An Analysis of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1441


as Adopted on November 8, 2002

The Security Council, Recalling all its previous relevantresolutions, in particular its resolutions 661 (1990) of 6 August 1990, 678(1990) of 29 November 1990, 686 (1991) of 2 March 1991, 687 (1991) of 3 April1991, 688 (1991) of 5 April 1991, 707 (1991) of 15 August 1991, 715 (1991) of 11October 1991, 986 (1995) of 14 April 1995, and 1284 (1999) of 17 December 1999,and all the relevant statements of its President,

PhyllisBennis, fellow at the Institute for PolicyStudies and author of the newbook Before and After: U.S. Foreign Policy and the September 11thCrisis:”According to Secretary of State Colin Powell, ‘if Iraq violates thisresolution and fails to comply, then the Council has to take into immediateconsideration what should be done about that, while the United States and otherlike-minded nations might take a judgment about what we might do about it if theCouncil chooses not to act.’ In other words, if the Council decision does notmatch what the Bush administration has unilaterally decided, Washington willimplement its own decision regardless. This represents a thoroughlyinstrumentalized view of the United Nations that its relevance and authority aredefined by and limited to its proximity to Washington’s positions.”

DenisHalliday, a former UN Assistant SecretaryGeneral who headed of the UN’s food-for-oil program in Iraq: “Have we reallybought the fiction, the Washington propaganda, that Iraq is a threat? We allknow — the issue is oil, oil and more oil. And U.S. control thereof. The newresolution of the UN Security Council is a charade, a device to obscure.Nevertheless it is transparent enough that one can point out the trip wires,hoops and hurdles (combined with dangerous ambiguity) placed so that Iraq mustinevitably fail to avoid material breach. Then the Bush war can begin nicelycovered in UN respectability — although of course it has already begun, whatwith the 12 years of deadly embargo, the no-fly zone bombings and now placementof army, navy and air force resources on the ground in the Gulf, Kuwait, etc. Justas in the U.S. military preparations in advance of the 1990 Kuwait invasion, theU.S. is again in training and ready to go — having set up Baghdad yet again.The resolution is little more than a sop to other member states and a responseto the domestic pressures that took Bush to the General Assembly in Septemberwhen he outrageously threatened the entire membership. Pressure on Baghdad tocomply will not prevent war — only intense pressure on the Bush regime might.To pretend this resolution represents progress, or is hopeful, or a move in theright direction strikes me as naive and dangerous.”

James Paul, executive director of the Global PolicyForum which monitors global policy-making at the UnitedNations, is the author of a series of papersincluding “Iraq: the Struggle forOil”:”This resolution takes a hard-line approach that will almost certainly leadto war. Thirteen members of the Security Council were opposed to this resolutionor deeply skeptical, but Washington used intense pressure and eventually bentthem to its will. The U.S. used hardball diplomacy of the type deployed to gainthe first Gulf War resolution in 1990. The Secretary of State at that time,James Baker, later described in his autobiography how he lined up votes forresolution 678: ‘I met personally with all my Security Council counterpartsin an intricate process of cajoling, extracting, threatening, and occasionallybuying votes. Such are the politics of diplomacy.'” [For other recent quotes from Paul,,]

Francis Boyle, professor of international law at theUniversity of Illinois College of Law: “In 1990, France, the Soviet Unionand China all sold Iraq out at the Security Council…. Russia can be bought bygetting admitted to the WTO and being given a free hand on Georgia and Chechnya,as well as having its oil interests guaranteed in Iraq. China wants an end toproposed high-tech U.S. weapons sales to Taiwan. France wants its oil interestsin Iraq protected, as well as its sphere of influence in Francophone Africarespected. The serious bargaining has yet to begin. Meanwhile, Kofi Annan playsthe role of Pontius Pilate. Remember that under the UNCharter, the UN SecretaryGeneral is not supposed to be an errand boy for the Permanent 5. And yet he is.The bottom line here is that the Bush Jr. administration originally sought andhas now failed to obtain the same language from the UN Security Council thatthe Bush Sr. administration obtained in resolution 679 (1990), authorizing UNMember States ‘to use all necessary means’ to expel Iraq from Kuwait. So aunilateral attack by the United States and the United Kingdom against Iraqwithout further authorization from the Security Council would still remainillegal and therefore constitute aggression. In recognition of this fact,British government officials are already reportedly fearful of prosecution bythe International Criminal Court. And the Bush Jr. administration is doingeverything humanly possible to sabotage the ICC in order to avoid any prospectof ICC prosecution of high-level U.S. government officials over a war againstIraq. Lawyers call this ‘consciousness of guilt.'”

Recalling also its resolution 1382 (2001) of 29 November 2001 and itsintention to implement it fully,

Glen Rangwala,lecturer in politics at Cambridge University, UK: “The new reference to 1382, the only resolutionmentioned in this paragraph and unmentioned in the previous drafts, is puzzling.Its renewal of the oil-for-food program expired in May 2002 and has beensupplanted by 1409 (2002), so the implementation clause is not a commitment tocontinue the oil-for-food program. Resolution 1382 does not commit the Councilto lift economic sanctions — either the import or the export prohibition –upon Iraqi compliance with its disarmament obligations: preambular paragraph 2of 1382 only lists compliance in disarmament as a necessary, not sufficient,condition for the lifting of sanctions. It is possible that Council members havebeen mis-sold this part of the resolution. According to reports, certain Councilmembers wanted to relink Iraq’s effective and verifiable disarmament to thelifting of sanctions. The U.S. and U.K. may present this preambular paragraph asa concession to this argument, but in reality it is no concession at all.”[Resolution 687 called for economic sanctions to be lifted when Iraq compliedwith weapons inspector, but the U.S. government has repeatedly stated it wouldnot abide by this, see:]

Recognizing the threat Iraq’s noncompliance with Council resolutions andproliferation of weapons of mass destruction and long-range missiles poses tointernational peace and security,

Jim Jennings, president of Conscience International, ahumanitarian aid organization that has worked in Iraq since 1991: “Thepreamble alone provides several possible reasons to attack Iraq irrespective ofthe operative articles in the body of the resolution. It refers to previous warpowers resolutions and reiterates the use of ‘all necessary means’ toachieve Security Council objectives. It assumes that Iraq is already guilty ofproliferation of WMD and has developed prohibited classes of long-rangemissiles, without reference to UNSCOM’s having dealt effectively with theseissues in the past. It is illogical to assume the truth of allegations UNMOVICwas designed to investigate, when the new inspection regime has not yet takenthe field.”

