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Statement by Senator Bob Dole on Iraq Sanctions Relief

May 20, 1996

CHARLOTTE, NC -- Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole today issued the following statement on the United Nations accord easing sanctions on Iraqi oil sales:

"The United Nations, at the prompting of the Clinton Administration, has made Saddam Hussein an offer he could not refuse: a source of revenue which will reduce Iraqi domestic discontent with his reign of terror. The entire world shares the sorrow of the long- suffering Iraqi people. But, the Iraqi people are not suffering because of international sanctions, they are suffering because of the policies and practices of Saddam Hussein. It is clear that Saddam Hussein is beginning to feel the economic pain so long felt by the people he oppresses -- and that has political consequences. In such circumstances, offering Saddam Hussein a lifeline to prolong his dictatorship is bad policy and bad strategy,.

"Saddam Hussein's track record makes it clear that he can be given no room for flexibility on any sanctions relief. Saddam's record also makes clear- that he will use any sanctions relief to claim political triumph over the Desert Storm coalition. Saddam Hussein's government has not met the conditions set out in U.N. resolutions adopted in 1991. Yet the Clinton Administration has pressed ahead with sanctions relief with an accord that raises a number of fundamental questions, especially on distribution and monitoring.

"The United Nation's effort to monitor the use of oil revenues will apparently be headed by Yasushi Akashi -- a veteran of the disastrous UNPROFOR operation in Bosnia. It is also interesting to note that one of United Nations Secretary General Boutros Boutros Ghali's closest advisers is an Iraqi national and long-time member of the Iraqi diplomatic corps. The United States could have and should have insisted that neither of these officials play any role in policy toward Iraq. I do not share the Clinton Administration's faith that a U.N. monitoring effort will protect American interests. And I am deeply concerned about relying on Iraqi government promises about distribution.

"Too often, the Clinton Administration's 'assertive multilateralism," has not asserted American interests and has been an excuse to avoid American leadership. United Nations sanctions on Iraq would not be lifted or eased without American acquiescence. President Clinton needs to learn when to say 'no' to the United Nations. The Clinton Administration argues it has made improvements in the U.N.- proposed lifeline for Saddam Hussein. That is not leadership, it is abdication. Today, the Clinton Administration has sent a signal to despots and terrorists around the world: inflexibility will be rewarded with American concessions."

Robert Dole, Statement by Senator Bob Dole on Iraq Sanctions Relief Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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