[Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: William J. Clinton (1998, Book II)]
[September 3, 1998]
[Pages 1519-1525]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office www.gpo.gov]

Letter to Congressional Leaders Reporting on Iraq's Compliance With 
United Nations Security Council Resolutions
September 3, 1998

Dear Mr. Speaker:  (Dear Mr. President:)
    Consistent with the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against 
Iraq Resolution (Public Law 102-1) and as part of my effort to keep the 
Congress fully informed, I am reporting on the status of efforts to 
obtain Iraq's compliance with the resolutions adopted by the United 
Nations Security Council (UNSC). This report covers the period from June 
24 to the present.


    From June 24 until August 5, Iraq had provided site access to U.N. 
weapons inspectors, as required under UNSC resolutions and reaffirmed 
under the terms of the February 23 Secretary General/Tariq Aziz MOU and 
UNSC Resolution 1154. In June, UNSCOM inspectors presented a work plan 
to Iraq to delineate areas of concern and elements that Iraq needed to 
disclose. However, in June, UNSCOM revealed that it had found evidence 
of Iraqi weaponization of VX nerve agent and in July, Iraq refused to 
turn over a document accounting for use of CW during the Iran-Iraq war. 
On August 3-4 when Chairman Butler was in Iraq to discuss phase two of 
the work plan, the Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister claimed that Iraq was 
fully ``disarmed'' and demanded that this be reported to the Council; 
Butler refused, and subsequently departed Baghdad.
    On August 5, Iraq declared that it was suspending all cooperation 
with UNSCOM and the IAEA, except some limited monitoring activities. On 
August 6, the Security Council President issued a press statement which 
noted that Iraq's action contravenes the February 23 MOU and relevant 
Security Council resolutions. On August 11/12, the IAEA and UNSCOM sent 
letters to the Security Council that noted that Iraq's decision to 
suspend cooperation with them halted ``all of the disarmament 
activities'' of UNSCOM and placed limitations on the inspection and 
monitoring activities of both organizations. On August 18, the Council 
President replied in writing to UNSCOM and IAEA on the Council's behalf 
reiterating full support for the full implementation of their mandates 
and underscoring Iraq's obligation to cooperate in the conduct of their 
activities, including inspections. Chairman Butler wrote to the Iraqi 
regime August 19 expressing his willingness to resume activity, but that 
offer was rebuffed.
    On August 20, the Security Council met to conduct the periodic 
review of Iraq's compliance with relevant Security Council resolutions. 
It stated that ``the necessary conditions do not exist for the 
modification of the regime established'' in relevant resolutions. 
Moreover, the Security Council ``reiterates that the decision by Iraq to 
suspend cooperation with UNSCOM and the

[[Page 1520]]

