The White House
President George W. Bush
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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
September 17, 2002

Saddam Hussein’s Deception and Defiance
We’ve heard “unconditional” before

Last week, the President of the United States focused the world's attention on Iraqs continued defiance of UN resolutions. Saddam Husseins regime claimed yesterday that Iraq would comply unconditionally. While this new statement is evidence that world pressure can force the Iraqi regime to respond, it is also a return to form. Time after time, without conditions has meant deception, delay, and disregard for the United Nations.

"I am pleased to inform you of the decision of the Government of the Republic of Iraq to allow the return of United Nations weapons inspectors to Iraq without conditions." - Naji Sabri, Iraq's minister of foreign affairs, September 16, 2002 (emphasis added)

The following timeline details the Iraqi regimes repeated pattern of accepting inspections "without conditions" and then demanding conditions, often at gunpoint. This information is derived from an October 1998 UNSCOM report and excerpted from

April 3, 1991 U.N. Security Council Resolution 687 (1991), Section C, declares that Iraq shall accept unconditionally, under international supervision, the "destruction, removal or rendering harmless" of its weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles with a range over 150 kilometers (emphasis added). One week later, Iraq accepts Resolution 687. Its provisions were reiterated and reinforced in subsequent action by the United Nations in June and August of 1991.
May 1991 Iraq accepts the privileges and immunities of the Special Commission (UNSCOM) and its personnel. These guarantees include the right of "unrestricted freedom of entry and exit without delay or hindrance of its personnel, property, supplies, equipment ... (emphasis added)."
June 1991 Iraqi personnel fire warning shots to prevent the inspectors from approaching the vehicles.
September 1991 Iraqi officials confiscate documents from the inspectors. The inspectors refuse to yield a second set of documents. In response, Iraq refuses to allow the team to leave the site with these documents. A four-day standoff ensues, but Iraq permits the team to leave with the documents after a statement from the Security Council threatens enforcement actions.
October 11, 1991 The Security Council adopts Resolution 715, which approves joint UNSCOM and IAEA plans for ongoing monitoring and verification. UNSCOMs plan establishes that Iraq shall "accept unconditionally the inspectors and all other personnel designated by the Special Commission" (emphasis added).
October 1991 Iraq states that it considers the Ongoing Monitoring and Verification Plans adopted by Resolution 715 to be unlawful and states that it is not ready to comply with Resolution 715.
February 1992 Iraq refuses to comply with an UNSCOM/IAEA decision to destroy certain facilities used in proscribed programs and related items.
April 1992 Iraq calls for a halt to UNSCOM's aerial surveillance flights, stating that the aircraft and its pilot might be endangered. The President of the Security Council issues a statement reaffirming UNSCOM's right to conduct such flights. Iraq says that it does not intend to carry out any military action aimed at UNSCOM's aerial flights.
July 6-29, 1992 Iraq refuses an inspection team access to the Iraqi Ministry of Agriculture. UNSCOM said it had reliable information that the site contained archives related to proscribed activities. Inspectors gained access only after members of the Council threatened enforcement action.
January 1993 Iraq refuses to allow UNSCOM to use its own aircraft to fly into Iraq.
June-July 1993 Iraq refuses to allow UNSCOM inspectors to install remote-controlled monitoring cameras at two missile engine test stands.
November 26, 1993 Iraq accepts Resolution 715 and the plans for ongoing monitoring and verification.
October 15, 1994 The Security Council adopts Resolution 949, which demands that Iraq "cooperate fully" with UNSCOM and that it withdraw all military units deployed to southern Iraq to their original positions (emphasis added). Iraq withdraws its forces and resumes working with UNSCOM.
March 1996 Iraqi security forces refuse UNSCOM teams access to five sites designated for inspection. The teams enter the sites after delays of up to 17 hours.
March 19, 1996 The Security Council issues a presidential statement expressing its concern over Iraq's behavior, which it terms "a clear violation of Iraq's obligations under relevant resolutions." The council also demands that Iraq allow UNSCOM teams immediate, unconditional and unrestricted access to all sites designated for inspection (emphasis added).
March 27, 1996 Security Council Resolution 1051 approves the export/import monitoring mechanism for Iraq and demands that Iraq meet unconditionally all its obligations under the mechanism and cooperate fully with the Special Commission and the director-general of the IAEA (emphasis added).
June 1996 Iraq denies UNSCOM teams access to sites under investigation for their involvement in the "concealment mechanism" for proscribed items.
June 12, 1996 The Security Council adopts Resolution 1060, which terms Iraq's actions a clear violation of the provisions of the council's earlier resolutions. It also demands that Iraq grant "immediate and unrestricted access" to all sites designated for inspection by UNSCOM (emphasis added).
June 13, 1996 Despite the adoption of Resolution 1060, Iraq again denies access to another inspection team.
November 1996 Iraq blocks UNSCOM from removing remnants of missile engines for in-depth analysis outside Iraq.
June 1997 Iraqi escorts on board an UNSCOM helicopter try to physically prevent the UNSCOM pilot from flying the helicopter in the direction of its intended destination.
June 21, 1997 Iraq again blocks UNSCOM teams from entering certain sites for inspection.
June 21, 1997 The Security Council adopts Resolution 1115, which condemns Iraq's actions and demands that Iraq allow UNSCOM's team immediate, unconditional and unrestricted access to any sites for inspection and officials for interviews (emphasis added).
September 13, 1997 An Iraqi officer attacks an UNSCOM inspector on board an UNSCOM helicopter while the inspector was attempting to take photographs of unauthorized movement of Iraqi vehicles inside a site designated for inspection.
September 17, 1997 While seeking access to a site declared by Iraq to be "sensitive," UNSCOM inspectors witness and videotape Iraqi guards moving files, burning documents, and dumping ash-filled waste cans into a nearby river.
November 12, 1997 The Security Council adopts Resolution 1137, condemning Iraq for continually violating its obligations, including its decision to seek to impose conditions on cooperation with UNSCOM (emphasis added). The resolution also imposes a travel restriction on Iraqi officials who are responsible for or participated in instances of non-compliance.
November 3, 1997 Iraq demands that US citizens working for UNSCOM leave Iraq immediately.
December 22, 1997 The Security Council issues a statement calling upon the government of Iraq to cooperate fully with the commission and stresses that failure by Iraq to provide immediate, unconditional and unrestricted access to any site is an unacceptable and clear violation of Security Council resolutions (emphasis added)
February 20-23, 1998 Iraq signs a Memorandum of Understanding with the United Nations on February 23, 1998. Iraq pledges to accept all relevant Security Council resolutions, to cooperate fully with UNSCOM and the IAEA, and to grant to UNSCOM and the IAEA "immediate, unconditional and unrestricted access for their inspections (emphasis added).
August 5, 1998 The Revolutionary Command Council and the Baath Party Command decide to stop cooperating with UNSCOM and the IAEA until the Security Council agrees to lift the oil embargo as a first step towards ending sanctions.


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