U.N. expands sanctions against Iraq
November 12, 1997
Web posted at: 4:26 p.m. EST (2126 GMT)
UNITED NATIONS (CNN) -- The U.N. Security Council on
Wednesday decided to expand sanctions against Iraq because of
Baghdad's refusal to lift its ban on U.S. weapons inspectors
serving on U.N. monitoring teams.
The 15-member council unanimously passed the resolution after intense last-minute efforts failed to sway Iraq to rescind its ban.
The resolution condemns Iraqi non-compliance with the world body and imposes a travel ban on Iraqi officials interfering with U.N. weapons inspectors.
|U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Bill Richardson: "The message is clear: Iraq must comply or face consequences."
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Iraq has accused the U.S. of deliberately delaying the
lifting of sanctions and accused American inspectors of
spying. Baghdad told the United Nations it wanted a firm
timetable as to when the sanctions will be lifted.
The U.N. decision to expand the sanctions was expected to
further raise tensions with Iraq, which only a few hours
before the vote refused to accept the U.N. demands.
The Iraqi Deputy Foreign Minister Tariq Aziz said that if
sanctions were expanded, Baghdad would issue an order
Thursday or Friday giving American weapons inspectors one
week to get out of the country.
Iraq's Foreign Minister Mohammed Saeed al-Sahhaf told a news
conference in Baghdad that Iraq would shoot down U.N.
monitoring aircraft if the security council decided to expand
"From the very beginning ... we resisted it and we continue
to resist it. It is not a matter of to shoot daily. It
depends on developments but whenever we see proper to shoot
them we will shoot them," he told a news conference in
Earlier Wednesday, Iraqi authorities had again turned back
American inspectors in what was the ninth such incident in
the past 10 days.
U.S. security officials were next expected to meet with U.S.
President Bill Clinton to review their options.
Washington has never ruled out military action should Iraq
refuse to accept the U.N. demands but has so far pursued
diplomatic moves to try to defuse the standoff.
The U.S. aircraft carrier Nimitz is in the Gulf and its
military powers could be used should Washington decide on
military retaliation against Iraq.
Correspondents Jamie McIntyre and Wolf Blitzer contributed to