Iraq Vows to Stand Firm Against UN Draft on Sanctions, Arms Control

Agence France-Presse/ Amman Jordan Times
December 9, 1999

Baghdad - Iraq vowed on Wednesday to stand firm against a proposed U.N. Security Council resolution on arms control and sanctions, even at the risk of punitive military action.

"Iraq can, through its resistance, foil the objectives of the British draft resolution" under discussion at the Security Council, said Vice President Taha Yassin Ramadan. Ramadan said Iraq would prefer a U.S.-British air strike to accepting the resolution. "If the result of our rejection is an attack, we prefer that, and we reject this (British) draft ... We are not afraid of an attack," he said, adding that the resolution did not even meet the "minimum requirements" of Iraq.

Ramadan warned, in a speech at Baghdad University, that Iraq would not allow a return of U.N. arms inspectors and renewed charges that they were used as spies for the United States.

"We are convinced the Security Council cannot decide on a lifting of sanctions because of U.S. hegemony, but we respect the other council members who understand the cause of Iraq," he said. "Whatever the sacrifices which it has to make, Iraq forcefully rejects the suspect British project which imposes new conditions" for a lifting of sanctions," it said. "The Security Council has bowed completely to the U.S. will," the paper said.

The ruling Baath Party's daily, Al Thawra, said the aim of the U.S.-backed British draft was "to show the Iraqi government as refusing to cooperate with the Security Council." The draft calls for a suspension of sanctions on the condition of full Iraqi cooperation with a new U.N. disarmament panel.

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