exist, and we're confident that they will be found. ... [W]e have a coalition that is working on the ground to dismantle Iraq's WMD programmes, and we think that's going to be effective."
Speaking in Vienna, Secretary-General Annan recalls the Council's discussions of the issue in the final build-up to the war: "As soon as the situation settled, the expectation was that they could go back and continue their work, and verify that Iraq has been rid of weapons of mass destruction."
April 24: the Security Council unanimously adopts resolution 1476, extending the oil-for-food programme, designed to offset the humanitarian suffering and deprivation caused by the sanctions, until June 3. The move follows the Council's unanimous adoption of resolution 1472 on March 28 (see last issue), extending the programme for 45 days, until May 12, and reorganising its mechanisms and procedures "in view of the exceptional circumstances currently prevailing". The US and Britain express the hope that, by June 3, agreement will have been reached in the Council allowing for a post-sanctions humanitarian programme to be put in place.
Interviewed by Tom Brokaw of NBC television, President Bush is asked - "Now that the war in Iraq is effectively over, have you thought about a Bush Doctrine that is a comprehensive structure of some kind, on a global basis, for dealing with weapons of mass destruction and the need, even, of pre-emptive strikes against rogue nations?" The President replies: "Well, the Bush doctrine is actually being defined by action, as opposed to by words. Although, I think if you compile a lot of the speeches I've given, you could come up with the Bush doctrine. The way I view the post-Saddam Iraq opportunities are these, one, that we can deal more effectively with weapons of mass destruction, that we made it clear that people who harbor weapons of mass destruction will be dealt with. Hopefully, most of it can be done diplomatically. And you'll see us - see me, as well as members of my administration, begin to push for new international protocols that will make international organizations more effective at stopping the spread of weapons of mass destruction." The interviewer does not seek clarification on the 'new international protocols' referred to by Mr. Bush.
Earlier in the day, the President visits the Lima Army Tank Plant in Ohio, telling workers: "We are now working to locate and destroy Iraq's weapons of mass destruction. Iraqis with firsthand knowledge of these programmes...are beginning to cooperate, are beginning to let us know what the facts were on the ground. And that's important, because the regime of Saddam Hussein spent years hiding and disguising his weapons. ... And so, it's going to take time to find them. But we know he had them. And whether he destroyed them, moved them, or hid them, we're going to find out the truth. And one thing is for certain: Saddam Hussein no longer threatens America with weapons of mass destruction."
Addressing the UN Human Rights Commission in Geneva, Secretary-General Annan observes: "What we must all hope is that a new era of human rights will now begin, with the end of the war. And here, in the first instance, I hope the Coalition will set an example by making clear that they intend to act strictly within the rules set down by the Geneva Conventions and the Hague Regulations regarding the treatment of prisoners, and by demonstrating through their actions that they accept the responsibilities of the Occupying Power for public order and safety, and the well-being of the civilian population." Annan adds: "The decision to go to war without specific authorisation by the Security Council has created deep divisions that will need to be bridged if we are to deal effectively, not just with the aftermath of Iraq, but with other major challenges on the international agenda." The US delegation takes exception to the remarks. With regard to the appeal to abide by the Geneva Conventions and Hague regulations, Ambassador Kevin E. Moley, Permanent US Representative to the UN in Geneva, tells reporters at a hastily arranged press conference: "We have not only made that clear by our words, more importantly we have made clear from Day One of this conflict through our actions, and quite frankly we find it odd at best that the Secretary-General would feel that he had to bring this to our attention". Ambassador Jeane J. Kirpatrick, head of the US delegation to the Human Rights Commission, describes the reference to a lack of authorisation for the war as "a serious mistake on the part of the Secretary-General." Kirpatrick states: "The Secretary-General knows resolutions 678 and 687 and 1441. 687 contains the terms of the cease-fire which was negotiated at the interruption of the first Gulf War. And he is perfectly aware of the fact that Iraq has not ever fulfilled those terms of the ceasefire." With regard to disunity within the Security Council over the war, Kirpatrick comments: "It is of course the US position...that the French created deep divisions when they announced that they would veto any resolution which was passed by the Security Council that dealt with the question of use of force in Iraq... The French President Jacques Chirac reiterated this view several times, and effectively ended the use of the Security Council as an arena for negotiating some kind of settlement to that conflict. So I think this [characterisation] is very inaccurate and not consistent with views that the Secretary-General himself has expressed on other occasions... I think this is very objectionable."
April 26: a prominent Iraqi WMD-scientist - the biological warfare expert Nissar Hindawi - tells Judith Miller of the New York Times that the information he had provided to UN weapons inspectors in the 1990s had been "all lies". Hindawi adds, however, that Saddam Hussein had given "orders to destroy" the "huge quantities" of chemical and biological weapons and materials produced in the 1980s, and that these orders had been at least partially carried out - "they destroyed some; whether all or not, I can't say." Hindawi, detained by the Iraqi government during its last weeks in power, also claims that any residual, hidden or simply not-yet-destroyed material, including anthrax and botulinum toxin, would almost certainly now be degraded beyond military usefulness: "Even if it's all kept until now, don't worry about it." According to the newspaper, Hindawi is not being detained by coalition forces, enjoying instead the "protective custody of the Iraqi opposition leader Ahmad Chalabi".
April 27: US officials announce that General Hossam Mohammad Amin - Director of Iraq's National Monitoring Directorate in charge of liasing with UN weapons inspectors, and the 6 of Clubs in the US pack-of-cards of most-wanted Iraqi officials - has been taken into custody.
April 28: at his monthly press conference, UK Prime Minister Blair is quizzed about the failure this far to discover tangible evidence of Iraqi WMD. He replies: "I would counsel people not to be jumping around gleefully a little too early on this. It is correct that we have in place a very deliberate process where we are interviewing people, we are assessing sites. We started off, I think, with around about almost 150 sites and we were beginning to look at 7 of them. Actually the sites that we have got as the result of information now is closer to 1,000 in the whole of the country. We have looked at many of those, but nothing like a majority of them. It is true that we are interviewing scientists and others, but our first priority has got to be to stabilise the country, the second is the humanitarian situation, and the third and we can take our time about this and so we should - is to make sure that we investigate the weapons of mass destruction, and we will do that. And as I say every time I am asked, I remain confident that they will be found..." A number of commentators puzzle over the 'take our time' remark, wondering if it reflects US/UK intelligence that the prospect of the diversion or theft of WMD material is, for whatever reason, negligible.
