Iraq: December 29, 1999


17 Dec: The UN Security Council passed (11-0) a new policy that would return weapons inspectors to Iraq. They have been gone for about a year. Russia, China, France, and Malaysia abstained from the vote, denying the resolution the united front that the US and Britain had demanded. The resolution set up a new monitoring commission and offered to suspend sanctions for renewable 120-day periods if the inspectors reported progress toward removal of the weapons of mass destruction and the dismantling of programs to build them. The sanctions would only be ended when that work was complete. The Resolution would also end limits on oil sales under the oil-for-food program, but would maintain control over oil revenues (limiting them to humanitarian supplies and diverting some money to pay war reparations). 

18 Dec: Iraq bluntly rejected the new UN policy, saying it did not meet their requirements for a lifting of the sanctions on a short and firm schedule. Iraqi Deputy PM Aziz noted harshly that the UN resolution did not make any mention of the daily flights of US and British warplanes over Iraq. The US said that this, once again, proved that the Iraqi government was more interested in its policy goals and weapons programs than the welfare of Iraqi citizens. --Stephen V Cole


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