Rahul Mahajan, author of The New Crusade: America’sWar on Terrorism: “Claims of athreat posed by Iraq to international peace and security are entirely untenable.Director of Central Intelligence George Tenet refuted Bush’s claims in a letterto the Senate, where he said clearly the threat of an Iraqi WMD attack wasvirtually nonexistent, except possibly in the eventuality of a U.S. war for’regime change.’ Nobody claims Iraq has nuclear weapons, nobody has produced anyevidence that Iraq is capable of weaponizing biological agents, and it’s quiteclear that Iraq can have no more than a nominal chemical weapons capability.When Tony Blair produced a dossierpurporting to establish the Iraqi threat, the Labor Party produced a counter-dossier and Glen Rangwalaproduced notes further to the counter-dossier.Blair is nominally of the Labor Party, and the CIA is part of the ExecutiveBranch, so Bush and Blair can’t even get their own people to back up this absurdclaim. Even if Iraq had any WMD capacity, nobody has explained why it would riskcertain, massive retribution if it either attacked directly or gave weapons toany terrorist organization.” [More about this is available at:]

Recalling that its resolution 678 (1990) authorized Member States to use allnecessary means to uphold and implement its resolution 660 (1990) of 2 August1990 and all relevant resolutions subsequent to Resolution 660 (1990) and torestore international peace and security in the area,

Rangwala: “This paragraph is a clear attempt toprovide post hoc legal justification for the bombing of Iraq since 1991. Itsuggests that resolution 678 authorized the use of force to implement allresolutions on Iraq from 1990 to the present day. This is clearly untrue: 678only justifies the use of force to implement resolutions on Iraq passed between2 August and 29 November 1990. This is a position that has been repeated byCouncil members ad nauseum since 1991, with no state but the U.K. and U.S.holding anything other than a literal and meaningful construction of678.”

Mahajan: “The invocation of resolution 678 here isanother step in the absurd attempt to claim that 678 somehow justified all useof force against Iraq for all time, if it’s in aid of enforcing Security Councilresolutions. This would include a claim that 678 justified the imposition of the’no-fly zones,’ a novel claim that no previous administration managed to come upwith. Although 678 authorized ‘all necessary means’ to uphold 660 and ‘allrelevant resolutions subsequent to resolution 660,’ the only reasonableinterpretation of the language is to mean all subsequent resolutions up to thetime that 678 was passed, not all resolutions for all time to come.”

Ratner: “It makes no sense, legal or otherwise, toclaim that an earlier resolution can authorize the use of force to enforcesubsequent resolutions”

Further recalling that its resolution 687 (1991) imposed obligations on Iraqas a necessary step for achievement of its stated objective of restoringinternational peace and security in the area,

Deploring the fact that Iraq has not provided an accurate, full, final, andcomplete disclosure, as required by resolution 687 (1991), of all aspects of itsprogrammes to develop weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles with arange greater than one hundred and fifty kilometres, and of all holdings of suchweapons, their components and production facilities and locations, as well asall other nuclear programmes, including any which it claims are for purposes notrelated to nuclear-weapons-usable material,

Deploring further that Iraq repeatedly obstructed immediate, unconditional,and unrestricted access to sites designated by the United Nations SpecialCommission (UNSCOM) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), failed tocooperate fully and unconditionally with UNSCOM and IAEA weapons inspectors, asrequired by resolution 687 (1991), and ultimately ceased all cooperation withUNSCOM and the IAEA in 1998,

Jennings: “The preamble deplores the fact thatIraq ceased all cooperation with UNSCOM, but does not indicate why thishappened, i.e. confirmed cases of intrusive espionage, which surely would be ofconcern if the Security Council were genuinely interested in establishing alevel playing field for UNMOVIC’s operations.”

Sam Husseini, communications director of the Institutefor Public Accuracy: “UNSCOM withdrew from Iraqby issuing a trumped-upreport which provided a pretext for the U.S. bombing campaign Desert Fox inDecember 1998. Some may recall this occurred on the eve of President Clinton’sscheduled impeachment vote. UNSCOM was not only used for espionage, but also asan excuse for bombing. It delegitimized itself as an instrument of weaponsinspections. For the Security Council to now one-sidedly blame Iraq for notcooperating with UNSCOM is absurd.” [See:]

Mahajan: “Although it’s true that Iraq hasrepeatedly restricted access, its degree of compliance is very high — farhigher than the compliance of most nations with regard to binding decisions likeSecurity Council resolutions or judgments of the International Court of Justice.Israel, for example, is in violation of numerous Security Council resolutionswith no attempt at progress toward compliance [].The United States vetoes Security Council resolutions directed against it, as itdid with a resolution against its invasion of Panama, and it completely ignoreda ruling by the International Court of Justice to cease itsterrorist operations against Nicaragua and to pay $17 billion inrestitution.”

Deploring the absence, since December 1998, in Iraq of internationalmonitoring, inspection, and verification, as required by relevant resolutions,of weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles, in spite of the Council’srepeated demands that Iraq provide immediate, unconditional, and unrestrictedaccess to the United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission(UNMOVIC), established in resolution 1284 (1999) as the successor organizationto UNSCOM, and the IAEA, and regretting the consequent prolonging of the crisisin the region and the suffering of the Iraqi people,

Husseini: “This is fundamentally false. It impliesthat the suffering of the Iraqi people is because of Iraq’s non-compliance withthe weapons inspectors. That is not true. Contrary to what is stipulated in 687,the U.S. government has repeatedly stated that it would continue the economicsanctions even if Iraq were to fully comply with the weapons inspectors. Thismeans the U.S. policy over the last decade gave a disincentive for Iraqicompliance with the weapons inspectors and ensured an indefinite continuation ofthe devastating economic sanctions with no legitimate cause.” [See: “Autopsyof a Disaster: The U.S. Sanctions Policy on Iraq”]

Rangwala: “This is a pure fabrication: theCouncil has not made ‘repeated demands’ that Iraq comply with UNMOVIC, it hasonly made one such demand, in resolution 1284 (1999). No resolution subsequentto its creation even mentions UNMOVIC.”

