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Sunday, 20 February, 2000, 15:34 GMT
Iraq condemns UN resolution

inspectors Arms inspectors were expelled late in 1998


The Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister, Tariq Aziz, has renewed criticism of the latest UN Security Council resolution over sanctions.

Resolution 1284, passed in December, offers a suspension of the UN sanctions in force since Iraq's 1990 invasion of Kuwait in return for Baghdad's full co-operation with a new arms control panel.

Mr Aziz, addressing a visiting French delegation, said the resolution did not "address Iraq's legitimate right to secure a lifting of the embargo having met its commitments under UN accords".

The delegation of politicians and academics led by Michel Grimard, head of a Christian movement, arrived in Iraq on Saturday on a fact-finding mission.

Baghdad has condemned the resolution but not rejected it outright.

On 2 February, Mr Aziz said that Iraq would be ready to take a fresh look at resolution 1284 if it were amended.

Invitation to the US

Seventy American congressman who called for the lifting of UN sanctions against Iraq last week, have been invited to visit the country.

The ruling Baath party's newspaper, Ath-Thwara, says the congressmen were welcome to see for themselves the effect of sanctions on the Iraqi people.

Sanctions and weapons monitoring have been in force since Iraq's short-lived invasion of Kuwait in 1990.

Iraq says the sanctions have killed more than one million people.

In late 1998, Iraq expelled arms inspectors, prompting the United States and Britain to begin air strikes which have continued ever since.

In December, the UN passed a resolution demanding that inspections resume, and replacing the UN Special Commission (Unscom) with the UN Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (Unmovic).

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See also:
10 Feb 00 |  Middle East
Iraq rejects arms inspections
04 Feb 00 |  Middle East
Iraq concessions unlikely says UN
15 Jan 00 |  Middle East
Iraqi paper slams UN over arms inspector
17 Dec 99 |  Middle East
Analysis: UN divided over Iraq
17 Dec 99 |  Middle East
UN offers Iraq sanctions deal
18 Dec 99 |  Middle East
Iraq rejects UN resolution

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