Former UN Weapons Inspection Chief Slams Sanctions against Iraq

Published June 5th, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

The former head of the United Nations arms inspection team in Iraq, Richard Butler, has strongly criticized the sanctions imposed on Baghdad since the Gulf War, condemning them as counterproductive, reported AFP. 

Speaking on the BBC's Talking Point on Air, Butler said sanctions harmed the Iraqi people and had not realized their declared aim of stripping Iraq of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs), said BBC.online and AFP.  

"I deeply believe that sanctions as now applied to Iraq have been utterly counterproductive for this disarmament purpose," Butler said. 

Butler said sanctions need to target the Iraqi leadership rather than the ordinary people of Iraq.  

UNSCOM pulled out of Iraq just hours ahead of US-British air strikes in December 1998. 

Butler retired from the weapons body last year and is now Diplomat in Residence at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, said AFP. 

Iraq branded UNSCOM a "nest of spies" following reports that some arms inspectors had worked for US and Israeli intelligence. 

The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) said in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, Saturday it would examine proposals put forward by Qatar aimed at easing the crippling UN sanctions against Iraq. 

The sanctions were first imposed on Iraq after its 1990 invasion of Kuwait – (Several Sources) 

 

© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)

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