Éditoriaux Défense Sécurité Terrorisme Zones de conflits Logistique Livres de référence Liens
Terre Air Mer Gendarmerie Renseignement Infoguerre Cyber Recherche

The Inescapable Conclusion' that Iraq Is In Breach of Resolution 1441

'The Inescapable Conclusion' that Iraq Is In Breach of Resolution 1441

In a statement to the House of Commons on 13 February, British Foreign Secretary, Jack Straw, reminded Parliament of Iraq's obligations under UN resolution 1441. He went to say that the briefings given by the chief Weapons Inspectors, Dr Blix and Dr El Baradei, left no doubt that Iraq had failed to meet its obligations and that in consequence Iraq was in further material breach of resolution 1441. He also spoke of the recent developments in Europe and in NATO, and he insisted that even at this late stage war was not foregone conclusion. 'The prospect of military action causes obvious anxiety - as it should - here in the UK, amongst our Allies and in the region. I still hope and pray for a peaceful outcome to this crisis. This will only be possible if we maintain unrelenting pressure on Saddam - including the threat of force - rather than casting around for excuses to delay.' House of Commons, Thursday, February 13, 2003. Source: FCO.

With permission, Mr Speaker, I should like to make a statement about Iraq.

Mr Speaker, the Security Council will meet in New York tomorrow to hear the latest reports from the Executive Chairman of UNMOVIC, Dr Hans Blix, and the Director General of the IAEA, Dr Mohammed El-Baradei. I will be joining my fellow Foreign Ministers for this meeting.

Security Council Resolution 1441 - agreed three months ago - placed the onus squarely on Iraq to co-operate fully and actively with UN inspectors in the disarmament of its weapons of mass destruction. It gave Iraq a final warning: comply with the UN's terms immediately or face 'serious consequences.' EU Foreign Ministers expressed clear support for this goal last month, when they declared unanimously that 'the Resolution gives an unambiguous message that the Iraqi Government has a final opportunity to resolve the crisis peacefully.'

Tomorrow's briefing will be the fourth update delivered by Dr Blix and Dr ElBaradei. The comprehensive reports they delivered on 27 January painted a disturbing picture. Most damning of all was Dr Blix's observation that Iraq 'appears not to have come to a genuine acceptance - not even today - of the disarmament which was demanded of it and which it needs to carry out to win the confidence of the world.'

Dr Blix concluded that the Iraqi declaration submitted on 7 December was 'mostly a reprint of earlier documents,' and did not 'contain any new evidence that would eliminate' unresolved 'questions or reduce their number.'

The central premise of Iraq's so-called disclosure - that Iraq possesses no WMD - was a lie. Nor was there any admission of Iraq's extensive efforts to develop WMD since the final UNSCOM inspections in December 1998.

Mr Speaker, Dr Blix and Dr El-Baradei said:

Iraq had failed to account for 6,500 bombs which could carry up to 1,000 tonnes of chemical agent, or for 8,500 litres of biological warfare agent and a large amount of growth media which could be used to produce about 5,000 litres of concentrated anthrax;

12 chemical rocket warheads unearthed by UNMOVIC inspectors were potentially, in Dr Blix's words, 'the tip of a submerged iceberg';

Iraq had failed to disclose 3,000 pages of documents relating to a nuclear weapons programme recently discovered in the grounds of the home of an Iraqi scientist;

despite repeated requests from UNMOVIC and the IAEA, all interviews with key Iraqi personnel were being conducted in the intimidating presence of official 'minders.'

and in contravention of UN resolutions, Iraq had developed missiles tested at ranges in excess of the 150 km limit specified in UN resolutions. I would remind the House that the Government drew attention to Iraqi work on such missiles in the dossier we published last September. We need to hear what Dr Blix has to say on this subject tomorrow. But if media reports are correct, the Al Samoud missile programme is clearly a serious breach of Iraq's obligations. We would expect rapid action to eliminate any such illegal programme.

Mr Speaker, in drafting resolution 1441, Security Council members took pains to set two clear tests for a further material breach by Iraq. First, if Iraq made 'false statements' or 'omissions' in the declaration it submitted on 7 December; second, if Iraq failed 'at any time to comply with, and co-operate fully in the implementation' of UNSCR 1441. The briefings by Dr Blix and Dr El Baradei - as well as Secretary Powell's presentation to the Security Council last week - leave no doubt that Iraq has failed to meet both tests. The conclusion is inescapable: Iraq is in further material breach of resolution 1441. We shall take full account of the reports of the chief Inspectors tomorrow.

Mr Speaker, the prospect of military action causes obvious anxiety - as it should - here in the UK, amongst our Allies and in the region. I still hope and pray for a peaceful outcome to this crisis. This will only be possible if we maintain unrelenting pressure on Saddam - including the threat of force - rather than casting around for excuses to delay.

We have only got this far in exposing the lies, deception and above all the danger from the Saddam regime by that pressure. For the international community now to lose its nerve would significantly undermine the authority of the United Nations and make the world a much more dangerous place, as dictators got the message that international law was mere words.

Mr Speaker, the Franco-German proposals announced this week to bolster the inspection regime will not deliver the assurance the world needs about Iraq's weapons. They are unrealistic and impractical. They shift the burden of proof from Iraq to the inspectors. And they send Saddam Hussein the signal that defiance pays. What is the point of sending three times as many inspectors for Saddam to deceive? As Dr Blix himself said on Monday, 'the principal problem is not the number of inspectors but rather the active co-operation of the Iraqi side, as we have said many times.'

Iraq was found guilty in possession of WMD twelve years ago. The role of inspectors has always been to verify Iraqi compliance, not to engage in a 'game of catch as catch can,' to use Dr Blix's terms.

