Iraq Cooperation With U.N. Inspectors Unlikely Given Past Record, Analyst Says
WASHINGTON, OCT. 29, 2002
-If Saddam Hussein wants
to remain in power, then he should allow United Nations' weapons
inspectors to operate without harassment or delay, and then disarm,
which is an unlikely scenario, says a new paper from The Heritage
Since 1991, Saddam has stalled, blocked or flat out lied to
inspectors from the United Nations about his biological, chemical
and nuclear weapons programs, and there's little chance that he
will cooperate with the United Nations in the future, says Heritage
Middle East expert James Phillips.
Iraq agreed last month to permit the return of U.N. arms
inspectors, which it had blocked since 1998.
But Phillips says the crucial issue is to disarm Iraq, not merely
inspect it. He says the United States also must continue to seek
tough new U.N. resolutions that clearly approve the use of military
force if Iraq obstructs the inspectors again.
In addition, the United States must ensure that the inspectors
have unconditional access to all sites and all Iraqis at any time,
A comprehensive timeline compiled by Phillips and Heritage
researchers details Saddam's repeated refusals to cooperate with
U.N. inspectors. Examples include:
· September 1991: The first aerial U.N. inspection team is
blocked by Iraq.
· July 1993: Iraq refuses to allow U.N. inspectors to
install monitoring cameras at two missile test areas. Iraq finally
agrees to permit installation after a threatening letter from the
U.N. Security Council.
· March 1996: Iraqi security forces refuse inspectors access
to five specific sites designated for inspection. The inspectors
finally enter the sites after delays ranging up to 17 hours.
· September 1997: An Iraqi officer physically prevents a
U.N. inspector onboard a helicopter from taking photographs of
suspicious movements by Iraqi vehicles inside a designated
Phillips says the U.N. inspections program as currently structured
cannot work. If the Security Council does not approve a
strengthened inspection regime backed by the credible use of force,
he suggests that the United States should abandon the idea of
"Ultimately, the only way to be certain of ridding Iraq of weapons
of mass destruction is to rid it of Saddam Hussein's menacing
regime," Phillips says.