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.
January 18, 2000 | ,
After four weeks of deadlock, Secretary-General Kofi Annan said Monday that the best person to be chief U.N. weapons inspector for Iraq is Swedish diplomat Rolf Ekeus, who led a U.N. inspection team there from 1991 to 1997. But Russia rejected Annan's choice Monday night, casting Ekeus' nomination into doubt. Russian Ambassador Sergei V. Lavrov sent a formal letter to the president of the Security Council, U.S.
January 14, 2000 |
Diplomats in Iraq said Thursday that the Iraqi leadership appeared to be showing some flexibility in an attempt to find a solution to its impasse with the United Nations over arms inspections.
December 18, 1999 |
After a year of diplomacy and deadlock, the U.N. Security Council approved a complicated resolution Friday intended to bring weapons inspectors back to Iraq and suspend trade sanctions if Saddam Hussein cooperates. The resolution passed, 11-0, despite abstentions by Russia, France and China that frustrated U.S. efforts to get all five permanent members on board. Malaysia, a nonpermanent member, also abstained.