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

March 22, 1993

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

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

Under my Administration, the United States will continue to lead international efforts aimed at ensuring that the Iraqi regime does not threaten international peace and security and at ending the Iraqi Government's brutal repression of its people. To that end, we will maintain our insistence on full Iraqi compliance with U.N. Security Council resolutions. We will work with the international community to ensure the integrity of the U.N. sanctions regime, which is the best means to promote Iraqi compliance.

In accordance with U.N. Security Council Resolution 687, 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 (WMD) programs and to verify the destruction of relevant facilities, equipment, and weapons. Destruction of chemical munitions at Al Muthanna has continued.

UNSCOM #48, a missile team, and UNSCOM #49/IAEA #17, a nuclear team, arrived in Iraq just a week after the cruise missile attack on the Al Zaafaraniyah nuclear-related facility. The nuclear team inspected the Al Zaafaraniyah site, confirmed that only buildings with technical functions had been hit, and verified the destruction of many highly sensitive machine tools. After initial resistance, Iraqi officials have permitted baseline inventories of the Ibn Al Haytham Research Center; this is an important but limited step in enabling UNSCOM to move toward comprehensive evaluation and long-term monitoring of Iraqi WMD capabilities. The inspections were successful in eliciting new details of Iraqi WMD programs and an admission from Iraqi officials that they attempted to deceive a previous UNSCOM team.

A missile team designated as UNSCOM #50 discovered a small discrepancy in the inventory of missile propellant at one site. During this inspection, the Iraqi side argued that UNSCOM should not be permitted to use Global Positioning System equipment to identify the precise locations of sites visited. Iraq alleges inaccurately that such readings were used by the U.S. military to target the Al Zaafaraniyah site. UNSCOM rejected this argument. On February 22, the team was redesignated as UNSCOM #51 and searched for possible SCUD sites west of Baghdad.

Iraqi harassment of inspectors and interference with UNSCOM and IAEA activities have resumed, after a lull immediately following the attack on Al Zaafaraniyah. Iraqi authorities also threatened to shoot down a helicopter performing support for a ground inspection that UNSCOM #51 was carrying out. In early February, an Iraqi, possibly an official "minder" for the inspectors, threw a rock through the window of an UNSCOM vehicle.

Iraq continues to refuse to provide the United Nations and IAEA with a comprehensive list of the suppliers for its WMD programs. Moreover, it refuses to accept U.N. Security Council Resolution 715, which mandates the creation of a long-term monitoring regime for Iraq's WMD infrastructure. The international community must insist on such long-term monitoring.

The United Nations has continued its work to settle the Iraq-Kuwait border. The Iraq-Kuwait Boundary Demarcation Commission continues its work, without Iraqi participation. At its December meeting, the Commission agreed to begin to demarcate the offshore section of the boundary "with the principal purpose ... being navigational access for both parties."

In response to continued Iraqi violations of the border and the demilitarized zone (DMZ), the U.N. Security Council adopted Resolution 806 on February 5. The Resolution clarified that the United Nations Iraq-Kuwait Observer Mission (UNIKOM) can take any necessary actions to prevent such violations and authorized a potential increase in UNIKOM forces from 250 to 3,600 troops. The United Nations is seeking to identify countries willing to contribute an armed battalion for this purpose.

Evidence continues to mount concerning the massive extent of the Iraqi Government's human rights violations, both before and after the Persian Gulf War. Max van der Stoel, Rapporteur of the U.N. Human Rights Commission, has produced compelling evidence of Iraqi atrocities against the civilian population in southern Iraq. We support the Rapporteur's proposal to place human rights monitors throughout Iraq.

Iraq's campaigns of repression against its own people underline the importance of international actions to protect Iraq's civilian populations. Acts of violence and terrorism continue at the behest of the Government of Iraq in violation of U.N. Security Council Resolutions 687 and 688. The "no-fly zones" over northern and southern Iraq seek to monitor Iraq's compliance with U.N. Security Council Resolution 688. Since the no-fly zone was instituted in southern Iraq last year, Iraq's use of aircraft in aggression against its population in the region has stopped. The no-fly zone in the north has also prevented use of fixed or rotary wing aircraft against the local population there. Other acts of repression continue, however, underscoring the need for U.N. monitors.

The international community has continued its efforts, consistent with Security Council resolutions, to alleviate suffering in Iraq. The United States is working closely with the United Nations and other organizations to provide humanitarian relief to the people of northern Iraq, in the face of Iraqi Government efforts to disrupt this assistance. We support new U.N. efforts to mount a relief program for persons in Baghdad and the south, but the United Nations must be able to prevent the Iraqi Government from diverting supplies.

The U.N. sanctions regime exempts medicine and requires only that the U.N. Sanctions Committee be notified of food shipments. In accordance with paragraph 20 of Resolution 687, the Committee received notices of 17 million tons of foodstuffs to be shipped to Iraq through January 1993. The Sanctions Committee also continues to consider and, when appropriate, approve requests to send to Iraq materials and supplies for essential civilian needs.

The Iraqi Government, in contrast, has for months maintained a full embargo against its northern provinces, in violation of U.N. Security Council Resolution 688, and has acted to distribute humanitarian supplies only to its supporters and to the military. It has also refused to utilize the opportunity under Resolutions 706 and 712 to sell up to $1.6 billion in oil, proceeds from which could be used by Iraq to purchase foodstuffs, medicines, materials, and supplies for essential civilian needs of its populations; the distribution of these supplies would be monitored by the United Nations. (These proceeds could also be used to finance essential U.N. activities concerning Iraq.) The Iraqi authorities bear full responsibility for any suffering in Iraq that results from their refusal to implement Resolutions 706 and 712.

The United States has recently transmitted to the United Nations a report on Iraqi violations of international humanitarian law committed during the Gulf War. This report provides the international community with a documented record of Iraqi crimes. We encourage others to transmit whatever information they have on Iraqi violations of international humanitarian law to the United Nations in accordance with U.N. Security Council Resolution 674.

Since January 19, 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 Commission has received about 400,000 claims to date. The next session of the Governing Council of the Commission is scheduled to be held in Geneva March 29 to April 2, 1993, with another meeting in July 1993.

Iraq has not met its obligations concerning Kuwaitis and third-country nationals its detained during the war. The Government of Kuwait has compiled over 600 files on missing individuals. Although Iraq has received this information through the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), it has taken no substantive steps to comply with Security Council Resolution 687, which requires that Iraq cooperate fully with the ICRS. Regional organizations have also been engaged—thus far to no avail—in trying to obtain Iraqi compliance on the issue of detainees. We continue to work for Iraqi compliance and the release of all those detained in Iraq.

The United States and out allies continue to press the Government of Iraq to return 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.

We will continue to seek to maintain Iraq's territorial integrity. A future government that represents all the people of Iraq and that is committed to the territorial integrity and unity of Iraq would be a stabilizing force in the Gulf region. In this regard, we are encouraged by recent efforts of the Iraq National Congress (INC) to develop broad-based, indigenous opposition to the Baghdad regime. A democratic and pluralistic government would be the best guarantor of the fixture of the Iraqi people.

My Administration does not seek to use force, but we will not shrink from using force in self-defense or as authorized by U.N. Security Council resolutions to compel Iraq's compliance with their terms. I am grateful for the support of the Congress for these efforts.



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.

William J. Clinton, 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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