July 3, 2000 |
To aid Iraq's largest sanctions-busting operation, Iran has opened its strategic Qeys island for secret transfers of illicit Iraqi oil to ships that can evade a United Nations blockade, according to Clinton administration officials. Traffic has become so heavy in recent weeks that the regime of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein is smuggling as much as 100,000 barrels of oil a day, netting as much as $42 million a month that is being used in part to rebuild Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, U.S.
June 9, 2000 |
The Security Council on Thursday extended for six months the Iraq oil-for-food program, the humanitarian lifeline for 22 million Iraqis living under the 10-year-old sanctions. The 15-member body voted unanimously minutes before midnight, when the previous six-month phase would have expired. The program allows Iraq to sell unlimited quantities of oil, under U.N. supervision, to buy food, medicine and other humanitarian supplies.
April 14, 2000 |
The Security Council on Thursday unanimously approved a new plan designed to rid Iraq of its remaining weapons of mass destruction, but Russia predicted that Baghdad won't consider admitting inspectors until patrols over Iraq's "no-fly" zones stop. In a preview of the diplomatic maneuvering and debate that lie ahead, Russian Ambassador Sergei V.
April 7, 2000 |
The head of the new U.N. commission charged with ridding Iraq of any remaining weapons of mass destruction said Thursday that his agency plans surprise inspections throughout that country as part of its mandate. In outlining his plan for the commission, executive chairman Hans Blix stressed that the inspection agency will seek to be highly technical, nonpolitical and tightly controlled in its handling of intelligence information.
March 2, 2000 |
A plane carrying 117 Iraqi Muslim pilgrims flew through Iraq's Western-imposed "no-fly" zone Wednesday and landed safely in Saudi Arabia, in apparent defiance of a U.N. flight embargo. The sanctions, imposed after Baghdad's 1990 invasion of Kuwait, ban air travel into and out of Iraq. Most of Iraq's airspace is off limits to Iraqi aircraft due to no-fly zones enforced by U.S. and British warplanes to protect Kurds in the north and Shiite Muslim dissidents in the south from the Iraqi regime.
February 15, 2000 |
The top U.N. humanitarian official in Iraq said he resigned his post because he had lost hope for an improvement in conditions for the Iraqi people. Hans von Sponeck, a German career U.N. official, tendered his resignation over the weekend after months of opposition from the U.S. and Britain for his criticism of 9-year-old U.N. sanctions against Iraq. U.N.
February 11, 2000 |
Iraq said Thursday that it will not allow U.N. arms inspectors back into the country to reinstate a disarmament program halted on the eve of U.S. and British airstrikes in December 1998. Vice President Taha Yassin Ramadan gave the clearest rebuff to date of renewed inspection attempts stipulated in a Dec. 17 U.N. Security Council resolution. "There shall be no return of the so-called inspection teams.
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.
January 27, 2000 |
After rejecting Secretary-General Kofi Annan's first nomination for a new chief arms inspector for Iraq last week, the Security Council agreed unanimously Wednesday on a new man for the job: Swedish disarmament expert Hans Blix. Blix, 71, was the director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency from 1981 to 1997 and oversaw inspections of Iraq's nuclear program with mixed success.