Iraqi Foreign Minister Naji Sabri UN Statement
Statement of H.E. Dr. Naji Sabri,
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Of the Republic of Iraq
At the United Nations' General Assembly
New York - September 19, 2002
I would like at the outset to congratulate you on your election as President of the General Assembly and would like to express my appreciation of the United Nations Secretary General's eloquent statement in the opening of this session which has given good support to multilateralism in international relations and exposed the danger of unilateralism and hegemony. I also wish to congratulate the Swiss Union and East Timor on their membership at the United Nations.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
This session is held a year after the tragic events of September 11, I would like to renew our condolences to the American people especially the families of the victims of this tragedy and express to them our sympathy.
It gives me pleasure to express my sincere gratitude to the international community, States and organizations for the substantive position rejecting the U.S. administration threats against Iraq and for the calls they made for a comprehensive political solution to the impasse in the relationship between Iraq and the Security Council.
In response to several appeals made by the U.N. Secretary General, peace loving States and regional organizations, my government decided to allow the return of U.N. weapons inspectors without conditions as a first step towards a comprehensive solution that includes the lifting of the sanctions imposed on Iraq and the timely implementation of other provisions of the relevant Security Council resolutions including resolution 687(1991).
I was instructed by the President of the Republic of Iraq, Mr. Saddam Hussein to convey to you, in the allotted time, excerpts of a letter he addressed to the General Assembly, where His Excellency tackled Iraq's position on the latest developments in the relationship between Iraq and the Security Council.
Following are excerpts from the letter
"In his speech at the General Assembly that was preceded and accompanied by noisy propaganda and extensive preparation, the U.S. President, instead of paying attention to common issues of a particular concern to humanity at large, the American president in a narrow-minded view presented the security problems of his own country, and the sacrifices it has suffered, since the events of September 11.
It is a good sign that the United States has resorted, for the first time after the end of the Cold War, to the General Assembly to put forward one of its problems, after years of disregard to the weight, effect and opinion of others. Nevertheless, the U.S. President revealed his basic purpose, when he jumped to the issue of Iraq, without any introduction or acceptable progression. He portrayed this issue as if it were the most dangerous situation, not only for the life, security, and future of the United States, but for the life, future, and security of the whole world. Along his generalizations, which implied deliberate insinuations, he presented the utmost distortions on the nuclear, biological, and chemical threats, so as to make American citizens believe the deliberate insinuation that Iraq was linked to the American people’s tragedy of September 11. He seems to have assumed that the countries of the world are unaware of the American administration and its methods, nor do they know Iraq and its high sense of responsibility toward humanity, its desire for peace and stability, or the fact that the Iraqis are a creative people in work, production, and innovation, in addition to being the heirs of the most ancient human civilizations.
The U.S. President talked about the importance of applying democracy by the Government of Iraq. He pretended to care for the people of Iraq after he and other presidents before him have killed by the use of weapons, including Depleted Uranium, and by the blockade which is now more than twelve years old, more than one million and seven hundred thousand innocent Iraqis out of a population of twenty five million citizens.
So, after a long time of utilizing the American propaganda machine, along with official statements of lies, distortion, and falsehood, the focus was basically turned on inciting the American public against Iraq, and pushing them to accept the U.S. Administration’s schemes of aggression as a fait accompli, as if it were the solution or the necessary rescue that would allow American citizens to live in security and stability, after what they had gone through in the September 11 events.
When the U.S. Administration realized that it was necessary to have an international cover for using force against Iraq, and that the world did not believe the lies it tried to propagate to link Iraq to the September events, it changed the issue and began to shed crocodile tears on international law, and the necessity to comply with the resolutions of international legitimacy, alleging that Iraq is not complying with Security Council resolutions, especially with regard to UN inspectors. This implied that Iraq had the intention to develop or that it already possesses nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and according to this allegation it may give such weapons to terrorist organizations that pose a threat to world security.
Now that Iraq has accepted the return of the U.N. inspectors, we will all be able to see how they work. In our past experience (1991-1998) with them, Iraq used to ask the inspection teams to do their job in accordance with the declared goals of the Security Council, but some of the inspectors went on doing intelligence and espionage work that had nothing to do with the official mandate of the inspection teams. Some of those inspectors have publicly admitted this, some, including an American are still publicly talking about it. Even Mr. Rolf Ekeus, the former chief of the U.N. Special Commission (UNSCOM), has recently stated that the inspectors overstepped the limits of their defined duties by spying on the Iraqi leadership. I quote "The United States and other powers exploited the inspection teams for their own political ends, including monitoring President Saddam Hussein’s whereabouts."
He also said that the inspection teams deliberately created problems to prepare the ground for possible military attacks.
Ladies and Gentlemen
"Iraq has always defended the principles and values that you have willingly put down in the UN Charter, and the purposes for which the Security Council was created, i.e. to preserve security and to establish peace. Therefore, by confronting evil for twelve years now, Iraq has not been only defending its own patriotism, but rather it acted as if it were defending your own patriotism. It has been acting on your behalf without being assigned to do so. In targeting Iraq, the United States Administration is acting on behalf of Zionism which has been killing the heroic people of Palestine, destroying their property, murdering their children, and seeking to impose their domination on the whole world, not only militarily, but also economically and politically. The U.S. administration wants to destroy Iraq in order to control the Middle East oil, and consequently control the politics as well as the oil and economic policies of the whole world. If it succeeded in that, God forbid, it would dictate on you what each country needs for its economic development, what quantities of oil it is allowed to buy, and at what prices, along with other conditions.
