Tracking Number:  190810

Title:  "US Wants Continued Sanctions Against Iraq." Statement by John Bolton, Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs, in testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Human Rights and International Organizations. (910718)

Date:  19910718


07/18/91 *

U.S. WANTS CONTINUED SANCTIONS AGAINST IRAQ (Text: Bolton House testimony, 7/18/91) (2950)

Washington -- John R. Bolton, assistant secretary of state for international organization affairs, in testimony before a congressional panel July 18, said the international community should continue sanctions against Iraq.

"Iraq's violations of Resolution 687 regarding its nuclear program underscore the need to maintain the sanctions regime against Iraq," Bolton told members of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Human Rights and International Organizations and the Europe and Middle East Subcommittee.

The State Department official said that food is exempted from the sanctions regime and that the Bush administration has evidence that Saddam Hussein has diverted food aid destined for hungry Iraqi children.

Medicine, Bolton added, "has never been subject to sanctions, and tons of medical supplies have flowed into Iraq before, during and after hostilities, thanks to the efforts of the International Committee of the Red Cross, UNICEF and other relief groups."

The following is the text of Bolton's testimony as prepared for delivery:


Thank you Mr. Chairman. I am pleased to have this opportunity to bring you and the other members of the Subcommittee up to date on the implementation of U.N. Security Council Resolution 687 and related matters.

In my last appearance here in April, I explained how the U.N. system would go about implementing this resolution which is the most far reaching and ambitious in scope of any adopted by the Security Council. At that point, because this resolution had only just been adopted, our discussion was mostly theoretical. Now, however, all aspects of the resolution including withdrawal of forces, interposition of the U.N. observers in UNIKOM, demarcation of the boundary, return of citizens, return of stolen assets, compensation, disclosure and destruction of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons of mass destruction as well as ballistic missiles with ranges in excess of 150 kilometers capable of delivering such

GE 2 nxe409 weapons, have either totally or partially been implemented by the United Nations. Iraqi compliance, however, has been problematic, as you know, with regard to inspection of its nuclear program. The U.N./IAEA task has been made extremely difficult by Saddam Hussein's continued intransigence and efforts to evade the requirements imposed on Iraq by the international community; I will discuss that later. As for the U.N., I am pleased to be able to report the U.N. is performing completely up to specification, and enjoys the full confidence and support of the United States. We continue to believe that working with our partners in the U.N. Security Council and the international coalition under the framework of Resolution 687, as well as 688, is the most effective manner of holding Hussein in check and preventing his regime from continuing as a threat to Iraq's neighbors and to its own people.

Border Demarcation: The Border Commission was mandated under Resolution 687 to demarcate the international border between by Iraq and Kuwait, which was declared and guaranteed in UNSC Resolution 687. The Border Commission made its first trip to the border and began its first formal meeting in Geneva to discuss its findings on July 2. The methodology to be used in marking the western portion of the border, on the approximate location of the boundary in the vicinity of Safwan, and on further surveying and mapping were decided. Further surveying by a joint Sweden- New Zealand team will be carried out this fall. The next round of talks is scheduled for August 12. The Border Commission is comprised of representatives from Iraq and Kuwait and members from three neutral nations: Sweden, New Zealand, and Indonesia.

UNIKOM: The U.N. Iraq-Kuwait Observer Mission is deployed and functioning smoothly. The armed infantry units which provided security for the observers at the outset of their mission have been withdrawn and will not be replaced.

Return of missing Kuwaiti citizens: The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is working with Kuwait and Iraq to identify and repatriate Kuwaitis still being held in Iraq. We do not know the exact number of these persons.

Return of stolen property: U.N. Assistant Secretary General Foran is in the process of finalizing transfer of stolen gold, coins and banknotes from Iraq to Kuwait. He is working out transportation problems related to the return of the gold. Although Iraq is required to provide an inventory of looted cultural property, and facilitate its quick return to Kuwait, there has been little progress made on this aside from vague Iraqi assurances given to the U.N.

Compensation: The Security Council has approved the Secretary General's proposal to establish a Compensation

GE 3 nxe409 Commission. The Commission will be composed of a Governing Council (which is comprised of the 15 UNSC members) and experts who will establish mechanisms to compensate those who suffered losses and damages as a result of Iraq's illegal invasion and occupation of Kuwait. The Governing Council of the Commission will establish the actual percentage of Iraq's eventual oil export revenues to be made available for such compensation. The Security Council, which must establish a ceiling for the percentage, has not yet done so. The U.S. could support a ceiling lower than 50 percent as we originally wanted, as long as the actual amount paid into the Compensation Fund be set initially at 30 percent. We believe this will leave Iraq ample funds to pay for its humanitarian and essential civilian needs, particularly since Iraq is barred by Resolution 687 from the huge military expenditures it had made in the past.

The first meeting of the Compensation Fund's Governing Council (made up of representatives from Security Council members) will be held at the end of July. We hope the Governing Council will focus at that meeting on its highest priority tasks: 1) establishing procedures for the flow of contributions into the fund and their use by the Commission, and 2) actions needed to begin work on the most urgent claims.