Then asked, "now do we need to get the UN involved to verify if any weapons are found, rather than just the US and us doing it?", the Prime Minister states: "We need to discuss this with the UN and amongst the allies, but I have got no doubt at all that we need some process of independent verification. ... [I]t is very important people realise two things. The first is there isn't any doubt that Iraq has had weapons of mass destruction. That is not in dispute, not from anybody. ... Now the second thing...is that prior to the inspectors coming back in because there was a 6-month period if you like when it was clear the United States and ourselves were going to take action, and also clear that inspectors might be coming in, there was a 6-month campaign of concealment of these weapons. That is our intelligence, borne out by sufficient intelligence that there is no doubt in my mind that is what happened..."
April 29: in Moscow, a tense press conference between Russian President Vladimir Putin and UK Prime Minister Blair exposes the persistent gulf in perception over the issue of Iraqi WMD. Putin comments: "We did the utmost for organising effective inspections by UNMOVIC and the IAEA. Those two international bodies have not found weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, and now, two weeks after the cessation of hostilities in Iraq, those weapons are still not found. But the questions remain, despite the fact that the situation in Iraq has changed. The questions are: where is Saddam? where are those arsenals of weapons of mass destruction, if they indeed were in existence? We don't know whether perhaps Saddam is still hiding somewhere underground in a bunker, sitting on cases containing weapons of mass destruction, and is preparing for blowing the whole thing up, bringing down with him the lives of hundreds of thousands of people, we simply do not know, we do not know whether this is the situation." Regarding the necessary reorganisation of the inspections process, the Russian leader argues that "there are plenty of opportunities and options to ensure effective inspections, even in the very difficult and complex post-war situation. And if something is found there, some empty barrels or something like that, then the UN inspectors could be immediately summoned in order to do their job and to make their professional conclusion as experts. And the inspectors could work in Iraq, being protected by [UN] blue helmets." Blair responds: "I think it is important that we find exactly what has happened in Iraq. I am confident that we will, time will tell, I am confident that time will tell, and it is important for the whole of the world that we know exactly what has happened. Because one thing is for sure, Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and has been pursuing a programme for weapons of mass destruction over a long period of time, that is established fact, that is there in the United Nations and there in all the resolutions the UN has passed. And I set out for you a very deliberative programme of how we now go about assembling the evidence for this, and I am sure it will be there, I am confident it will be, and then I think it is important that we share that with the international community and make sure, as I have said before, that it is independently verified, and that is something we should carry on discussing between ourselves as partners."
April 30: Secretary-General Annan appeals to the Security Council not to let the sanctions issue reopen the wounds of the pre-war debate - "Over the coming weeks, the Council will have important decisions to take on existing mandates within the context of the new situation - notably on sanctions, the 'oil-for-food' programme, and weapons inspections. Beyond that, you will need to consider how best the international community can help Iraqis rebuild their country - and what part the United Nations might play in assisting that effort, and in the process of restoring Iraqi sovereignty. And I hope I can rely on you...[as with] any mandate this Council entrusts to the United Nations, that you...make sure that it is clear, coherent, and matched by the necessary resources. In just over 20 years, the Iraqi people have lived through three wars and over 10 years of harsh United Nations sanctions. Let us set aside our past disagreements, ask what will help the Iraqi people most, and act accordingly."
In a speech to the National Defense University in Washington, Deputy US Secretary of State Richard Armitage responds to growing doubts about the existence of WMD in Iraq: "I want to be clear here today that I am extraordinarily confident that Iraq had those capabilities. Rarely have the intelligence agencies of this country and our allies been so unified on any subject. Now, I know there are those, probably in this audience, that think because we have found little so far, that there's nothing to find. But I'd like to suggest to you a more frightening reality, and that is that it is far too easy to hide and to move these capabilities, and far too difficult to find them, especially in the face of a determined and practiced effort to conceal them. And the regime of Saddam Hussein was nothing if not practiced. They had years of close scrutiny in which to learn how to deceive inspectors. And then they had four unfettered years to do as they pleased. What emerged was a well-developed and sophisticated strategy of dispersal. ... Now, whether it is the mobile labs or weapons disguised as industry, we are finding now that the capabilities were even more dispersed and disguised than we had thought. The evidence of Saddam Hussein's programs is likely to be spread across many hundreds and even possibly thousands of sites in Iraq. It is going to take us months to find this material, but find it we will."
Testifying before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Secretary Powell defends the dramatic picture of an extensive Iraqi WMD-capability set out in his tour de force presentation to the Security Council on February 5: "The presentation I made before the United Nations...was [made] at the end of four straight days of living with the entire intelligence community and going over every single thing we knew... What I presented on that day was information that was all source and that had other backup to it, and not just what they saw in the presentation. Everything we had there had backup and double sourcing and triple sourcing..."
An unnamed US official tells the Associated Press that all detained Iraqi officials questioned on the subject are continuing to deny the maintenance of any WMD programmes. "They are all sticking to that story," the official notes, adding: "They've got every reason to lie, at least initially..."
ElBaradei repeats his call for a prompt readmission of IAEA inspectors. Quoted in the Swiss Neue Zuercher Zeitung newspaper, the Director General states: "The mandate is still in force... We have years of experience and know every scientist worth interviewing..."
