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Letter to Congressional Leaders on Iraq's Compliance With United Nations Security Council Resolutions

March 16, 1992

Dear Mr. Speaker: (Dear Mr. President:)

Consistent with the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution (Public Law 102 - 1), and as part of my continuing effort to keep the Congress fully informed, I am again reporting on the status of efforts to obtain compliance by Iraq with the resolutions adopted by the U.N. Security Council.

Since I last reported on January 14, 1992, Iraq has continued its noncompliance with the relevant Security Council resolutions. As a result, United Nations Special Commission (UNSCOM) Chairman Rolf Ekeus was dispatched by the Secretary General of the United Nations to Iraq, where he met Iraqi Minister of State Sahaf, Foreign Minister Hussein, and Deputy Prime Minister Aziz. Iraqi cooperation has not improved. The U.N. Security Council released a statement on February 28 demanding Iraq's appearance in the Council no later than the week of March 9, 1992. Iraq has agreed and has sent a delegation to New York.

Nevertheless, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and UNSCOM have continued to conduct inspections and other activities related to Iraqi weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles. Two nuclear inspections have been conducted since my last report. With the help of the German Government, UNSCOM/IAEA inspectors uncovered equipment in Iraq sufficient to support thousands of production centrifuges for enriching uranium.

The first chemical weapons destruction team is now in Iraq and has begun exploding Iraqi chemical-filled rockets. It is estimated that destruction will take approximately 18 months. In an example of Iraqi noncompliance, members of a chemical weapons inspection team recently were jostled at the entrance of their Baghdad hotel and pinned against the wall by a group of demonstrators as a larger group trapped the rest of the team on its bus for over 20 minutes. The Iraqi police simply observed.

The most recent example of Iraqi noncompliance came in the one ballistic missile inspection completed since my last report. This team was to begin the destruction of UNSCOM-designated Iraqi facilities and equipment used in the production of ballistic missiles. Because Iraq refused to comply, the team was withdrawn on February 29, 1992, pending the visit of a high-level Iraqi mission to the United Nations Security Council.

The Special Commission reported Iraq's noncompliance to the U.N. Security Council on February 28, 1992. Despite UNSCOM's observation of the destruction of 62 missiles and other equipment months ago, the United States believes that Iraq still possesses large numbers of undeclared ballistic missiles.

The United States continues to assist the United Nations in its activities, through U - 2 surveillance flights, the provision of intelligence, and expert inspectors. The shortage of readily available funds to UNSCOM remains critical, in spite of our additional infusion of $2 million last month. The United Nations and the United States have agreed on the transfer of a $10 million U.S. arrearage payment to UNSCOM, pending completion of the funds' reprogramming.

Since my last report, there has been additional progress in implementing the resolution of the Security Council concerning compensation of the victims of the unlawful invasion and occupation of Kuwait. The Governing Council of the United Nations Compensation Commission held its fourth formal session in Geneva January 20 - 24, 1992, and continued to make progress in establishing the framework for processing claims. The Governing Council adopted ceiling amounts for compensation of nonmonetary losses for mental pain and anguish on the part of persons who, for example, were held hostage or forced into hiding, received serious personal injury, or suffered the death of an immediate family member. The Governing Council also considered additional guidance on compensation for business losses. Meanwhile, the Department of State has begun collecting from U.S. individuals claims under $100,000, in preparation for filing them with the United Nations Compensation Commission by July 1, 1992, for expedited processing. The Governing Council has scheduled meetings in March and June to address further issues concerning the compensation program.

In accordance with paragraph 20 of Resolution 687, the Sanctions Committee continues to receive notice of shipments of foodstuffs to Iraq. From March to December 1991, 5.4 million metric tons of foodstuffs were notified. The Sanctions Committee also continues to consider and, when appropriate, approve requests to send to Iraq materials and supplies for essential civilian needs. Iraq to date has refused, however, to utilize the opportunity under Resolutions 706 and 712 to sell $1.6 billion in oil for use in purchasing foodstuffs, medicines, materials, and supplies for essential civilian needs of its civilian population. Saddam bears full responsibility for the resulting suffering in Iraq.

Attention to possible illegal exports to Iraq has been focused on company names compiled during inspections in Iraq. We have received from UNSCOM a preliminary list of U.S. company names whose equipment has been seen in Iraq by U.N. inspectors. We provided this list, on a confidential basis, to investigative agencies and appropriate congressional committees.

Through the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the United States, Kuwait, and our allies continue to press the Government of Iraq to comply with its obligations under Security Council resolutions to return all detained Kuwaiti and third-country nationals. Likewise, the United States and its allies continue to press the Government of Iraq to return to Kuwait all property and equipment removed from Kuwait by Iraq. Iraq continues to resist full cooperation on these issues and to resist unqualified ICRC access to detention facilities in Iraq.

As I stated in previous reports, in concert with our Coalition partners, we will continue to monitor carefully the treatment of Iraq's citizens, and together we remain prepared to take appropriate steps if the situation requires. To this end, we will continue to maintain an appropriate level of forces in the region for as long as required by the situation in Iraq.

I remain grateful for the support of the Congress for these efforts, and I look forward to continued cooperation toward achieving our mutual objectives.


George Bush

Note: Identical letters were sent to Thomas S. Foley, Speaker of the House of Representatives, and Robert C. Byrd, President pro tempore of the Senate.

George Bush, Letter to Congressional Leaders on Iraq's Compliance With United Nations Security Council Resolutions Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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