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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Second Iraqi Letter to the United Nations in Response to UN Security Council Resolution 1441 -- 23 Nov 2002

Iraqi Satellite Channel, Baghdad, 24 Nov 02

His Excellency Kofi Annan, secretary-general of the United Nations

Your Excellency, this letter is connected with my letter dated 13 November 2002, in which I informed you that the Government of the Republic of Iraq had decided to deal with UN Security Council Resolution 1441 (2002) despite the bad provisions of the resolution. I would like to present our observations on the resolution's provisions, claims and measures that contravene international law, the UN Charter, relevant UN resolutions, and UN documents related to the issue of inspection and monitoring in Iraq.

1. Before reviewing the paragraphs of the resolution, I must refer to the background of the resolution and the circumstances under which it was issued. The United States submitted a draft resolution, which was approved on 8 November 2002 as No 1441. This was after it had faced rejection and condemnation by the entire world community due to US intentions to wage a military attack on Iraq and achieve the imperialist aims it announces openly represented by occupation (but how impossible) and the imposition of its imperialist hegemony over the whole Middle East.

Thus, the United States changed its tactic of achieving what it wanted unilaterally by using the Security Council as a cover for its aggressive imperialism aim. After all, it has a long history in using the Security Council as a cover for its hostile intentions against Iraq since 1990. Thus it submitted a draft resolution under the false concern of working through the United Nations, while its real aim was to create excuses for aggression against Iraq under an international cover, as explained to you by the review of the paragraphs of the resolution hereunder.

2. The third paragraph of the preamble refers to what it terms "the threat to international peace and security represented by Iraq's non-compliance with the Security Council resolutions and its deployment of weapons of mass destruction". This is an attempt to make the term "the threat to international security and peace" contained in Article 39 of the charter assume more than it can bear so as to justify the aggression against Iraq. This paragraph stems from the false assumption of "Iraq's non-compliance with the council resolutions and its deployment of weapons of mass destruction and long-range missile". It also builds on another false assumption, which is Iraq's threat to international peace and security. This assumption is false and baseless. It is Iraq, which has been subjected to aggression since 1991. There isn't a single state in the world sharing the United States and Britain their tendentious stand. Therefore, what is built is falsehood is false.

3. The fourth paragraph in the preamble indicates that Resolution 678 (1990) permitted the member states to use all necessary means to implement Resolution 660 (1990) and the subsequent resolutions in order to establish international peace and security in the region. This reference gives the false impression that the authorization to use force under Resolution 678 still stands. This authorization no longer stands from the legal and practical viewpoints, since Iraq withdrew from Kuwait late February 1991 in full implementation of Resolution 660 (1990). This authorization also became invalid from the legal viewpoint under the provisions of Paragraph (33) of Resolution 687 (1991). This resolution states that "once Iraq has officially notified the secretary-general and the Security Council about its acceptance of the aforementioned provisions, an official cease-fire shall come into force between Iraq and Kuwait and the members states cooperating with Kuwait under Resolution 678 (1990).

Iraq gave the required official communication in a letter from the foreign minister to the secretary general of the United Nations and the president of the Security Council on 6 April 1991. In Paragraph (34), which is the final paragraph in Resolution 687 (1991), the Security Council affirmed that any measure to use force against Iraq in the future shall require new permission from the Security Council. This paragraph stipulates as follows: " The Council decides that the question shall remain under consideration and that it shall take other necessary steps to implement this resolution to guarantee peace and security in the region."

Therefore, there is no legal basis that can be used as an excuse to use force against Iraq after the official cease-fire, which was announced by the council. In the absence of any new permission, there is no longer any justification to resume the talk about Resolution 678 (1990), which was implemented and superseded by Resolution 687 (1991).

4. The sixth paragraph in the preamble expresses regret over what is termed Iraq's failure to submit a final and complete report on all aspects of its previous banned programmes. This paragraph conflicts with the facts stated in the UN official documents. The International Atomic Energy Agency IAEA affirmed in Paragraph (79) of Document (S/1997/779) as follows: "There are no signs about the existence of any major differences between the technically uniform picture formed about Iraq's previous programmes and the information contained in Iraq's final, and complete report issued on 7 September 1996."