Jennings: “The document goes on record as’regretting the suffering of the Iraqi people.’ One would think that the authorsof the resolution were declining attendance at an afternoon tea party ratherthan admitting complicity in draconian sanctions which have caused theunnecessary death of hundreds of thousands of human beings.”

Ratner: “To blame the suffering of the Iraqipeople on Iraq is to rewrite history and let the U.S. off the hook. The UnitedStates has repeatedly refused to modify the embargo despite efforts by Russiaand France to step down the embargo as a result of Iraqi compliance with theinspections of its alleged nuclear weapons research.”

Deploring also that the Government of Iraq has failed to comply with itscommitments pursuant to resolution 687 (1991) with regard to terrorism, pursuantto resolution 688 (1991) to end repression of its civilian population and toprovide access by international humanitarian organizations to all those in needof assistance in Iraq, and pursuant to resolutions 686 (1991), 687 (1991), and1284 (1999) to return or cooperate in accounting for Kuwaiti and third countrynationals wrongfully detained by Iraq, or to return Kuwaiti property wrongfullyseized by Iraq,

Rangwala: “By incorporating mention of 688 andregarding Iraq ‘ending repression of its civilian population’ into a resolutionsetting out the new standard for Iraqi compliance, the U.S. and U.K. may beleaving the way open to claim that Iraq is not in compliance with the newresolution, even if there is full progress on the disarmament agenda. It isworth noting that the Council has not made reference to 688 in its previousresolutions on Iraq’s disarmament — for example, 1284, establishing UNMOVIC,does not mention 688. That there has now been a change of U.S.-UK policy in thisregard is an immediate cause for concern.”

Jennings: “The allegation of involvement inunspecified ‘terrorism’ is in itself a possible pretext for war in the currenttense political and military climate. If the claim has any substance, it shouldbe detailed in full. If not, it should be abandoned. Perhaps the U.S. Departmentof State should read the CIA’s report, which downplayed this chargeagainst Iraq. The claim that Iraq has ‘failed to comply … in providing accessby international humanitarian organizations to all of those in need ofassistance in Iraq’ is not strictly true. International assistance agencies havehad remarkable access to the entire country for years and a high degree ofcooperation from Iraqi officialdom. The word ‘all’ apparently refers tointernally displaced persons, and to prisoners. It would be more accurate to saythat certain international organizations, such as the Red Cross, have not beengranted access to certain groups of persons, such as prisoners, who may needhumanitarian assistance. However, it is not clear that this right is granted tointernational organizations under the UN Charter or existing resolutions, orthat any entity other than the government of Iraq has the mandate orresponsibility to help ‘all’ those in need of assistance within the country. Infact, the UN and other agencies have expressly not been able to help everybodywho needs help, even if they wanted to, because of budget restraints and thevast amount of need. Iraq’s recent wholesale release of prisoners may have beenan attempt to address this issue and remove it as a pretext for war.”

Mahajan: “Iraq has made numerous significant moves toreturn Kuwaiti property, recently concluding an agreement to return part of theKuwaiti National Archives. There is no evidence that Iraq has not fully compliedwith obligations to account for Kuwaiti and third country nationals. It’s quitelikely that at least some of them were charred beyond recognition by U.S. forcesin the so-called ‘Highway of Death’ massacre, and that Iraq would have no way ofaccounting for them…. Most serious is the insertion of a claim that Iraq hasnot complied with its 687 commitments to end support for internationalterrorism. Without more specifics, this is just more innuendo of the kind theBush administration has repeatedly used to try to connect Iraq with the 9/11attacks even in the absence of any evidence. One of the few concrete claims madeis that Iraq was involved in a supposed plot to assassinate ex-President Bushwhen he visited Kuwait in 1993. This claim has been thoroughly debunked, bySeymour Hersh among others. The evidence for it was so poor that U.S. officialswere reduced to claiming that certain electronic components found in a bomb hada unique signature showing they were Iraqi in origin, while experts said thesame construction was widely available in mass-produced transistor radios andsimilar products.”

Recalling that in its resolution 687 (1991) the Council declared that aceasefire would be based on acceptance by Iraq of the provisions of thatresolution, including the obligations on Iraq contained therein,

Rangwala: “This is an even more egregiousre-writing of history than those cited above: the draft resolution simplymisquotes the Security Council’s earlier resolution. The ceasefire was not basedon Iraq’s acceptance of the provisions of resolution 687: it was based on’official notification by Iraq to the Secretary-General and to the SecurityCouncil of its acceptance’ of that resolution (resolution 687, para. 33). Thedifference is highly significant: the U.S.-U.K. draft text implies that theceasefire would no longer be operative if Iraq is taken by them as no longeraccepting its full disarmament obligations, thus leaving open the justificationto use force against Iraq without further Council authorization. The ceasefireis thus portrayed as continually conditional upon Iraqi compliance. This iscontrary to the position of every other Council member since 1991: thisconsistent position has been that the ceasefire can only be terminated if thereis new Council authorization to use force. Through this paragraph, the U.S.-U.K. areattempting to award themselves the legal right to use force if they aloneperceive Iraq as non-compliant; the abandonment of the specific authorization touse force that was in earlier drafts is thus resuscitated in an oblique butlegally equivalent form here.”

Determined to ensure full and immediate compliance by Iraq without conditionsor restrictions with its obligations under resolution 687 (1991) and otherrelevant resolutions and recalling that the resolutions of the Councilconstitute the governing standard of Iraqi compliance,

Jennings: “The resolution leaves no room formistakes or errors of any kind in its implementation. This approach isunrealistic and unlikely to achieve the Council’s wishes, unless the desiredresult is war.”