May 1: speaking on board the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln, returning from active service in the Persian Gulf, President Bush declares: "Major combat operations in Iraq have ended. In the battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed. And now our coalition is engaged in securing and reconstructing that country." The Commander-in-Chief describes Operation Iraqi Freedom as exhibiting "a combination of precision and speed and boldness the enemy did not expect, and the world had not seen before. From distant bases or ships at sea, we sent planes and missiles that could destroy an enemy division, or strike a single bunker. Marines and soldiers charged to Baghdad across 350 miles of hostile ground, in one of the swiftest advances of heavy arms in history. You have shown the world the skill and the might of the American Armed Forces. ... In the images of falling statues, we have witnessed the arrival of a new era. For a hundred of years of war, culminating in the nuclear age, military technology was designed and deployed to inflict casualties on an ever-growing scale. In defeating Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan, Allied forces destroyed entire cities, while enemy leaders who started the conflict were safe until the final days. Military power was used to end a regime by breaking a nation. Today, we have the greater power to free a nation by breaking a dangerous and aggressive regime. With new tactics and precision weapons, we can achieve military objectives without directing violence against civilians. No device of man can remove the tragedy from war; yet it is a great moral advance when the guilty have far more to fear from war than the innocent." Looking ahead, the President observes: "We have difficult work to do in Iraq. We're bringing order to parts of that country that remain dangerous. We're pursuing and finding leaders of the old regime, who will be held to account for their crimes. We've begun the search for hidden chemical and biological weapons and already know of hundreds of sites that will be investigated. We're helping to rebuild Iraq, where the dictator built palaces for himself, instead of hospitals and schools. And we will stand with the new leaders of Iraq as they establish a government of, by, and for the Iraqi people. The transition from dictatorship to democracy will take time, but it is worth every effort. Our coalition will stay until our work is done. Then we will leave, and we will leave behind a free Iraq."
The President describes the "battle of Iraq" as but "one victory in a war on terror that began on September the 11th, 2001 - and still goes on. ... In these 19 months that changed the world, our actions have been focused and deliberate and proportionate to the offense. We have not forgotten the victims of September the 11th - the last phone calls, the cold murder of children, the searches in the rubble. With those attacks, the terrorists and their supporters declared war on the United States. And war is what they got." The speech continues: "The liberation of Iraq is a crucial advance in the campaign against terror. We've removed an ally of al Qaeda, and cut off a source of terrorist funding. And this much is certain: No terrorist network will gain weapons of mass destruction from the Iraqi regime, because the regime is no more."
May 3: referring to the increasingly-criticised WMD-hunt, President Bush insists again - "we'll find them, and its just going to be a matter of time". Bush adds that some senior regime figures, now in coalition custody, remain reluctant to divulge information helpful to the search. He describes former Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz (the 8 of Clubs in the US most-wanted pack) as an example of someone who "still doesn't know how to tell the truth".
May 5: IAEA spokesperson Mark Gwozdecky tells the Agence France Presse news agency that Director General ElBaradei had written to the US government on April 30 requesting permission to investigate reports of looting at the Tuwaitha Nuclear Research Centre, 12 miles south of Baghdad - an issue he first raised with American authorities on April 10 (see above). Gwozdecky comments: "We don't consider it necessarily a problem of nuclear proliferation, but it could be a problem of health and safety and environmental contamination". On May 4, the Washington Post reported Pentagon officials describing extensive damage and looting at the site, apparently left unguarded by coalition forces for a prolonged period following the collapse of the Iraqi capital. According to the IAEA, at the outbreak of war Tuwaitha housed 1.8 tons of low-enriched (non-weapons-grade) uranium and several tons of natural and depleted uranium. IAEA spokesperson Melissa Fleming tells Reuters (May 5): "We have been assured by the US that they would secure these facilities, but the Agency finds these reports disturbing." Secretary Powell comments (May 4): "I don't know that there was a special concern that there was nuclear-related material at that particular site."
Speaking in Moscow, John Bolton, US Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security, declared emphatically: "I don't think there is any role for the UN in the short term in searching for, or identifying, or securing, weapons of mass destruction. But we do not necessarily rule out some kind of UN role down the road."
Another senior Iraqi weapons scientist, and the only woman included (as the 5 of Hearts) in the US pack-of-cards, is reported to be in coalition custody. Huda Salih Mahdi, a US-educated biologist, is also known as 'Mrs. Anthrax' by American officials.
May 7: President Bush announces the lifting of US anti-terrorism sanctions on Iraq. The move was recommended to the President by Secretary Powell on April 30. Legal experts express doubts concerning the legality of the decision in the context of the ongoing UN embargo.
Stephen Cambone, US Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence, tells reporters at a special Pentagon briefing that coalition personnel were examining a suspected mobile biological weapons laboratory - an elaborately equipped trailer seized at a Kurdish-controlled checkpoint in northern Iraq on April 19. According to Cambone: "While some of the equipment in the trailer could have been for purposes other than biological weapons agent production, US and UK tactical experts have concluded that the unit does not appear to perform any function beyond...the production of biological agents." Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Alexander Yakovenko (May 8) responds warily: "Judging from the reports, there is no final clarity in this matter. In any case, the American specialists so far have not succeeded in discovering in the found trailer any traces of bacteriological weapons. Evidently, additional investigations will be required. But, under all the circumstances, it is only international inspectors from UNMOVIC - the mandate of which involves the 'biological dossier' of Iraq - who can deliver a final verdict certifying the involvement of this find..."
An unnamed US diplomat tells Reuters that there "is no question that inspectors from the IAEA will eventually go back to Iraq" to discharge their mandatory safeguards functions as "the guardians of the NPT". Asked to comment, IAEA spokesperson Melissa Fleming notes that while, indeed, "under the NPT, we have a responsibility to go back...our UN Security Council mandate to conduct weapons inspections inside Iraq is still valid." The Agency, Fleming adds, is "braced and ready to return".
May 9: the United States introduces a draft resolution in the Security Council outlining the future role of the UN in Iraq. The resolution, co-sponsored by Spain and the UK, refers to the "specific authorities, responsibilities, and obligations under applicable international law" of the "occupying powers" in Iraq, and the duty of those powers to establish a "unified command" - or, simply, an "Authority" - to oversee the post-war transition to full Iraqi sovereignty, independence and democracy. The text resolves that the UN should play a vital role in providing humanitarian relief, in supporting the reconstruction of Iraq, and in helping in the formation of an Iraqi interim authority". A "Special Coordinator for Iraq", to be appointed by the Secretary-General, would work, "coordinating with the Authority", to "assist the people of Iraq" through action on a list of nine specified tasks. The list makes no mention of Iraqi disarmament. Instead, while reaffirming "the importance of disarmament of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles in accordance with its previous relevant resolutions", the resolution would lift all sanctions, "with the exception of prohibitions related to the sale or supply to Iraq of arms and related materiel", without requiring any prior certification that Iraq no longer possessed WMD and/or was operating WMD programmes. Indeed, after the lifting of the sanctions, funds would be provided to allow for "the continued disarmament of Iraq". This assistance would be provided under the auspices of an Iraqi Assistance Fund managed by the occupying powers, advised and supported by the UN and other bodies. As an interim measure, the draft envisages the continuation of the oil-for-food programme "for a period of four months following the adoption of this resolution". Funds remaining in the oil-for-food account, and revenue generated by future oil sales, shall "be transferred promptly to the Iraqi Assistance Fund in order to provide for the urgent needs of the Iraqi people".