The Special Commission Unscom stated in its report published under Document (S/1997/301) as follows: "The cumulative effect of the work accomplished in six years since the cease-fire went into effect between Iraq and the coalition, is such that there isn't much that is not known about Iraq's remaining banned armament capabilities."

5. The seventh paragraph of the preamble claims that Iraq did not cooperate fully and unconditionally with the arms inspectors and in the end it completely stopped this cooperation.

This paragraph is a full distortion of the talk about Iraq's cooperation. For it is this cooperation with the former UN Special Commission Unscom and the IAEA that enabled the two bodies to accomplish their tasks in the disarmament field. The IAEA report on 27 July 1998 (S/1998/694) states in its 35th paragraph as follows: "There are no indications that Iraq retains any material capability for the local production of nuclear materials, which could be used in the production of weapons in quantities of any practical importance. There is no indication that Iraq has obtained or produced nuclear materials, which could be used in the production of weapons, other than those materials, which the IAEA has verified and removed from Iraq under Paragraph (13) of Resolution 687 (1991)."

As for Unscom, it indicated in several reports that it accomplished the basic part of its work. The commission's report released under Document (S/1995/494) says in its 29th paragraph: "In the field of ballistic missiles and chemical weapons, the commission is now certain that it has a good general idea about Iraq's previous programmes, and the basic elements of its banned capabilities have been liquidated."

Former Unscom chief Ambassador Ekeus affirmed in a statement on 13 January 1993 that Iraq had fulfilled 95 per cent of its obligations. Ambassador Ekeus reiterated this statement in an interview with the Swedish Radio on 7 September 2002.

On the other hand, the report (S/1999/356) submitted by Brazilian Ambassador Celso Amorim to the Security Council stated that what was left of the disarmament issues could be handled with the reinforced permanent monitoring regime. This means that the disarmament phase was practically over.

6. The eighth paragraph in the preamble expresses regret over the non-existence of inspection activities in Iraq since December 1998 and places the responsibility for that on Iraq. It also considers it the cause for the continuation of the crisis witnessed by the region and the sufferings of the Iraqi people, so it says!

This paragraph is a crime against history and the facts. The one who withdrew the inspectors from Iraq on 15 December 1998 and brought the inspection activities to a halt was the United States. A day after the withdrawal of the inspectors, the United States and Britain carried out large-scale aggression against Iraq, targeting among other things the very sites that were under the permanent monitoring regime. The sites contained monitoring equipment including censors and cameras. The Security Council failed to take any measures against this unilateral aggressive use of force against Iraq and to affirm Iraqi legal rights up to now. The United States also used Unscom as a tool to carry out its aggressive policy against Iraq by what it did to undermine its national security, provide a cover for aggression against it, and prolong the unfair embargo on its people. This led to losing confidence in the commission, its dissolution, and the expulsion of its chairman Richard Butler.

The United Nations has not up to now taken any step to question those who used its agencies to serve purposes that conflicted with international law, its Charter, and the relevant Security Council resolutions. This included spying on Iraq and provoking crises in flagrant violation of Article 100 of the UN Charter. Iraq was also not compensated for the damage caused by the exploitation of a UN agency.

