Iraq renews call on UN Security Council to lift sanctions
Iraq has reiterated calls for the UN Security Council to lift the "unfair" embargo imposed 11 years ago, saying it had complied with its commitments under relevant UN resolutions, newspapers reported Wednesday, November 21.
The Iraqi cabinet, at a session chaired by President Saddam Hussein on Tuesday, also urged the Security Council to meet its own obligations by turning the Middle East into a zone free of weapons of mass destruction, papers said.
The council should "implement the essence of Resolution 687 (that spells out Iraq's obligations deriving from the 1991 Gulf War) now that Iraq has fully met its obligations," the cabinet said. "This means that the Security Council should totally lift the unfair embargo imposed on Iraq" since its August 1990 invasion of Kuwait, it said.
The Iraqi cabinet said the Security Council should also "implement paragraph 14 of Resolution 687 that stipulates turning the Middle East into a zone free of mass destruction weapons and apply this provision to the Zionist entity (Israel) after it was applied to Iraq."
Iraq has already said it will continue to reject any US-British "smart sanctions" proposal aimed at revamping the 11-year-old embargo. Foreign Minister Naji Sabri said on Monday that Baghdad expects the Security Council to renew the "oil-for-food" program, whose current phase expires at the end of November, without modification.
The program was introduced in 1996 to allow Iraq to sell oil under UN supervision to meet its people's humanitarian needs. British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said on November 15 that the United States and Britain were studying with Russia and other nations a revised plan for "smart sanctions" on Iraq. The Security Council in July put off indefinitely a vote on a US-British "smart sanctions" plan after Russia threatened to use its veto and opposition from Iraq's neighbors. — (AFP, Baghdad)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)