Recalling that the effective operation of UNMOVIC, as the successororganization to the Special Commission, and the IAEA is essential for theimplementation of resolution 687 (1991) and other relevant resolutions,

Noting the letter dated 16 September 2002 from the Minister for ForeignAffairs of Iraq addressed to the Secretary General is a necessary first steptoward rectifying Iraq’s continued failure to comply with relevant Councilresolutions,

Noting further the letter dated 8 October 2002 from the Executive Chairman ofUNMOVIC and the Director General of the IAEA to General Al-Saadi of theGovernment of Iraq laying out the practical arrangements, as a follow-up totheir meeting in Vienna, that are prerequisites for the resumption ofinspections in Iraq by UNMOVIC and the IAEA, and expressing the gravest concernat the continued failure by the Government of Iraq to provide confirmation ofthe arrangements as laid out in that letter,

Reaffirming the commitment of all Member States to the sovereignty andterritorial integrity of Iraq, Kuwait, and the neighbouring States,

Commending the Secretary General and members of the League of Arab States andits Secretary General for their efforts in this regard,

Determined to secure full compliance with its decisions,

Acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations,

1. Decides that Iraq has been and remains in material breach of itsobligations under relevant resolutions, including resolution 687 (1991), inparticular through Iraq’s failure to cooperate with United Nations inspectorsand the IAEA, and to complete the actions required under paragraphs 8 to 13 ofresolution 687 (1991);

Michael Ratner, President ofthe Center for Constitutional Rights : “Stating that Iraq’has been and remains’ in material breach of prior UN resolutions including 687,the cease fire resolution gives the U.S. government what it wants. It can thenargue that because of this ‘material breach’ the cease fire is no longer ineffect, and that 678, the 1990 use of force resolution, governs.”

Rangwala: “Iraq, through the letter of itsForeign Minister of 16 September 2002, has made an unconditional offer to allowinspectors into Iraq in order to fulfill all their tasks in line with existingresolutions. Iraq simply does not ‘remain’ in breach — material or otherwise –of any obligations relating to cooperation with weapons inspectors, as it hasfully accepted the existing terms for the re-entry of inspectors. By labelingcompliance as violation, the message from the Council to Iraq is that acting inaccordance with the terms of the Council’s resolutions is a purposeless andunproductive activity.”

Mahajan: “Iraq is certainly technically in’material breach’ of the obligations stated in 687 and other resolutions. Itscompliance or lack thereof cannot be considered in a vacuum, however — theUnited States has from the beginning breached both the spirit and the letter ofthe resolutions creating the inspection regime and of international law. Thesebreaches include its original declaration (affirmed throughout the past decadeby officials like Madeleine Albright, Bill Richardson, and even by Bill Clinton)that it would not be bound by 687, but would keep the sanctions on until Saddamwas removed from power — the resolution says clearly that sanctions will belifted after the weapons inspectors are satisfied. Next, the establishment of the ‘no-fly zones’ violated Iraq’s sovereignty, something explicitly guaranteed by every Security Council resolution on Iraq.The infiltration of spies into UNSCOM,the previous weapons inspection commission (openly admitted now by RolfEkeus,its first head), was a further violation of the inspections process — and amongthe information they collected was anything that could help target SaddamHussein for assassination, in violation of both international law and domesticexecutive order. With Richard Butler as head of UNSCOM, the U.S. usedinspections explicitly to provoke crises, and colluded with him to present arather innocuous report in December 1998 as a justification for armed attack.Ekeus has noted a pattern of bombing attacks on sites visited by UNSCOM, moreevidence that the United States is illegitimately using inspections for its ownnational purposes. Without a declaration of all these material breaches, it’simpossible to put Iraq’s comparatively trivial breaches in properperspective.”

2. Decides, while acknowledging paragraph 1 above, to afford Iraq, by thisresolution, a final opportunity to comply with its disarmament obligations underrelevant resolutions of the Council; and accordingly decides to set up anenhanced inspection regime with the aim of bringing to full and verifiedcompletion the disarmament process established by resolution 687 (1991) andsubsequent resolutions of the Council;

Rangwala: “This recognizes that the new resolutionis creating a different inspections regime from that agreed in 1991. As such,the resolution is explicitly imposing new obligations on Iraq, in addition tothose already accepted. Therefore, the U.S. and U.K. can no longer claim thatthey are trying to ensure Iraq’s compliance with resolutions dating back to1991.”

Ratner: “The resolution arguably does limitthe right of the U.S. to go to war immediately by ‘afford[ing]’ Iraq ‘a finalopportunity’ to comply with the disarmament resolutions and sets up an enhancedinspection regime to achieve this. But, and it is a big but, the resolution goeson in numbered paragraph (4) to state that any ‘false statement’ or ‘omission’in Iraqi declarations or failure to comply with the new resolution constitutes afurther ‘material breach’ and will be reported to the Security Council. Thus,even the most minor omission or disagreement with the inspectors is considered amaterial breach. Once that is the case, the U.S. can argue not only that Iraq hasmaterially breached the new resolution, but that there is no longer any ‘final opportunity’ for Iraq to cure its alleged past breaches of resolutions. Thisthen opens the way for the U.S. to make the argument referred to above.”

3. Decides that, in order to begin to comply with its disarmamentobligations, in addition to submitting the required biannual declarations, theGovernment of Iraq shall provide to UNMOVIC, the IAEA, and the Council, notlater than 30 days from the date of this resolution, a currently accurate, full,and complete declaration of all aspects of its programmes to develop chemical,biological, and nuclear weapons, ballistic missiles, and other delivery systemssuch as unmanned aerial vehicles and dispersal systems designed for use onaircraft, including any holdings and precise locations of such weapons,components, sub-components, stocks of agents, and related material andequipment, the locations and work of its research, development and productionfacilities, as well as all other chemical, biological, and nuclear programmes,including any which it claims are for purposes not related to weapon productionor material;

Paul: “This list could be interpreted to mean anychemical or biological product that could be used in a modern economy. Can youimagine the U.S. government being able to producing a list of this type of itsholdings in 30 days? The next paragraph of the resolution, which says that anyomissions constitute ‘material breach,’ puts Iraq in a ridiculous bind. Also,according to press reports, the U.S. government will be coming forward with itsown lists of what weapons Iraq has. It’s possible that we could have a veryshort inspections process, where the ‘evidence’ against Iraq’s statement is nota finding of the inspectors, but a document from the U.S. government — orpossibly planted ‘evidence’ somewhere in Iraq, which the U.S. government willknow the precise location of.”

Susan Wright, co-author of “Preventing a BiologicalArms Race and editor of Biological Warfare and Disarmament: New Problems/NewPerspectives”: “Will we now see the UN inspections being used for ‘regimechange’ through the back door of some claimed failure of the inspections? Sinceno clear end game was ever defined by 687 and since it is impossible to provedefinitively that Iraq does not have any weapons of mass destruction, this iscertainly a grim possibility.”