US Ambassador Negroponte describes the initial discussion of the draft as "quite constructive", adding: "I feel that most delegations saw this as charting a way forward".
Previewing the text, US Secretary of State Powell emerges from a meeting with the UN Secretary-General to tell reporters (May 7): 'It is a resolution that will not fight the battles of the past, but is forward looking; a resolution that will unite the international community to help the people of Iraq to a better life and to build a new government - it will lift the sanctions, to that end. And I think it is a resolution that everybody will be able to rally round. And it is also a resolution that will give a role to the Secretary-General to play and the United Nations to play, to play the vital role that President Bush has spoken of."
May 12: French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin argues for a revision of the draft US-UK-Spanish text to allow for a stronger UN role - "I believe we need more transparency and information on Iraq. That is why we are asking for international controls... And who better than the United Nations to perform this task?" De Villepin adds that the "principles and political procedures" for establishing an interim authority in Iraq "must be clearly established in the draft resolution so that the process is above reproach." On specifics, the revised resolution would "have to establish rules for sharing oil revenues and ensuring that the management is placed under international and uncontested control..." The minister repeats the view of his government that the final lifting of sanctions "would need some international certification after cooperation between [UN weapons] inspectors and the forces on the ground..."
US forces announce that Rinha Rashid Taha al-Azzawi al-Tikriti - nicknamed 'Dr. Germ' for her role in Iraq's biological weapons programme, but not included on the US most-wanted list - has been taken into custody.
UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, statement delivered to a meeting of European Union (EU) and EU candidate states in Athens, April 17: "[I]n this new century, so many of the threats to our peace and security are global - from international terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction to the trafficking of small arms... These issues are not new to the United Nations. But for many people, they have taken on a new dimension, and been brought into a new and painful focus, since the events of September 11, 2001 - and even more so since the war in Iraq. There is deep suspicion and mistrust, both between nations and within them. There is apprehension, too, about the implications of recent events for our collective system of security, and for the international system of law. Yet people all around the world also understand instinctively that the best response is to unite, asserting and defending the human values that we all share. People are looking for institutions and systems that can uphold fundamental principles, and produce collective solutions to shared problems."
Jayantha Dhanapala, UN Under-Secretary-General for Disarmament Affairs, April 12: "The failure of the Security Council, after its unanimous adoption of resolution 1441, to agree on collective action with regard to Iraq's weapons of mass destruction capability must be a warning to us all. Without a unified Security Council, we will never achieve what [President] Kennedy visualised as 'a genuine world security system - a system capable of resolving disputes on the basis of law, of ensuring the security of the large and the small, and of creating conditions under which arms can finally be abolished'. ... As divisions caused by the war in Iraq are healed, and the community of nations returns to the United Nations as a centre for harmonising their national interests, let us also return to [the] rule of law-based disarmament to avoid war in the future."
UNMOVIC Executive Chair Hans Blix, interview in Der Spiegel, April 17: "Now we will see whether London or Washington were right. I am very curious and I can only wish them luck in their search. ... The alliance came as liberator and occupier, and that can prove to be disadvantage... If its experts now should really discover weapons of mass destruction, their authenticity might be called into question."
Hans Blix, interview in El Pais, April 9: "There is evidence that this war was planned well in advance. Sometimes this raises doubts about their attitude to the inspections... I now believe that finding weapons of mass destruction has been relegated, I would say, to fourth place, why is why the United States and Britain are now waging war on Iraq. Today the main aim is to change the dictatorial regime of Saddam Hussein... I think the Americans started the war thinking there were some [WMD in Iraq]. I think they now believe less in that possibility. But I don't know - you ask yourself a lot of questions when you see the things they did to try and demonstrate that the Iraqis had nuclear weapons, like the fake contract with Niger... The United States maintains that the war on Iraq is designed to send a signal to other countries to keep away from weapons of mass destruction. But people are getting a different message. Take the announcement North Korea has just made - it's tantamount to saying, 'if you let in the inspectors, like Iraq did, you get attacked'... It's an important problem. If a country perceives that its security is guaranteed, it won't need to consider weapons of mass destruction. This security guarantee is the first line of defence against the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction."
Notes: Blix's reference to Niger refers to documents purporting to show Iraqi attempts to import uranium from that country. Addressing the Security Council on March 7, IAEA Director General ElBaradei announced the shocking conclusion of his experts that the documents - passed on to the Agency by the US - "are in fact not authentic". No suggestion has been made by Blix or ElBaradei that the US fabricated the documents. However, in his controversial April 22 interview with BBC Radio, mentioned above, Blix repeated his unease: "Is it not disturbing that the intelligence agencies that should have all the technical means at their disposal did not discover that this was falsified? I think that's very, very disturbing. Who falsifies this?"
The reference to 'the announcement North Korea has just made' probably refers to an April 6 Foreign Ministry statement (see last issue) which noted: "The Iraqi war shows that to allow disarming through inspection does not help avert a war but rather sparks it."
Hans Blix, April 4: "Even if the United States is currently less well disposed to the United Nations, they have not rejected multilateralism... Nobody can make progress in today's world without support from multilateral institutions and organisations..."
IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei, May 5: "I don't think the international community would be satisfied as long as we - the UN weapons inspectors - do not go there and examine the discoveries..."
Mohamed ElBaradei, interview on CNN, April 27: "[O]nce there is a secure environment...I don't see any reason why we shouldn't go back as soon as is practical... Now that the regime has gone, I see no reason why we should not be able to complete the job."