I am glad to see that other proposals attributed to the French and German Governments - such as the establishment of a No Fly Zone over the whole of Iraq, and the insertion of armed UN troops - have now been officially denied.

Mr Speaker, let me now turn to the position within NATO. Discussion began in the Alliance in mid-January of the need for contingency planning to cope with potential threats to the security of a NATO Ally, Turkey, in the case of military action over Iraq. 16 NATO Allies - including 14 European nations - all supported this entirely reasonable and responsible proposal simply to set in hand some military planning for very limited defensive mutual assistance. France, Belgium and Germany have resisted, on the grounds that a NATO decision on this very limited mutual assistance would somehow pre-empt any Security Council consideration of Iraq's further material breach. Faced with this deadlock, Turkey on 10 February requested consultations under Article 4 of the Washington Treaty. These discussion are continuing, with the UK fully supporting Lord Robertson's efforts to achieve consensus.

But it is worth reminding the House that at the Prague Summit less than three months ago, NATO leaders pledged their full support for the implementation of UNSCR 1441 and their commitment to ensure full and immediate compliance by Iraq, without conditions or restrictions.

Mr Speaker, given the obvious risks, and the possibility that military action may prove necessary, we are keeping under very close review the safety and security of both visiting and resident British nationals in the Middle East. We make assessments on a case-by-case basis for each country in the region and will make announcements as necessary.

Mr Speaker, even at this late stage, armed intervention is not inevitable. A peaceful resolution of this crisis remains in Saddam Hussein's hands. Full Iraqi compliance with the terms of UNSCR 1441 will deliver the outcome the UK and the entire international community wish to see: an Iraq no longer posing a threat to its neighbours and the region.

But in the absence of full compliance by Saddam Hussein, UN inspectors will not be able to fulfil their mandate to verify Iraqi disarmament. In this event, UNSCR 1441 warns Iraq to expect 'serious consequences.' By now even Saddam Hussein can be under no illusions that this means disarmament by force.


Derniers articles

Verdun 2016 : La légende de la « tranchée des baïonnettes »
Eyes in the Dark: Navy Dive Helmet Display Emerges as Game-Changer
OIR Official: Captured Info Describes ISIL Operations in Manbij
Cyber, Space, Middle East Join Nuclear Triad Topics at Deterrence Meeting
Carter Opens Second DoD Innovation Hub in Boston
Triomphe de St-Cyr : le Vietnam sur les rangs
Dwight D. Eisenhower Conducts First OIR Missions from Arabian Gulf
L’amiral Prazuck prend la manœuvre de la Marine
Airmen Practice Rescuing Downed Pilots in Pacific Thunder 16-2
On ne lutte pas contre les moustiques avec une Kalachnikov...
Enemy Mine: Underwater Drones Hunt Buried Targets, Save Lives
Daesh Publications Are Translated Into Eleven Languages
Opération Chammal : 10 000 heures de vol en opération pour les Mirage 2000 basés en Jordanie
Le Drian : Daech : une réponse à plusieurs niveaux
Carter: Defense Ministers Agree on Next Steps in Counter-ISIL Fight
Carter Convenes Counter-ISIL Coalition Meeting at Andrews
Carter Welcomes France’s Increased Counter-ISIL Support
100-Plus Aircraft Fly in for Exercise Red Flag 16-3
Growlers Soar With B-1s Around Ellsworth AFB
A-10s Deploy to Slovakia for Cross-Border Training
We Don’t Fight Against Mosquitoes With a Kalashnikov
Bug-Hunting Computers to Compete in DARPA Cyber Grand Challenge
Chiefs of US and Chinese Navies Agree on Need for Cooperation
DoD Cyber Strategy Defines How Officials Discern Cyber Incidents from Armed Attacks
Vice Adm. Tighe Takes Charge of Information Warfare, Naval Intelligence
Truman Strike Group Completes Eight-Month Deployment
KC-46 Completes Milestone by Refueling Fighter Jet, Cargo Plane
Air Dominance and the Critical Role of Fifth Generation Fighters
Une nation est une âme
The Challenges of Ungoverned Spaces
Carter Salutes Iraqi Forces, Announces 560 U.S. Troops to Deploy to Iraq
Obama: U.S. Commitment to European Security is Unwavering in Pivotal Time for NATO
International Court to Decide Sovereignty Issue in South China Sea
La SPA 75 est centenaire !
U.S. to Deploy THAAD Missile Battery to South Korea
Maintien en condition des matériels : reprendre l’initiative
La veste « léopard », premier uniforme militaire de camouflage
Océan Indien 2016 : Opérations & Coopération
Truman Transits Strait of Gibraltar
Navy Unveils National Museum of the American Sailor
New Navy, Old Tar
Marcel Dassault parrain de la nouvelle promotion d’officiers de l’École de l’Air
RIMPAC 2016 : Ravitaillement à la mer pour le Prairial avant l’arrivée à Hawaii
Bataille de la Somme, l’oubliée
U.S., Iceland Sign Security Cooperation Agreement
Cléopatra : la frégate Jean Bart entre dans l’histoire du BPC Gamal Abdel Nasser
Surveiller l’espace maritime français aussi par satellite
America's Navy-Marine Corps Team Fuse for RIMPAC 2016
Stratégie France : Plaidoyer pour une véritable coopération franco-allemande
La lumière du Droit rayonne au bout du chemin

Directeur de la publication : Joël-François Dumont
Comité de rédaction : Jacques de Lestapis, Hugues Dumont, François de Vries (Bruxelles), Hans-Ulrich Helfer (Suisse), Michael Hellerforth (Allemagne).
Comité militaire : VAE Guy Labouérie (†), GAA François Mermet (2S), CF Patrice Théry (Asie).