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List of Questions Submitted by the Iraqi Foreign Minister to UN Secretary-General

On 7 March 2002, the Iraqi Foreign Minister Naji Sabri presented 19 questions to the Secretary-General of the United Nations and requested answers to these questions. The Iraqi News Agency released what it claimed were the text of these questions on 10 July 2002.

1. What is your assessment and what is your evaluation of the stage we have reached following seven years and seven months of Iraq's cooperation with the Special Commission and the International Atomic Energy Agency? How will this cooperation be built on?

2. Since one or two permanent members of the Security Council are saying that they are not convinced that the disarmament phase has ended, we would like to know what is it that they want to verify? What are they looking for and how long will it take? Not only the Security Council but we too should be convinced in order to continue to cooperate with the Security Council. If they have any suspicions about a certain site or a specific activity, we too should know about it.

3. How can you explain the stand of a permanent member of the Security Council officially proclaiming that it wants to invade Iraq and impose an agent regime on its people by force? Is this not a blatant violation of the resolutions of the Security Council? The resolutions of the Security Council clearly stipulate respect for Iraq's sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity. They also provide for respect to the rules of international law and the charter of the United Nations. How can this permanent member state demand from Iraq to implement the resolutions of the Security Council?

4. Does the Security Council adhere seriously to its mandate and to the resolutions it had passed, especially Resolution 687 of April 1991? Does it seriously adhere to a fair and legal reading and interpretation of this resolution? The Security Council is submitting to the interpretation of the United States and to unilateral US decisions regarding Iraq.

5. How can the relationship between Iraq and the Security Council be normalized in light of the present public policy of the United States that is seeking to invade Iraq and change the national political regime in Iraq by force?

6. The United States keeps proclaiming that the economic sanctions imposed on Iraq will remain so long as the national political regime in Iraq remains. What is the position of the Security Council on this policy that violates the pertinent Security Council resolutions?

7. What guarantees can the United Nations give to prevent a linkage between Iraq's relationship with the United Nations and the hostile political US objectives?

8. The principle of "concurrence" in implementing the reciprocal commitments stipulated in the Security Council resolutions pertaining to Iraq is necessary and essential to restore confidence between Iraq and the Security Council. What is your opinion on the commitments pertaining to Iraq's rights, especially regarding lifting the sanctions, respecting Iraq's sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity, and removing weapons of mass destruction from the Middle East region? The Security Council should abide by these commitments in order to start a new page of cooperation between Iraq and the United Nations. And, how can a mechanism be formed to guarantee concurrence in the implementation of the commitments by the two sides?

9. Do you think it is fair to ask the government of Iraq to implement the resolutions of the Security Council and not to make the same request from a permanent member of the Security Council? This permanent member continues to violate these resolutions, especially those pertaining to respect for Iraq's sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity. It is officially proclaiming that its policy is to invade the Republic of Iraq and impose an agent government on its people.

10. The espionage activities of the inspectors of the former Special Commission and the IAEA -- as came in the confessions of some of its members, statements by US sources and permanent members of the Security Council, and as also admitted by the General Secretariat -- have been revealed. Following these revelations, would it be fair for such inspectors to return to Iraq? These inspectors would spy on Iraq and its leadership in order to update their information on Iraq's vital economic installations so they could be targeted in a forthcoming aggression.

11. Can the United Nations guarantee that those who may come to Iraq are not spies and will not carry out any espionage activities?

12. Can the United Nations guarantee an end to the two no-fly zones? Can it guarantee that the inspection process would not be a prelude to an aggression on Iraq, as happened in 1998? Can the United Nations guarantee that the United States would not launch an aggression on Iraq while the inspection process is proceeding, as happened in the past seven years and seven months between May 1991 and December 1998?

13. What is the opinion of the Secretary General regarding the required period of inspection so that the inspection teams would be convinced that Iraq does not keep weapons of mass destruction and would inform the Security Council of this fact? What are the methods of inspection that the United Nations is thinking of adopting? To what extent are these methods compatible with international agreements concluded in this regard?

14. How can inspectors from countries that are openly and officially threatening Iraq's national security and threatening to invade Iraq apply "a neutral international mandate in Iraq"? How can such inspectors respect the provisions of the Security Council resolutions and abide by the limitations of their duties in accordance with the UN charter? The American and British inspectors in the Special Commission and the IAEA helped the United States and Britain to gather intelligence information and to select the targets of their aggression. All the sites that were inspected by the inspection teams were attacked near the end of 1998, including the presidential sites. These attacks took place although the inspectors confirmed these sites did not contain weapons of mass destruction. Moreover, the United States and Britain bombed all the industrial sites that were under constant supervision based on information provided to them by the spy inspectors.

15. What is the Secretary General's opinion on the formation of UNMOVIC? Can it include members who have previously violated the neutral mandate of their organization, breached their duties, and undermined the reputation of the United Nations with their espionage activities against Iraq?

16. What will be UNMOVIC's point of reference? The documents and statements by the United Nations regarding this point of reference are still vague. What are the powers of the UNMOVIC chairman and where do they stop? What are the powers of the general body of commissioners? What is the form of the Secretary General's supervision of its activities and to what extent is this supervision? What are the guarantees that this commission would not transgress on Iraq's sovereign rights?

17. The use of 120,000 tons of bombs -- including 800 tons of depleted uranium -- against Iraq during the aggression in 1991, the aggressions that followed, and the total blockade over the past 12 years have almost totally destroyed the economic, health, education, and services infrastructures. When the sanctions are lifted, Iraq will need to devote all its resources to rebuild its basic infrastructures. The issue of reparations and the high rate of reparations stand as a major obstacle to accomplishing this goal. What does the Secretary General think can correct this situation? Does he intend to send a team of experts to Iraq to discuss the reconstruction process and how much it will cost? Will the Secretary General prepare what is required to urge the Security Council to reconsider the issue of compensations?

18. The blockade and the military attacks that the United States and Britain have been launching against Iraq since 1991 have led to huge material and human losses in Iraq. To what extent is it possible to look into a framework for a comprehensive solution based on justice to compensate Iraq for the material, human, and psychological losses sustained by its people on the same basis as the one adopted by the Security Council regarding the issue of reparations?

19. Iraq has the full right to defend itself in accordance with Article 51 of the UN Charter. However, the Security Council has not abided by its pledges to respect Iraq's sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity. This situation encouraged parties in the region and outside the region to violate Iraq's national security. What is your opinion on Iraq's right to self-defense and its right to have defensive weapons as guaranteed by international law and the UN Charter?


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