U.N. diplomats say they're confident the burden of trade sanctions will compel Iraq to accept their tough cease-fire terms, and they have turned to considering how to protect Iraq's rebellious minorities.
The resolution for a permanent cease-fire in the Persian Gulf war was approved 12-1 with two abstentions by the Security Council on Wednesday. It is unique in U.N. history because the world body has never before set peace terms after a war.Iraq's ambassador, Abdul Amir al-Anbari, called the resolution "outrageous" and a violation of international law that would destabilize the region. But he did not reject it.
He said a formal response would come in several days from Saddam Hussein's government. The decimation of Saddam's army in the war over Iraq's invasion of Kuwait makes further Iraqi military adventures unlikely for years to come.
U.S. Ambassador Thomas R. Pickering called the resolution tough but fair and said it was in Iraq's self-interest to comply (see box at right).
If Iraq does not comply, there will be no formal cease-fire, no withdrawal of allied troops from southern Iraq and the region and no lifting of economic sanctions.
Earlier U.N. resolutions still in place leave open the possibility of continued allied military action, although that is considered unlikely. The United States has made it clear that it is anxious to remove its troops from the region and have them replaced by a regional security force and U.N. peacekeepers.
Council members were meeting privately Thursday to discuss calls from France and Turkey to help Iraq's Kurdish and Shiite Muslim minorities, who have faced repression after having postwar uprisings launched from their ranks crushed.
The United States has openly encouraged the Iraqi people to overthrow Saddam, and intelligence sources in Washington said Wednesday that President Bush had authorized the CIA three months ago to aid the rebels.
But the White House has refused to supply the insurgents with military aid, even after widespread reports of Iraqi army atrocities against Kurds and Shiites.
Here are the key conditions that Iraq must agree to under a Security Council Resolution 687, which sets terms for a permanent cease-fire:
- Iraq must destroy its chemical and biological weapons and ballistic missile systems with a range of more than 100 miles under U.N. supervision and forswear future development or acquisition of such arms or of nuclear arms.
- An arms embargo on Iraq remains in effect.
- The Security Council's previous decision to relax bans on sending food to Iraq is confirmed, but the wider trade ban remains in effect until Iraq has complied with the disarmament provisions.
- Iraq is held liable for damage, including environmental havoc. A fund drawing from Iraq's oil revenues will be created to pay claims by Kuwait other nations and their citizens and corporations.
- The United Nations will provide military observers to monitor a demilitarized zone reaching six miles into Iraq and three miles into Kuwait. U.N. deployment would allow allied troops to withdraw.
- Iraq must declare that it will not "commit or support" international terrorism or allow terrorist groups to operate from its territory.
- Iraq and Kuwait are called on to "respect the inviolability of the international boundary" agreed upon in a 1963 treaty signed by both nations.