7. The ninth paragraph of the preamble directs charges at Iraq on the issues of terrorism, human rights and non-cooperation with the subject of Kuwaiti MIAs and property. We would like in this respect to make the following observations:

A. The Iraqi foreign minister had previously addressed a letter to the UN secretary-general dated 11 June 1991 (Document S/22687S/22687) stating Iraq's full position on this subject. The truth is, it is Iraq, which is being subjected to terrorism for more than 30 years by international and regional forces, which are headed, instigated and financed by the United States and Britain. Other peoples and states have also been subjected to the terrorism and aggression of these two powers. Iraq is also the one that is being subjected to continuous daily aggression represented by the terrorism of the United States and Britain through the imposition of the two illegal no-fly zones in northern and southern Iraq. This aggression is also represented by the new US strategy of adopting the so-called pre-emptive war, which conflicts with the aims and principles of the United Nations. This is another form of state terrorism. This is in addition to the Security Council's failure to put an end to Zionist terrorism against our heroic Palestinian people and the brave mujahidin there. Moreover, a permanent member state in the Security Council is encouraging the Zionist entity and supplying it with all capabilities to practise terrorism, death and destruction. We mean the United States and its policy, which has been condemned by all world nations.

B. Regarding Kuwaiti property, Iraq has already returned it to Kuwait. The latest was the Kuwaiti archives, which the Iraqi authorities delivered to Kuwait during the period 19-20 October 2002. As to the other allegations, Iraqi funds continue to be plundered through the so-called compensation.

C. Regarding the whereabouts of Kuwaiti MIAs and third country nationals, Iraq has cooperated fully with the countries concerned and expressed its full readiness to cooperate directly with Kuwait in order to resolve this humanitarian issue, which involves 1,137 missing Iraqis and 582 Kuwaitis and citizens from other nationalities, and avoid the tendentious politicization attempts by the US administration, which will only harm both sides. Iraq has cooperated and is still cooperating with the International Committee of the Red Cross in its capacity as the neutral international party and with states that have MIA files in order to fulfil the obligations stipulated in the 1949 Geneva Convention.

8. The 10th paragraph in the preamble indicates that the cease-fire resolution 687 (1991) is subject to Iraq's fulfilment of its provisions.

This sentence is cryptic and bad. It should have indicated that Iraq approved Resolution 687 (1991) in accordance with the foreign minister's letter dated 6 April 1991 and that it fulfilled its objections under this resolution. It is the Security Council that did not fulfil its reciprocal obligations. Two permanent member states in the Security Council also did not fulfil their obligations, but have insisted, among other things, on military aggression against Iraq on a daily basis since 1991 within the illegal no-fly zones.

9. The 11th paragraph in the preamble indicates that the council is determined to guarantee that Iraq will comply with Resolution 687.

This reference denies the facts concerning Iraq's fulfilment of its obligations under this resolution. It also ignores the fact that the Security Council did not fulfil any of its reciprocal obligations under Paragraph (14) by freeing the Middle East region of weapons of mass destruction, and also under Paragraphs 21 and 22 by lifting the all-out embargo on Iraq, which is a collective punishment imposed on an entire people contrary to the principles of the UN Charter, the World Declaration of Human Rights, provisions of the UN Charter, and the relevant Security Council resolutions on the need to respect Iraq's territorial integrity and political independence and stop the daily US-British aggression against it within the two illegal no-fly zones.

This means that the Security Council is forcibly or voluntarily toeing the tactical line of the of the United States, which whenever it finds that the world is pressing and the Security Council is about to oblige and discuss the removal of the embargo on Iraq and apply Paragraph 14 of Security Council Resolution 687 to the Zionist entity to make the Middle East region free of weapons of mass destruction, resorts to the tactic of attack as a means of defence and raises other issues to divert the Security Council from its duties. It also tries to confuse the world public in an attempt to make the odious hangman look the innocent party and the great human struggler, Iraq, the guilty party.

10. Paragraph (13) in the preamble indicates that the letter, which the Iraqi foreign minister sent to the secretary-general on 16 September 2002, is the first essential step towards correcting Iraq's continuous non-compliance with the relevant Security Council resolutions.

This paragraph is aimed at contradicting the UN secretary-general's letter (S/2002/1534) to the Security Council. In that letter, he considered Iraq's acceptance of the return of the inspectors as a first step towards a comprehensive solution, which would include lifting the sanctions and carrying out the other provisions in the relevant Security Council resolutions.

