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Another Standoff in Iraq

This week's In the News examines recent tensions over UN arms inspections in Iraq. The eight resources discussed offer analysis, commentary, and recent news. Last week, Saddam Hussein's government surprised some observers by breaking a February agreement brokered by the UN Secretary-General and formally ending cooperation with UNSCOM, the UN Special Commission tasked with inspecting Iraq's biological, chemical, and missile capabilities. Iraq also effectively demanded the dismissal of Chief Inspector Richard Butler by calling for a restructuring of his disarmament commission. Two factors seem to have created the current difficulties. First, numerous problems with Iraqi accounting of certain chemical and biological compounds have renewed feelings of distrust among arms inspectors. Second, Iraq is chafing badly after eight years of sanctions and what they see as heavy-handed American influence on the arms inspections. In a rare display of cooperation on Iraqi policy, the UN Security Council unanimously declared Iraq's actions "totally unacceptable." However, no threat of military force was made, and the Council instead called for a resumed dialogue. UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan made an even more conciliatory statement, noting Iraq's frustration and even desperation after years of sanctions. Annan suggested that the time may be ripe for a "comprehensive review" of Iraqi policy, one in which the Iraqi government would be more fully engaged. In contrast to previous crises, the US has also refrained from threatening military action. At present, it seems, the initiative has been left entirely with Iraq.
Alternate Title
In the News: Another Standoff in Iraq
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Date Issued
Date of Scout Publication
August 11th, 1998
Date Of Record Creation
April 3rd, 2003 at 12:38pm
Date Of Record Release
April 3rd, 2003 at 12:38pm
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