[Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: William J. Clinton (1995, Book II)]
[August 3, 1995]
[Pages 1197-1199]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office www.gpo.gov]

Letter to Congressional Leaders Reporting on Iraq's Compliance With 
United Nations Security Council Resolutions
August 3, 1995

Dear Mr. Speaker:  (Dear Mr. President:)
    Consistent with the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against 
Iraq Resolution (Public Law 102-1), and as part of my effort to keep the 
Congress fully informed, I am reporting on the status of efforts to 
obtain Iraq's compliance with the resolutions adopted by the U.N. 
Security Council.
    Since its recognition of Kuwait last November, Iraq has done little 
to comply with its numerous remaining obligations under Council 
resolutions. At the most recent review of Iraq sanctions on July 11, 
1995, the Security Council unanimously decided to maintain the sanctions 
regime on Iraq without change. We shall continue to insist that the 
sanctions be maintained until Iraq complies with all relevant provisions 
of U.N. Security Council resolutions.
    Iraq remains out of compliance with its obligations regarding 
weapons of mass destruction (WMD), according to recent reports from the 
U.N. Special Commission on Iraq (UNSCOM). Iraq's recent admission that 
it had an offensive biological weapons program has received much 
attention. This admission should come as no surprise, the evidence of 
this program having been known for some time. Now we must see if Iraq 
discloses the details of this program, as required. If history is any 
indicator, we can expect Iraq to conceal information about details of 
the program until confronted with irrefutable evidence by UNSCOM.
    The Iraqi regime recently said it would not be forthcoming on its 
biological weapons program until UNSCOM ``closed the file'' in the 
missile and chemical weapons areas. This type of quid pro quo is 
unacceptable. The Council's resolutions are unconditional. Iraq cannot 
trade compliance in one for a ``clean slate'' in another. The fact that 
issues remain to be addressed in these various areas can be directly 
attributed to a pattern of Iraqi obfuscation. Moreover, the nature of 
UNSCOM's mandate is such that files can never be pronounced ``closed.'' 
The UNSCOM must be able to investigate new leads as they arise in any 
    In addition to failing to comply with the WMD provisions of Security 
Council resolutions,

