U.N. to vote on scaled-back Iraq resolution
U.S., Britain at odds with Russia, France
October 23, 1997
Web posted at: 8:16 a.m. EDT (1216 GMT)
UNITED NATIONS (CNN) -- The Security Council on Thursday was
expected to express its "firm intention" to impose new,
future sanctions on Iraq after the United States and Britain
gave up efforts to put travel bans in place immediately.
At issue are proposals to prevent travel abroad by all Iraqi
officials responsible for blocking several U.N. weapons
inspection teams attempting to determine whether Baghdad has
ended efforts to build weapons of mass destruction.
But despite compromises by the United States and Britain, it
was still unclear if Russia and France would back the new
measures, scheduled for a vote in the 15-member body.
Both Russian and French diplomats said Iraq was receiving
little credit for the progress it had made in dismantling
its nuclear, ballistic missiles, chemical and biological
Both Russia and France are negotiating oil exploration deals
What the new sanctions would do
The new resolution is stronger than a similar one adopted by
the Security Council in June. But it is weaker than earlier
U.S.-British proposals on instituting the travel bans.
Specifically, the resolution:
- Requires U.N. arms officials to draw up a list of Iraqis
who have interfered with inspections or helicopter flights of
U.N. arms experts since June.
- Threatens to impose the travel ban against names on the
list whenever the chief arms inspector, Richard Butler of
Australia, reports to the council that his teams have been
barred from any sites.
- Continues the suspension of the council's regular review
of trade sanctions until next April. This means that no
easing of the stringent trade embargoes imposed on Iraq in
1990 could even be considered until then.
The bans would bar travel abroad by certain Iraqi civilian
and military officials responsible for interfering with
inspections except for diplomatic purposes or with the
permission of the council's sanctions committee.
But any travel sanctions would require another Security
Council vote before they could go into effect, as France and
Russia, supported by China, Egypt and Kenya, have insisted.
Stringent trade sanctions were imposed on Iraq after it
invaded Kuwait in 1990. The disarmament program was
instituted as part of a 1991 Gulf War cease-fire
Scrapping Iraq's nuclear, ballistic, chemical and biological
arms and making sure they are not re-acquired is the key
requirement for lifting sanctions on exports, such as oil.
The latest controversy arose when inspectors in June were
stopped from surveying several sensitive sites.
Last month Butler reported five more complaints of blocked
inspections. He also reported progress in eliminating
ballistic missiles and chemical weapons but said data was
extremely vague on Iraq's germ warfare program.
Reuters contributed to this report.
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