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

November 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 Congress fully informed, I am again reporting on the status of efforts to obtain Iraq's compliance with the resolutions adopted by the U.N. Security Council.

In my report of September 16, 1992, I described Operation Southern Watch, with its accompanying "no-fly zone." Operation Southern Watch implements Security Council Resolution 688, which requires Iraq to end the repression of its civilian population immediately, allow immediate access by international humanitarian organizations to all parts of Iraq, and make available all facilities for the operation of these organizations. Southern Watch has been working extremely well. Iraq's use of aircraft to repress its civilian population, in particular Iraq's bombing of its citizens in and around the southern marsh areas, has stopped. There have been no major Iraqi military operations south of the 36th parallel since the monitoring zone was announced, nor has there been any major increase in Iraqi forces in the southern region. Some Iraqi repression of the civilian population in the region continues, however. Meanwhile, the Coalition's effort to ensure compliance with Resolution 688 in northern Iraq, Operation Provide Comfort, also continues to discourage major Iraqi military operations against the inhabitants of northern Iraq.

Since my previous report, the Iraqi opposition has held two meetings in northern Iraq to broaden the base of the Iraq National Congress (INC). We support the efforts of the INC to rally Iraqis against the Saddam regime and in favor of a future Iraq based on the principles of political pluralism, territorial unity, and full compliance with all the U.N. Security Council resolutions. We encourage other governments to do the same.

Moreover, the U.N. Special Commission on Iraq (UNSCOM) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) have continued to investigate Iraq's weapons of mass destruction program and to verify the destruction of relevant facilities, equipment, and weapons.

The fourteenth ballistic missile inspection team, UNSCOM 45, October 16 - 29, was the largest and most complex inspection UNSCOM has conducted. It inspected declared and undeclared facilities associated with the manufacture and storage of ballistic missile fuels in an effort to learn whether Iraq is attempting to maintain a clandestine SCUD force. Initial fuel sample analyses were inconclusive. The team found little evidence of SCUD missile activity at any site. Russian cooperation was essential to this inspection, which depended heavily on both information and technical assistance from Russian experts.

A nuclear inspection team, UNSCOM 46/IAEA 15, was in Iraq in early November. Weather permitting, it will have completed water sampling throughout Iraq. Initial results from the first round of water samples taken in early September (and mentioned in my last report) have not revealed evidence of any facility in Iraq producing fissionable fuel. Some new sites likely will be designated for inspection.

In late September, the Chemical Destruction Group in residence at the Muthanna State Establishment destroyed the following items: 120 122mm rocket warheads; 350 122mm propellant grain; 153 122mm rocket motor tube assembly; 1335 liters of nerve agent (GB/GF); 13 al Hussein warheads; 228 liters of isopropyl alcohol; 4 500 gauge oil-filled bombs; 2 155mm oil-filled projectiles; 4 250 gauge oil-filled bombs; and 14 R400 aerial bombs. Destruction activity will continue for the next twelve months.

The inspectors continue to be subjected to harassment, but harassment subsided to a low level after the strong international protests in response to Iraq's actions in August and September.

UNSCOM continues to face a shortage of funds. As I noted in my previous report, the United States has contributed over $40 million to UNSCOM since its inception. Recent pledges from two other countries exceed $40 million, but the funds have not reached UNSCOM.

On October 2, the U.N. Security Council adopted Resolution 778, which permits the use of a portion of frozen Iraqi oil assets to fund crucial U.N activities concerning Iraq, including UNSCOM, humanitarian relief, and the Compensation Commission. On October 21, I signed Executive Order No. 12817, which implements that Resolution in the United States. We are prepared to transfer up to $200 million in frozen Iraqi oil assets held in U.S. financial institutions, provided that U.S. contributions do not exceed 50% of the total amount contributed. These funds will be repaid, with interest, from Iraqi oil revenues as soon as Iraqi oil exports resume.

The Iraq-Kuwait Boundary Demarcation Commission continues its work, without Iraqi participation. The land boundary is expected to be completely demarcated through the placement of boundary pillars in the ground by the end of the year. During its seventh session October 12 - 16, the Commission considered the offshore boundary section, which it will take up again at its next meeting, tentatively scheduled for December.

The U.N. Compensation Commission has continued to prepare for the processing of claims from individuals, corporations, other entities, governments, and international organizations that suffered direct loss or damage as a result of Iraq's unlawful invasion and occupation of Kuwait. The next session of the Governing Council of the Commission is scheduled in Geneva December 14 - 18, with a further meeting in March 1993.

At its latest session September 21 - 24, the Governing Council adopted decisions on extending the filing deadlines for certain types of claims (including claims for environmental damage) and on protection against multiple recovery. The Council discussed business losses, interest, and costs, without making decisions. The Executive Secretary reported that the Commission already has received over 150,000 claims and expects many times that number. He noted that the Commission will require at least $9 million in one-time expenditures, plus $1.2 million annually, for a computer system for processing and verifying such a large number of claims.

We plan to meet some of the Commission's needs with funds derived from frozen Iraqi oil assets. Thirty percent of the funds derived from frozen oil assets transferred under U.N. Security Council Resolution 778 are to go to the Compensation Fund. This should generate sufficient funding for the Commission to proceed with its permanent computer system and to begin processing claims.

Meanwhile, the Department of State has distributed the forms for claims by governments (Form F) to federal agencies and state governments. On September 23, the U.S. Government filed its second set of 180 consolidated individual claims with the Commission, bringing the total of U.S. claims filed to 380. The Department is reviewing about 1200 additional claims received from individuals and is now receiving claims from corporations. The next filing is scheduled for December.

In accordance with paragraph 20 of Resolution 687, the Sanctions Committee has received notices of approximately 3.1 million tons of foodstuffs to be shipped to Iraq thus far in 1992. The Sanctions Committee also continues to consider and, when appropriate, approve requests to send to Iraq materials and supplies for essential civilian needs. Iraq, in contrast, has for months maintained a full embargo against its northern provinces. Iraq has also refused to utilize the opportunity under Resolutions 706 and 712 to sell $1.6 billion in oil, proceeds from which could be used by Iraq under U.N. supervision to purchase foodstuffs, medicines, materials, and supplies for essential civilian needs of its population. The Iraqi authorities bear full responsibility for any suffering in Iraq that results from their refusal to implement Resolutions 706 and 712.

Through the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the United States, Kuwait, and other Coalition members continue to press the Government of Iraq to comply with its obligations under Security Council resolutions to return some 800 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 withhold necessary 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 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 Reporting 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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