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the regime remains in violation of numerous other Security Council 
requirements. The regime has failed to be forthcoming with information 
on hundreds of Kuwaitis and some third-country nationals missing since 
the Iraqi occupation.
    Iraq has also not returned to Kuwait the millions of dollars worth 
of Kuwaiti property looted during the occupation. This includes a vast 
store of military equipment. Earlier this year, Iraq dumped a large 
amount of military equipment on the Kuwaiti border in an attempt to 
convince the Council it was making a good-faith effort to comply. None 
of the equipment returned was operational. It had all been stripped bare 
of anything of value. Some of the material returned had not even 
originated in Kuwait; it was captured from Iran during the Iran-Iraq 
War. Some vehicles and items still bore hastily painted-over portraits 
of the Ayatollah Khomeini and contained Iranian identity papers. None of 
the top-of-the-line military equipment looted from Kuwait has been 
    The Council on April 14 unanimously adopted Resolution 986, an 
effective means to provide relief for the hardship that ordinary Iraqis 
are suffering as a result of Saddam Hussein's failure to comply with 
Council requirements. Nonetheless, on June 1, Secretary General Boutros-
Ghali informed the Security Council that Iraq had officially refused to 
implement this resolution. The sanctions regime does not prevent the 
shipment of food or medicine to Iraq. However, Saddam Hussein continues 
to squander Iraq's resources on his repressive security apparatus and 
personal palaces, while using the suffering of ordinary Iraqis as a 
propaganda tool to press for the lifting of sanctions. Resolution 986 
undermines his self-serving excuses for neglecting the legitimate needs 
of the Iraqi people.
    The no-fly zones over northern and southern Iraq continue to deter 
Iraq from using its aircraft against its population. However, the Iraqi 
government persists in its brutal campaign against its perceived enemies 
throughout the country. Iraqi forces periodically shell villages in the 
south and the north with artillery. In the south, Iraq's repression of 
the Shi'a population, and specifically the Marsh Arabs, continues, as 
does a policy of deliberate environmental devastation. The threat to the 
traditional way of life of Iraq's Marsh Arabs remains critical. In the 
last few years, the population of the marsh region has fallen sharply as 
Iraqi military operations have forcibly dispersed residents to other 
areas and thousands of Shi'a refugees have sought refuge in Iran.
    The human rights situation in Iraq remains unchanged. As previously 
reported by the Special Rapporteur of the U.N. Commission on Human 
Rights (UNHRC), Max van der Stoel, the Iraqi military's repression 
against civilian populations continues, as do political killings, mass 
executions, and state-sponsored terrorism. Clearly, the Government of 
Iraq has not complied with the provisions of UNSC Resolution 688 
demanding that it cease repression of its own people.
    The Special Rapporteur has asserted that the Government of Iraq has 
engaged in war crimes and crimes against humanity, and may have 
committed violations of the 1948 Genocide Convention. The Special 
Rapporteur continues to call on the Government of Iraq to permit the 
stationing of human rights monitors inside Iraq to improve the flow of 
information and to provide independent verification of reports of human 
rights abuses. We continue to support Mr. van der Stoel's work and his 
call for monitors.
    The Multinational Interception Force (MIF) continues to play a vital 
role in enforcing U.N. economic sanctions against Iraq. The Gulf states 
of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, and Kuwait 
have cooperated with the MIF by accepting ships intercepted for 
attempting to smuggle commodities from Iraq and in taking action against 
their cargoes in accordance with relevant U.N. Security Council 
resolutions, including Resolutions 665 and 778. In addition, the United 
States has provided information to the Governments of Panama, Honduras, 
St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and the United Arab Emirates concerning 
sanctions violations committed by vessels under their flags. Two of 
these governments have initiated deflagging proceedings, with Panama 
formally deflagging one vessel.
    For more than 3 years, the story has not changed; the Baghdad regime 
flouts the sanctions, demonstrates disdain for the United Nations, and 
engages in actions that we believe constitute continuing contraventions 
of Security Council Resolutions 686, 687, and 688.
    We are monitoring closely the plight of the civilian population 
throughout Iraq. Our bilateral assistance program in the north will 
continue, to the extent possible. We also will continue

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to make every effort, given the practical constraints, to assist the 
populations in southern and central Iraq through support for the 
continuation of U.N. humanitarian programs. Finally, we will continue to 
explore with our allies and Security Council partners means to compel 
Iraq to cooperate on humanitarian and human rights issues.
    Security Council Resolution 687 affirmed that Iraq is liable under 
international law for compensating the victims of its unlawful invasion 
and occupation of Kuwait. The U.N. Compensation Commission (UNCC) has 
received about 2.6 million claims worldwide, with an asserted value of 
approximately $176 billion. The United States has submitted 
approximately 3,300 claims, with an asserted value of about $1.8 
    To date, the UNCC Governing Council has approved some 355,000 
individual awards, worth about $1.39 billion. About 620 awards totaling 
over $11.8 million have been issued to U.S. claimants.
    The UNCC has been able to pay only the first small awards for 
serious personal injury or death ($2.7 million). Unfortunately, the 
remainder of the awards cannot be paid at this time, because the U.N. 
Compensation Fund lacks sufficient funding. The awards are supposed to 
be financed by a deduction from the proceeds of future Iraqi oil sales, 
once such sales are permitted to resume. However, Iraq's refusal to meet 
the Security Council's terms for a resumption of oil sales has left the 
UNCC without adequate financial resources to pay the awards. Iraq's 
intransigence means that the victims of its aggression remain 
uncompensated for their losses 4 years after the end of the Gulf War.
    In sum, Iraq is still a threat to regional peace and security. Thus, 
I continue to be determined to see Iraq comply fully with all its 
obligations under the UNSC resolutions. I will oppose any relaxation of 
sanctions until Iraq demonstrates its overall compliance with the 
relevant resolutions. Iraq should adopt democratic processes, respect 
human rights, treat its people equitably, and adhere to basic norms of 
international behavior.
    I appreciate the support of the Congress for our efforts, and will 
continue to keep the Congress informed about this important issue.

                                                      William J. Clinton

Note: Identical letters were sent to Newt Gingrich, Speaker of the House 
of Representatives, and Albert Gore, Jr., President of the Senate.