11. Paragraph (14) in the preamble refers to the joint letter by Unmovic chief Mr Blix and IAEA chief Mr al-Baradi'i dated 8 October 2002 and expresses its great concern that the Iraqi government has not endorsed the arrangements contained in it.

Iraq agreed with Unmovic and the IAEA on the necessary practical arrangements for the return of the inspectors and included the agreement in the joint press statement issued in Vienna on 1 October 2002. The two sides agreed in principle on the return of the inspectors to Iraq on 19 October 2002. As to the joint letter by Blix and Al-Baradi'i, it included additional matters, which Mr Blix requested at the Vienna meetings, because they were outside his powers and were governed by agreements with the UN secretary-general and adopted by the Security Council. Still, Iraq responded to them in two reply letters dated 8 and 10 October 2002 in which it said that it did not object to their contents.

12. Finally, it must be pointed out that the preamble paragraphs concentrated on the presumed dangers posed by the alleged Iraqi weapons of mass destruction on regional and international peace and security. But they ignored the real dangers posed by the huge arsenal of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons of mass destruction possessed by the Zionist entity on the security of the region and the world, although freeing the Middle East region of weapons of mass destruction is one of the basic aims of Resolution 687 (1991) as stated in operative Paragraph (14) of that resolution. This contradiction reveals the odious double standards imposed by the United States on the Security Council and its stands and resolutions.

13. In the first operative paragraph the council alleged that Iraq was and still is in material breach of its obligations under the Security Council resolutions.

This paragraph has deleted in one sentence, and without producing any proof, the whole record of Iraq's cooperation in implementing the council resolutions in eight years. It is a clear and firm record, which was included in the reports by the former Unscom and IAEA. The former Unscom announced through its chairman in 1993 that it accomplished 95 per cent of its tasks. The IAEA announced at the end of 1992 and it continues to repeat in its reports that it accomplished the disarmament tasks and that it no longer has any outstanding disarmament issues. Would the two organizations have completed their tasks, as set in Resolution 687 (1991), were it not for Iraq's full cooperation with them? What does this mean other than the Security Council's evasion of its obligations and telling Iraq and other states that the Security Council has become hopeless?

As a result of the council's submission to the US administration and Britain, which pursue the policy of piracy and force contrary to the provisions of the UN Charter, the results have ended up the same. It did not matter whether Iraq and the other states abided by their obligations or not. Besides, the Zionist entity will continue to be exempt of any legal constraints, as long it is in an odious imperialist alliance with the United States to control the world. On the other hand, it is the United States, which has been and still is in material breach of the council resolutions. It used the former Unscom as a tool for espionage against Iraq and also to provoke crises. It also violated the sanctity and sovereignty of the Iraqi territories by imposing with Britain the two illegal no-fly zones and committing continuous large-scale military attacks against Iraq over the past 11 years. Moreover, it violated Iraq's sovereignty and independence by openly sponsoring mercenary terrorists, training them, and supplying them with arms and funds to carry out terrorist acts against the security of Iraq and its people. This is contrary to the UN Charter and the relevant Security Council resolutions, which call on everyone to respect Iraq's sovereignty, political independence, and territorial integrity.

14. The council decided in the second operative paragraph what it termed "giving Iraq a final opportunity to comply with its obligations".

This paragraph creates the false impression about the existence of a Security Council initiative on Iraq, while the opposite is true. Despite the withdrawal of the inspectors and the fact that some of them carried out espionage on Iraq's security and vital national interests and also provoked crises; and despite the fact that the report by the last Unscom chairman was used by the United States and Britain as a cover for their treacherous aggression on 16 December 1998, Iraq has taken the initiative and held dialogue with the secretary-general since February 2000 in order to reach a comprehensive solution leading to a balanced and legal implementation of the Security Council resolutions. This would include the fulfilment of the Security Council's obligations towards Iraq represented by lifting the embargo and respecting its sovereignty, and also towards the region represented by implementing Paragraph (14) of Resolution 687 (1991), and resuming the inspection system to make sure that Iraq is free of weapons of mass destruction.

