As I informed the members of the Security Council at the conclusion of
yesterday's meeting, I had decided to address a letter to President
Saddam Hussein. A copy of that letter is attached.
When transmitting my letter through the Permanent Representative of Iraq to
the United Nations, I stressed the urgency of my appeal, while reiterating my
strong hope that Iraq would immediately rescind its decisions of 5 August and
31 October and resume full cooperation with UNSCOM and the IAEA.
I am glad to inform the Council that this morning I received a positive
response to my appeal from Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz. I attach an
unofficial translation of this response which I hope the members of the Council
will have an opportunity to study before this afternoon's meeting.
I should appreciate it if you would share this letter and its attachments
with the members of the Security Council.
(Signed) Kofi A. ANNAN
As you may know already, I interrupted an official visit to North Africa
yesterday and returned to New York in view of the worsening crisis with regard
to Iraq. This afternoon and evening, I met with the members of the Security
Council for four hours in order to review the situation. I can report to you
that without exception, all the members of the Security Council expressed
preference for a diplomatic solution of the crisis. As you are aware, I have
made continuous efforts myself over the past three months to bring about such a
The Security Council also unanimously endorsed the press statement I issued
in Marrakech on 11 November in which I addressed a personal appeal to you,
Mr. President, to take the necessary steps for a diplomatic solution to become
possible. For ease of reference, I am reproducing below the text of this press
"I am saddened and burdened by the Iraqi decision of 5 August and
31 October not to cooperate with UNSCOM.
I strongly urge President Saddam Hussein and the Iraqi Government to
rescind its decision and resume immediate cooperation with UNSCOM and IAEA
Iraq has maintained for a long time that it wants to see light at the
end of the tunnel. I also want to see the lifting of sanctions, so that
Iraq can regain its place among the community of nations. As I have said
repeatedly, the only way to achieve this is for Iraq to fully cooperate
with UN Security Council. The Security Council had agreed a way forward on
a comprehensive review. I firmly believe that this offers Iraq genuine
opportunity. The comprehensive review will map out the remaining steps,
provided Iraq cooperates, thus allowing them to see light at the end of the
The Iraqi leadership's decision not to cooperate with UNSCOM at a time
when the Council was undertaking these efforts came as a surprise to me
and, I suspect, to all Council members.
I, therefore, appeal once again to President Saddam Hussein and the
Iraqi leadership to take this opportunity to resume cooperation with UNSCOM
and the IAEA. This would be good for the Iraqi people, for the region and
for the world."
The Security Council remains actively seized of this matter. I should,
therefore, be grateful for an early response to my appeal.
(Signed) Kofi A. ANNAN