IAEA (on August 5) is totally unacceptable'' and that it ``views with 
extreme concern the continuing refusal by the Government of Iraq to 
rescind its decision.'' The United States is working with other Security 
Council members to suspend subsequent periodic reviews until Iraq 
reverses course and resumes cooperation with UNSCOM and the IAEA.
    The cornerstone of U.S. policy is to contain Iraq and prevent it 
from threatening regional peace and security. To that end, the United 
States has supported UNSCOM since its inception and continues to do so, 
as an integral part of our policy to contain Iraq and disarm it of its 
WMD. We have consistently worked to uphold the principle that UNSCOM 
must be able to do its job, free of Iraqi restrictions and impediments. 
That includes inspections wherever, whenever, and however the Executive 
Chairman of UNSCOM directs. There have been allegations recently that 
the United States impeded some kinds of inspections since last fall. In 
fact, the international effort to secure full access for UNSCOM and the 
IAEA last fall and winter was lead by the United States. Since early 
August, the United States has again lead the effort to reverse Iraq's 
decision blocking UNSCOM activities. Decisions on how UNSCOM does its 
job, including timing, locations and modalities for inspections, are the 
Chairman's to make. As Chairman Butler stated on August 14, 
``Consultations on policy matters take place regularly between the 
Executive Chairman and Council members, but all operational decisions 
are taken by the Executive Chairman (of UNSCOM) who has not been given 
and would find it invidious were any attempt made to direct his 
operational decisions or to micro-manage the day-to-day work of the 
Special Commission.''
    Iraq's refusal to cooperate with UNSCOM and the IAEA is totally 
unacceptable; Iraq must meet its international obligations. In the first 
instance, the Council and the Secretary General must respond effectively 
to Iraq's flagrant challenge to their authority. We are working with 
Council members to ensure that there is a clear, united and forceful 
U.N. response to Iraq's actions. If the Council fails to persuade the 
Iraqi regime to resume cooperation, all other options are on the table.
    We continue to support the international community's efforts to 
provide for the humanitarian needs of the Iraqi people through the 
``oil-for-food'' program and other humanitarian efforts. On May 27, 
1998, Iraq presented a distribution plan for the implementation of 
Resolution 1153, which had been adopted on February 20. Under phase 
three of the ``oil-for-food'' program, which ran from December 3, 1997, 
through June 2, 1998, $1.1 billion worth of humanitarian goods were 
approved for export to Iraq. Under the current phase, phase four, which 
began in June, the U.N. Sanctions Committee has approved the purchase of 
over $562 million worth of humanitarian goods. United States companies 
can participate in the ``oil-for-food'' program, and over $165 million 
worth of contracts for U.S. firms have been approved since the program 
    On June 26, the Secretary of State reported to the Congress on plans 
to establish a program to support the democratic opposition in Iraq, as 
required by section 10008 of the 1998 Supplemental Appropriations and 
Rescissions Act (Public Law 105-174). Opposition leaders and their 
representatives have been generally receptive to the focus on the 
central themes of building a consensus on the transition from 
dictatorship to pluralism, conveying to the U.N. opposition views on 
Iraqi noncompliance with U.N. resolutions and compiling information to 
support the indictment of Iraqi officials for war crimes. The new Radio 
Free Iraq service, also funded by that Act, is preparing to broadcast 
directly to the Iraqi people under the direction of Radio Free Europe/
Radio Liberty. These new programs will help us encourage the Iraqi 
people to build a pluralistic, peaceful Iraq that observes the 
international rule of law and respects basic human rights. Such an Iraq 
would have little trouble regaining its rightful place in the region and 
in the international community.
    The United States maintains a significant military presence in the 
region in order to provide the full range of military options necessary 
to deter Iraqi aggression, to ensure that UNSC resolutions are enforced, 
and to deal with other contingencies that may arise.

U.S. and Coalition Force Levels in the Gulf Region

    In view of Saddam's record of aggressive behavior, it is prudent to 
retain a significant force presence in the region to deter Iraq and deal 
with any threat it might pose to its neighbors. The U.S. and allied 
forces now in the region are prepared to deal with all contingencies. We 
have the capability to respond rapidly to possible Iraqi aggression. We 
have restructured our in-

[[Page 1521]]

theater force levels since my last report. We will continue to maintain 
a robust force posture, and moreover, have established a rapid 
reinforcement capability to supplement our forces in the Gulf when 
needed. Our cruise missile force is twice the pre-October 1997 level, a 
number that can be augmented significantly within days. Our contingency 
plans allow us the capability for a swift, powerful strike.
    The aircraft carrier USS ABRAHAM LINCOLN and accompanying combatant 
ships and aircraft are on station in the Gulf today. Our forces in the 
region include land and carrier-based aircraft, surface warships, a 
Marine expeditionary unit, a Patriot missile battalion, a mechanized 
battalion task force and a mix of special operations forces deployed in 
support of USCINCCENT operations. To enhance force protection throughout 
the region, additional military security personnel are also deployed.

