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Thursday, 3 October, 2002, 11:06 GMT 12:06 UK
Analysis: Draft 'a system of control'

The draft Security Council resolution proposed by the United States and Britain would impose on Iraq not just an inspection regime but a system of control.

To start with, Iraq would be given seven days in which to accept the conditions, and 30 days in which to make a declaration of its weapons programmes.


Iraq would have to provide unrestricted access to presidential sites

And the kind of declaration it has to make is very detailed indeed.

The wording gives a flavour of the whole document.

Iraq would have to provide "an acceptable and currently accurate, full and complete declaration of all aspects of its programs to develop chemical, biological and nuclear weapons, ballistic missiles, and unmanned aerial vehicles, including all holdings and precise locations of such weapons, components, sub-components, stocks of agents and related material and equipment, the locations and work of its research, development and production facilities, as well as all other chemical, biological and nuclear programs, including any which it claims are for purposes not related to weapons production or material".

In passing, one might note the use of the American spelling of "programs", indicating the authorship of this document, which Britain supports.

Iraq would also have to list "all personnel associated with Iraq's chemical, biological, nuclear and ballistic missile programs".

Presidential sites included

The next stage is for Iraq to provide the inspectors "immediate, unconditional and unrestricted access to any and all sites", including "unrestricted access to presidential sites".

The presidential sites were the subject of an agreement between Iraq and the UN in 1998 under which Iraq would have to be given notice of any inspections there.

The US and UK want that provision dropped.

Protecting families

But it goes beyond sites.

The inspectors would have the right to question anyone they choose and "may at their discretion conduct interviews inside or outside Iraq".

Iraq would have to allow such officials and their families to leave the country.


In theory this could even stop Saddam Hussein from entering or leaving one of his palaces

This provision of course is designed to encourage people to talk and to provide protection for them if they do.

The resolution would also allow "any permanent member of the Security Council" to choose any site for an inspection and to be "represented on any inspection team with the same rights... according other members of the team".

This means that the US (or the UK, Russia, China or France) could send it own experts to join the inspections at any time.

The conditions for inspecting a particular site are very rigorous. Teams would be protected at their bases by "UN security forces" and would have the right to declare around any site "no fly/no drive zones, exclusion zones and/or air transit corridors".

Blocking Saddam

In theory, this could even stop Saddam Hussein from entering or leaving one of his palaces.

The inspection teams would be able to "remove, destroy or render harmless" material or equipment which they consider prohibited.

They would be able to seize voice and data communications, including anything encrypted.

Inspectors would have the right to "free and unrestricted use and landing of fixed and rotary winged aircraft, including unmanned reconnaissance vehicles".


The killer punch is in the last paragraph and threatens Iraq with war if it does not comply.

And there is also provision for these exclusion or no fly/drive zones to be enforced by "UN security forces or by member states" though that clause remains in brackets in the text, indicating that even the US and UK have not decided how exactly it might work in practice.

Who would provide such forces and how many would there be, for example?

The killer punch is in the last paragraph and threatens Iraq with war if it does not comply.

"False statements or omissions in the declaration submitted by Iraq to the Council and the failure by Iraq at any time to comply and co-operate fully in accordance with the provisions laid out in this resolution, shall constitute a further material breach of Iraq's obligations, and... such breach authorizes member states to use all necessary means to restore international peace and security in the area."

Room for negotiation

There could be some area for negotiation.

The idea of member states sending in forces to back up inspectors, for example, could be scaled back to the use of UN forces only.

And the French want the last paragraph detached altogether so that there would be two resolutions.

The first would lay down what Iraq had to do.

There would have to be a second vote allowing force to be used if Iraq did not co-operate.

Russia has now also indicated that it might want the resolution split.

So that might be a key area for bargaining.


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01 Oct 02 | Middle East
01 Oct 02 | Middle East
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