U.N. resolution condemns Iraqi defianceNov. 14, 1997
The Associated Press
UNITED NATIONS -- The United States was all but on its own today in its willingness to threaten force against Iraq, despite winning a unanimous Security Council resolution condemning Iraqi defiance.
Major countries -- Russia, France, China and Egypt -- signaled Wednesday that they were opposed to resorting to military action to force President Saddam Hussein to back down in a standoff over U.S. arms inspectors in Iraq. The confrontation escalated today when Iraq ordered the Americans out.
With neither the United States nor Iraq showing signs of blinking, Russian Ambassador Sergey Lavrov warned that the crisis was 'headed for deadlock' and was 'very dangerous.'
All 15 Security Council members voted for Wednesday's U.S.-British resolution, which condemned Iraq for failing to cooperate with U.N. inspectors, demanded an immediate and unconditional reversal of Iraq's original Oct. 29 order expelling six American inspectors and slapped a foreign travel ban on Iraqi officials who interfere with the inspections.
The price of unity was a resolution that contained no threat of military force, referring only to a 'firm intention' to take unspecified 'further measures' if Iraq refused to comply.
Iraqi Deputy Minister Tariq Aziz, in New York to make Iraq's
case to the United Nations, declared his government ``refuses this
resolution'' and said Iraq would make good on its demand that the
American members of the U.N. inspection teams leave Iraq.
Today, uncowed by the resolution, Iraq turned back U.N.
inspection teams for the 10th time in 11 days, refusing to let
Americans on the teams through to visit suspected weapons sites.
Hours later, it ordered all American weapons inspectors to leave
the country immediately.
A U.N. official in Baghdad, reached by telephone from New York,
said the inspection team had received no word from Iraqi
authorities about the order to leave. Alan Dacey said there was no
sign of Iraq moving to enforce the order and no firm deadline for
the Americans to get out.
The Iraqi News Agency, which announced the expulsions, did not
say whether Iraq will force the Americans out.
U.S. Ambassador Bill Richardson responded with a warning of
unspecified ``grave consequences,'' telling ABC's ``Good Morning
America,'' that ``this is an Iraqi attack on the world, on the
As Aziz was quick to note Wednesday the Security Council split
over the use of military force.
``1997 is not 1991,'' Aziz told ABC's Nightline, referring to
the days of the Gulf War coalition.
``I believe that the Arab world will not swallow this aggression
as it did in 1991,'' he said, adding: ``A number of major countries
and members of the Security Council are against that, so it will be
a grave mistake if they do it.''
Iraqi Foreign Minister Mohammed Said al-Sahhaf dismissed the
unanimous Security Council vote as ``a very temporary submission''
by council members to ``American blackmailing.''
Few options outside military force are available. Virtually all
trade with Iraq has been banned since 1990 under sanctions imposed
after Saddam invaded Kuwait, touching off the Persian Gulf War.
Last December, the United Nations gave the go-ahead for Iraq to
sell up to $2 billion worth of oil every six months to buy food and
South Korean Ambassador Park Soo Gil told reporters there was a
``consensus'' on the council against curbs in oil-for-food.
Under the 1991 cease-fire agreement that ended the Persian Gulf
War, Iraq must destroy all long-range missiles and weapons of mass
destruction before the sanctions are lifted.
The U.N. inspectors are in Iraq seeking to verify compliance.
Iraq claims Americans are determined to maintain the sanctions as
long as Saddam remains in power.
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