Operation Northern Watch and Operation Southern Watch

    The United States and coalition partners continue to enforce the no-
fly zones over Iraq under Operation Northern Watch and Operation 
Southern Watch. There have been no observed no-fly zone violations. 
However, on June 30, U.S. forces responded to an Iraqi ``threat radar'' 
and subsequently defended the coalition forces by firing an anti-
radiation (HARM) missile. We have made clear to Iraq and to all other 
relevant parties that the United States and coalition partners will 
continue to enforce both no-fly zones. The no-fly zones remain in 

The Maritime Interception Force

    The Maritime Interception Force (MIF), operating under the authority 
of UNSC Resolution 665, vigorously enforces U.N. sanctions in the Gulf. 
The U.S. Navy is the single largest component of this multinational 
force, but it is frequently augmented by ships and aircraft from 
Australia, Canada, Belgium, The Netherlands, New Zealand, and the United 
Kingdom. Today in the Gulf, ships and aircraft from Canada and the 
United Kingdom are operating with us in maritime patrols. Member states 
of the Gulf Cooperation Council support the MIF by providing logistical 
support and shipriders and by accepting vessels diverted for violating 
U.N. sanctions against Iraq.
    The MIF continues to intercept vessels involved in illegal smuggling 
from Iraq. In late August, we conducted stepped-up operations in the far 
northern Gulf in the shallow waters near the major Iraqi waterways. 
These operations severely disrupted smuggling operations in the region. 
Since the beginning of the year, over thirty vessels have been detained 
for violations of the embargo and sent to ports in the Gulf for 
enforcement actions by the GCC. Kuwait and the UAE, two countries 
adjacent to the smuggling routes, have also stepped up their enforcement 
efforts and have recently intercepted and detained vessels involved in 
sanctions violations. Although petroleum products comprise most of the 
prohibited traffic, the MIF has recently diverted vessels engaged in 
date smuggling as well. Smuggling into Iraq is also a target for MIF 
patrols. One additional difficulty remains in our effort to enforce U.N. 
sanctions. Ships involved in smuggling have often utilized the 
territorial seas of Iran to avoid MIF inspections. We have recently 
provided detailed reports of these illegal activities to the U.N. 
sanctions Committee in New York.

Chemical Weapons

    Despite major progress reported by UNSCOM in accounting for SCUD CBW 
warheads during this period, the Iraqis have taken a giant step backward 
by continuing to deny the weaponization of VX nerve agent. This denial 
is in direct contravention of the finding for UNSCOM by the U.S. Army 
Edgewood Arsenal of stabilized VX nerve agent in SCUD missile warhead 
fragments recovered by UNSCOM in Iraq. France and Switzerland are now 
examining further samples taken in Iraq. They may not report results to 
UNSCOM until late September.
    However, we, UNSCOM Executive Chairman Butler, and a team of 
international experts gathered by Butler are unanimously confident of 
the scientific accuracy of the Edgewood results--which Butler has 
declared publicly. Iraq is lying today about VX.
    While the Iraqis provided new documents to help account for R-400 
aerial bombs used for chemical weapons, they have failed to provide the 
needed accounting for missing 155mm mustard-filled shells.
    On July 22, 1998, UNSCOM reported in a letter to the President of 
the Security Council that Iraq had refused to allow an UNSCOM chief 
inspector to take, or even copy, a document found in Iraqi air force 
headquarters that

[[Page 1522]]

gave an accounting of chemical munitions used during the Iran-Iraq war. 
This document would be of great value in helping UNSCOM establish a true 
material balance for Iraqi chemical munitions--a mandatory task for 
UNSCOM. During Butler's aborted visit to Iraq August 3-4, the Iraqi 
Deputy Prime Minister told Ambassador Butler that Iraq would never give 
it to the Commission. This evidence directly contradicts the Iraqi claim 
that it has given UNSCOM all the information it has.

