Global Policy Forum

US Plan For Smart Sanctions Must Be

Agence France Presse
May 14, 2001

Deputy Prime Minister Tareq Aziz said Monday that Iraq was working to "nip in the bud" US efforts to lobby support within the UN Security Council for a new regime of targeted sanctions against Baghdad. Iraq will "reject any campaign to prolong the unjust embargo," which has been in force since Baghdad invaded Kuwait in 1990, said Aziz, referring to the "smart" sanctions advocated by the United States.

The project is "doomed to fail", he said, quoted by the official news agency. It amounted to "a new US deceit which we must nip in the bud". Aziz, who doubles as Iraq's interim foreign minister, said Iraq was "consulting with permanent members of the UN Security Council to denounce this project ... which will be discussed in the council at the end of the month." He renewed a warning to Iraq's Arab neighbours and Turkey that any support for the US proposals would cost them "enormous losses ... and damage to their economies".

In the face of waning support for the embargo and cracks in the decade-old regime, Washington has launched a campaign to restructure sanctions by easing curbs on civilian products and tightening those on military equipment and technology. US Secretary of State Colin Powell has said that "by early June, when we have the next rollover of the sanctions regime in the UN, America's ideas will have taken root and we'll see a change then." Enforcement of the new regime would need the cooperation of Iraq's neighbours.

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