Chronology: Iraq

The Middle East Journal, Autumn 1998 | Go to article overview

Chronology: Iraq


Iraq

See also, Petroleum Affairs, Regional Affairs, Iran, Turkey 1998

Apr. 16: UN secretary-general Kofi Annan told the UN Security Council that Iraq should be allowed to import $300 million in equipment to improve its infrastructure. This was to help Iraq export the $5.26 billion worth of oil it may sell every six months under the "oil-for-food" deal. [4/17 FT]

Apr. 17: UN Security Council Special Commission (UNSCOM) chairman Richard Butler reported to the UN Security Council that the weapons inspectors had made "virtually no progress" inspecting weapons over the past six months. [4/18, 4/19 FT]

Apr. 18: In Cairo, after meeting with Egyptian foreign minister `Amr Musa, Iraqi foreign minister Muhammad Sa`id al-Sahhaf told reporters that Iraq had the right to ask the United Nations to lift sanctions because Iraq had met the requirements of the UN resolutions. [4/19 WP]

In Cairo, Foreign Minister Al-Sahhaf met with Arab League secretary-general `Ismat `Abd alMajid to discuss Iraq's relationship to the UNSCOM inspection teams since the February monitoring agreement reached between Iraq and the United Nations. [4/21 FBIS]

Apr. 20: UN arms experts reported that they had yet to account for all the warheads filled with biological agents that Iraq said it had destroyed. [4/20 WP]

A European Union (EU)-sponsored conference began in London, without Iraqi participation, to discuss ways to increase the speed and efficacy of the UN "oil-for-food" deal. [4/20 FT]

The Arab League criticized the EU conference on Iraq, asserting that any humanitarian conference on Iraq should be held under the auspices of the United Nations. [4/21 FT]

Jordan, Syria, Turkey and Russia boycotted the EU conference on Iraq. [4/21 FT] Apr. 21: The Iraqi News Agency (INA) reported that, in Baghdad, a mass funeral was held for 52 children who had died of malnutrition due to the sanctions. [4/23 FBIS]

Apr. 23: In a letter to the UN Security Council, Deputy Prime Minister Tariq `Aziz formally demanded that sanctions be lifted immediately and without any new restrictions or conditions. [4/24 NYT]

The cabinet issued a statement warning that the United States would "pay dearly" if sanctions were not lifted. [4/24 NYT]

Apr. 24: Deputy Prime Minister `Aziz accused UNSCOM chairman Butler of espionage. [4/28 FBIS]

Apr. 26: Iraq criticized an informal draft resolution, which Russia had circulated among UN Security Council members, calling for an easing of inspections of suspected nuclear facilities. Iraq claimed the resolution did not go far enough toward lifting the UN sanctions. [4/27 WSJ, WP] Apr. 27: The UN Security Council decided to extend sanctions against Iraq, finding that Iraq had failed to account for all its biological and chemical weapons and missile systems. The Security Council also decided to permit sanction reviews every 60 days rather than every six months. [4/28 NYT, WP1

Apr. 28: UNSCOM chairman Butler reported that, during the previous month, the inspection teams had discovered that artillery shells, first found in 1996, had been filled with mustard gas. [4/29 NYT]

May 8: The UN Security Council lifted the travel ban on Iraqi officials. The ban had been approved in November 1997 but never imposed. [5/9 NYT]

A Russian plane carrying medicines arrived at a Baghdad airport. [5/11 FBIS] May 12: In Paris, Deputy Prime Minister `Aziz asked UN secretary-general Annan to work with the UN Security Council to quicken the pace of UNSCOM weapons inspections. [513 NYT]

May 13: Russia and the United States agreed that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) could report to the UN Security Council in July, rather than in October as previously scheduled.

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