Mohamed ElBaradei, article in the Washington Post, April 23: "The threat of weapons of mass destruction is back, in this new century, as the most serious challenge to international peace and security. Current reports cite 10 to 15 countries as either having or seeking to acquire such weapons. Is Iraq unique, or is the war in Iraq the new model for solving non-proliferation concerns? Is there still hope for alternatives less unpredictable in outcome and less costly in terms of human life? ... Must we conclude...that it is futile to try to control weapons of mass destruction through a collective, rule-based system of international security - and that the only available alternative is a pre-emptive military strike based on a premise that a country may be harbouring such weapons? I believe we must reform the former rather than resorting to the latter."
US President George W. Bush, speaking on board the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln, May 1: "Our war against terror is proceeding according to principles that I have made clear to all: Any person involved in committing or planning terrorist attacks against the American people becomes an enemy of this country, and a target of American justice. Any person, organization, or government that supports, protects, or harbours terrorists is complicit in the murder of the innocent, and equally guilty of terrorist crimes. Any outlaw regime that has ties to terrorist groups and seeks or possesses weapons of mass destruction is a grave danger to the civilized world - and will be confronted. And anyone in the world, including the Arab world, who works and sacrifices for freedom has a loyal friend in the United States of America. Our commitment to liberty is America's tradition - declared at our founding; affirmed in Franklin Roosevelt's Four Freedoms; asserted in the Truman Doctrine and in Ronald Reagan's challenge to an evil empire. We are committed to freedom in Afghanistan, in Iraq, and in a peaceful Palestine. The advance of freedom is the surest strategy to undermine the appeal of terror in the world. Where freedom takes hold, hatred gives way to hope. When freedom takes hold, men and women turn to the peaceful pursuit of a better life. American values and American interests lead in the same direction: We stand for human liberty. The United States upholds these principles of security and freedom in many ways - with all the tools of diplomacy, law enforcement, intelligence, and finance. We're working with a broad coalition of nations that understand the threat and our shared responsibility to meet it. The use of force has been - and remains - our last resort. Yet all can know, friend and foe alike, that our nation has a mission: We will answer threats to our security, and we will defend the peace. ... The war on terror is not over; yet it is not endless. We do not know the day of final victory, but we have seen the turning of the tide. No act of the terrorists will change our purpose, or weaken our resolve, or alter their fate. Their cause is lost. Free nations will press on to victory."
US Vice President Dick Cheney, speech to the Heritage Foundation in Washington, May 1: "[I]n a post-September 11th world...[h]ow do you contain rogue states willing to provide terrorists with weapons of mass destruction? How do you deter terrorists who have no nation to defend and who are willing to sacrifice their own lives in order to kill Americans? These problems will define the new era in American foreign policy. They are problems that the American government has never before faced, and they require new thinking, courageous leadership and bold action. Fortunately, in this period of challenge, the United States has a leader in President Bush, who has the patience and the resolve and the moral clarity necessary to wage the war on terror and to win it. The President has made clear from the very beginning that this will be a long and a focused effort, not only because the terrorists operate in the shadows, but because they also enjoy the backing and support of outlaw states. It is this alliance between terrorist networks seeking weapons of mass destruction and rogue states developing or already possessing these weapons that constitutes the gravest threat to America's national security. Therefore, a vital element of our strategy against terror is to break the alliances between terrorist organizations and terrorist states. In the case of Iraq, President Bush made it absolutely clear that the United States would not tolerate a growing danger from this dictator and his brutal regime. Today, Saddam Hussein's regime is history. And there is no doubt in anyone's mind that the President of the United States keeps his word."
US Secretary of State Colin Powell, interview on CBS television, May 4: "You have to keep in mind...that when we passed UN resolution 1441 on a vote of 15 to zero, just voting for that resolution signs you up to the proposition that Iraq was not coming clean with respect to their weapons of mass destruction programmes. They were found guilty in that resolution... When we said things such as, 'What happened to all of the anthrax material you had? What happened to the botulinum toxins? Explain the discrepancies that exist,' they refused to do so. Now, whether we ever find that amount of material, or are able to resolve the discrepancies, remains to be seen. But I am absolutely sure that they had weapons of mass destruction, and I am sure we will find them. And it was the judgment of the United Nations when that resolution was passed that we all believe the same thing."
Richard Armitage, Deputy US Secretary of State, April 30: "It's time for the world community to reinvigorate our shared commitment to stopping the spread of these weapons. And perhaps it is time to refashion the tools we already have for doing so - to develop new tools to deal with these challenges as well as to commit to vigorous bilateral and multilateral negotiations whenever necessary. ... I certainly don't have all the answers on this. I can't, today, tell you exactly how to fix what is broken or how to build the new structures we need to be safe. But what I can tell you is that Iraq offers proof that the community of nations needs to come together to ask the right questions and to work out a way to deal with the tough proliferation challenges of today and tomorrow."
John Bolton, US Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security, interview with Radio Sawa, April 5: "The United States is very concerned that states seeking to acquire weapons of mass destruction give up that quest, and that they live within the commitments that they've made in such things such as the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, the Chemical Weapons Convention, and the Biological Weapons Convention. So we are hoping that the example of Iraq divested of its weapons of mass destruction would be persuasive to a number of other states in the Middle East, and we certainly intend to exert a maximum diplomatic effort to persuade other states like Syria, Libya and Iran among others to give up their pursuit of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons and long range ballistic missile delivery systems. ... I think it sends a message that when the President of the United States says that all options are open in his determination to rid countries of weapons of mass destruction, that he is serious about it. And no one wants to repeat what has happened in Iraq, and we are hoping that the elimination of the dictatorial regime of Saddam Hussein and the elimination of all of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction would be important lessons to other countries in the region particularly Syria, Libya and Iran, that the cost of their pursuit of weapons of mass destruction is potentially quite high. We want a peaceful resolution to all of these issues, but the determination of the United States, especially after September 11, to keep these incredibly dangerous weapons out of the hands of very dangerous people should not be underestimated."
Mark Grossman, US Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs, April 20: "The situation in Iraq has completely changed... The inspectors' mandate is still in force, but they cannot be sent back en bloc to Iraq..."