Rangwala: “This paragraph, firstly, raises thebarrier for Iraqi compliance; and secondly, may make compliance impossible toachieve at all. It raises the barrier by including items in the list of weaponsopen to disclosure that were not previously regarded as prohibited. Iraq has notbeen prohibited from developing aerial vehicles or dispersal systems. The draftresolution compels Iraq now to disclose not only these items but alsosub-components and ‘related material’ of these items. It may makecompliance impossible because it, if read literally, is asking for Iraq toprovide a full ‘declaration of all aspects of its programs’ in thechemical field, including those activities not relating to weapons issues…. Iraq would be compelled to produce within 30 days a fullinventory of all the activities of all the chemical facilities throughout thecountry, including those engaged in relatively trivial and harmless activities.It is difficult to see how any country could possibly compile and guarantee thevalidity of such a declaration. Any inaccuracies in this declaration would, inaccordance with OP4, constitute a ‘material breach’ by Iraq of thisresolution. As such, this paragraph ensures that the resolution cannot becomplied with.”

Bennis: “This seems to be an effort to ensureIraq’s inability — regardless of intent — to comply with these very stringentterms. This is asking Iraq to essentially do the initial work of the inspectionteam itself, cataloguing its entire WMD programs as well as programs neverincluded in the earlier demands. The original inspections mandated in resolution687 did not include, for example, ‘delivery systems, such as unmanned aerialvehicles and dispersal systems designed for use on aircraft, including anyholdings and precise locations of such weapons’ etc. Resolution 687 alsoincluded only long-range missiles, with a range over 150 km, not ‘all’ ballisticmissiles. The terms are significantly stricter here.”

4. Decides that false statements or omissions in the declarations submittedby Iraq pursuant to this resolution and failure by Iraq at any time to complywith, and cooperate fully in the implementation of, this resolution shallconstitute a further material breach of Iraq’s obligations and will be reportedto the Council for assessment in accordance with paragraphs 11 and 12 below;

Ratner: “This will be used by the United States asan authorization by it, acting alone and without further UN approval, to go towar with Iraq. It will not, according to the U.S., require another resolution bythe UN to go to war. By labeling alleged past violations of the inspectionregime as ‘material breaches,’ by deeming any further omissions ornon-cooperation by Iraq with any of the new inspection regime as ‘materialbreaches’ and by repeating the warning of ‘serious consequences’ for pastfailures, the U.S. will interpret this resolution as a green-light for war….The U.S. has basically put a gun to the UN and said if you don’t approve, wewill do it anyway. That is not approval the UN Charter requires; it iscoercion.”

Bennis: “This sets Iraq up with a ‘damned if youdo, damned if you don’t’ situation. If they claim they have no WMD material todeclare, Washington will find that evidence of the ‘continuing breach’ based onthe [unproved but functionally unchallenged] U.S. assertion that Iraq does haveviable WMD programs. If Iraq actually declares viable WMD programs, it similarlyproves the U.S. claim of continuing breach of resolution 687.”

Jennings: “Articles 1 and 2 contain languagemore or less certain to guarantee a new war if anything goes wrong with theUNMOVIC mission. Language finding Iraq already in ‘material breach’ and beinggiven ‘a final opportunity’ to come clean is a rather ominous way ofpredetermining the outcome, especially when linked with articles 3 and 4 demanding a full and complete accounting and forbidding any misstatement. Thisopens the possibility that any missing document page or any evasive statement byany official could trigger a war.”

John Burroughs, executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee on Nuclear Policy: “As interpreted by the United Statesgovernment, this assumes that any Iraqi non-compliance with the demand for adeclaration of its weapons, materials, equipment, etc., or with the requirementsof the inspection regime, would amount to a material breach justifying war bythe United States. This is contrary to basic principles of law. In an ordinarycontract, if there has been a material breach, the injured party has the optionof declaring the contract void. Here the injured party would be the SecurityCouncil, not the United States. And under the UN Charter, it is the SecurityCouncil that is responsible for the maintenance of international peace andsecurity, the Security Council that is charged with determining whether there isa threat to international peace and security, and the Security Council that ischarged with deciding whether use of force is necessary and appropriate torespond to such a threat…. It is for the Security Council to decide,unambiguously and specifically, that force is required for enforcement of itsrequirements. In the weeks and months to come, the burden is on those who claimuse of force is necessary. It is fundamental that the UN Charter gives priorityto the peaceful settlement of disputes and the non-use of force. The SecurityCouncil has never authorized force based on a potential, non-imminent threatsuch as that the United States contends is posed by alleged Iraqi development ofnuclear weapons. All past authorizations have been in reponse to actualinvasion, large-scale violence, or humanitarian emergency (Korea, Kuwait,Somalia, Haiti, Rwanda, and Bosnia).”

5. Decides that Iraq shall provide UNMOVIC and the IAEA immediate, unimpeded,unconditional, and unrestricted access to any and all, including underground,areas, facilities, buildings, equipment, records, and means of transport whichthey wish to inspect, as well as immediate, unimpeded, unrestricted, and privateaccess to all officials and other persons whom UNMOVIC or the IAEA wish tointerview in the mode or location of UNMOVIC’s or the IAEA’s choice pursuant toany aspect of their mandates; further decides that UNMOVIC and the IAEA may attheir discretion conduct interviews inside or outside of Iraq, may facilitatethe travel of those interviewed and family members outside of Iraq, and that, atthe sole discretion of UNMOVIC and the IAEA, such interviews may occur withoutthe presence of observers from the Iraqi government; and instructs UNMOVIC andrequests the IAEA to resume inspections no later than 45 days following adoptionof this resolution and to update the Council 60 days thereafter;

Rangwala: “This accords to UNMOVIC and the IAEAthe right to transport anyone — seemingly without his or her permission –outside the country. For example, the resolution would allow UNMOVIC the rightto order senior governmental officials, including the Iraqi leader, to leave thecountry at their discretion. This accords to UNMOVIC the legal right to abductindividuals with their families, and to take them abroad. It would be whollyimplausible to expect cooperation with such an unchecked range of powers. Evenif UNMOVIC does use this power in a responsible way, the resolution would enablethe U.S. to encourage senior Iraqi scientists to defect once they have beentaken outside the country. To expect open-ended cooperation from the Iraqigovernment in such a matter is not plausible. The only way to reach a resolutionto the conflict, and to reach the verifiable disarmament of Iraq of itsnon-conventional weapons, is to set reasonable and achievable standards forcooperation. This is impossible to reconcile with provisions for taking Iraqiindividuals outside the country.”