Iraq agreed on 16 September 2002 to the return of the inspectors without conditions. But, it was the United States that prevented their return and used all kinds of pressure and extortion on the council members in order to issue Resolution 1441 (2002). This was to make the international community and world public forget the big lie fabricated by the US administration and its lackey to provide the excuses and the cover that will enable it to carry out the aggression as planned.

15. The third operative paragraph calls on Iraq to submit to Unmovic, IAEA and the Security Council a full and comprehensive declaration of the current status of all programmes for the development of weapons of mass destruction, as well as "all the other chemical, biological and nuclear programmes". This paragraph is based on the false assumption that Iraq has programmes for developing weapons of mass destruction. Iraq strongly denied this claim and the United States and Britain could not produce one credible piece of evidence. It also calls for submitting declarations on an unlimited number of civil programmes. Moreover, it calls for submitting a copy of the declarations to the Security Council. This is unprecedented, as it gives the council members reason to doubt Iraq's declaration and to create excuses for spreading false claims about Iraq's non-cooperation.

16. The fourth operative paragraph makes the false assumption that Iraq is probably submitting false reports and that it would overlook some matters and refrain from complying with the resolution. Another wrong assumption was built on this false assumption, which is that this constitutes "material breach" of the Security Council resolutions.

The arbitrary judgment in this paragraph is unprecedented in all national and international laws since the dawn of history. First, considering the submission of inaccurate statements as "material breach", irrespective of the thousands of pages making up the required reports, means that the obvious aim is to find excuses to distort the Iraqi stand and justify the aggression and not implement the declared aims of the Security Council. Second, considering an oversight to submit information as "material breach" means that there is a premeditated intention to target Iraq, no matter how trivial are the excuses. Considering oversight as a "material breach" is an attempt to lay down new international rules, which the Security Council is not empowered to do under the charter. This is in addition to their conflict with the rules of justice under the law.

17. The fifth and seventh operative paragraphs gave Unmovic and IAEA unjustifiable arbitrary powers that are not in accord with their international position, which obliges them to show concern for the sovereignty of the countries, in which they function, and to respect their laws, systems and human rights in implementation of the UN Charter. These measures are unprecedented in the history of the world organization and international relations. The methods of disarmament and armament control they set here aim at obstructing the work of the inspectors, create clashing factors and confidence crisis, and open the door anew to exploit the inspection activities for purposes that have nothing to do with the declared aims sought in the council resolutions.

The methods on disarmament and armament control are well known. There are set standards in international agreements for achieving the aim of disarmament. The methods they set do not include such standards. For example: They want to interview citizens in their country without the presence of the representative of their government or ask them to leave the country with their families to be interviewed outside their country. They request the names of the country's scientists and researchers. They want to bring in UN guards to guard the inspection teams when under the law Iraq assumes responsibility for their safety, just as it assumes their wages. They want to give inspectors the powers to bring in and take out any equipment they want without informing the country in whose territory they are operating. They want all that to take place with the funds of the state, on whose territory they are operating, but without accounting for their expenditure or the fate of the equipment and vehicles they use with Iraqi funds once the mission is over.

18. In the eighth operative paragraph the council asks Iraq not to carry out what it terms hostile actions against any representative or individual employed by the United Nations or any of its member states when he takes action to insure compliance with any of the Security Council resolutions.

Even in this respect the resolution purposely distorts the picture of Iraq's cooperation. The employees of the former Unscom and the IAEA worked in Iraq for a period of eight years. Although some of them carried out espionage, provocative and instigating missions contrary to the laws of the world organization and the host country, the Iraqi authorities still guaranteed their full security. They were not exposed to any harm or harassment. Considering their large number and the long period they spent in Iraq without a single harmful incident, Iraq has indeed set the best record in the whole world. This includes the United States, where international employees and other foreign nationals are exposed to all kinds of humiliation, harassment, assault and sometimes even mugging and murder.

