Tracking Number:  190656

Title:  "Bush Remains Suspicious of Iraq's Nuclear Capability." The US remains suspicious of Iraq's honesty about its nuclear facilities and capabilities, President Bush asserted July 17. (910717)

Translated Title:  M Bush exprime des doutes au sujet de l'Irak. (910717)
Date:  19910717


07/17/91 HBUSH REMAINS SUSPICIOUS OF IRAQ'S NUCLEAR CAPABILITY SH(Will review options if Iraqi lies continue) (580) BYBy Alexander M. Sullivan BIUSIA White House Correspondent

TLondon -- The United States remains "suspicious" of Iraq's honesty about its nuclear facilities and capabilities, President Bush asserted July 17.

"I'm just hoping that Iraq will totally reveal their hidden capabilities," Bush told a post-Economic Summit news conference at Winfield House in London. "I'm a little suspicious, very candidly. I haven't seen anything to allay my concerns."

If Iraq continues to lie about its nuclear facilities, Bush said, "then we have to review our options" to obtain compliance with relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions.

Bush said he knows the Soviet Union is "very concerned about the proliferation of nuclear capability." He said he believes President Gorbachev shares his hope that Iraq can be brought into compliance peacefully.

Asked if Soviet Foreign Minister Bessmertnykh had told U.S. diplomats Moscow is loath to see use of force against Baghdad, Bush replied, "I think they made clear they hoped that force would not be used, but they were in that mode" when Iraq first invaded Kuwait last August. "I'm not suggesting they want to use force," Bush said. "I'm not suggesting I do. But I think it would be very important to work cooperatively with them again."

The director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency and the executive chairman of a special U.N. commission have informed the U.N. Security Council that Iraq has not disclosed the true nature and extent of its nuclear facilities, as required by terms of the cease-fire ending the Persian Gulf war.

Bush said he did not raise the Iraq issue with Gorbachev at their working luncheon July 17, but added he might take it up in Moscow when he and Gorbachev meet July 30-31.

Bush recalled that despite a previous special relationship with Iraq, the Soviet Union, in actions at the United Nations, had opposed Baghdad's attempt to occupy Kuwait.

"I didn't get into any question," Bush said, "of 'if we had to use force, would they join us.' But clearly...we think we have authorities under the United Nations resolutions to do what's needed to be done."

Bush expressed the hope the matter could be resolved peacefully, but added, "if they (the Iraqis) continue to lie, if they continue to harbor equipment that could lead to development of nuclear weapons in direct contravention of their obligations, then we have to review our options."

Bush told a questioner other participants attending the Economic Summit had generally agreed with French President Mitterrand's position that Iraq must be brought into compliance with U.N. Security Council resolutions. British Foreign Secretary Hurd said Great Britain would participate in any use of force against Iraq, and he declared the international community, in one way or another, would prevent Iraq from obtaining nuclear weapons.

Bush said the United States is analyzing the effect on Israel of Syria's acceptance of a dual-track Middle East peace negotiation and will make a fuller assessment after Secretary of State Baker returns from his mission to the region. He said the situation does not call for "pressure" on any of the parties but for efforts to "bring people to understand that peace and talking to each other is in everybody's interest."

He said again he considers Syrian President Assad's letter "positive," adding, "now we've got to pin down the details and move forward." NNNN

File Identification:  07/17/91, PO-308; 07/17/91, AE-309; 07/17/91, EP-319; 07/17/91, EU-305; 07/17/91, NE-304; 07/18/91, NA-404; 07/18/91, AF-405; 07/18/91, AR-407
Product Name:  Wireless File
Product Code:  WF
Languages:  Arabic; French
Thematic Codes:  1NE; 1AC; 1UN
Target Areas:  AF; EU; EA; NE; AR
PDQ Text Link:  190656; 190779