Weapons of Mass Destruction: The Security Council is actively discussing how to deal with Iraq's blatant deception concerning its nuclear program, including its uranium enrichment program. The Iraqis have tried to thwart the work of the IAEA and the Special Commission established under Resolution 687 which is made up of experts from several countries. Iraq has lied to the U.N. and the IAEA about the existence of its uranium enrichment program and attempted to hide equipment related to that program from the IAEA/Special Commission inspection team. Iraq finally admitted it had a uranium enrichment program, but information it provided about that effort we believe contains significant omissions about its extent and nature. The Commission's chairman is a distinguished Swedish diplomat, Ambassador Rolf Ekeus, who has considerable expertise in arms control issues. Its deputy Chairman is an American, Dr. Robert Gallucci. The IAEA and the Special Commission are charged with working together to carry out the task of identifying and destroying or rendering harmless Iraq's nuclear-weapons related capabilities. The Special Commission has a similar task for Iraq's chemical and biological weapons-related capabilities, and its ballistic missiles.

In May, as required by Resolution 687, Iraq submitted to the U.N. a letter declaring all of its nuclear, chemical and biological weapons material and productions facilities. However, this letter, as proven by subsequent events, fell far short of reality. Given Iraq's demonstrated

GE 4 nxe409 willingness to attempt to deceive the U.N., we do not accept as complete or accurate Iraq's July 8 letter which, among other things admits to a considerable uranium enrichment program. This letter was submitted only after a Security Council directive to comply fully with UNSC Resolution 687 and the visit of high level LTN and IAEA officials following Iraqi interference with inspections at two facilities (including movement of equipment the team had asked to inspect). We do not accept Iraqi "assurances" that the activities disclosed in the most recent letter were for "peaceful uses." As provided under the terms of Resolution 687, the Special Commission/IAEA are continuing their inspections program to monitor and verify the full disclosure and destruction of all of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction.

Iraq's deceptions concerning its nuclear-related activities call into question its declarations concerning chemical and biological weapons. As for ballistic missiles, an inspection team has witnessed the destruction of 61 ballistic missiles which Iraq declared in its first letter to the U.N. The team will continue it's inspections of suspect sites until the Security Council is satisfied that all of Iraq's capability and existing ballistic missiles arsenal have been fully declared and destroyed or rendered harmless.

The role and performance of the IAEA/Special Commission in grappling with the thorny problem of disposing of Iraq's illicit nuclear capability has some positive implications for a stronger U.N. role in the issue of nuclear non- proliferation. What the international community learns from this experience may be applied if future aggressors attempt to develop nuclear weapons. It is an example of how the entire U.N. system needs to be involved in the international community's efforts to maintain international peace and stability.

Iraq's policies and practices: Under the terms of Resolution 687 the Security Council is to review Iraq's policies and practices every 60 days to determine if they warrant an easing of sanctions. The Security Council at the end of June undertook its first review and decided not to relax the sanctions regime.

Subsequent events have born out the wisdom of that decision. Iraq has a request pending before the Sanctions Committee to be allowed to sell 1.5 billion dollars of oil in order to pay for food, medicine and other humanitarian items. The Sanctions Committee has deferred consideration of that request pending a full disclosure from Iraq of its present foreign exchange holdings and other relevant financial information.

Sanctions: Iraq's violations of Resolution 687 regarding its nuclear program underscore the need to maintain the

GE 5 nxe409 sanctions regime against Iraq. We have been keeping a close eye on reports of food shortages in Iraq, particularly among children and other vulnerable groups. As President Bush has repeatedly made clear, we are very sensitive to the plight of innocent civilians under Saddam Hussein's brutal regime, and the hardships it imposes on them.

Resolution 687 permits import of purchased or donated food, medicine and supplies for essential civilian needs. We understand that prices for certain commodities are very high and there are pockets of malnutrition. The summer grain harvest now underway could provide significant relief for a few months. There are reports that wider food shortages could be in the offing later this year.

To the extent that food is not getting to the Iraqi population most at risk, one major cause is the cynical manipulation of food stocks by Saddam Hussein's government. Last month the U.N. reported the diversion by Iraqi authorities of a World Food Program shipment intended for hungry children, and other genuinely needy groups. Instead the food was sent to Saddam's home town where there is not a pressing need. Saddam is diverting food to his loyalists in the Baathist party and to certain military units.

A study on the needs of the Iraqi population by two Tufts University nutritionists commissioned by UNICEF concluded that although malnutrition was a problem in Iraq, particularly in the South, it was an endemic and long- standing one caused by Iraqi policies and methods of distributing food, rather than an actual shortfall of food supplies in the country as a whole.

