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

January 14, 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 November 15, 1991, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the Special Commission created under U.N. Security Council Resolution 687 have continued to conduct inspections and other activities related to Iraqi weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles. Iraq has not impeded these efforts insofar as they concern sites and activities declared by Iraq and Iraq's participation in the destruction of identified chemical weapons. In the main, however, Iraq continues to be uncooperative and obstructive with respect to inspection of sites identified by the Special Commission and the IAEA (based on their own sources of information) as potentially involving clandestine, proscribed activities.

Since obtaining extensive and detailed documentation of Iraq's nuclear weapons program in September 1991, two additional inspections have been conducted of facilities judged to be directly associated with the testing and development of high-explosive components of the implosion system of a nuclear weapon, contrary to Iraq's explanation of their purpose. Iraq maintains that it conducted studies but had no program to develop nuclear weapons. This position is inconsistent with the documents obtained in September and the characteristics observed in subsequent visits to Iraqi facilities. These documents and facilities reveal a well-funded and broadly based nuclear weapons development program involving sophisticated facilities. Additional analysis and investigation in this area are required.

The Special Commission has continued to compile a detailed and comprehensive picture of Iraq's chemical and biological weapons program. From November 17 to November 30, 1991, the Special Commission conducted a chemical and biological weapons inspection and visited, at short notice, 13 sites designated by the Special Commission as potentially having chemical weapons or biological weapons. Initial reporting indicates no chemical or biological weapons activities at these sites. In addition, a Special Commission team visited Iraq in mid-November to discuss issues related to Iraq's destruction of identified chemical weapons and agents, with particular emphasis on safety issues. The Special Commission has made recommendations to Iraq regarding an Iraqi design for a mustard agent incinerator, the destruction of nerve agents caused by caustic hydrolysis, and the breaching and draining of munitions. It is estimated that destruction of such munitions can commence early in 1992.

Two ballistic missile inspections have been completed since my last report. To date, Special Commission inspection teams have supervised the destruction of 62 ballistic missiles, 18 fixed missile launch pads, 33 ballistic missile warheads, 127 missile storage support racks, substantial amounts of rocket fuel, an assembled 350mm supergun, components of two 350 and two 1,000mm superguns, and one ton of supergun propellant. The United States believes, however, that Iraq continues to possess large numbers of undeclared ballistic missiles. Questions also remain about whether all aspects of Iraq's attempts to produce the Scud missile indigenously and to develop a more capable solid-propellant missile have been discovered.

The United States continues to assist the United Nations in its activities, including by conducting U - 2 surveillance flights and providing intelligence. Although the Special Commission has received important monetary contributions from other nations, including Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, the shortage of funds readily available to the Special Commission has become acute, particularly because the Special Commission and the IAEA are now beginning to remove spent irradiated fuel from Iraq.

Since my last report, additional important progress has been made in implementing the Security Council resolution on compensating the victims of the unlawful invasion and occupation of Kuwait. The Governing Council of the U.N. Compensation Commission held its third formal session in Geneva, November 25 - 29, 1991, and continued to make rapid progress in establishing the framework for processing claims. The Governing Council adopted criteria for the remaining categories of claims of individuals, claims of corporations, and claims of governments and international organizations (including claims for environmental damage and natural resource depletion). In addition, the Governing Council set July 1, 1993, as the deadline for filing claims of individuals under $100,000, with expedited consideration to be given to claims filed by July 1, 1992. The Governing Council has scheduled meetings in January, March, and June 1992 to address additional issues concerning the compensation program.

In accordance with paragraph 20 of U.N. Security Council Resolution 687, the Sanctions Committee continues to receive notice of shipments of foodstuffs to Iraq. The Sanctions Committee continues to consider and, when appropriate, approve requests to send to Iraq materials and supplies for essential civilian needs. To date, Iraq has declined to use U.N. Security Council Resolutions 706 and 712 to sell $1.6 billion in oil to generate revenues for the purchase of foodstuffs for Iraqi citizens.

On November 24, 1991, the Secretary General's representative for the U.N. humanitarian program in Iraq entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with Iraq covering the period January 1, 1992, to June 30, 1992. This Understanding establishes the framework for U.N. humanitarian activities (primarily the provision of food, medical care, and shelter) in Iraq, which are conducted through centers staffed by U.N. and personnel not affiliated with governments. The Understanding contemplates the use of up to 500 U.N. armed guards to protect U.N. personnel, assets, and operations. On January 2, 1992, the Government of Turkey extended for 6 months the authority for U.S. Armed Forces to operate in Turkey in furtherance of Operation Provide Comfort.

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 not to cooperate fully on these issues and to resist unqualified ICRC access to detention facilities in Iraq.

I remain grateful for the support of the Congress for our efforts to achieve Iraq's full compliance with relevant U.N. Security Council resolutions, 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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