Biological Weapons

    In July 1998, UNSCOM assembled yet another group of international 
experts to meet with Iraqi counterparts for review of Iraqi declarations 
on the biological weapons program. And again, the Iraqis presented no 
new material. The experts thus found, again, that Iraq's declarations 
are not adequate for credible verification. This conclusion covered 
weapons (SCUD missile BW warheads, R-400 BW bombs, drop-tanks to be 
filled with BW, and spray devices for BW), production of BW agents 
(botulinum toxin, anthrax, aflatoxin, and wheat cover smut), and BW 
agent growth media.
    The report of this UNSCOM-250 mission of international experts 
recommended to the UNSCOM Executive Chairman that no further 
verification of Iraq's declarations be conducted until Iraq commits 
itself to provide new and substantive information, stating that any 
other approach would be counter-productive.

Long-Range Missiles

    UNSCOM Executive Chairman Richard Butler reported to the Security 
Council on August 5 that UNSCOM and Iraq had made significant progress 
in the accounting of both CBW and conventional SCUD warheads, as well as 
the material balance of major components for SCUD engine production. 
However, no progress was reported in accounting for the unique SCUD 
propellant possessed by Iraq, and the Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister 
refuses to allow further discussion of Iraq's concealment program, 
including the hiding of SCUD warheads.

Nuclear Weapons

    In an interim report to the UNSC July 29, the IAEA said that Iraq 
had provided no new information regarding outstanding issues and 
concerns. The IAEA said while it has a ``technically coherent picture'' 
of Iraq's nuclear program, Iraq has never been fully transparent and its 
lack of transparency compounds remaining uncertainties. The IAEA noted 
Iraq claims to have no further documentation on such issues as weapons 
design engineering drawings, experimental data, and drawings received 
from foreign sources in connection with Iraq's centrifuge enrichment 
program. The IAEA also reported that Iraq said it was ``unsuccessful'' 
in its efforts to locate verifiable documentation of the abandonment of 
the nuclear program. Iraq has failed to pass the measures required under 
UNSC Resolution 715 to implement UNSC Resolutions 687, 707 and other 
relevant resolutions, including the penal laws required to enforce them.

Dual-Use Imports

    Resolution 1051 established a joint UNSCOM/IAEA unit to monitor 
Iraq's imports of allowed dual-use items. Iraq must notify the unit 
before it imports specific items which can be used in both weapons of 
mass destruction and civilian applications. Similarly, U.N. members must 
provide timely notification of exports to Iraq of such dual-use items.
    We continue to be concerned that Iraq's land borders are extremely 
porous. Iraq continues substantial trade with its neighbors. There is 
significant potential for evasion of sanctions by land routes, giving 
additional weight to our position that UNSCOM must have full 
unconditional access to all locations, and be allowed to inspect and 
monitor Iraqi compliance over time.

Iraq's Concealment Mechanisms

    In June, UNSCOM Chairman Butler presented Iraq with a proposed work 
plan which, had Iraq cooperated, could have moved the process of 
verifying the disarmament forward. However, when Butler made a return 
visit August 3-4, the Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister denounced UNSCOM and 
demanded that UNSCOM report to the Council that Iraq was ``disarmed in 
all areas.'' On August 5, Iraq announced it was suspending cooperation 
with UNSCOM and the IAEA. The following day, the Security Council 
President issued a press statement declaring the Iraqi decision 
``totally unacceptable,'' noting that it ``contravened'' relevant 
Security Council resolutions.
    On August 11, 1998, IAEA Director-General El Baradei wrote to the 
President of the Security Council that Iraq's August 5 decision to 
suspend its cooperation with UNSCOM and the

[[Page 1523]]