US Senators Joseph Biden (Democrat) and Chuck Hagel (Republican), article entitled 'Winning the Peace', Washington Post, April 6: "[M]any around the world, even longtime allies, question our motives in Iraq. They wrongly believe that we are driven by commercial interests or imperial designs. We have to convince them otherwise or risk a further erosion of those alliances and institutions essential to American security and cooperation for more than 50 years. That would undermine our interests, because it becomes increasingly difficult to contend with multiple threats on our security alone - including the unfinished war on terrorism...[and] the dangerous nuclear programmes in North Korea and Iran... Making friends and allies who opposed the war our full partners in Iraq's peace can go a long way toward repairing the hard feelings that have emerged in recent weeks."
US Senator Bob Graham (Democrat), April 9: "In my judgment...[our] priorities should be to eliminate the shadowy group of international terrorist organisations who killed almost 3,000 Americans on September 11. I believe that this war in Iraq has actually reduced our ability to effectively carry out the war against terrorism."
Robert Hutchings, Chair of the US National Intelligence Council (NIC), speech entitled 'The World After Iraq', April 8: "As to what to do about weapons of mass destruction, one of the few things on which the international community might agree is that the international non-proliferation regime has broken down. Some states may look to North Korea and Iraq and conclude that swift acquisition of nuclear weapons pre-empts US action whereas mere development invites it. Meanwhile, we could be faced at any time with crises between India and Pakistan or with North Korea, as well as with other countries that may seek swift acquisition of nuclear weapons. On the positive side, there may be an opportunity to fashion a new international consensus around the dangers of nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons proliferation. There may also be ways to create more effective linkages among the various elements of counterproliferation strategy: preventing or slowing acquisition, rolling back or deterring use of existing programs, and dealing with the consequences of acquisition via regional security arrangements."
Richard Perle, Pentagon adviser and former senior Defense Department official, article in USA Today, May 2: "The idea that our victory over Saddam will drive other dictators to develop chemical and biological weapons misses the key point: they are already doing so. That's why we may someday need to pre-empt rather than wait until we are attacked. Iran, Syria, North Korea, Libya - these and other nations are relentless in their pursuit of terror weapons. Does anyone seriously argue that they would abandon their programmes if we had left Saddam in power? ... [T]his argument, deployed by those who will not take victory for an answer, confuses cause and effect: does any peaceful state that neither harbours terrorists nor seeks weapons of mass destruction fear that we will launch a pre-emptive strike against it? Who are they? Why would they? Iraqis are freer today and we are safer. Relax and enjoy it."
Richard Perle, interview in the Kommersant newspaper in Russia, April 21: "Do you really think the new Iraqi government is going to invite Jacques Chirac [to help them]? Chirac went too far in his aim of opposing the US and the coalition. I don't think the majority of Americans are ready to forget that. Chirac had a choice: to come on to our side or Saddam Hussein's. He chose Hussein."
US analyst John Pike, GlobalSecurity.org, May 4: "As someone who supported the war...I wish they'd hurry up and find something..."
US biological weapons expert and former UN weapons inspector Jonathan Tucker, May 4: "[Iraqi WMD scientists and personnel] could work for other proliferators or terrorist groups if they're allowed to leave..."
Australian Prime Minister John Howard, April 14: "The whole idea that you could bring about regime change, the whole idea that you could provide the hope and the opportunity for the people of Iraq that has been provided without taking the action that was taken, is ludicrous..."
Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer, April 14: "The...anti-American lobby will argue that the Americans can't be trusted, but the Iraqis have always been required by international law to destroy all these materials, with or without UN inspectors. And so too will the coalition be able to destroy this material, with or without UN inspectors."
Javier Solana, the High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) of the European Union (EU), interview in the Spanish newspaper ABC, April 20: "The superpower tends to want no limitations. Wrongly, it thinks that if it finds itself in the minority in multilateral institutions it will see its capacity for action limited. This is a little short-sighted... Important powers also have the ability to lead multilaterally... It is better to convince others of what you want them to do, rather than impose it... We have to revise the UN [WMD] Conventions, which are not respected right now because they are not signed by all countries, so that we don't find ourselves in situations like that of Iraq once again... We need more efficient mechanisms that don't imply the use of force, which must always be a last resort..."
Chris Patten, EU External Relations Commissioner, April 23: "I think the more the UN can be involved in post-war Iraq the better... As far as I'm concerned, it goes for weapons inspections and other issues. ... If you wanted to maintain the maximum credibility in the international community about the presence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, then the role of the UN is extremely important... It may be very unfair, but I think the international community is much less likely to believe what is said by those in the coalition...than [they are to] believe the UN inspectors. That may be unfair, but it's a statement of the blindingly obvious."
Unnamed EU diplomat, quoted by the Global Security Newswire, April 14: "Iraq is not the end of the story. We will have to deal with other countries, such as North Korea... We need a policy. We cannot allow ourselves to be torn apart again, which the Iraq crisis did to us..."
Yuri Ushakov, Russian Ambassador to the US, article entitled 'At a Critical Juncture', the Washington Post, April 3: "While Moscow and Washington have clear differences over Iraq, it would be much worse if this disagreement became an obstacle to our overall partnership. Russia and the United States must continue to work together. This is true in part because, whatever its outcome, the war in Iraq will not end the war on international terrorism. Nor will it end global efforts to control weapons of mass destruction, for which our two countries bear unique responsibility as the two largest nuclear powers. History will not forgive us if we allow our disagreement and mutual irritation to undermine our ability to address effectively the profound security challenges of the 21st century."
Alexander Konuzin, Deputy Permanent Representative of Russia to the United Nations, addressing the UN Disarmament Commission, April 1: "[T]he use of military force in circumvention of the Charter of the United Nations and in breach of international law may lead to an undermining of the system of international security and induce individual countries to acquire WMDs. In this connection we consider the war in Iraq a serious political mistake."
