Chronology: Iraq

The Middle East Journal, Winter 1999 | Go to article overview

Chronology: Iraq


1998

July 21: The Iraqi newspaper Al-Ittihad reported that the government would distribute about $40 million among civil servants to help them withstand UN sanctions. [7/22 WP]

Dennis Halliday, the UN development expert assigned to aid the UN "oil-for-food" program in Iraq, resigned after holding the post for less than a year. [7/22 NYT]

July 23: UN Security Council Special Commission (UNSCOM) Chairman Richard Butler reported to the UN Security Council that Iraq had refused to turn over sealed documents on munitions that could be used for chemical and biological weapons. Iraq said the documents would be opened by Deputy Prime Minister Tariq `Aziz during Butler's 2 August visit to Baghdad. [7/24 NYT]

The Iraqi News Agency (INA) reported that, in Baghdad, Iraq and Greece signed an agreement for scientific and cultural cooperation. [7/24 FBIS]

July 27: The International Atomic Energy Agency reported to the UN Security Council that, although it had found no evidence that Iraq still had nuclear weapons, Iraq's failure to account for some information about its nuclear program suggested that the information was hidden for future use. [7/28 NYT, FT]

July 29: Russia asked the UN Security Council to endorse a resolution stating that Iraq had complied with UN demands to destroy its nuclear facilities. [7/30 FT]

July 30: Iraq vowed swift, but unspecified, measures if the United Nations sanctions continued. [7/31 WPI

Aug. 3: In Baghdad, UNSCOM Chairman Butler and Deputy Prime Minister `Aziz failed to agree on an accelerated inspections schedule. Outside the building where the two met, a funeral procession was held for 35 children whose deaths were attributed to the sanctions. [8/4 NYT, FT, WP, FBIS]

Aug. 4: Iraq refused to hold further talks on disarmament with UNSCOM Chairman Butler. [8/5 NYT, WSJ, WP]

Aug. 5: The Iraqi government issued letters to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and the Security Council stating that Iraq was ending all cooperation with UN arms inspectors until the UNSCOM mission was restructured. [8/6 NYT, FT, WSJ, WP]

Aug. 6: The UN Security Council called Iraq's decision to freeze cooperation on arms inspections "totally unacceptable." [8/7 NYT, WSJ]

UN Secretary General Annan called for a "comprehensive reassessment" of UN policy toward Iraq. [8/7 FT]

Aug. 9: UNSCOM suspended arms inspections. [8/10 FT]

In Lisbon, UN Secretary General Annan met with his special envoy to Iraq, Prakash Shah, to discuss Iraq's refusal to cooperate with arms inspectors. Annan then sent Shah to Baghdad to ask President Saddam Husayn to cooperate. [8/10 NYT]

American UNSCOM inspector William Scott Ritter, Jr. reported that the UNSCOM commission knew of a site with three nuclear devices lacking fissile material, but had not ordered the inspection teams to inspect the site. [8/10 NYT]

Aug. 13: In Baghdad, UN envoy to Iraq Shah met with Deputy Prime Minister `Aziz to urge Iraq to cooperate with arms inspectors. [8/14 NYT, FT]

Aug. 14: UN sources reported that, since the February UN stand-off with Iraq, Britain and the United States had both intervened to restrain the UNSCOM weapons inspectors from provoking new crises with Iraq. [8/14 WP, 8/15, 8/16 FT]

Aug. 17: UN envoy to Iraq Shah reported that he was unable to persuade Iraq to change its stance on weapons inspections. Iraq said it would not allow inspectors to visit new sites until Iraq was declared free of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons. [8/18 NYT]

Aug. 20: The UN Security Council unanimously voted to renew economic sanctions against Iraq. [8/21 NYT]

Aug. 26: American UNSCOM inspector Ritter resigned, charging that Britain, the UN Security Council, and the United States had weakened their stance against Iraq, thereby making it difficult for the inspectors to uncover Iraq's hidden weapons programs. [8/27 NYT, FT, WSJ, WP]

Sept.

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