IAEA ``makes it impossible for the IAEA . . . to investigate . . . 
remaining questions and concerns . . .,'' and that Iraq's decision will 
allow only ``limited implementation'' of monitoring that will ``fall 
short of full implementation of the OMV plan and result in a 
significantly reduced level of assurance'' that Iraq is not renewing its 
programs for weapons of mass destruction.
    On August 12, 1998, UNSCOM Executive Chairman Butler sent the 
President of the Security Council a letter similar to the August 11 
letter of the IAEA noted above, saying that ``Iraq's actions bring to a 
halt all of the disarmament activities of the Commission and place 
limitations on the rights of the Commission to conduct its monitoring 
    On August 18, the Council President replied to UNSCOM and the IAEA 
on behalf of the Council, reiterating the full support of the Council 
for IAEA and UNSCOM to fully implement their mandates and noting that 
Iraq is obliged to cooperate with them in their activities, including 
inspections. On August 19, Chairman Butler wrote to the Iraqi government 
seeking a resumption of the dialogue between UNSCOM and the regime and 
of all substantive UNSCOM work. That request was immediately rebuffed.
    On August 20, the Security Council conducted its periodic review of 
Iraq's compliance with relevant Security Council resolutions. The 
Council stated that ``the Sanctions Review showed that the necessary 
conditions do not exist for the modification of the regime'' and 
reiterated that ``the decision by Iraq to suspend cooperation with 
UNSCOM and the IAEA is totally unacceptable.'' Further, ``they view with 
extreme concern the continuing refusal by the Government of Iraq to 
rescind its decision.''
    We continue to work with the Council in its effort to bring about 
full Iraqi cooperation with UNSCOM and the IAEA. We are now seeking a 
Council resolution that would suspend further periodic reviews until 
Iraq reverses course and resumes cooperation with UNSCOM and the IAEA. 
Iraq's refusal to cooperate is a challenge to the authority of the 
Security Council and to the credibility of all international weapons 
nonproliferation efforts, since UNSCOM and the IAEA are responsible to 
the Security Council for the most thorough arms control regime on earth.

The U.N.'s ``Oil-for-Food'' Program

    We continue to support the international community's efforts to 
provide for the humanitarian needs of the Iraqi people through the 
``oil-for-food'' program and other humanitarian efforts. Under the last 
phase of the ``oil-for-food'' program, which ran from December 3, 1997, 
through June 2, 1998, $1.1 billion worth of humanitarian goods were 
approved for export to Iraq. United States companies can participate in 
``oil-for-food'' and over $165 million worth of contracts for U.S. firms 
have been approved.
    Under the current phase of ``oil-for-food'' Iraq is authorized to 
sell up to $5.2 billion worth of oil every 180 days, up from $2.0 
billion in previous phases. Although the UNSC resolution outlining this 
program, Resolution 1153, was adopted on February 20, Iraq did not 
present an acceptable distribution plan for the implementation of 
Resolution 1153 until May 27, 1998; it was accepted by the U.N. 
Secretary General on May 29.
    Under the current phase of the ``oil-for-food'' program, 235 
contracts for the purchase of humanitarian goods for the Iraqi people 
have been presented for approval; of these, 162 contracts worth over 
$562 million have been approved and 13 are on hold pending clarification 
of questions about the proposed contracts. With regard to oil sales, 50 
contracts with a total value of $955 million have been approved so far 
during this phase.
    The United States has supported the repair of the Iraqi oil 
infrastructure in order to allow sufficient oil to be exported to fund 
the level of humanitarian purchases the Security Council approved in 
UNSC Resolution 1153. Treasury is in the process of amending its 
regulations to allow U.S. companies to bid on oil infrastructure repair 
contracts just as they are permitted both to purchase Iraqi oil and sell 
humanitarian goods under the U.N. ``oil-for-food'' program.
    Resolution 1153 maintains the separate program for northern Iraq, 
administered directly by the U.N. in consultation with the local 
population. This program, which the United States strongly supports, 
receives 13 to 15 percent of the funds generated under the ``oil-for-
food'' program. The separate northern program was established because of 
the Baghdad regime's proven disregard for the humanitarian condition of 
the Kurdish, Assyrian, and Turkomen minorities of northern Iraq and its 
readiness to apply

