U.S., U.K., Spain Propose Security Council Resolution on Iraq
By Kathleen T. Rhem
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Feb. 25, 2003 The United States and close allies Britain and Spain proposed a follow-up resolution on Iraq at the U.N. Security Council meeting in New York Feb. 24. France and Germany offered a weaker counterproposal.
The short U.S.-favored draft resolution lays out that Iraq is in breach of at least 10 previous Security Council resolutions and recalls the conditions under which Iraq agreed to a cease-fire in the 1991 Gulf War.
The proposed resolution calls on the Security Council to recognize "the threat Iraq's noncompliance with council resolutions and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and long-range missiles poses to international peace and security."
The draft specifically does not call for the use of force against Iraq, because U.S. and other countries' leaders believe force is expressly authorized by Security Council Resolution 1441 of Nov. 8, 2002. That resolution, approved unanimously by the Security Council, calls for "serious measures" if Iraq fails to willingly disarm.
A French counterproposal, backed by Germany and Russia, claims no evidence exists that Iraq still possesses such weapons and calls for the inspection regime to be given more time. The French call for a "stepped-up" inspection regime, with inspectors reporting back to the Security Council every three weeks.
In a press conference after the Security Council meeting, Jeremy Greenstock, U.K. permanent representative to the United Nations, dismissed the suggestion of longer inspections.
"Inspections, however reinforced, without full cooperation are like a ship without fuel; it's being tossed around on waves, and it's not getting to port," he said. "Cooperation is essential for the plan in the (French proposal) to work." And it's cooperation that's been seriously lacking on the part of the Iraqi government, he said.
"The bottom line is that after 12 years of defiance, deceit and prevarication, there still isn't the wholehearted change in Iraq's attitude that we have been looking for, " Greenstock said. "President Saddam (Hussein) is determined to hang on to his WMD programs, and that will not be allowed to stand."
In a glaring example of Hussein's defiance of U.N. orders, the Iraqi dictator told CBS News' Dan Rather Feb. 24 that he will not destroy his Al Samoud 2 missiles, which the United Nations says can be fired beyond the 93-mile range limit the Security Council imposed on Iraqi weapons in 1991.
"Iraq is allowed to prepare proper missiles, and we are committed to that," CBS quoted Hussein as saying in an interview that is to air today.
Chief U.N. weapons inspector Hans Blix, in a Feb. 21 letter, gave the Iraqi government until March 1 to begin destroying the missiles. "We would expect them to accept what we have said and to destroy the missiles as we have stated," he said Feb. 24 at the United Nations.