On Monday, Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan the U.N. Executive Delegate submitted his report. It highlights pressing needs of Iraq's civilian population. The President has made it quite clear that there has never been any question of our willingness to feed vulnerable groups in Iraq. At the same time, Saddam Hussein has provided ample evidence of his willingness to exploit the good will of the international community and those who are genuinely concerned over the plight of innocent Iraqis. Food has been exempted from the sanctions regime since March 22. Medicine has never been subject to sanctions, and tons of medical supplies have flowed into Iraq before, during and after hostilities, thanks to the efforts of the International Committee of the Red Cross, UNICEF and other relief groups.

Iraq does possess foreign exchange that can be used for the purchase of imported commodities. Recently, the Iraqi government contracted to purchase 100,000 tons of grain from Australia. The key requirement remains for the government of Iraq to distribute these supplies equitably

GE 6 nxe409 to those people who have been identified in Sadruddin's report.

Additionally, the Sanctions Committee has notified countries holding frozen Iraqi assets that Resolution 687 does not require them to continue to do so and that they are free to release such assets so that they may be used to purchase food, medicine and other humanitarian materials as specified in 687. We are aware of the amendment sponsored by Mr. Penny which would release Iraq's assets held in the United States so that they could be turned over to UNICEF and used to purchase humanitarian items for Iraqi civilians. We oppose releasing Iraqi assets frozen in this country at this time. There are many legitimate claims against those resources by U.S. citizens, and sorting that out will be a lengthy and difficult process. Finally, President Bush has made it clear that he would not lift sanctions against Iraq while Saddam Hussein was in power.

Given Saddam's demonstrated capacity and willingness to turn international good will to his own sinister purposes, it is clear that simply relaxing sanctions to allow the government of Iraq to obtain humanitarian supplies will not alleviate the suffering of those in need. Any mechanism developed to provide essential supplies to the people of Iraq must therefore include strict control and close monitoring. This in turn will require an extensive U.N. presence and Iraqi non-interference, so that supplies provided do not bolster Saddam's political control, and reach those targeted groups for whom they are intended.

The U.N. has responded effectively to the numerous humanitarian emergencies wrought through Saddam's savage policies directed at his own population. The U.N. Humanitarian Plan of Action issued on May 15 appeals for $449 million, including $65 million for the World Food Program. At a pledging conference held by the U.N. on June 12, I announced an additional U.S. contribution of $61.7 million for humanitarian relief in Iraq including $30.6 million for the WFP. This contribution brings the total U.S. humanitarian effort since January 1 to some $442 million, of which some $102.5 million has been provided through international organizations.

During his assessment mission last week, Sadruddin made it a priority to personally visit Southern Iraq where it had been reported thousands of Shiites were trapped in marshes surrounded by heavily armed Iraqi military forces. The Iraqi authorities managed to delay his inspection of this area until this military force had been withdrawn, but Sadruddin nevertheless insisted that the U.N. be allowed to establish a food distribution center with a detachment of U.N. guards. We hope this U.N. presence near the marshes will provide a degree of assurance to the population in Southern Iraq and allow them to return to their homes

GE 7 nxe409 permanently. We have reminded the Iraqis of their obligations under Resolution 688 not to interfere with relief efforts intended for this particularly vulnerable group of people.

The U.N. assumed responsibility for relief efforts in Northern Iraq on June 7 after the major success of coalition relief operations, and coalition forces have redeployed. U.N. Humanitarian centers are located in Dohuk, Mosul, Zakhu, Sulaymanieh, and Erbil. We estimate that some 400,000 returnees have been assisted at these relief points.

As a confidence building measure, and to maintain a clear international monitoring presence in Iraq, a U.N. guard force of 500 is being deployed throughout Iraq, near to population centers which have been threatened by the Iraqi government. As of July 11, 271 of these guards have been deployed. The U.S. has contributed $5 million in cash and $1 million in kind to the force. The EC has pledged to make up cash or personnel shortfalls.

Throughout Iraq there are at present 642 international workers with the U.N. or private agencies supporting the U.N. These staff, in addition to their regular duties, serve as witnesses and therefore help to deter further Iraqi depreciations on civilians. We are fully aware, however, that neither these courageous individuals nor the U.N. guard force could cope with a determined Iraqi assault. To deal with that contingency we and the coalition will maintain an appropriate level of forces in the region. Saddam Hussein must know that the coalition is willing to respond militarily to Iraqi actions that disturb the peace.

An estimated 278,000 refugees from Iraq remain in Iran. The U.N., working closely with the government of Iran and the Iranian Red Crescent, maintains an active presence. We are supporting the U.N. operation in Iran through our contributions to U.N. agencies.

In conclusion Mr. Chairman, let me reiterate our full confidence in the U.N. to carry out the complex and challenging requirements of Resolution 687. It is a job which requires the continuing full support of the international community, but when it has been successfully completed the entire U.N. system will have demonstrated a new found effectiveness. We hope to be able to build upon that success so that the U.N. can emerge a strengthened organization as it enters the next century.


File Identification:  07/18/91, NX-409; 07/18/91, NA-409
Product Name:  Wireless File
Product Code:  WF
Languages:  Arabic
Document Type:  TXT
Thematic Codes:  1NE; 1AC; 1UN; 3AI
Target Areas:  NE
PDQ Text Link:  190810