Bennis: “The effect of moving scientists and theirfamilies outside of Iraq would be to have UN arms inspectors acting as asylumofficers. Certainly many, perhaps most scientists would jump at the opportunityright now to leave Iraq with their families and be granted asylum somewhereelse. They are living, after all, in a country not only devastated by 12 yearsof crippling economic sanctions and the ravages of a repressive politicalregime, but also facing the likely possibility of imminent war. There arecertainly legitimate reasons why many Iraqi scientists would want to live andwork somewhere with greater safety and political freedom. There is also,however, the consequent and understandable likelihood of scientists exaggeratingthe level of Iraq’s military or WMD programs as well as their own role in thoseprograms, in the hope of persuading international immigration officials of theirimportance.”

Jennings: “Enforced capture and transport of Iraqicitizens and their families, meaning if necessary without their consent, as inthe Afghan War’s Guantanamo Bay detention camp, violates both the GenevaConventions and the UniversalDeclaration of Human Rights. The U.S. is boundby treaty to uphold these agreements as part of its internationalobligations.”

Majahan: “Depriving Iraq of its scientifically andtechnically-trained people is what this amounts to — once they have beenseized, removed from the country, and debriefed, they will not feel safe inIraq. Iraq has already suffered massive ‘brain drain’ since the Gulf War — thefour million expatriates are disproportionately educated and technical people.It has had a ‘lost decade’ in terms of education as well – the sanctions areresponsible for the fact that Iraq, unlike any other country in the world,actually experienced a decrease in literacy in the 1990’s. Any more and Iraq’sability to redevelop and reconstruct may be impaired for anothergeneration.”

6. Endorses the 8 October 2002 letter from the Executive Chairman of UNMOVICand the Director General of the IAEA to General Al-Saadi of the Government ofIraq, which is annexed hereto, and decides that the contents of the letter shallbe binding upon Iraq;

Bennis: “This letter asserts a set of arrangementsallegedly agreed to by Iraq, without confirmation from Iraq that it did indeedaccept those arrangements.”

7. Decides further that, in view of the prolonged interruption by Iraq of thepresence of UNMOVIC and the IAEA and in order for them to accomplish the tasksset forth in this resolution and all previous relevant resolutions andnotwithstanding prior understandings, the Council hereby establishes thefollowing revised or additional authorities, which shall be binding upon Iraq,to facilitate their work in Iraq:

Bennis: “In general, sidelining existingresolutions and agreements made between Iraq and the United Nations underminesthe legitimacy, consistency and coherence of UN resolutions.”

Jennings:”Article 7 adds several new and important grants of authority toUNMOVIC, all of which seem perfectly designed not to work. For example, ‘immediate, unimpeded, unconditional, and unrestricted access’ to anysite is unrealistic in an operational sense, given conditions on the ground inIraq. The same article cancels presidential sites immunity previously granted inSCR 1154 (1998). The issue of the number of UN guards is not addressed in theresolution, perhaps deliberately, meaning that a creeping military occupationcould be the outcome, with any resistance leading to war. The size of ‘exclusion zones’ is left undefined, possibly leaving another openingfor an outbreak of conflict. The open-ended range and extent of searches of ‘subsystems, records, and materials’ may further complicate UNMOVIC’srelationships with Iraqi officialdom. If UNMOVIC searches are conducted in amore aggressive manner than UNSCOM’s searches (as the U.S. and Britain insist, andwhich Iraq claimed were often unreasonable), then trouble is bound to ensue.This sampling of items raises the question of whether this resolution wasdesigned to succeed or to fail.”

— UNMOVIC and the IAEA shall determine the composition of their inspectionteams and ensure that these teams are composed of the most qualified andexperienced experts available;

Mahajan: “The restrictions on UNMOVIC personnelput in place by Security Council Resolution 1284 were placed because so manyUNSCOM personnel were essentially employed by the intelligence agencies of theEnglish bloc (the U.S., U.K., Canada, Australia, New Zealand) and acting as theiragents, illegitimately transmitting all collected data back to thosegovernments. The clear, and obviously fair, remedy was to require participationfrom a much broader group of countries and to require lack of any overt links todomestic intelligence agencies of any government.”

— All UNMOVIC and IAEA personnel shall enjoy the privileges and immunities,corresponding to those of experts on mission, provided in the Convention onPrivileges and Immunities of the United Nations and the Agreement on thePrivileges and Immunities of the IAEA ;

Bennis: “Sidelining the existing terms of 1154(which set special arrangements, including diplomatic accompaniment, forinspection of the eight designated ‘presidential sites’) undermines thelegitimacy of UN decision-making.”

— UNMOVIC and the IAEA shall have unrestricted rights of entry into and outof Iraq, the right to free, unrestricted, and immediate movement to and frominspection sites, and the right to inspect any sites and buildings, includingimmediate, unimpeded, unconditional, and unrestricted access to PresidentialSites equal to that at other sites, notwithstanding the provisions of resolution1154 (1998);

Rangwala: “This provision does away withresolution 1154, which endorsed the memorandum of understanding that createdspecial procedures for the inspection of eight defined and delineatedPresidential sites. It firstly causes a new and unnecessary arena for conflictbetween the UN and the government of Iraq. Secondly it demonstrates thatagreements with the UN are without legitimacy, in that one party to theagreement has acquired a habit of nullifying them when it no longer suits itsinterests. For the UN to abandon the standards of legality in its ownresolutions would be to cast a grave aspersion on the United Nations and thefabric of international law.”

— UNMOVIC and the IAEA shall have the right to be provided by Iraq the namesof all personnel currently and formerly associated with Iraq’s chemical,biological, nuclear, and ballistic missile programmes and the associatedresearch, development, and production facilities;

— Security of UNMOVIC and IAEA facilities shall be ensured by sufficient UNsecurity guards;

Rangwala: “There is no description of the numberor composition of these ‘guards.’ Iraq is being asked to accept a resolutionthat permits a foreign military presence on its soil, without knowing the natureof that military presence.”