[[Page 1524]]

the most brutal forms of repression against them. The well-documented 
series of chemical weapons attacks a decade ago by the government 
against civilians in the north is only one example of this brutality. In 
northern Iraq, where Baghdad does not exercise control, the ``oil-for-
food'' program has been able to operate relatively effectively. The 
Kurdish factions are seeking to set aside their differences to work 
together so that the UNSC Resolution 1153 is implemented as efficiently 
as possible.
    The U.N. must carefully monitor implementation of Resolution 1153. 
As the current phase anticipates a doubling of goods flowing into Iraq, 
including equipment for infrastructure repairs in areas such as oil 
export capacity, generation of electricity, and water purification, the 
U.N. faces increasing challenges in monitoring. The Iraqi government 
continues to insist on the need for rapid lifting of the sanctions 
regime, despite its clear record of non-compliance with its obligations 
under relevant U.N. resolutions--a record which was unanimously 
acknowledged during the Security Council's 39th sanctions review on June 
24. We will continue to work with the U.N. Secretariat, the Security 
Council, and others in the international community to ensure that the 
humanitarian needs of the Iraqi people are met while denying any 
political or economic benefits to the Baghdad regime.

The Human Rights Situation in Iraq

    The human rights situation throughout Iraq continues to be a cause 
for grave concern. Particularly troubling are the assassinations of two 
distinguished Shia clerics--Ayatollah Borujerdi on April 22 and Grand 
Ayatollah Mirza Ali Gharavi on June 18. These killings have been widely 
attributed to the Baghdad regime and were followed by an increased 
security presence in the predominantly Shia cities of south and central 
Iraq, such as Najaf and Karbala. These events expose a callous disregard 
for human life and the free exercise of religion. Summary, arbitrary, 
and extra-judicial executions also remain a primary concern. Baghdad 
still refuses to allow independent inspections of Iraqi prisons despite 
the conclusion of U.N. Special Rapporteur for Iraq, Max Van der Stoel, 
that ``there is strong evidence that hundreds of prisoners (were) 
executed in Abu Graraib and Radwaniyah prisons'' late last year. As 
noted in my last report, based on these reports of summary executions 
and other ongoing humans rights violations, the U.N. Human Rights 
Commission in April issued a strong condemnation of the ``all-pervasive 
repression and oppression'' of the Iraqi government. Nevertheless, 
sources inside Iraq report another wave of executions in June, with 
about sixty people summarily killed.
    In southern Iraq, the government continues to repress the Shia 
population, destroying the Marsh Arabs' way of life and the unique 
ecology of the southern marshes. In the north, outside the Kurdish-
controlled areas, the government continues the forced expulsion of tens 
of thousands of ethnic Kurds and Turkomen from Kirkuk and other cities. 
The government continues to stall and obfuscate attempts to account for 
more than 600 Kuwaitis and third-country nationals who disappeared at 
the hands of Iraqi authorities during or after the occupation of Kuwait. 
The Government of Iraq shows no sign of complying with UNSC Resolution 
688, which demands that Iraq cease the repression of its own people.

Northern Iraq: Deepening Engagement

    In northern Iraq, the cease-fire between the Kurdish parties, 
established in November 1997 as the result of U.S. efforts, continues to 
hold. It is strengthened by growing and effective cooperation between 
the parties on humanitarian matters, particularly those related to the 
U.N.'s ``oil-for-food'' program. Working with the U.N., the Kurds have 
been able to resolve nutrition and medical problems and look forward to 
rebuilding their infrastructure as U.N. programs expand. David Welch, 
Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, 
led a U.S. delegation to the north, July 17-20. He encouraged the Kurds' 
efforts towards peace; underscored U.S. support for their human rights, 
physical welfare and safety; and renewed our decades-long engagement 
with them. During the visit, Massoud Barzani, leader of the Kurdistan 
Democratic Party (KDP), and Jalal Talabani, leader of the Patriotic 
Union of Kurdistan (PUK), made positive, forward-looking statements on 
political reconciliation, and they accepted separate invitations to 
visit the United States later this year.
    The United States firmly supports the territorial integrity of Iraq. 
Supporting the rights and welfare of Iraqi Kurds within Iraq in no way 
contradicts that support. The United States is committed to ensuring 
that international aid continues to get through to the north, that the

