6 February 1996

Press Release


At its 132nd meeting held on 1 February, the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 661 (1990), which is monitoring the sanctions against Iraq, heard a presentation by Vice-Admiral John Scott Redd, Coordinator of the Multinational Interception Force (MIF) enforcing the sanctions regime. The MIF, the largest maritime sanctions monitoring and verification effort in history, is operating in the Persian Gulf on the strength of Security Council resolution 665 (1990). Vessels from 15 countries, serving on rotation, have so far participated in the Force.

In his remarks, Vice-Admiral Redd noted that MIF operations were designed to prevent prohibited items from entering and leaving Iraq. He emphasized that the Force offered no hindrance to the delivery of humanitarian supplies. He further stressed the cooperation extended to this joint operation by neighbouring countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council. He provided detailed information on the operations of the MIF activities which he described as being very effective. Overall, the MIF had conducted more than 22,000 queries, resulting in nearly 10,000 boardings and more than 550 diversions of ships.

The members of the Committee expressed their appreciation to Vice- Admiral Redd and the MIF team for their efforts to effectively monitor and enforce the sanctions regime. Noting that this was the first time the MIF Coordinator had addressed the Committee, members expressed the shared sentiments that the newly established dialogue would enable the Committee to obtain a fuller appreciation of the scope of activities conducted by the Force, as authorized by the Security Council. To this effect, it was agreed that a direct channel of communication between the MIF and the Committee's secretariat could be established, enabling instant verification of authorizations issued by the Sanctions Committee, as well as keeping the Committee routinely informed in cases of diversions of vessels.

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