Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

UN Weighs Options to Enforce Sanctions

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

UN Weighs Options to Enforce Sanctions

Article excerpt

THE United Nations Security Council is struggling over the question of whether to authorize the use of military force to ensure compliance with economic sanctions against Iraq. At the same time, a debate is raging about whether Jordan, which is continuing to accept food shipments bound for Iraq, is in compliance with the UN resolution.

According to the sanctions passed on Aug. 6, no trade is allowed with Iraq or occupied Kuwait, except for "supplies intended strictly for medical purposes and, in humanitarian circumstances, foodstuffs."

Jordan's Crown Prince Hassan said last week that his country would never participate in an attempt to starve another Arab people. That argument finds some sympathy among other delegations at the UN.

Basil Jardaneh, the Jordanian minister of finance, met Monday with aides to the UN secretary-general and the UN legal adviser, and with the chairman of the UN Security Council's committee on sanctions. The Jordanian delegation sought clarification of the exemption for humanitarian circumstances.

Cuba proposed Monday that the Council specify that there be no hindrance to the supply of foodstuffs and medical assistance to the civilian population and foreign residents of Iraq and Kuwait.

One Egyptian delegate argued that the Americans should understand Jordan's difficult position and not create any more problems. He pointed out that feeling against the American military presence in the Arabian Peninsula is running high in Jordan, across the social spectrum.

"If Jordan is in upheaval, it would invite Israeli reaction, and the issue would then be framed as an Arab-Israeli conflict," the delegate said. This, he added, would defeat the overall US purpose.

As Iraq pulled its troops out of Iranian territory last wification to the UN that Iran would respect the Security Council resolution.

"We do not have any commercial relations with Iraq, and we do not plan to have commercial relations with Iraq. …

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