[[Page 1525]]

human rights of the Kurds and northern Iraq minority groups, such as the 
Turkomen, Assyrians, Yezedis and others are respected, and that the no-
fly zone enforced by Operation Northern Watch is observed.
    We will continue our efforts to reach a permanent reconciliation 
through mediation in order to help the people of northern Iraq find the 
permanent, stable settlement they deserve, and to minimize the influence 
of either Baghdad or Tehran. Baghdad continues to pressure the two 
groups to enter into negotiations.

The Iraqi Opposition

    It is the policy of the U.S. Government to support the Iraqi 
opposition by establishing unifying programs on which all of the 
opposition can agree. Section 10008 of the 1998 Supplemental 
Appropriations and Rescissions Act (P.L. 105-174), earmarks $5 million 
in FY 98 Economic Support Funds for these programs. These programs are 
designed to encourage and assist political opposition groups, 
nonpartisan opposition groups, and unaffiliated Iraqis concerned about 
their nation's future in peacefully espousing democracy, pluralism, 
human rights, and the rule of law for their country. Based on extensive 
consultations with opposition leaders and representatives, we have found 
a deep resonance on several central themes. These are: building a 
consensus on the transition from dictatorship to pluralism, conveying to 
the U.N. opposition views on Iraqi noncompliance with U.N. resolutions 
and compiling information to support indictment of Iraqi officials for 
war crimes.
    Iraq is a diverse country--ethnically, religiously, and culturally. 
The Iraqi opposition reflects this diversity. We emphasize themes and 
programs, rather than individuals and groups, in order to encourage 
unity and discourage the rivalries which have divided the opposition in 
the past. Many opposition political groups that formerly coordinated 
their efforts decided several years ago to work independently. We are 
interested in working with them towards greater unity on their own 
terms, not enforcing the issue by declaring that any one group must take 
the lead. We firmly believe they can succeed in this effort.
    We anticipate that there will be a need for additional funding for 
these programs as the opposition becomes more active and as it grows. 
The funds will be administered by the Department of State working 
through established NGOs, Federal institutions, and comparable private 
organizations. To ensure transparency and accountability and to avoid 
creating potential rivalries among opposition groups, none of these 
funds will go directly to any opposition group.

The United Nations Compensation Commission

    The United Nations Compensation Commission (UNCC), established 
pursuant to UNSC Resolutions 687 and 692, continues to resolve claims 
against Iraq arising from Iraq's unlawful invasion and occupation of 
Kuwait. The UNCC has issued over 1.3 million awards worth approximately 
$7 billion. Thirty percent of the proceeds from the oil sales permitted 
by UNSC Resolution 986, 1111, 1143, and 1153 have been allocated to the 
Compensation Fund to pay awards and to finance operations of the UNCC. 
To the extent that money is available in the Compensation Fund, initial 
payments to each claimant are authorized for awards in the order in 
which the UNCC has approved them, in installments of $2,500. To date, 
809 U.S. claimants have received an initial installment payment, and 
payment is still in process for another 25 U.S. claimants.


    Iraq remains a serious threat to international peace and security. I 
remain determined to see Iraq comply fully with all of its obligations 
under UNSC resolutions. The United States looks forward to the day when 
Iraq rejoins the family of nations as a responsible and law-abiding 
    I appreciate the support of the Congress for our efforts and shall 
continue to keep the Congress informed about this important issue.

                                                      William J. Clinton

Note: Identical letters were sent to Newt Gingrich, Speaker of the House 
of Representatives, and Strom Thurmond, President pro tempore of the