Posted by Tony from ? (188.8.131.52) on Thursday, October 03, 2002 at 11:02AM :
Washington has refused to
budge on demands for a
single new Security Council
resolution for weapons
inspections in Iraq, despite a
deal hammered out between
the United Nations and
Baghdad in Vienna. The deal,
made Tuesday, guarantees
access to all sites in Iraq
except eight "presidential"
- listen to the full report 3´15
The Bush government is still demanding a strongly worded
Security Council resolution demanding disarmament; Iraq's
agreement to allow the UN weapons inspectors
"unconditionally" back into the country has not affected Mr
Bush's hard line.
Access to the eight so-called presidential sites remains
restricted under an earlier UN agreement, and the US is not
at all ready to back off just because some logistical matters
have been settled by chief weapons inspector Hans Blix.
The US has vowed that without a tough new Security
Council mandate there will be no weapons inspections at
Many believe the contentious "presidential sites" harbour
secret projects to develop weapons of mass destruction. Mr
Blix, who will brief the Security Council on Thursday,
wouldn't discuss them with Iraq because the Security
Council approved their special status in 1998. He suggests
now that the Security Council change its position on the
presidential sites if they want them included in the
This may offer an opening for a compromise in the standoff
between the US and the UK on one side and the other veto
members Russia, China, and France on the other, about the
necessity of one or more new resolutions. The US remains
publicly committed to forcing through a single Security
Council resolution authorizing the use of military force if
Iraq does not comply with the disarmament demands, as
reiterated by President Bush's spokesman Ari Fleischer at
the White House.
"He wants to see a one-resolution solution. He does
not think that we need to send any signs of weakness
to Saddam Hussein. Saddam Hussein will exploit any
opportunity he sees that gives him a signal that the
world is not united, that the world is not speaking as
one, and that the world is willing to give Saddam
Hussein more time. Because more time to Saddam
Hussein is more weapons."
But behind the scenes, the US State Department is quietly
exploring the French desire to follow a path of two
follow-up resolutions. The first of these would demand
unfettered access for weapons inspectors and unconditional
disarmament. The second authorizes force if Iraq refuses to
Rescinding the earlier restrictions on access to the
presidential sites fits in with this first possible Security
Council resolution, and the US may eventually go along with
this to ensure the support of Russia, China, and France. For
now, however, the US position remains unchanged and
Mr Fleischer even appeared to encourage the assassination
of the Iraqi president when he said that the cost of one
bullet would be a lot less than the cost of war. A reporter
asked him if she understood him correctly:
"I'm asking you if you intend to advocate, from that
podium, that some Iraqi person put a bullet in his
"Regime change is welcome in whatever form that it
"So the answer is yes?"
"Thank you. Regime change is welcome in whatever
form it takes."
No matter how uncompromising the US, one certainty in the
evolving Iraq crisis is that the United Nations Security
Council will never approve murder as a solution.
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