US embassy cable - 98STATE143823

LETTER ON IRAQ FROM THE SECRETARY TO FM PRIMAKOV

Identifier: 98STATE143823
Wikileaks: View 98STATE143823 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Secretary of State
Created: 1998-08-07 00:55:00
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
Tags: PREL PARM UNSC IZ RU
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
O 070055Z AUG 98
FM SECSTATE WASHDC
TO AMEMBASSY MOSCOW IMMEDIATE 
INFO UN SECURITY COUNCIL COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
C O N F I D E N T I A L STATE 143823 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/04/07 
TAGS: PREL, PARM, UNSC, IZ, RU 
SUBJECT: LETTER ON IRAQ FROM THE SECRETARY TO FM PRIMAKOV 
 
1. (U) CLASSIFIED BY NEA PDAS DAVID WELCH, REASON 1.5(B) 
 
2. (C) THIS IS AN ACTION MESSAGE FOR EMBASSY MOSCOW. SEE 
PARA 4. 
 
3. (C) BACKGROUND: ON AUGUST 4, THE SECRETARY RECEIVED A 
LETTER FROM PRIMAKOV IN WHICH PRIMAKOV ASSERTED 
CATEGORICALLY THAT IRAQ HAD ELIMINATED ALL WMD AND NO 
LONGER RETAINED THE CAPACITY TO PRODUCE THEM, THAT BUTLER 
HAD UNILATERALLY AND PREMATURELY CUT OFF TALKS WITH IRAQ, 
AND THAT THERE IS NO REASON NOT TO TRANSITION THE NUCLEAR 
FILE IMMEDIATELY. ON AUGUST 5, THE IRAQI REVOLUTIONARY 
COMMAND COUNCIL ANNOUNCED THAT IRAQ WAS SUSPENDING 
COOPERATION WITH UNSCOM AND IAEA, AND DEMANDING LIFTING 
OFSANCTIONS AND A FUNDAMENTAL RESTRUCTURING OF UNSCOM. 
 
4. (C) ACTION REQUESTED: EMBASSY MOSCOW SHOULD DELIVER THE 
FOLLOWING LETTER TO FM PRIMAKOV AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. NO 
ORIGINAL TO FOLLOW. 
 
5. (C) BEGIN TEXT: 
 
DEAR YEVGENIY, 
 
I AM WRITING TO EXPRESS MY SERIOUS CONCERN ABOUT IRAQ'S 
LATEST ACTIONS, AND TO RESPOND TO YOUR LETTER. 
 
I'M CONFIDENT YOU ARE AS APPALLED AS I BY IRAQ'S LATEST 
ATTEMPTS TO EVADE ITS OBLIGATIONS AND TO UNILATERALLY 
REWRITE THE RULES LAID DOWN BY THE SECURITY COUNCIL. THIS 
ASSAULT ON THE INTEGRITY AND AUTHORITY OF THE UNITED 
NATIONS CANNOT BE TOLERATED. WE MUST RESPOND WITH STRONG, 
UNIFIED ACTION WHICH MAKES CLEAR THAT NO NATION HAS THE 
RIGHT TO FLOUT ITS INTERNATIONAL OBLIGATIONS AND THE WILL 
OF THE SECURITY COUNCIL. 
 
I AM SURE THAT YOU DID NOT ANTICIPATE IRAQ'S ACTIONS WHEN 
YOU WROTE YOUR LETTER WHICH IMPLIED THAT CHAIRMAN BUTLER 
WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR PRECIPITATING A BREAKDOWN. THE 
REVOLUTIONARY COMMAND COUNCIL'S STATEMENT MAKES CLEAR THAT 
IRAQ HAS NO RESPECT FOR UNSCOM, THE UNITED NATIONS AND 
PARTICULARLY THE SECURITY COUNCIL, THE COUNCIL'S 
RESOLUTIONS, THE FEBRUARY 23 MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING, 
OR THE SECRETARY GENERAL WHO NEGOTIATED THAT AGREEMENT. 
 
WHEN IRAQ BEGAN THIS STANDOFF BY ISSUING UNREASONABLE 
PRECONDITIONS FOR THE CONTINUATION OF TALKS, CHAIRMAN 
BUTLER IMMEDIATELY CONSULTED WITH SECRETARY GENERAL ANNAN 
AND THE PRESIDENT OF THE SECURITY COUNCIL, BOTH OF WHOM 
SUPPORTED THE DECISION TO DEPART IRAQ.   MR. BUTLER HAS NOT 
SUSPENDED UNSCOM'S ACTIVITIES IN IRAQ; TARIQ AZIZ BROKE OFF 
DISCUSSIONS WITH THE UNSCOM CHAIRMAN. IRAQ HAS NOW 
ANNOUNCED THAT IT IS SUSPENDING COOPERATION WITH UNSCOM AND 
THE IAEA. 
 
