Global Policy Forum

New Study Details 'Smart Sanctions' Proposals to Disarm Iraq


Powell Testifies on Iraqi Sanctions Today and Tomorrow

US Newswire
March 7, 2001

A new study that examines options for restructuring U.N. sanctions in Iraq may preview coming Bush administration policy initiatives intended to minimize hardships for innocent civilians and strengthen controls over Iraqi weapons programs. An advance release of the study comes just as Secretary of State Colin Powell is due to testify today and tomorrow before the House International Relations Committee and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

The new report by the Fourth Freedom Forum and the Joan B. Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame, and set for release Monday, proposes a narrowly defined and tightly implemented set of "smart sanctions" focusing on weapons and military-related goods, as an alternative to the current faltering comprehensive sanctions regime.

The study's authors, who have met extensively during the past four months with government officials and international experts from the UN, U.S. and allied nations, write that a modernized sanctions regime would need to be sustainable over the long term through the support of key United Nations Security Council members and frontline states. It would remain in effect until such time as Iraq complies fully with the relevant Security Council resolutions and fulfills its disarmament obligations, the study says.

High among the expectations for Powell's testimony is the new administration's position on weapons inspections in Iraq. Last week, during a trip to the Middle East, Powell suggested changes in U.S. sanctions policy toward Iraq. Meanwhile, Vice President Richard Cheney and National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice said in separate interviews published in the past few days that the return of U.N. arms inspectors in Iraq was not a critical part of continued U.S. pressure on Iraq and that the U.S. has no choice but to push for a new sanctions policy.

Fourth Freedom Forum and the Joan Kroc Institute, two leading research centers that focus on economic sanctions and weapons control as a means of preventing international conflict, sponsored the study, written largely before Powell's trip. The full report is available at Among the conclusions the study reaches are:

Embargo Arms, Not Trade

- Revamp current embargo in favor of a sharpened sanctions system aimed at two key targets-the control of financial resources generated by the export of Iraqi oil, and the prohibition against imports of weapons and dual-use goods;
- Maintain strict controls on Iraqi oil revenues and military-related imports, but permit trade in civilian consumer goods to flow freely;
- Contract out to commercial companies the responsibility of certifying and providing notification of civilian imports into Iraq;
- Permit the ordering and contracting of civilian goods on an as-required basis rather than in 180-day phases. Maintain UN Financial Controls
- Continue to channel all Iraqi oil revenues through the UN escrow account;
- Contract with an independent multinational oil brokering firm, through which all records and payments for permitted oil purchases would pass, to manage the sales of Iraqi oil and monitor any illegal payments or surcharges;
- Establish a new compensation mechanism to provide economic assistance to neighboring states and begin paying Iraq's external debt;
- Freeze the personal financial assets of Saddam Hussein and his family, of senior Iraqi political and military officials, and of those associated with weapons production programs.

Strengthen Verification and Monitoring

- Tighten land-based monitoring by establishing at major border crossings into Iraq fully-resourced Sanctions Assistance Missions, modeled on the UN sanctions experience in Yugoslavia;
- Establish a system of electronic tagging of approved dual-use imports;
- Create a special investigative commission to track down and expose sanctions violators;
- Assist member states in establishing effective penalties for companies and individuals that violate the ban on exporting weapons and dual-use items to Iraq;
- Require Iraqi-bound cargo flights to submit to UN inspection.

"No single element of this smart sanctions package stands alone in wielding sufficient coercive clout," the study says. "But linked together such controls provide a tightened sanctions regime."

More Information on a Turning Point for Iraq
More Information on the Iraq Crisis
More Information on Sanctions Against Iraq


FAIR USE NOTICE: This page contains copyrighted material the use of which has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Global Policy Forum distributes this material without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. We believe this constitutes a fair use of any such copyrighted material as provided for in 17 U.S.C § 107. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.