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

May 21, 1993

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 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.

My Administration insists on full Iraqi compliance with all U.N. Security Council resolutions. We support Iraqi territorial integrity and will continue to support international efforts designed to ensure that the Iraqi regime does not threaten international peace and security and that it stops the repression of its own people. We continue to work 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 conducted four inspections of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction (WMD) programs since the events described in my last report. Three teams remained in Iraq conducting routine inspection activities: a group at Al Muthanna, where the destruction of chemical munitions continues; a team that is undertaking medium-to-long-term monitoring of missile research and development facilities; and an aerial inspection team.

Ongoing inspections reveal that Iraq still is not complying with applicable Security Council resolutions. In March, UNSCOM #52/IAEA #18 concluded that, of the 242 machine tools at the Hatteen Establishment, a large number should have been—but were not—included in Iraq's December 1991 declaration to the Security Council. U.N. Security Council Resolution 687 required Iraq to provide a comprehensive declaration in April 1991. The IAEA is now deciding what steps should be taken.

Iraqi officials have also balked at moving chemical weapon precursors and associated equipment to Al Muthanna for destruction, despite express instructions from UNSCOM head Rolf Ekeus. Ekeus has given Iraq until May 31 to comply, after which further steps may be necessary.

In addition, Iraq has refused to give details concerning suppliers for its WMD programs, although there have been repeated inquiries. Iraq has continued its refusal to accept a long-term monitoring regime for Iraq's WMD infrastructure. The international community must insist on such long-term monitoring as called for in U.N. Security Council Resolution 715.

United Nations vehicles in Iraq are regularly vandalized, and inspectors' personal property is often stolen. Iraqi officials should take steps to improve the hostile environment, which the U.N. Sanctions Committee has noted is not in accordance with Iraq's obligations. Instead of taking appropriate action, on March 10 Iraqi officials alleged that information from U.N. U2 aircraft had been given to Israel for use in an attempt on Saddam Hussein's life. Iraq called for the end of U2 flights based on this assertion, which is not credible but may be designed to create resentment toward U.N. personnel in Iraq. The flights continue.

I said in my last report that the United States and our allies will not shrink from the use of force in accordance with Security Council resolutions. On two occasions since my last report, force has been necessary. On April 9, an Iraqi antiaircraft site tracked and engaged four U.S. aircraft monitoring Iraqi compliance in the no-fly zone established north of the 36th parallel. Two U.S. aircraft responded by dropping cluster bombs on the target; the site has not since attempted to engage U.S. or Coalition aircraft. On April 18, two Iraqi antiaircraft sites aggressively tracked and illuminated U.S. aircraft monitoring Iraqi compliance with the no-fly zone south of the 32d parallel. One plane fired a missile at one site, which was hit; no electronic emissions have since been detected from either site.

The "no-fly zones" over northern and southern Iraq monitor Iraq's compliance with Security Council Resolutions 687 and 688. Over the last 2 years, the northern no-fly zone has deterred Iraq from a major military offensive against the Kurdish and other inhabitants of the north. Since the no-fly zone was established in southern Iraq, Iraq's use of aircraft in aggression against its population in the region has stopped, as have large-scale troop movements. Nevertheless, 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, Special Rapporteur to the U.N. Human Rights Commission, has recently developed a plan for the placement of human rights monitors throughout Iraq. We support his proposal and are working to see that it is implemented.

In late April, the United States announced our support for the establishment of a U.N. commission to investigate Iraqi acts of genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity. The Commission would prepare information for use in possible prosecution; it would also provide the international community with a thorough, impartial record of atrocities committed by Iraqi officials against the populations of Iraq and neighboring states. We are consulting with our allies on the creation of the commission. In accordance with Security Council Resolution 674, all states and organizations with substantiated information of Iraqi atrocities should provide such information to the United Nations; the United States did so earlier this year.

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 continue to support new U.N. efforts to mount a relief program for persons in Baghdad and the south but must ensure that the United Nations will 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 867, 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 and has acted to distribute humanitarian supplies only to its supporters and to the military.

The Iraqi Government has refused to sell up to $1.6 billion in oil, as is provided for in Security Council Resolutions 706 and 712. Iraq could use proceeds from such sales to purchase, under U.N. supervision, foodstuffs, medicines, materials, and supplies for essential civilian needs of its population. Iraqi authorities bear full responsibility for any suffering in Iraq that results from their refusal to implement Resolutions 706 and 712.

Eventually, proceeds from oil sales also would be used to compensate persons injured by Iraq's unlawful invasion and occupation of Kuwait. The U.N. Compensation Commission has received about 800,000 claims so far, with a total of roughly 2 million expected. The Commission's Governing Council, at its last meeting, approved the appointments of three panels, which will begin considering individuals' claims of up to $100,000. The Council also decided to allow governments until October 1, 1993, to file individual claims. The United States Government is prepared to file a fourth set of individual claims with the Commission, bringing U.S claims filed to about 1,000. The Commission's efforts will facilitate the compensation of those injured by Iraq once sufficient funds become available.

Security Council Resolution 778 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. (The funds will be repaid, with interest, from Iraqi oil revenues as soon as Iraqi oil exports resume.) Pursuant to Executive Order No. 12817, the United States is 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 percent of the total amount contributed. The United Kingdom has recently transferred I million pounds sterling to the escrow account, and we have arranged the transfer of the equivalent amount. (The United States previously transferred a total of $50 million to match Saudi and Kuwaiti contributions.) We continue to encourage contributions from other countries.

Iraq has not met its obligations concerning Kuwaitis and third-country nationals it detained during the war. 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 cooperate fully with the ICRC, as is required by Security Council Resolution 687. Iraq continues to resist unqualified ICRC access to detention facilities in Iraq. 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.

The United Nations has continued its technical task of demarcating the previously agreed Iraq-Kuwait border. The Iraq-Kuwait Boundary Demarcation Commission is expected to submit its final report later this month, notwithstanding Iraq's refusal to participate in the Commission's deliberations. In accordance with Security Council Resolution 806, the United Nations continues to seek the contribution of an armed battalion to the United Nations Iraq-Kuwait Observer Mission (UNIKOM), so that UNIKOM can take necessary actions to prevent violations of the border and the demilitarized zone. The United States and our allies also continue to press the Government of Iraq to return all property and equipment removed from Kuwait by Iraq.

Security Council Resolution 687 required Iraq to renounce all acts, methods, and practices of terrorism. Kuwait has recently arrested 11 people and charged them with participation in an assassination plot against President Bush. We are investigating this matter in cooperation with Kuwaiti authorities.

In late April, Vice President Gore and Secretary Christopher met with representatives of the Iraq National Congress (INC). They stressed the need for full compliance by the government in Baghdad with all Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq. They also emphasized that Iraq could be brought back into the community of civilized nations only through democracy, respect for human rights, equal treatment of its people, and adherence to basic norms of international behavior. A government representing all the people of Iraq, and which is committed to the territorial integrity and unity of Iraq, would be a stabilizing force in the Gulf region. The INC will have the support of the United States in achieving these goals.

I am grateful for the support of the Congress of our efforts.



NOTE: Identical letters were sent to Thomas S. Foley, Speaker of the House of Representatives, and Albert Gore, Jr., President 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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