IRAQ HAS CONSISTENTLY FAILED TO COMPLY WITH THE SECURITY 
COUNCIL'S REQUIREMENTS FOR FULL DISCLOSURE OF ITS WEAPONS 
OF MASS DESTRUCTION AND MISSILE PROGRAMS. IT IS THIS 
FAILURE TO COMPLY, TOGETHER WITH IRAQ'S REFUSAL TO 
COOPERATE WITH UNSCOM AND IAEA -- IN CONTRAVENTION OF THE 
SECRETARY GENERAL'S MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING AND U.N. 
SECURITY COUNCIL RESOLUTION 1154 -- WHICH CONTINUE TO DELAY 
SECURITY COUNCIL ACTION, ESPECIALLY ACTION TO TRANSITION 
THE NUCLEAR FILE. THE MAY SECURITY COUNCIL PRESIDENTIAL 
STATEMENT CLEARLY LAID OUT WHAT IS REQUIRED BEFORE THE 
SECURITY COUNCIL WOULD CONSIDER TRANSITIONING THE NUCLEAR 
FILE. AS THE RECENT IAEA REPORT TO THE COUNCIL MADE CLEAR, 
IRAQ HAS NOT RESPONDED TO ANY OF THE OUTSTANDING CONCERNS. 
EVEN THOUGH IRAQ HAS NO DIFFICULTY CONVENING ITS SO-CALLED 
PARLIAMENT TO DENOUNCE UNSCOM, IT HAS FAILED TO PASS A 
PENAL LAW WHICH TARIQ AZIZ ACKNOWLEDGED WAS AN 
"INESCAPABLE" PRECONDITION FOR TRANSITIONING THE FILE. 
 
YEVGENIY, THE FACTS CONTRADICT YOUR CLAIM THAT IRAQ DOES 
NOT POSSESS WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION OR THE CAPACITY TO 
MANUFACTURE THEM, AND I FURTHER BELIEVE RUSSIA WOULD NOT 
FIND SUPPORT FOR THAT OPINION ELSEWHERE. DESPITE IRAQI 
CLAIMS THAT IT HAS COOPERATED FULLY WITH UNSCOM AND 
PROVIDED FULL DISCLOSURE, UNSCOM HAS REPEATEDLY UNCOVERED 
NEW EVIDENCE OF IRAQ'S PROGRAM TO DEVELOP WEAPONS OF MASS 
DESTRUCTION. AS UNSCOM'S DISCOVERY IN JUNE OF WEAPONIZED 
VX -- SOMETHING IRAQ HAD CONSISTENTLY DENIED HAVING -- 
MAKES CLEAR, THE FULL EXTENT OF IRAQ'S WEAPONS OF MASS 
DESTRUCTION PROGRAM IS STILL UNKNOWN.   I FOUND YOUR 
STATEMENTS AT THAT TIME TO BE VERY HELPFUL, AND AM 
PERPLEXED AND SURPRISED THAT YOU WOULD TAKE A DIFFERENT 
POSITION NOW. FOR THE SECURITY OF THE REGION, WE MUST KNOW 
WHAT IRAQ HAS DEVELOPED AND IS CAPABLE OF DEVELOPING. 
 
IRAQ'S REFUSAL TO COOPERATE WITH UNSCOM AND TO ACKNOWLEDGE 
THE LEGITIMACY OF RESOLUTIONS PASSED BY THE SECURITY 
COUNCIL IS UNACCEPTABLE. UNTIL IRAQ RESUMES COOPERATION 
WITH UNSCOM, THERE IS NO REASON FOR THE COUNCIL TO HOLD 
SANCTIONS REVIEWS. THEREFORE, WE SHOULD WORK TOGETHER FOR 
A COUNCIL DECISION TO SUSPEND SANCTIONS REVIEWS 
INDEFINITELY, UNTIL THEY RESUME FULL COOPERATION. THIS, 
YEVGENIY, IS A MINIMUM NECESSARY FIRST STEP. UNLESS THE 
COUNCIL ACTS RESPONSIBLY TO COUNTER IRAQ'S OBSTRUCTIONISM, 
WE WILL HAVE TO CONSIDER OTHER AVAILABLE OPTIONS. 
 
SINCERELY, 
MADELEINE K. ALBRIGHT 
 
END TEXT. 
 
 
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