Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Iraqi Defiance Raises UN Hackles Tariq Aziz Defends His Country's Foot-Dragging over UN Resolutions, Weapons Destruction. DISTRUST RUNS DEEP

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Iraqi Defiance Raises UN Hackles Tariq Aziz Defends His Country's Foot-Dragging over UN Resolutions, Weapons Destruction. DISTRUST RUNS DEEP

Article excerpt

IF Iraq once again miscalculates the firmness of United Nations Security Council intentions, it will not be for any failure by the Council to make its demands on Iraq perfectly clear.

Much like stern parents scolding a child, each of the Council's 15 members this week told Iraq's Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz in a rare face-to-face session that Iraq was the source of most of its own problems and suffering.

Only full compliance with the cease-fire terms Iraq once promised to accept would bring relief, Council members said. Only then would economic sanctions, which bar most imports except food and medicine, be lifted.

Mr. Aziz came to New York to answer charges that Iraq is defying the UN by refusing to fully disclose its most dangerous weapons and cooperate in destroying these weapons and the means to produce them.

It was clear from the initial speeches, which preceded a more direct question-and-answer session yesterday, that distrust on both sides runs deep.

British ambassador to the UN Sir David Hannay, for instance, said Iraq's record on weapons compliance from the start was one of "evasion, dissimulation, and often outright dishonesty." Early Iraqi statements that all dangerous weapons had been destroyed were shown by later inspections to be untrue, he said.

"This situation cannot go on," agreed Jean-Bernard Merimee, France's ambassador to the UN.

Though Iraq argues that it has supplied the UN with "sufficient" weapons data, Andre Erdos, Hungary's ambassador to the UN, said the facts "continue to belie that assertion."

Aziz, whose speech was prepared before he heard the speakers' long recitals of Iraqi violations, skipped past most of the charges to describe how intrusive the inspections and overflights had been. He complained that the Council's sanctions committee would not even allow soap, toys, and printing paper through the embargo. "How long will this iniquitous siege continue to be imposed upon Iraq?" he asked.

The Iraqi official, accompanied by a team of 14 that included Iraq's top scientists, accused the UN of trying to destroy his nation's civilian industrial base and its infrastructure for political reasons. …

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