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Message to the Congress Reporting on the National Emergency With Respect to Iraq

July 31, 1997

To the Congress of the United States:

I hereby report to the Congress on the developments since my last report of February 10, 1997, concerning the national emergency with respect to Iraq that was declared in Executive Order 12722 of August 2, 1990. This report is submitted pursuant to section 401(c) of the National Emergencies Act, 50 U.S.C. 1641(c), and section 204(c) of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, 50 U.S.C. 1703(c).

This report discusses only matters concerning the national emergency with respect to Iraq that was declared in Executive Order 12722 and matters relating to Executive Orders 12724 and 12817 (the "Executive Orders"). The report covers events from February 2 through August 1, 1997.

Executive Order 12722 ordered the immediate blocking of all property and interests in property of the Government of Iraq (including the Central Bank of Iraq) then or thereafter located in the United States or within the possession or control of a United States person. That order also prohibited the importation into the United States of goods and services of Iraqi origin, as well as the exportation of goods, services, and technology from the United States to Iraq. The order prohibited travel-related transactions to or from Iraq and the performance of any contracting support of any industrial, commercial, or governmental project in Iraq. United States persons were also prohibited from granting or extending credit or loans to the Government of Iraq.

The foregoing prohibitions (as well as the blocking of Government of Iraq property) were continued and augmented on August 9, 1990, by Executive Order 12724, which was issued in order to align the sanctions imposed by the United States with United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 661 of August 6, 1990.

1. In April 1995, the U.N. Security Council adopted UNSCR 986 authorizing Iraq to export up to $1 billion in petroleum and petroleum products every 90 days for a total of 180 days under U.N. supervision in order to finance the purchase of food, medicine, and other humanitarian supplies. UNSCR 986 includes arrangements to ensure equitable distribution of humanitarian goods purchased with UNSCR 986 oil revenues to all the people of Iraq. The resolution also provides for the payment of compensation to victims of Iraqi aggression and for the funding of other U.N. activities with respect to Iraq. On May 20, 1996, a memorandum of understanding was concluded between the Secretariat of the United Nations and the Government of Iraq agreeing on terms for implementing UNSCR 986. On August 8, 1996, the UNSC committee established pursuant to UNSCR 661 ("the 661 Committee") adopted procedures to be employed by the 661 Committee in implementation of UNSCR 986. On December 9, 1996, the Secretary General released the report requested by paragraph 13 of UNSCR 986, making UNSCR 986 effective as of 12:01 a.m. December 10.

On June 4, 1997, the U.N. Security Council adopted UNSCR 1111, renewing for another 180 days the authorization for Iraqi petroleum sales contained in UNSCR 986 of April 14, 1995. The Resolution became effective on June 8, 1997. During the reporting period, imports into the United States under this program totaled approximately 9.5 million barrels.

2. There have been no amendments to the Iraqi Sanctions Regulations, 31 C.F.R. Part 575 (the "ISR" or the "Regulations") administered by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the Department of the Treasury during the reporting period.

As previously reported, the Regulations were amended on December 10, 1996, to provide a statement of licensing policy regarding specific licensing of United States persons seeking to purchase Iraqi-origin petroleum and petroleum products from Iraq (61 Fed. Reg. 65312, December 11, 1996). Statements of licensing policy were also provided regarding sales of essential parts and equipment for the Kirkuk-Yumurtalik pipeline systems, and sales of humanitarian goods to Iraq, pursuant to United Nations approval. A general license was also added to authorize dealings in Iraqi-origin petroleum and petroleum products that have been exported from Iraq with the United Nations and United States Government approval.

All executory contracts must contain terms requiring that all proceeds of the oil purchases from the Government of Iraq, including the State Oil Marketing Organization, must be placed in the U.N. escrow account at Banque National de Paris, New York (the "986 escrow account"), and all Iraqi payments for authorized sales of pipeline parts and equipment, humanitarian goods, and incidental transaction costs borne by Iraq will, upon arrival by the 661 Committee, be paid or payable out of the 986 escrow account.

3. Investigations of possible violations of the Iraqi sanctions continue to be pursued and appropriate enforcement actions taken. Several cases from prior reporting periods are continuing and recent additional allegations have been referred by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) to the U.S. Customs Service for investigation.