UK Prime Minister Tony Blair, April 28: "The central issue is this. As Europe develops, as it becomes more powerful, does it see itself as a partner or a rival? Now I think it is perfectly possible for Europe to become more powerful, but as an ally and partner of the United States of America. And if it were to develop in that way, you would never have seen the situation such as occurred over the past few months with Europe and America, at least part of Europe, and America divided in that way. ... And my fear is that if we don't deal with the world on the basis of a partnership between Europe and America, then we will in a sense put back into the world the divisions that we wanted to get rid of when the Cold War finished, and I think that would be just a disaster for the world. ... I think that if you ended up with two rival centres of power you would find a very, very difficult situation. Look, you have had a very difficult situation in the last few months, that should give us some clue as to what will happen if this occurs. The world appeared, the industrialised modern developed world appeared to split into two parts, and I think that is dangerous, and that is why I think we need to go back into this in a considered way and have an honest discussion about it, not cover it up or pretend that we haven't had these big differences, or try and blot over them, but actually have the discussion, and that needn't be, and shouldn't be, acrimonious, or bitter, or personalised, or any of the rest of it, but it should be about what is an agenda that can form the partnership for the modern world. And what I say about that is that the items that go on that agenda are in a sense very, very clear, they are terrorism and weapons of mass destruction, the Americans are right about those issues and we should be backing them in fighting them, but they are also issues to do in the Middle East with the Middle East peace process, to do with the problems of the world environment, to do with global poverty, to do with the World Trade Organisation and free trade... Now are Europe and America going to fight each other, or are they going to come to a common position and drive that through? I think these are really big questions."
UK Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, April 24: "My criticism of my colleagues in France and elsewhere in Europe...is that they all willed the end, which was the disarmament of Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction and his compliance with the UN, but they failed to will the means."
Labour MP Robin Cook, Foreign Secretary from 1997-2001, who resigned as Leader of the House of Commons in protest at the government's policy on Iraq, article in The Guardian, April 17: "For Britain, the question of what to do next must start with counting the collateral damage from the war to our international standing. Most immediately, there is the division it has put back between us and our major European partners. ... Then there is the damage in the developing world, where we are now widely perceived to have supported a war not of liberation but of imperialism. This is particularly true in the Islamic nations. ... The war in Iraq was justified on the grounds that, after a decade, Washington had lost patience waiting on Saddam to fulfil his obligations under UN resolutions. Yet the Palestinians have waited three decades for Israel to fulfil its obligations under resolution 242 to withdraw from the occupied territories. In short, restoring the standing of Britain in the Islamic world depends on US withdrawal from Iraq and on Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank. ... Tony Blair has pursued a strategy of restoring Britain as the most reliable ally of the US. ... While Bill Clinton was in the White House, it was possible to recreate that special relationship [achieved by Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and US President Ronald Reagan] of two leaders who shared broadly similar instincts. The strategic error was to attempt to roll forward the relationship with Clinton to his successor."
Related material on Acronym website:
Reports: UN nuclear watchdog says it must monitor Iraqi disarmament, Agence France Presse, April 1; Statement by Alexander Konuzin, Deputy Permanent Representative of Russia to the United Nations, at the session of the UN Commission on Disarmament held on April 1, 2003, Russian Foreign Ministry transcript; Secretary-General's interview with Abderrahim Foukara of Al Jazeera, New York, April 2, 2003, UN website, http://www.un.org; At a critical juncture, by Ambassador Yuri Ushakov, Washington Post, April 3; Iraqi chemical threat 'negligible' - US military, Agence France Presse, April 3; US has not given up on multilateralism despite Iraq - Blix, Agence France Presse, April 4; US forces find Iraqi chemical warfare training center, US Department of State (Washington File), April 4; Winning the peace, by Joseph R. Biden Jr. and Chuck Hagel, Washington Post, April 6; The world after Iraq, speech by Robert L. Hutchings, Chair, US National Intelligence Council, Washington, April 8, CIA website, http://www.cia.gov; Text - Bush, Blair say Iraq's future belongs to Iraqis themselves, Washington File, April 8; Iraq war planned long in advance, banned arms not the priority - Blix, Agence France Presse, April 9; Transcript - Cheney says US will break alliance of terrorists, rogue states, Washington File, April 9; Amid scenes of celebration in Baghdad, White House urges caution, Washington File, April 9; Text - government, future 'will belong to you,' Bush tells Iraqis, Washington File, April 10; Democrats remain divided on Iraq war, Associated Press, April 10; Annan seeks inspectors' return to Iraq, Associated Press, April 10; Annan sees no functioning government in Iraq, Reuters, April 10; Transcript - Secretary Powell's interview on Brazilian television, Washington File, April 11; Fifteenth consolidated report of the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency under Paragraph 16 of UNSC resolution 1951 (1996), April 11, 2003, IAEA website (http://www.iaea.org); IAEA concerned about security of nuclear material in Iraq, IAEA Press Release PR 2003/04, April 11; Alan Cranston Peace Award 2003, remarks by UN Under-Secretary-General Jayantha Dhanapala, April 12, UN website, http://disarmament.un.org; France, Germany, Russia stress primacy of law, UN in Iraq crisis, Agence France Presse, April 12; Weapons teams scour Iraq, The Guardian, April 12; Secret inspections team scours Iraq for weapons of mass destruction - report, Agence France Presse, April 12; Saddam's advisor surrenders to US forces, insists regime had no banned arms, Agence France Presse, April 12; US seeks answers from Iraq science aide, Associated Press, April 13; Australian PM voices support for Iraq war, Associated Press, April 14; EU members to discuss non-proliferation strategies, Global Security Newswire, April 14; US interviews Iraqi nuclear scientist, Associated Press, April 14; Security Council asks Blix for briefing, Associated Press, April 15; Chirac calls Bush, says will be pragmatic on Iraq, Reuters, April 15; Former UN weapons