— UNMOVIC and the IAEAshall have the right to declare, for the purposes of freezing a site to beinspected, exclusion zones, including surrounding areas and transit corridors,in which Iraq will suspend ground and aerial movement so that nothing is changedin or taken out of a site being inspected;

Mahajan: “Because the U.S. has gotten so muchSecurity Council opposition, an initial draft that was tailored to be aRambouillet-style demand for effectively unlimited military occupation, whichneither Iraq nor any other sovereign nation could accept, has been dramaticallywatered down. The provision for ground and air ‘exclusion zones’ wasone of the key elements of that approach, and it has been retained. If UNMOVICconstrues this power broadly enough, it will be an intolerable imposition of thekind that Iraq could not accept. Since Hans Blix has been cooperating closelywith the United States, even allowing the U.S. to keep him from sendinginspectors back to Iraq, it’s not clear the UNMOVIC will be any more independentof U.S. policy considerations than UNSCOM was.”

Rangwala: “With this provision UNMOVIC coulddeclare large areas of Iraq to be ‘exclusion zones’ for an indefinite period oftime. Limitations on the authority of inspectors need to be worked into theresolution to preserve a sense of the inspectors’ legitimate role, with anobligation imposed on the inspectorate to limit the use of this measure to theenvirons of specific buildings and only for the duration of a specificinspection. Without such a provision, long-term cooperation between the partiesis likely to be subject to periodic crises that would threaten to derail theon-going work of the inspectorate.”

— UNMOVIC and the IAEA shall have the free and unrestricted use and landingof fixed- and rotary-winged aircraft, including manned and unmannedreconnaissance vehicles;

— UNMOVIC and the IAEA shall have the right at their sole discretionverifiably to remove, destroy, or render harmless all prohibited weapons,subsystems, components, records, materials, and other related items, and theright to impound or close any facilities or equipment for the productionthereof; and

— UNMOVIC and the IAEA shall have the right to free import and use ofequipment or materials for inspections and to seize and export any equipment,materials, or documents taken during inspections, without search of UNMOVIC orIAEA personnel or official or personal baggage;

Bennis: “The clear language, as written, wouldallow inspectors to seize and ‘export’ anything they come across in the courseof doing inspections — trucks, computers, carpets — whether or not it hasanything to do with prohibited materials or prohibited WMD or missileprograms.”

Mahajan: “One of the problems with UNSCOM is thatit committed espionage, often involving leaving monitoring equipment behind inplaces that had been inspected. This provision seems like a way to make surethat UNMOVIC inspectors could also smuggle such equipment into inspectedsites.”

8. Decides further that Iraq shall not take or threaten hostile acts directedagainst any representative or personnel of the United Nations or the IAEA or ofany Member State taking action to uphold any Council resolution;

Jennings: “Article 8 in effect demandsunconditional surrender of Iraq, a demand not pressed on Iraq during the 1991post-war cease fire negotiations conducted at Safwan by Gen. Schwarzkopf. Iraqmust ‘not threaten hostile acts.’ The presence of armed guards at anysite, or merely slowing or stopping vehicles for normal checks, might be taken assuch a threat. This language places the entire UNMOVIC process in Iraq on a hairtrigger war alert. It is difficult to see how conflicts can be avoided underthese circumstances.”

Bennis: “This language is aimed at demanding Iraqicompliance with the U.S.-British air patrols and bombings going on in theso-called ‘no-fly’ zones. Neither creation or military enforcement of thosezones was ever authorized by the United Nations; no UN resolution before thisone ever even mentioned ‘no-fly’ zones. This section would serve to legitimizethe 11-year-long illegal U.S.-British imposition of ‘no-fly’ zones, and thefour-year-long illegal bombing raids carried out there. The U.S. claims thatthose bombing raids, and the imposition of the zones themselves, are to’enforce’ UN resolutions — specifically 688, which calls on Iraq to protect thehuman rights of various communities. But in fact the bombing is without anyactual UN authorization. So far the Security Council has never called the U.S.and Britain to account for their illegal actions; this language serves tolegalize those actions instead. While not specifying what would constitute ‘anymember state taking action to uphold any Security Council resolution,’ itclearly demands that Iraq allow any action — including illegal military actions– that the U.S. or another country claim is designed to enforce a resolution.It also denies the reality that not all Council resolutions may be enforced withmilitary force at all, even if the Council itself makes the decision. Onlyresolutions specifically passed under the terms of Chapter VII can lead to theuse of force. Resolution 688 was not passed under Chapter VII; quite thecontrary, it reaffirms ‘the commitment of all Member States to the sovereignty,territorial integrity and political independence of Iraq.'”

9. Requests the Secretary General immediately to notify Iraq of thisresolution, which is binding on Iraq; demands that Iraq confirm within sevendays of that notification its intention to comply fully with this resolution;and demands further that Iraq cooperate immediately, unconditionally, andactively with UNMOVIC and the IAEA;

Bennis: “Because there is no specified consequencehere for a potential Iraqi delay, it is likely the U.S. will interpret thissection as authorizing immediate and unilateral military force. No such forcewould be appropriate, but there is a history of usurpation of suchlanguage.”

10. Requests all Member States to give full support to UNMOVIC and the IAEAin the discharge of their mandates, including by providing any informationrelated to prohibited programmes or other aspects of their mandates, includingon Iraqi attempts since 1998 to acquire prohibited items, and by recommendingsites to be inspected, persons to be interviewed, conditions of such interviews,and data to be collected, the results of which shall be reported to the Councilby UNMOVIC and the IAEA;

Jennings: “Article 10 blandly invites memberstates to contribute intelligence and suggest locations for inspections. Inaddition to potentially causing the process to continue endlessly, the provisioncan be construed as formalizing another open season for spying on Iraq by itsenemies, which is exactly how UNSCOM got in trouble earlier.”

Bennis: “This implies that UNMOVIC must shareits actual findings and raw data with ‘the Council,’ meaning intelligenceoperatives from Council member states, including those pledged to overthrow theIraqi regime (such as the U.S.). When UNMOVIC was created, its director madeclear that his view of intelligence sharing was that it could only be ‘one way’– meaning member states could provide UNMOVIC with information to assist theirinspection work, but UNMOVIC would not provide reciprocity to nationalintelligence agencies. That would, he rightly recognized, repeat the disaster ofUNSCOM’s unauthorized sharing of intelligence material with U.S. intelligenceagencies. Calling here for UNMOVIC to report ‘the results’ of its interviews anddata to the Council indicates a clear U.S. intention to gain access to UNMOVICand IAEA data.”

