|7||Reported Russian Efforts at UNSC re Lifting Sanctions Against Iraq|
QUESTION: Also on Russia, there are reports in New York that the Russians are seeking a lifting of the sanctions against Iraq. Have you heard anything along those lines?
MR. RUBIN: With regard to the sanctions in New York, let me say the following. There is no prospect for sanctions being lifted by the UN Security Council so long as Iraq continues to refuse to provide disclosure on all the weapons of mass destruction programs in the area of poison gas and germ warfare that they have refused to do consistently for years now. They're smoking something if they think that merely by letting international inspectors visit palaces they're going to answer the hard questions that there are about how much VX gas was produced, how much material is available for biological warfare, how many missile warheads were destroyed. These are a whole series of extremely important questions Iraq has refused to answer satisfactorily.
With respect to the nuclear question of what's being discussed in New York, we would be the first ones to want to emphasize progress where we see it, and clearly there has been progress in the area of understanding what Iraq did and what it is now unable to do in the nuclear area. But in order for us to really transition to a new type of process with the nuclear question, Iraq has to answer questions that it's refused to answer about this area as well - namely in the area of concealment.
So if Iraq stops the disruption pattern and starts the disclosure pattern, the progress that we believe has occurred could yield an adjustment in how the monitoring is done.