Ladies and gentlemen, brothers, and friends
In short, what Iraq wants is the respect of the principles of the UN Charter and international law, whether regarding its own interests and sovereignty or those of the other member-states of the United Nations. On this basis, Iraq was, and still is, ready to cooperate with the Security Council and international organizations. However, Iraq rejects any transgression by whosoever at the expense of its rights, sovereignty, security, and independence, that is in contradiction with the principles of the Charter and the international law. It is for this reason that Iraq has persevered and is still prepared to endure more for this end.
From this and other facts, you see, Ladies and Gentlemen, that Iraq has not rejected relevant resolutions of the Security Council, even though what relates to Iraq in them is unjust and at odds with the UN Charter and international law. Iraq, rather calls on members of the Security Council, and on the U.S. administration in particular, to respect their own obligations under the Charter, international law and the relevant Security Council resolutions. Iraq demands that its inalienable rights stipulated in those very resolutions are met, including respect of its sovereignty and security, lifting the blockade imposed on it, and applying paragraph 14 (of Resolution 687) to the Zionist entity, as stipulated in the text in the same manner as it was applied to Iraq.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I Hereby declare before you that Iraq is clear of all nuclear, chemical and biological weapons. If there are any one amongst you who might still worry that the fabrications announced by American officials about Iraq may possibly be true, our country is ready to receive any scientific experts accompanied by politicians you choose to represent any one of your countries to tell us which places and scientific and industrial installations they would wish to see, particularly those about which the American officials have been fabricating false stories, alleging that they contain prohibited materials or activities. If such experts and politicians visit Iraq, we shall provide them with all the facilities they need to achieve their objective, that is to see the true facts as they are.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
As what matters for us basically is that our rights, sovereignty, and security be respected in accordance with international law, we have accepted the return of the inspection teams to Iraq taking into consideration the arrangements that should safeguard these principles, and achieve, with transparency the goal of making sure that Iraq no longer possesses nuclear, biological and chemical weapons of mass destruction. Along with you, we are waiting to see.
The inspection teams (1991-1998), as it has been established beyond doubt used to concoct crises and devise pretexts for the American government to perpetrate actions outside the framework of the Security Council and international law. This had been going on from 1991 to 1998 by way of unilateral acts of destructive aggression inflicted upon northern and southern Iraq, and sometimes against our capital Baghdad up to this date.
The blockade imposed upon Iraq has been in place for more than twelve years now, during which time our assets and oil revenues have been frozen, and we are unable to use them except through U.N.-run inefficient system already proven to be unfeasible. Substantial amounts of our revenues have been illegitimately seized in a manner tantamount to looting contrary to the principles enshrined in the United Nations Charter.
Therefore, when we call for a discussion of the issue of the inspection teams in accordance with international law, it should be done on a comprehensive basis with a discussion of Iraq’s obligations, including the issue of the inspection teams as well as the obligations of the Security Council towards Iraq as stated in the resolutions themselves, particularly Resolution 687. These are reciprocal obligations of which the Security Council has implemented nothing, including the obligation of respecting Iraq’s sovereignty which is being violated by America and Britain on a daily basis through their ongoing aggression and the artificially drawn parallel latitude lines over northern and southern Iraq.
Ladies and Gentlemen
You may notice how the policy of the Zionist Entity, which has usurped Palestine and other Arab territories since 1948, and afterwards, has become now as one with the policies and capabilities of the United States.
The United States has been making up problems with Iraq in order to derail the application of Paragraph(14) of resolution 687(1991) and prevent the Security Council from lifting the blockade imposed on Iraq. The reason lies in the fact that the counter obligations under relevant resolutions of the Security Council, including Resolution 687 of April 3, 1991, contain a clear paragraph demanding that the Middle East be made a zone free from weapons of mass destruction. Thus the American government does not want to embarrass (the Zionist Entity) or deprive it of its nuclear, chemical and biological weapons it actually possesses. Moreover it is because the U.S. administration is aware that Iraq has indeed honoured all its obligations and is demanding, along with Arab countries, that paragraph 14 be applied to the Zionist Entity.
Therefore, Iraq has been keen to see the inspection issue discussed between the Security Council and Iraq, through the United Nations Secretary General and the representatives of Iraq, with a view to reaching a balanced formula, based on the principles of the Charter and the relevant resolutions of the Security Council, within a comprehensive solution which should bring to an end the cyclone of American accusations and fabricated crises against Iraq. At the same time this would reassure Iraq with regard to its security, sovereignty, territorial integrity and its right to choosing its own way without interference in accordance with the rules established in the Charter of the United Nations.
The American President said in his speech that Iraq is providing financial support to the Palestinian people. My comment is that the American President is correct in what he says. Yet we feel that the support we have extended has not been as high as we would have hoped, because of the circumstances which have curtailed our means. In extending this support, we act in accordance with the United Nations Charter and the resolutions of this august Assembly in which the national struggle of peoples against occupation and colonialism is considered to be an inalienable national right.
But what grounds does America and its presidents have in supporting the Zionist Entity, which has been occupying Palestine and other Arab territories, and committing its criminal policy of killing Palestinians, destroying their property, and encroaching upon and destroying the sanctities of Muslims and Christians there? What principles and what laws does the American President rely on in killing the Iraqis, blockading their country, destroying their property and interfering in their internal affairs?
Thank you Mr. President.