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

May 15, 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 the events described in my report of March 16, 1992, the U.N. Security Council has rejected Iraq's contention that it was in compliance with the relevant Security Council resolutions. On March 19, 1992, Rolf Ekeus, Chairman of the United Nations Special Commission (UNSCOM), created pursuant to Resolution 687, received from Iraq additional declarations of weapons of mass destruction, which it claimed to have destroyed the previous summer. The declarations included 89 al Hussein (extended-range SCUD) missiles and warheads, 4 Soviet launchers, 4 Iraqi launchers and test and firing vehicles, 45 chemical warheads for the al Husseins and chemical bombs. In addition to expressing its willingness to accept Security Council Resolutions 707 and 715, Iraq said that it was prepared to comply fully with UNSCOM's demands to destroy ballistic missile equipment and provide a "comprehensive, complete, and final" dossier regarding its weapons of mass destruction programs. This full disclosure, which Iraq promised to deliver in early April, has not yet been received.

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. Most important, the destruction of nuclear weapons, missiles, and chemical weapons has begun. During the 11th nuclear inspection from April 8 to 15, the destruction of the Al Atheer nuclear weapons production facility began. Five buildings and 29 pieces of equipment were destroyed. During the 12th nuclear inspection, which is scheduled for May 26 to June 4, 1992, three remaining buildings, including the laboratories at Hatteen, are to be destroyed. During future inspections, the IAEA will designate other Iraqi nuclear facilities for destruction.

The first chemical weapons destruction team visited Iraq from February 21 to March 24, 1992. The team supervised the destruction of 463 122-millimeter rockets at the Khamissiyah storage site. Of the destroyed rockets, some were filled with sarin, a nerve agent; others were partially filled with the same agent, while some were empty.

From March 21 to 29, 1992, the ninth missile team began the process of verifying Iraq's most recent declaration. The team saw 86 al Hussein missiles (all but 3 of those recently declared by Iraq), verified the launchers described in Iraq's most recent declarations, and monitored the destruction of dual-use missile production equipment. The 10th ballistic missile team, from April 13 to 21, returned to solid propellant missile facilities to finish destroying dual-use ballistic missile production equipment.

The United States continues to assist the United Nations in its activities through U - 2 surveillance flights, the provision of intelligence, and expert inspectors. Nonetheless, the shortage of readily available funds to UNSCOM remains critical. In my last report, I noted that the United Nations and the United States had agreed on the transfer of a $10 million U.S. arrearage payment to UNSCOM, pending completion of the funds' reprogramming. That reprogramming has been completed, and the funds have been provided.

Since my last report, there has been additional progress at the U.N. Compensation Commission in preparing for the processing of claims from individuals, corporations, other entities, and governments who suffered direct loss or damage as a result of Iraq's unlawful invasion and occupation of Kuwait. The Governing Council of the Commission held its fifth session in Geneva from March 16 to 20, 1992, and has scheduled meetings in June, September, November, and December. At its March session, the Council reviewed draft rules of procedure for the processing of claims, approving all but one part, which it expects to approve at its next session. The Council also reviewed the forms for individual claims above $100,000 and for corporate claims; discussed the "embargo loss" issue and claims by members of the allied coalition forces; and instructed the Secretariat to continue its work on locating blocked Iraqi oil deposits and to study extension of the deadline for filing environmental or public health claims. The Executive Secretary reported that shortages of financing continued to delay important activities. Meanwhile, the Department of State continues to collect and review U.S. individuals' claims for amounts under $100,000 in preparation for filing with the U.N. Compensation Commission by July 1 for expedited processing.

In accordance with paragraph 20 of Resolution 687, the Sanctions Committee continues to receive notice of shipments of foodstuffs to Iraq. From January to April 22, 1992, 2.22 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, most of the proceeds from which could be used by Iraq to purchase foodstuffs, medicines, materials, and supplies for essential civilian needs of its civilian 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 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.

Mindful of the finding of the U.N. Security Council in Resolution 688 that Iraq's repression of its civilian population threatens international peace and security in the region, 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 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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