YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

U.S. Lays Its Iraqi Cards on the Table

October 24, 2002|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

UNITED NATIONS — These are some of the main points of a draft resolution on Iraq that the United States presented Wednesday to the other 14 members of the U.N. Security Council:

Iraq is still, and has been for a number of years, in material breach of its obligations under relevant resolutions, in particular through its failure to cooperate with United Nations inspectors and the International Atomic Energy Agency.

The Security Council has repeatedly warned Iraq that it will face serious consequences as a result of its continued violations of its obligations.

Iraq is to accept the terms of the resolution within seven days and to declare its programs to develop weapons of mass destruction within 30 days. "False statements or omissions" from the list would not automatically constitute a breach, as in earlier drafts, unless accompanied by failure to cooperate with inspectors.

Inspectors would have 45 days from the adoption of the resolution to resume work and would report back to the council 60 days after the adoption.

U.N. inspectors must be allowed to search for weapons anywhere at any time they choose, including "immediate, unimpeded, unconditional and unrestricted access to presidential sites."

The resolution retains a much-debated point about taking Iraqi scientists and family members out of the country for interviews to reduce intimidation by the government. It says inspectors have the right to the names of all personnel associated with Iraq's chemical, biological, nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

The draft would also give inspectors the right to freeze Iraqi movement in "no-drive and no-fly zones" around inspection sites to ensure that material isn't spirited away. But the new text dropped a controversial demand that armed guards accompany inspectors and enforce the zones.

The new draft also drops a proposal that the five permanent Security Council members be allowed to join inspection teams to guide them to suspect sites and receive information gleaned from inspections, a provision that seemed to some to set up espionage. The text does allow the chief weapons inspectors to determine their own teams, which would not preclude them from selecting experts armed with intelligence from their home countries.

Inspectors would have the right to seize and export any equipment, materials or documents taken during inspections, without search of themselves or of their baggage.

Iraq could not take hostile action or threaten such against any representatives or personnel of the United Nations or of any member state taking action to uphold any Security Council resolution.

The U.S. would consult the Security Council about what sort of consequences Baghdad should face if inspectors reported that Iraq had failed to cooperate. But the U.S. emphasized that it would not have to wait for U.N. approval before taking military action.

Los Angeles Times Articles