On July 10, 1995, an indictment was brought against three U.S. citizens in the Eastern District of New York for conspiracy in a case involving the attempted exportation and transshipment to Iraq of zirconium ingots in violation of the IEEPA and the ISR. The intended use of the merchandise was the manufacture of cladding for radioactive materials to be used in nuclear reactors. The case was the culmination of a successful undercover operation conducted by agents of the U.S. Customs Service in New York in cooperation with OFAC and the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of New York. On February 6, 1997, one of the defendants plead guilty to a 10-count criminal indictment including conspiracy to violate the Iraqi Sanctions and the IEEPA. The trial of the remaining defendants is ongoing.

Investigation also continues into the roles played by various individuals and firms outside Iraq in the Iraqi government procurement network. These investigations may lead to additions to OFAC's listing of individuals and organizations determined to be Specially Designated Nationals (SDNs) of the Government of Iraq.

Since my last report, OFAC collected four civil monetary penalties totaling more than $470,000 for violations of IEEPA and the ISR. The violations involved brokerage firms' failure to block assets of an Iraqi SDN and effecting certain securities trades with respect thereto. Additional administrative proceedings have been initiated and others await commencement.

4. The Office of Foreign Assets Control has issued a total of 700 specific licenses regarding transactions pertaining to Iraq or Iraqi assets since August 1990. Licenses have been issued for transactions such as the filing of legal action against Iraqi governmental entities, legal representation of Iraq, and the exportation to Iraq of donated medicine, medical supplies, and food intended for humanitarian relief purposes, executory contracts pursuant to UNSCR 986, sales of humanitarian supplies to Iraq under UNSCR 986, the execution of powers of attorney relating to the administration of personal assets and decedents' estates in Iraq and the protection of preexistent intellectual property rights in Iraq. Since my last report, 47 specific licenses have been issued.

5. The expense incurred by the Federal Government in the 6-month period from February 2 through August 1, 1997, that are directly attributable to the exercise of powers and authorities conferred by the declaration of a national emergency with respect to Iraq are reported to be about $1.2 million, most of which represents wage and salary costs for Federal personnel. Personnel costs were largely centered in the Department of the Treasury (particularly in the Office of Foreign Assets Control, the U.S. Customs Service, the Office of the Under Secretary for Enforcement, and the Office of the General Counsel), the Department of State (particularly the Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs, the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, the Bureau of International Organization Affairs, the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, the Bureau of Intelligence and Research, the U.S. Mission to the United Nations, and the Office of the Legal Advisor), and the Department of Transportation (particularly the U.S. Coast Guard).

6. The United States imposed economic sanctions on Iraq in response to Iraq's illegal invasion and occupation of Kuwait, a clear act of brutal aggression. The United States, together with the international community, is maintaining economic sanctions against Iraq because the Iraqi regime has failed to comply fully with relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions. Security Council Resolutions on Iraq call for the elimination of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, Iraqi recognition of Kuwait and the inviolability of the Iraq-Kuwait boundary, the release of Kuwaiti and other third-country nationals, compensation for victims of Iraqi aggression, long-term monitoring of weapons of mass destruction capabilities, the return of Kuwaiti assets stolen during Iraq's illegal occupation of Kuwait, renunciation of terrorism, an end to internal Iraqi repression of its own civilian population, and the facilitation of access of international relief organizations to all those in need in all parts of Iraq. Seven years after the invasion, a pattern of defiance persists: a refusal to account for missing Kuwaiti detainees; failure to return Kuwaiti property worth millions of dollars, including military equipment that was used by Iraq in its movement of troops to the Kuwaiti border in October 1994; sponsorship of assassinations in Lebanon and in northern Iraq; incomplete declarations to weapons instructors and refusal of unimpeded access by these inspectors; and ongoing widespread human rights violations. As a result, the U.N. sanctions remain in place; the United States will continue to enforce those sanctions under domestic authority.

The Baghdad government continues to violate basic human rights of its own citizens through the systematic repression of minorities and denial of humanitarian assistance. The Government of Iraq has repeatedly said it will not be bound by UNSCR 668. The Iraqi military routinely harasses residents of the north, and has attempted to "Arabize" the Kurdish, Turcomen, and Assyrian areas in the north. Iraq has not relented in its artillery attacks against civilian population centers in the south, or in its burning and draining operations in the southern marshes, which have forced thousands to flee to neighboring states.

The policies and actions of the Saddam Hussein regime continue to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States, as well as to regional peace and security. The U.N. resolutions affirm that the Security Council must be assured of Iraq's peaceful intentions in judging its compliance with sanctions. Because of Iraq's failure to comply fully with these resolutions, the United States will continue to apply economic sanctions to deter it from threatening peace and stability in the region.


The White House, July 31, 1997.

William J. Clinton, Message to the Congress Reporting on the National Emergency With Respect to Iraq Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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