USIS Washington 


Office of the Press Secretary
April 30, 1998
East Room



Q: Thank you. Mr. President, the Pentagon said this week you're
expected to decide whether to reduce U.S. forces in the Gulf soon. Has
Baghdad made sufficient progress on allowing weapons inspections to
permit a reduction in force? And if so, will we see an ending of the
sanctions against Iraq?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, those are two very different questions. Let me
say, first of all, we are encouraged by the level of compliance so far
with the U.N. inspections and by the evidence that has been adduced on
the nuclear side that more progress has been made. And I believe we've
already issued a statement that we believe that if Baghdad will
continue to work with us, that by October the U.N. may well be able to
certify that they are actually in compliance on the nuclear side, and
they can go from the inspection to the monitoring phase.

Keep in mind, even under the agreements, the U.N. resolutions, no
matter what is found out in any of these areas, there will still be a
monitoring regime there.

Our position on lifting the sanctions is that the U.N. resolutions
have to be complied with completely, and then we vote to lift the
sanctions. So this is just a nuclear peace. But I am encouraged by

Now, on the question of reducing our military presence in the Gulf, I
would wait for a recommendation from the Pentagon with involvement
from the State Department and the NSC on that. That is, we have a
certain number of carrier groups and a certain number of assets to
deploy at sea. They have to be trained; they also need to be deployed
in different places for different reasons. So, inevitably, unless we
believe there is some reasons for it to be there at some point in the
future, I would anticipate some reallocation of our resources. But I
have not received a recommendation on that yet by the Defense


Q: Mr. President, quite a few Americans seem to believe it doesn't
matter it doesn't matter what you may have done in private moments,
that that's between you and your wife. And some are saying it doesn't
even matter if you've broken the law, obstructed justice or committed
perjury. Now, you deny wrongdoing, I understand. But as a standard for
Presidents, what do you think -- does it matter what you do in private
moments, as alleged? And particularly, does it matter if you have
committed perjury or in other sense broken the law?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, since I have answered the underlying questions, I
really believe it's important for me not to say any more about this. I
think that I'm, in some ways, the last person who needs to be having a
national conversation about this. 


(end transcript)