Butler: Security Council in Crisis over Iraq
Iraq's refusal to dismantle its weapons of mass destruction has created a crisis for the United Nations Security Council, the former UN chief arms inspector Richard Butler said Wednesday.
Speaking on the 10th anniversary of the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, he said he expected the crisis to deepen when the new arms inspection team tries for the first time to enter Iraq.
"Evidence is continuing to arrive that Saddam is back in the business of trying to expand or re-acquire his weapons of mass destruction capability," Butler said referring to Iraqi President Saddam Hussein in a telephone interview.
"This a crisis for the Security Council," said Butler, now diplomat-in-residence at the Council for Foreign Relations, an independent think-tank in New York.
"This outlaw state is refusing to cooperate with them," he continued.
"The main instrument used to get that cooperation, namely sanctions, simply aren't working, other than to harm the ordinary Iraqi people."
The council imposed comprehensive sanctions on Iraq within days of the invasion of Kuwait, and said it would not remove them until Iraq destroyed or rendered harmless its nuclear facilities, chemical and biological weapons and long-range missiles.
The UN has carried out no arms monitoring in Iraq since December 1998, when the UN Special Commission (UNSCOM), led by Butler, was withdrawn on the eve of a bombing campaign by Britain and the United States.
In December 1999, the Security Council abolished UNSCOM and set up a new body -- the UN Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC) -- under veteran Swedish diplomat Hans Blix.
The council has said that if Iraq cooperated with UNMOVIC, it would suspend the sanctions, but Butler was skeptical.
"A month from now, the new inspectorate will be ready to go in, and all the signs are that Iraq will continue to refuse," he said.
"That truly would be another crisis," he added.
"There are credible reports that they have re-assembled their nuclear design team," he said - UNITED NATIONS (AFP)
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