Iraq Close to Being Free from U.N. Sanctions


Associated Press, Baghdad
June 15, 1998

Iraq is very close to becoming free of U.N. economic sanctions, the chief weapons inspector said today. "The light at the end of the tunnel today is more visible than anytime," the U.N. envoy, Richard Butler, told reporters at the conclusion of three days of talks with Iraqi officials on disarming Iraq of its weapons of mass destruction. The U.N. Security Council will allow the lifting of the sanctions imposed after Iraq's 1991 invasion of Kuwait only after Butler's United Nations Special Commission certifies that Iraq has no more illegal weapons. Butler said that UNSCOM can finish its job in two months as long as Iraq fully cooperates with its arms inspectors. "I am very positive about it. It is good news ... provided Iraq fulfills its promises and gives us access to materials and documents," Butler said. On Sunday, Iraq and UNSCOM agreed to detail a 2-month work program to end U.N. disarmament activities in Iraq.

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