19. The 10th operative paragraph requests Unmovic and the IAEA to obtain recommendations from the member states on the sites to be inspected and the persons to be interviewed. This includes the terms of these interviews and the statements to be obtained.

This measures aims at disrupting the cooperation between Iraq on the one hand and Unmovic and IAEA on the other. It gives some states the excuse to interfere in their work. It also detracts from their international capacity and places them at the behest of the pressure, wishes, claims and intentions of certain countries, especially the United States, which has tendentious aims. At the same time, this measure does not bind the states which give information to any legal, political or financial liabilities if it is proven later on that the information given was misleading and aimed at causing harm and hampering work.

20. The 11th operative paragraph requests the two aforementioned bodies to immediately inform the Security Council of what the council termed any interference by Iraq in the inspection activities and any delay in its obligation, including those pertaining to the inspection operations.

This paragraph does not give Unmovic and IAEA the required powers to evaluate Iraq's cooperation. It requests them only to immediately communicate to the Security Council any incident no matter how trivial, or any suspicion and misunderstanding. This will not help with confidence building or in dealing with any practical difficulties that might occur on the ground. Consequently, it does not help with the cooperation and the fulfilment of the declared aims.

This paragraph assumes absolute goodwill by all members of the inspection teams and absolute ill will by the Iraqi authorities. This conflicts completely with what the international community knew about the behaviour of a large number of the employees of the notorious Unscom and what you, Mr Secretary-General, personally acknowledged in your statement dated 27 June 1999 about the behaviour of the Unscom members. It also conflicts with what its former chairman Ekeus admitted in his statement to the Swedish radio on 28 July 2002 (S/2002/982). The aim behind the inclusion of this paragraph is to instigate illwill and create crises for no reason other than to show Iraq as non-cooperative and to create excuses for aggression against it.

21. The 12th operative paragraph decides that the Security Council must immediately consider the cases mentioned in the above 12th operative paragraph so as to insure international peace and security.

Considering what the council terms "any interference by Iraq in the inspection activities" as a threat to international peace and security is an attempt to give a new and broad interpretation to the concept of international peace and security. This conflicts with the principle contained in Article (39) of the charter, especially since two permanent member states of the Security Council are daily carrying out direct military aggression against Iraq and violating its sovereignty and territorial integrity and bombing its towns and villages without the Security Council considering it a threat to international peace and security, let alone the cases of the serious violation of international peace and security in many regions in the world, including the continuous Zionist aggression against Arab territories and that entity's possession of all weapons of mass destruction.

22. Finally, the 13th operative paragraph reminds us of the Security Council's repeated warnings to Iraq. This is in order to conclude the resolution as it began, which is distorting the facts and threatening war and aggression.

Your Excellency, the above facts prove that those who urged the UN Security Council to issue Resolution No 1441 have aims other than ascertaining that Iraq had not produced weapons of mass destruction. Yet, we decided to deal with this resolution despite its bad provisions in order to steer our people, the region, and the world away from the outbursts of evil and aggression, which are being played up by the extremists in the US administration, and to provide the United Nations with the opportunity to implement its resolutions in accordance with international law and the UN Charter.

We hope that the UN General Secretariat and the peace-loving nations, including the permanent and non-permanent members, will urge Unmovic and the IAEA to compel its inspectors to honour their commitments in accordance with UN Charter, respect their mandate, and adhere to serving the UN objectives in order to speedily reveal the fallacy of the tendentious US accusations against Iraq on its alleged possession of weapons of mass destruction and enable the United Nations to fulfil its obligations as stipulated in UN resolutions related to Iraq and the region in general. These are represented by lifting the unjust sanctions, respecting Iraq's sovereignty, security, territorial integrity and vital national interests, and free the Middle East region from weapons of mass destruction, especially the huge nuclear, chemical, and biological arsenal of the Zionist entity.

Kindly accept my highest esteem.

Signed Dr Naji Sabri, foreign minister of the Republic of Iraq, Baghdad 19 Ramadan 1423 Hegira, corresponding to 23 November 2002.

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