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Text of Iraq-UN Statements

November 15, 1998

Text of the letter from Iraqi government to U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan Saturday regarding agreement to allow resumption of weapons inspections:

H.E. Mr. Kofi A. Annan

The Secretary General of The United Nations

New York


Your letter dated 13/11/1998 addressed to President Saddam Hussein was presented to a joint meeting of the Revolutionary Command Council and the National Command of the Arab Ba’ath Socialist Party presided over by His Excellency the President. I was entrusted with the task of conveying to you the following:

1. The goal sought by Iraq from its decisions of 5 August and 31 October was not to sever the relationship with UNSCOM and the IAEA and to cease the implementation of its obligations ... under section C of SCR 687. The objective of Iraq is to end the suffering of its embargoed people and to see the implementation of paragraph 22 of SCR 687 as a first step for lifting the other sanctions.

2. Due to its trust in you and your good faith, the Government of Iraq has dealt with your initiative regarding the comprehensive review. But unfortunately, the deliberations of the Council on the procedures for carrying out the review did not result in a clear picture which ensures fairness and objectivity in reaching the implementation of Paragraph (22) of resolution 687, which represents the declared objective of the comprehensive review according to your proposal. It is well known that the main reason for that was the American position, which does not represent the prevailing opinion of the Council. That position, contrary to your initiative, objected continuously to the presentation of any clarity in regard to the objective of the comprehensive review.

3. Despite the assurances that we have received from you and from many members of the Council that supported the main objective of the comprehensive review, and despite the confidence we have in you and in the majority of the Council members and our belief in your good faith and sincerity, those assurances were not satisfactory because they did not meet the basics from our point (of) view.

On the basis of what was stated in your letter, and in appreciation of the content of the letter of President Boris Yeltsin the President of the Russian Federation and Mr. Yevgeny Primakov the prime minister of the Russian Federation, and the positive positions expressed and conveyed to us by China, France, Brazil, and other States, and in order to give a further chance to achieve justice by lifting sanctions commencing with the implementation of paragraph (22) of resolution 687 (1991), the Leadership of Iraq decided to resume working with the Special Commission and the IAEA and to allow them to perform their normal duties in accordance with the relevant resolutions of the Security Council and on the basis of the principles which were agreed upon in the Memorandum of Understanding signed with you on 23 February 1998.

We offer this chance not out of fear of the aggressive American campaign and the threat to commit a new aggression against Iraq, but as an expression of our feeling of responsibility, and in response to your appeal and those of our friends. We affirm that the people of Iraq would not relinquish their legitimate right in having the iniquitous embargo lifted and to live normally like other nations of the world. We will be looking forward to seeing the outcome of your efforts and the review.

Excellency, we rightly believe that if the comprehensive review were not to be a mere formality and to be free from the influences of the tendentious purposes, the adoption of the points we conveyed yesterday, 13/11/1998, to the Ambassadors of Russia, France, and China, a copy of which I enclose herewith, will render the review serious, fair and fruitful.

We expect that you will continue with your efforts to lay down the basis and the correct procedures for the review and so as to commence with as soon as possible.

Please accept, Excellency, the assurances of my highest consideration.

Tariq Aziz

Baghdad, 14 November 1998


Text of U.N. Ambassador Nizar Hamdoon’s letter to Security Council president Saturday night.

Excellency Peter Burleigh

President of the Security Council

Your Excellency,

Upon instructions from my Government, I would like to reaffirm what I have already told you during our meeting this evening that the letter dated 14 November 1998 from Mr. Tariq Aziz, Deputy Prime Minister of Iraq, to the Secretary-General included an annex containing the views and preferences of the Iraqi Government about the substance of the comprehensive review. These views are not linked to the clear and unconditional decision of the Iraqi Government to resume dealing with UNSCOM and IAEA.

I will be grateful if you could bring this letter to the attention of the members of the Council and distribute it as a document of the Security Council.

Best regards,

Ambassador Nizar Hamdoon

Permanent Representative


Text of Annan letter to Saddam Hussein on Nov. 13:

His Excellency

Mr. Saddam Hussein

President of the Republic of Iraq

Chairman of the Revolutionary Command Council



As you may know already, I interrupted an official visit to North Africa yesterday and returned to New York in view of the worsening crisis with regard to Iraq. This afternoon and evening (Nov. 13), I met with the members of the Security Council for four hours in order to review the situation. I can report to you that without exception, all the members of the Security Council expressed preference for a diplomatic solution of the crisis. As you are aware, I have made continuous efforts myself over the past three months to bring about such a solution.

The Security Council also unanimously endorsed the press statement I issued in Marrakech on 11 November in which I addressed a personal appeal to you, Mr. President, to take the necessary steps for a diplomatic solution to become possible. For ease of reference, I am reproducing below the text of this press statement.

``I am saddened and burdened by the Iraqi decision of 5 August and 31 October to not cooperate with UNSCOM.

I strongly urge President Saddam Hussein and the Iraqi Government to rescind its decision and resume immediate cooperation with UNSCOM and IAEA inspectors.

Iraq has maintained for a long time that it wants to see light at the end of the tunnel. I also want to see the lifting of sanctions, so that Iraq can regain its place among the community of nations. As I have said repeatedly, the only way to achieve this is for Iraq to fully cooperate with UN Security Council. The Security Council had agreed a way forward on a comprehensive review. I firmly believe that this offers Iraq genuine opportunity. The comprehensive review will map out the remaining steps, provided Iraq cooperates, thus allowing them to see light at the end of the tunnel.

The Iraqi leadership’s decision not to cooperate with UNSCOM at a time when the Council was undertaking these efforts came as a surprise to me and, I suspect, to all Council members.

I, therefore, appeal once again to President Saddam Hussein and the Iraqi leadership to take this opportunity to resume cooperation with UNSCOM and the IAEA. This would be good for the Iraqi people, for the region and for the world.″

The Security Council remains actively seized of this matter. I should, therefore, be grateful for an early response to my appeal.

Please accept, Excellency, the assurances of my highest consideration,

Kofi A. Annan.

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