11. Directs the Executive Chairman of UNMOVIC and the Director General ofthe IAEA to report immediately to the Council any interference by Iraq withinspection activities, as well as any failure by Iraq to comply with itsdisarmament obligations, including its obligations regarding inspections underthis resolution;

Jennings: “Article 11 fails to explain whatconstitutes ‘any interference,’ leading to the possibility that amisunderstanding could become a reason for going to war.

12. Decides to convene immediately upon receipt of a report in accordancewith paragraphs 4 or 11 above, in order to consider the situation and the needfor full compliance with all of the relevant Council resolutions in order tosecure international peace and security;

Ratner: “It could be argued that this is thesecond-stage meeting France and Russia desired and that the consequences of abreach are to be decided by the Security Council. But, by this time, such ameeting may not have any efficacy in stopping the U.S. from making unilateralwar. Suppose the Council decides it does not think force is appropriate orreaches no decision — deciding, for example, that Iraq has sufficientlycomplied. The U.S. might still go to war. It will argue that the Council hasalready decided that Iraq was in material breach of past resolutions and thatany infraction of the current resolution was a ‘material breach.’ This gives theU.S. all the ammunition it claims it needs for the authority to go to waragainst Iraq under its theory that the ceasefire is no longer in effect and thatthe 1990 use of force resolution governs.”

Jennings: “Article 12 is actually the warempowerment part of the resolution. It does say that the Council will convene.In the absence of ‘full compliance,’ the wording directly [in the nextparagraph] mentions ‘serious consequences.’ If such a meeting is held, theSecurity Council will in effect have a gun to its head, since the U.S.administration has already stated that if the UN fails to act, the U.S. will actunilaterally.”

Bennis: “This clear language should prohibit anycountry — including the United States — from acting unilaterally in responseto any perceived Iraqi obstruction. However, given Bush administrationofficials’ consistent claim that they need ‘no further’ UN resolutions toauthorize the use of force ‘to enforce’ UN resolutions, it is highly doubtfulthat Washington intends to adhere to this language. The inclusion of thereference ‘in order to restore international peace and security’ is a code forproceeding immediately to using force, whether or not authorized by a new’consideration of the situation.’ It is certain the Bush administration willpoint to this reference if they choose to go to war without actual Councilconsent. The fact that they specifically do not call for an actual formalmeeting of the Council, and do not call for a new resolution or new decision,but only the informal call ‘to convene’ implies a lack of seriousness about theright of the Council alone to determine sufficiency of compliance and possibleconsequences.”

13. Recalls, in that context, that the Council has repeatedly warned Iraqthat it will face serious consequences as a result of its continued violationsof its obligations;

Bennis: “The problem is how to define theconsequences. Washington uses the term to refer explicitly to military force;for this reason, France and Russia have objected to the use of the term in thenew Council resolution. In 1998, when the UN Security Council passed aresolution endorsing Kofi Annan’s negotiated stand-down with Iraq, theresolution called for ‘severest consequences.’ At that time, every Councilambassador except that of the U.S. said explicitly that use of the term did notconstitute an automatic authorization of the use of force for any country orgroup of countries. It did not, they said, include what the Russian ambassadorcalled ‘automaticity.’ The U.S. ambassador, Bill Richardson, alone of all theCouncil, said, ‘we think it does’ authorize immediate unilateral use offorce.”

Jennings: “The word ‘consequences’ used in thisparagraph is a code word for war. It is not at all clear that war is warrantedover major or minor disputes that may arise over interpretations of SecurityCouncil resolutions. This paragraph prejudges the outcome. It would be betterfor the international community to wait and see if any degree of non-cooperationby Iraq warrants even thinking of going to war. It is eminently possible thatsuch a drastic step, which the U.S. President claims is the last thing he wantsto do, would not be desirable or necessary in any case.”

Paul: “The multi-speak coming from Washingtonallows the allied leaders, and especially the P-5 [Permanent 5] governments, toput a good face on the deal they are striking with Washington. They don’t wantit to appear that war is ‘automatic.’ But everyone understands that war is veryprobable if not inevitable and that the new resolution paves the way forWashington. If it is not so, why are there emergency plans already in full gearto evacuate non-Iraqis from Iraq, to set up refugee camps for those displaced bythe fighting, to rush in food to the starving Iraqi population and (mostimportantly) to seize and administer the Iraqi oil fields under a U.S. militarygovernment. Studies about the legal implications of this latter have been madeand it appears that the U.S. will be able to pay for its war and occupation outof the seized oil production, according to sympathetic interpretations ofrelevant international law. Washington ran a ‘profit’ on the 1991 war, as theyextracted more in ‘contributions’ from Kuwait, Saudi, Japan, Germany and othersthan they actually spent (the term ‘profit’ was used humorously in Washington atthe time). Now perhaps they are going to run a ‘profit’ again! But, obviously,George is not talking about that aspect of things!”

14. Decides to remain seized of the matter.

Bennis: “This is a fundamental point of principle– it means that the issue of Iraqi requirements and Iraqi compliance remains onthe Security Council’s agenda, and only the Council itself can make decisions asto future interpretation or enforcement.”

Ratner: “We must not forget what this resolutiondoes not do. It does not authorize the United States to go to war against Iraq.Despite claims to the contrary by the United States, that can only happen bymeans of a second resolution. The U.N. Charter requires specific and unambiguousauthorization for the use of force; it is for the Security Council and not theUnited States to decide the consequences of any failure to implementresolutions.”

Majahan: “This makes it unequivocally clearthat this resolution would not give the United States the right of unilateralmilitary action. In the past, the U.S. has claimed that 688, which calls onstates to help in humanitarian efforts to aid ‘minority’ groups in Iraq (theShia are actually a majority) and is not a Chapter VII resolution (i.e. cannotauthorize use of force), authorized it to create the ‘no-fly zones’ and carryout its regular bombing attacks in the course of enforcing those zones. Onceagain, it’s likely that the U.S. will claim this resolution does provideauthorization for war, and it will be important to point out that it doesnot.”

[This analysis was compiled by the Institute for Public Accuracyon November 13, 2002.]

Click here for ananalysis of the draftUN Security Council resolution on Iraq proposed by the U.S. government onOctober 23, 2002