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World - Middle East

Iraq says British proposal would make sanctions 'permanent'

Yassin Ramadan
Ramadan said that any agreement should include 'consultation with Iraq'  

June 23, 1999
Web posted at: 7:34 p.m. EDT (2334 GMT)

BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Iraq's vice president on Wednesday denounced a British-Dutch proposal that would suspend sanctions against Iraq if Baghdad met specific disarmament requirements.

"Iraq rejects them without any discussion or comment because the British plan only makes the embargo permanent," said Vice President Taha Yassin Ramadan. "Any step should not fail to lift sanctions clearly on Iraq when it meets all its obligations."

Informally backed by the United States, the British draft would require that Iraq submit to arms inspections and be certified that it has dismantled its weapons of mass destruction.

In return, sanctions restricting Iraqi exports, including oil, would be frozen for 120-day periods.

The U.N. Security Council is expected to discuss the British resolution on Monday, as well as rival proposals from China, Russia and France that would lift sanctions entirely after a new arms control body is established to monitor Iraq's banned weapons.

"We look forward to that process and giving the council a new collective approach on Iraq that will take us forward," said Britain's U.N. ambassador, Jeremy Greenstock.

Iraq, however, has criticized the council's discussions, saying they mean nothing unless they involve Baghdad.

"I said that in any agreement or formula there should be consultation with Iraq," Ramadan said.

The council has been deadlocked on Iraq since the United States and Britain launched airstrikes in mid-December over Baghdad's refusal to cooperate with U.N. weapons inspectors. Iraq has banned inspectors of the U.N. Special Commission from returning.

The U.N. sanctions were imposed on Iraq after its troops invaded Kuwait in August 1990.

Reporter James Martone and Reuters contributed to this report.



RELATED STORIES:
Divided Security Council mulls rival proposals on Iraq
June 22, 1999
U.S. supports plan to suspend sanctions if Iraq disarms
June 16, 1999
U.S. jets strike Iraq's northern 'no-fly' zone
June 2, 1999

RELATED SITES:
United Nations Home Page
  • Security Council
  • UNSCOM
The Iraq Foundation
Permanent Mission of Iraq to the United Nations
Iraqi National Congress
ArabNet - Iraq
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