View Full Version : British Proposal Sets March 17 Deadline for Iraq to Disarm

03-07-03, 03:03 PM
By TERENCE NEILAN The New York Times

The United States and Britain told the Security Council today that Baghdad continued to pose a threat to the world, despite reports by the United Nations (news - web sites)' two chief inspectors outlining what they said was increased but qualified cooperation by Iraq (news - web sites) in the search for and destruction of weapons of mass destruction.

In a revised draft resolution that the United States, Britain and Spain put forward a week ago, they set March 16 or 17 as the date for Iraq to voluntarily disarm or face the prospect of war. The revision was proposed by Britain today.

France, however, today repeated its intention not to allow passage of a resolution that called for automatic force against Baghdad.

Secretary of State Colin L. Powell, seeking adoption of the new resolution, told the Security Council today that President Saddam Hussein (news - web sites)'s intent "has not changed."

"Iraq is once again moving down the path to weapons of mass destruction," he said.

Mr. Powell refused to accept any conclusion that Iraq had changed course on cooperation, which he termed as grudging.

That assertion seemed to gain the approval of the British foreign secretary, Jack Straw, who was sitting next to Secretary Powell and nodded in agreement when he spoke.

Later, during his own address to the Council, Mr. Straw said:

"Mr. president, on 14 February, I began my statement by pointing out that along with millions of citizens of the world, there was one single phrase I had hoped to hear in the inspectors' report, and that was that Saddam Hussein was fully, unconditionally and actively complying with Resolution 1441.

"But I didn't hear it on that day. And I haven't heard it today either."

"This Security Council," he said, "has to give a clear message that the time has come to stop playing hostage to those, in seeking their own ends, mistakenly interpret our aspiration to peace as a sign of weakness."

"We have to put pressure on Saddam Hussein," he said. "We have to put this man to the test."

Before Mr. Powell's address, France, which has veto power in the Council, repeated its intention not to back the use of force against Baghdad.

"By imposing a deadline of only a few days would we merely be seeking a pretext for war?" the French foreign minister, Dominique de Villepin asked. "As a permanent member of the Security Council, I will say it again: France will not allow a resolution to pass that authorizes the automatic use of force."

The diplomats addressed the Council after first hearing the latest reports from weapons inspectors who said Baghdad appeared to be cooperating more although questions still remained that would require further examination.

But Mr. Powell made it clear that the United States was not persuaded by the report.

"The inspectors should not have to look under every rock, go to every crossroad, peer into every cave for evidence, for proof," Mr. Powell said. "And we must not allow Iraq to shift the burden of proof onto the inspectors."

He added: "There is still much more to do. And frankly, it will not be possible to do that which we need to do unless we get the full and immediate kind of cooperation that 1441 and all previous resolutions demanded.

"The intent of the Iraqi regime to keep from turning over all of its weapons of mass destruction, it seems to me, has not changed, not to cooperate with the international community in the manner intended by 1441."

The inspectors' reports, though optimistic in part, were tempered by what they said was the continuing need for Baghdad to provide more information.

On the destruction of Al-Samoud 2 missiles, whose ranges were found to exceed those set by the Security Council, the inspector Hans Blix, said: "The destruction undertaken constitutes a substantial measure of disarmament, indeed the first since the middle of the 1990's."

He noted similar progress in other fields, but also with a note of caution.

"More papers on anthrax, VX and missiles have recently been provided," Mr. Blix said. "Many have been found to restate what Iraq already has declared, and some will require further study and discussion."

He added: "There is a significant Iraqi effort under way to clarify a major source of uncertainty as to the quantities of biological and chemical weapons which were unilaterally destroyed in 1991."

He went on: "One can hardly avoid the impression that after a period of somewhat reluctant cooperation, there has been an acceleration of initiatives from the Iraqi side since the end of January. This is welcome. But the value of these measures must be soberly judged by how many question marks they actually succeed in straightening out."

But he said Iraq, "with a highly developed administrative system, should be able to provide more documentary evidence about its proscribed weapons programs."

To resolve outstanding issues "will not take years, nor weeks, but months," Mr. Blix said. "Neither governments nor inspectors would want disarmament inspection to go on forever."

Mr. Blix also said that no evidence had been found to support reports by intelligence authorities that weapons of mass destruction were being moved around Iraq by truck.

"Food- testing mobile laboratories and mobile workshops have been seen, as well as large containers with seed-processing equipment. No evidence of proscribed activities have so far been found."

Mohammed ElBaradei, the chief nuclear weapons inspector and head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, gave a similarly cautiously optimistic report about the work of inspectors in Iraq.

"After three months of intrusive inspection, we have to date found no evidence or plausible indications of the revival of a nuclear weapon program in Iraq. We intend to continue our inspection activities, making use of all the additional rights granted to us by Resolution 1441 and all additional tools that might be available to us, including reconnaissance platforms and all relevant technologies."

He added: "I should note that in the past three weeks, possibly as a result of ever-increasing pressure by the international community, Iraq has been forthcoming in its cooperation, particularly with regard to the conduct of private interviews and in making available evidence that could contribute to the resolution of matters of I.A.E.A. concerns."



03-07-03, 03:24 PM
There's gotta be an angle I can find to get the UN to pay me fer stuff I don't do or provide.....

Oh, yeah....I could play terrorist and get a third world Arabic or Muslim country to support me while they get stuff to sell from the UN. I'll just take a cut fer comin' up with the idea! That oughta work!

03-07-03, 03:59 PM
Already France has said they will veto any amendment or resolution. I watched most of the counsel speeches and I have to say thet of all of the speakers Jack Straw for the UK did a great job. He spoke directly to the France Ambassador Dominic d' whatever, even pointing at him and adressing him by name. Jack Straw brought me to my feet. Those Brits know how to get the blood boiling. I thought he was gonna go over there and slap old Dominic.