February 7, 2000 |
Tests confirm that a Russian tanker seized by the U.S. Navy in the Persian Gulf was carrying Iraqi oil in violation of a U.N. economic embargo, Defense Secretary William S. Cohen said Sunday. The Volgoneft-147 was being taken to Muscat, the capital of Oman, and the Omani government will determine the fate of the merchant vessel and its crew, Cohen told reporters while flying back from Germany, where he attended a conference on European security.
February 4, 2000 |
Faced with a sharp increase in smuggling of Iraqi oil in defiance of a U.N. embargo, the U.S. Navy seized a Russian-flagged tanker in the Persian Gulf and ordered it to port, where chemical tests can be made to determine the origin of its cargo, the Clinton administration said Thursday. The Russian Foreign Ministry protested the seizure and demanded immediate release of the ship and its crew. Moscow said the cargo was from Iran, not Iraq. However, U.S.
November 20, 1999 |
The U.N. Security Council on Friday approved a stopgap extension of its humanitarian program for Iraq for two weeks, during which it will try to break months of deadlock over a new comprehensive policy on Iraq. While Britain and the United States said there was now momentum to reach an agreement perhaps within two weeks, Russia and China stressed that major differences remained and insisted that there could be no artificial deadline.
January 16, 1999 |
Russia on Friday proposed dismantling the U.N. weapons inspection program in Iraq and replacing it with a less aggressive organization under the tight control of the Security Council. The United States quickly rejected the plan. "Eventually, down the road, there is a need for a [new] monitoring system. But in the short term and the medium term, we reject the proposal," said Peter Burleigh, the U.S. representative to the U.N.
March 9, 1998 |
The Iraqi government criticized the United States for opposing the appointment of a Russian as deputy chief of U.N. weapons inspectors, saying this proved that the Americans wanted to dominate inspection operations. The statement on the official Iraqi News Agency came as United Nations officials said Scott Ritter, an American once blocked from working by Iraq, has led an inspection team on visits to six sites the Iraqis consider "sensitive."
February 13, 1998 |
The breach that erupted Thursday between the United States and Russia over Iraq has been building for a long time, rooted in suspicions about duplicity and espionage, conflicting political goals and cynicism over rival economic interests in the Persian Gulf region. The tensions over Iraq have grown gradually since the 1991 Persian Gulf War but have been largely papered over to preserve a strong diplomatic relationship between the two former rivals.