Iraqi parliament approves decision to suspend cooperation with UNSCOM
Iraq-UN, Politics, 11/3/1998
The Iraqi National Council (parliament) has approved the decision endorsed by the Iraqi government to suspend cooperation with UNSCOM.
AFP said that the 250-council members who held on Monday an extraordinary session adopted a decision strongly supporting the decision taken by the Iraqi government to halt all forms of relations with UNSCOM and its chairman as well as to suspend all its activities in Iraq, including monitoring activities.
To revise this decision, Iraq demands that the UN Security Council discuss lifting the oil embargo and reform UNSCOM in a way to free it from US control and to fire its chairman Richard Butler.
Meanwhile, British Defense Minister George Robertson on Monday asserted that Britain will be ready to take part in any new military act against Iraq, when necessary. In a televised statement to the BBC, Robertson criticized the decision taken by Iraq to suspend cooperation with UNSCOM team.
He said Baghdad "has to give up its decision." The British minister did not rule out resorting to a new military act that would force Iraq to resume its cooperation with UNSCOM experts. He indicated that UN sanctions imposed on Iraq will not be lifted unless it reviews all its programs pertaining to weapons of mass destruction.
In press statement the head of Arab - International Relations Committee, Khaled El-Dawri, said that Iraq is not behind this confrontation and that Iraq has asked for its legal right as seven years have passed, during which the inspection commission destroyed all relevant equipment and buildings and was informed on all documents.
He added that Iraq is not looking for and does not want a confrontation. He said Iraq is being threatened but hopes an attack will not take place. He said that if a military confrontation takes place, Iraq "will have to defend itself, yet they escalated the crisis, gathered all troops and since that time, they wish to strike."
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