[Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: William J. Clinton (1998, Book II)]
[August 6, 1998]
[Page 1410]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office www.gpo.gov]

[[Page 1410]]

Statement on Iraq's Failure To Comply With United Nations Weapons 
August 6, 1998

    Iraq's latest refusal to cooperate with the international weapons 
inspectors is unacceptable. Far from hastening the day the international 
community lifts sanctions against Iraq, as Iraq intends, its failure to 
live up to its obligations will perpetuate those sanctions and keep the 
Iraqi economy under tight international control.
    As a condition of the cease-fire in the Gulf war, the United Nations 
demanded and Iraq agreed to account for its nuclear, chemical, and 
biological weapons and the missiles to deliver them within 15 days and 
to destroy them. Last February Iraq reiterated that commitment in an 
agreement it signed with U.N. Secretary-General Annan. In short, Iraq 
has had it within its power to end the sanctions by meeting this 
affirmative obligation, letting the inspectors finish their job, and 
complying with the other relevant Security Council resolutions.
    Instead of cooperating, Iraq has spent the better part of this 
decade avoiding its commitments to the international community. Recent 
discoveries by the weapons inspectors, including new documents on 
chemical munitions used in the Iran-Iraq war and nerve gas residue on 
Iraqi warheads, only underscore Iraq's failure to meet its obligations 
to the world.
    Iraq's most recent refusal to cooperate with U.N. weapons inspectors 
is another misguided attempt to divide the international community in 
order to gain the lifting of the sanctions. These sanctions have denied 
Iraq over $120 billion in resources to rebuild its military and build 
more weapons of mass destruction. Its current tactics once again will 
backfire. Unless Iraq reverses course and cooperates fully with the 
international weapons inspectors, the United States will stop any and 
all efforts to alter the sanctions regime. This will deny the Iraqi 
leadership what it wants most: an end to sanctions. Because of the 
expanded oil-for-food arrangement we created last winter, the Iraqi 
people will continue to receive the food, medicine, and other essential 
supplies they need.
    The burden has always been and remains on Iraq to disclose and 
dismantle its weapons of mass destruction capability. We remain 
determined to see that Iraq keeps that commitment.