For IMMEDIATE Release
House Acts on Resolution Critical of
Failure to permit UN weapons
inspections in Iraq
(WASHINGTON) - Saddam Husseins unwillingness to permit inspections of Iraqs military facilities by U.N. weapons inspectors - required under longstanding agreements with the international community - poses a mounting threat to the U.S. and its allies, according to a House resolution expected to pass today.
U.S. Rep. Henry J. Hyde (R-IL), chairman of the House International Relations Committee, said the House resolution was prompted by the growing threat to international peace and security posed by Saddam Husseins refusal to comply with the terms of the cease-fire agreement ending the Persian Gulf War. Those terms were incorporated by the U.N. Security Council into Resolution 687 of 1991, and into subsequent resolutions addressing the situation in Iraq.
The House resolution (H. J. Res. 75), amended in Committee by Hyde and U.S. Rep. Tom Lantos (D-CA), the committees senior democrat, was authored by U.S. Rep. Lindsey Graham (R-SC). The resolution also calls for the U.N. to reject any inspection protocol that does not give its teams immediate, unconditional and unrestricted access to any and all areas, facilities, equipment, records and means of transportation. The House resolution also accuses the Hussein government of being in material and unacceptable breach of its international obligations.
From 1991 until 1998, Saddam Hussein went through the motions of complying with these inspection requirements, while doing everything he could to prevent the weapons inspectors from discovering the truth about the history of his weapons programs, Hyde said, adding, Since 1998, Saddam has stopped complying altogether.
The security council resolutions require Hussein to give U.N. weapons inspectors unfettered access to sites in Iraq where weapons of mass destruction might be under development, as well as to other relevant locations and information in Iraq.
Since 1998, Saddams ability to reconstitute his nuclear weapons program, his biological weapons program, his chemical weapons program, and his long range missile program has not been constrained by international inspectors. There is every reason to believe that Saddam has taken advantage of the absence of inspectors to revive these weapons programs, Hyde said. To remain silent in the face of these facts is a dangerous abdication of our responsibility to warn of this menace.
If the adoption of this House resolution calls attention to this increasingly dangerous situation, it will have served its purpose, Hyde said.