Tracking Number:  199082

Title:  "Editorial: Poison Gas and Iraq." Poison gas is one of the most gruesome weapons known to man, internationally outlawed, and Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein's inclination to use such weapons means that all Iraqi weapons of mass destruction must be destroyed. (910930)

Translated Title:  Editorial: El gas venenoso no esta permitido en Irak. (910930)
Date:  19910930



N(Following is an editorial, broadcast by the Voice of America September 29, reflecting the views of the U.S. government.)

TPoison gas is one of the most gruesome weapons known to man. First introduced in World War One, chemical weapons caused horrifying casualties. After the war, most major countries agreed in the Geneva Protocol of 1925 never again to initiate the use of such weapons.

Since then, only a few countries have violated international law by waging war with chemical weapons. Iraq has been a notorious violator. Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein used poison gas in his war with Iran and against Iraq's own Kurdish citizens. In one Iraqi poison gas attack in 1988, thousands of civilians, many of them children, were killed in the Kurdish town of Halabja.

When more than two dozen countries joined forces to liberate Kuwait from Iraqi aggression, they had to be prepared for possible Iraqi use of chemical weapons. During the Persian Gulf war, Iraq fired many Scud missiles at Saudi Arabia and Israel, a non-combatant. Every time the alarm was sounded, men, women and children rushed to put on gas masks -- never knowing if the Scud missile warheads would be armed with chemical weapons.

Fortunately, Saddam Hussein did not use Iraq's chemical weapons in the Persian Gulf war. But after the war, the members of the U.N. Security Council agreed that it would be too risky to allow Iraq to continue to possess poison gas or any other weapons of mass destruction. In its cease-fire resolution, the U.N. Security Council demanded that Iraq eliminate whatever material it has for making chemical, biological and nuclear weapons, and its ballistic missiles which can be used to deliver such weapons.

In recent months, several U.N. inspection teams have visited Iraq to check on Iraqi compliance with the cease-fire resolution. In nearly every case, they have encountered lies and evasions by Iraqi officials. Iraq initially said it had 11,000 munitions filled with chemical agents. After months of U.N. probing, the Iraqis admitted to having 46,000 chemical munitions, including more than 2,000 filled with deadly nerve gas.

U.N. inspectors have also encountered Iraqi deception in their search for materials that can be used to make nuclear and biological weapons, and in their attempts to discover Iraqi Scuds and other prohibited missiles. But the members of the U.N. Security Council have made it clear that the United Nations will not be satisfied until all such weapons are eliminated from Iraq.

As President George Bush recently said to the U.N. General Assembly, "we cannot compromise for a moment in seeing that Iraq destroys all of its weapons of mass destruction and the means to deliver them. And we will not compromise." NNNN

File Identification:  09/30/91, TX-104; 09/30/91, AX-108; 09/30/91, PX-109; 09/30/91, EU-127; 09/30/91, NE-113; 09/30/91, AS-112; 10/01/91, NA-207; 10/01/91, AR-213
Product Name:  Wireless File; VOA Editorials
Product Code:  WF; VO
Languages:  Arabic
Document Type:  EDI
Thematic Codes:  1NE; 1AC
Target Areas:  AF; AR; EA; EU; NE
PDQ Text Link:  199082; 199044