The first sign of Clinton's uncompromising stance on Iraq came in March 1993 at the UN Security Council. Following the 60-day review of the UN embargo against Iraq, France, Russia and China proposed that the customary Security Council president's statement after the review should acknowledge the cooperation that Baghdad had offered so far on the UN resolutions. But Washington, backed by London, rejected this. Like Bush (his predecessor), Clinton decided against combining carrot with stick in the case of Saddam.
His administration's overall policy on Iraq - as well as Iran - was spelled out on May 18, 1993, by Martin Indyk, Special Assistant to President on Near East and South Asian Affairs, working within the NSC, in his speech to the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. In it he announced the adoption of the "Dual Containment" policy towards Iraq and Iran.
"The end of the Cold War and the elimination of the Soviet empire also eliminated a major strategic consideration from our calculus in the Gulf." he said. "We no longer have to worry that our actions would generate Soviet actions in support of our adversaries in the region." Furthermore, he continued,
as a result of the Iran-Iraq War and the Gulf War, a regional balance of power between both countries has been established at a much lower level of military capability. This makes it easier [for us] to balance the power of both of them.
"Dual Containment" derives from an assessment that the current Iraqi and Iranian regimes are both hostile to American interests in the region. Accordingly, we do not accept the argument that we should continue the old balance of power game, building up to balance the other … We reject it because we do not need it … The coalition that fought Saddam remains together. As long as we are able to maintain our military presence in the region; as long as we succeed in restricting the military ambitions of both Iraq and Iran; and as long as we can rely on our regional allies - Egypt,