chief backs US claim Syria concealed weapons, Agence France Presse, April 15; Bush, Chirac discuss Iraq, Syria, Middle East 'road map', Washington File, April 15; Transcript - State's Bolton says Iraq a lesson for Syria, Libya, Iran, Washington File, April 16; UN nuclear inspectors get silent treatment from US, Reuters, April 16; Bush seeks end to UN sanctions on Iraq, Reuters, April 16; No need to continue economic sanctions against Iraq, Boucher says, Washington File, April 17; Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Igor Ivanov answers a media question regarding the lifting of the sanctions against Iraq, Moscow, April 17, 2003, Russian Foreign Ministry transcript; Blair's alliance with Bush is a damaging strategic error, by Robin Cook, The Guardian, April 17; Vital to heal divisions created by Iraq, reunite around basic principles to guide future actions, says Secretary-General in Athens statement, UN Press Release SG/SM/8671, April 17; Rumsfeld predicts Iraqis will lead coalition to WMD, Washington File, April 17; UN inspectors wish to return to Iraq, Associated Press, April 17; EU's Solana says US wrong to go it alone - paper, Reuters, April 20; US considers NATO for Iraq arms role - Grossman, Reuters, April 20; Illicit arms kept till eve of war, an Iraqi scientist is said to assert, New York Times, April 21; Blix - 'US undermined inspectors', BBC News Online, April 22; Blix questions case for Iraq war before UN speech, Reuters, April 22; Notes for briefing the Security Council on UNMOVIC's readiness to resume operations, Dr. Hans Blix, UNMOVIC Executive Chairman, Tuesday 22 April 2003, UNMOVIC website, http://www.unmovic.org; UN works to find compromise on lifting Iraq sanctions, New York Times, April 22; France proposes suspending Iraq sanctions - US cool, Reuters, April 22; US balks at return of UN inspectors to Iraq, Reuters, April 22; US says its forces have replaced UN inspectors, Agence France Presse, April 22; US reluctant to let UN inspectors return, Agence France Presse, April 22; Security Council weighs Blix role in postwar Iraq, Reuters, April 22; Blix - UN experts should return to Iraq, Associated Press, April 22; Pentagon adviser berates Moscow and Paris, The Times, April 22; IAEA Director General makes his views known to Security Council on resumption of inspections in Iraq, IAEA Press Release PR 2003/05, April 22; IAEA should return to Iraq as soon as possible, UN News Service, April 22; Blix makes case for return of UN weapons inspectors to Iraq, UN News Service, April 22; Security Council discusses future of UN programs in Iraq, Washington File, April 22; White House says coalition, not UN, responsible for inspections, Washington File, April 22; Text - Brooks outlines measures to combat future WMD proliferation, Washington File, April 23; France calls for immediate suspension of UN civilian sanctions against Iraq, Agence France Presse, April 23; France calls for ending Iraq sanctions, Associated Press, April 23; France seeks to patch up relations with US on Iraq, Reuters, April 23; Preemption is not the model, by Mohamed ElBaradei, Washington Post, April 23; Security Council extends Annan's authority over Iraqi aid programme, UN News Service, April 24; Security Council extends 'oil-for-food' programme until 3 June, UN Press Release SC/7738, April 24; Security Council extends UN control over oil-for-food accounts, Washington File, April 24; Human rights - whether civil, political, economic, social or cultural - are universal, must be upheld in every country, Secretary-General says, UN Press Release SG/SM/8675, April 24; Transcript - US diplomats object to Annan statements on Iraq, Washington File, April 24; Transcript - 'we applied our might in the name of peace,' Bush says, Washington File, April 24; Excerpt - Bush says proliferation controls must be strengthened, Washington File, April 25; UK hints at punishment for France, Associated Press, April 25; Bush warns Iraq may have destroyed arms, says Iran should stay out, Agence France Presse, April 25; Leading Iraqi scientist says he lied to UN inspectors, New York Times, April 26; US captures Iraqi disarmament liaison chief, Agence France Presse, April 27; Chief UN inspector calls for return to Iraq, Agence France Presse, April 27; Press Conference by UK Prime Minister Tony Blair, April 28, website of the UK Prime Minister, http://www.number10-gov.uk; Joint press conference - PM Tony Blair and Russian President Vladimir Putin, Moscow, April 29, 2003, website of the UK Prime Minister; Putin cautious on lifting Iraq sanctions, Associated Press, April 29; Powell calls for end of terrorism sanctions against Iraq, Agence France Presse, April 30; Secretary-General appeals to Security Council to set aside past differences on Iraq and find new unity, UN Press Release SG/SM/8684, April 30; Finding Iraq's banned weapons could take months - US official, Agence France Presse, April 30; ElBaradei - US must let UN inspectors return, Reuters, April 30; Captured Iraqi officials denying WMD claims, US officials say, Global Security Newswire, April 30; Transcript - Iraq showed limits of non-proliferation regime, Armitage says, Washington File, April 30; Remarks by the President from the USS Abraham Lincoln, at sea off the coast of San Diego, California, May 1, 2003', The White House, Office of the Press Secretary; Relax, celebrate victory, by Richard Perle, USA Today, May 2; Transcript - Cheney says ending links between terrorists and rogue states is vital, Washington File, May 1; Arrests of most wanted Iraqis, Associated Press, May 2; Iraqis won't admit to banned weapons, Associated Press, May 3; Iraqi nuclear site is found looted, Washington Post, May 4; Transcript - Powell calls Syria's anti-terrorist 'performance' key, Washington File, May 4; Washington insists Iraq WMD will be found, Associated Press, May 4; Iraqi scientist may have bioweapons info, Associated Press, May 5; US - no immediate role for UN inspectors, Reuters, May 5; UN wants to investigate Iraq nuclear looting, Reuters, May 5; UN nuclear watchdog seeks to probe reported looting at Iraqi site, Agence France Presse, May 5; Iraq nuclear site looting alarms IAEA, Associated Press, May 5; Powell, Annan discuss new Iraq resolution, Washington File, May 7; US troops find evidence of Iraqi WMD programs, Washington File, May 7; Diplomat - US to let inspectors back in Iraq, Reuters, May 7; Text - Bush orders lifting of US sanctions on Iraq, Washington File, May 7; Transcript - Powell expects to offer UN new Iraq resolution shortly, Washington File, May 8; Remarks by Alexander Yakovenko, the official spokesman of Russia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, May 8, 2003, Russian Foreign Ministry transcript; US, Britain to push postwar Iraq setup, Associated Press, May 9; UN Security Council receives draft resolution to lift Iraqi sanctions, Washington File, May 9; Full text - draft of new UN resolution on Iraq, Associated Press, May 9; Iraq's 'Dr. Germ', 'Jack of Spades' in US custody, Reuters, May 12; France sets conditions for accord on UN Iraq text, Reuters, May 12.
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