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Tuesday, 25 July, 2000, 11:38 GMT 12:38 UK
Analysis: New pressure on Iraq
Saddam Hussein broadcast
President Saddam Hussein: At the top of the list
By Middle East analyst Roger Hardy

Washington says it has fresh information about war crimes committed by the Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein and senior figures in his regime, and is seeking international support for prosecutions to be brought against them.

The United States and Britain - the two Western countries which take a hard line on Iraq - see this move as a means of increasing the pressure on the Baghdad regime.

No-one is expecting Saddam Hussein to face a war crimes tribunal any time soon. After all, the Iraqi leader seldom leaves his country.

Tariq Aziz
Foreign minister Tariq Aziz could be arrested outside Iraq
But he does like to send one of his most seasoned diplomats, Tariq Aziz, to plead Iraq's cause - for example, at the UN in New York.

Now Mr Aziz is on the list of seven senior Iraqi figures accused by the London-based group, Indict, of committing war crimes.

In the past he has visited France too, and the Americans clearly want the Europeans to follow their own tough approach.

West frustration

But the galling reality for officials in Washington and London is that, only a few days before the 10th anniversary of Saddam's invasion of Kuwait, the Iraqi leader is still in power.

Harsh economic sanctions and occasional military strikes have failed to dislodge him.

Despite the rhetoric coming from US and British officials, many analysts feel that, a decade on, Western policy on Iraq is going nowhere.

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See also:

24 Mar 00 | Middle East
Saddam 'winning propaganda war'
03 Mar 00 | Africa
US extradites Rwandan pastor
15 Feb 99 | ROAD TO THE BRINK
Timeline of the Iraqi crisis
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