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Iraq's permanent UN representative Muhammad al-Duri has told a UN Security Council session on Iraq that the US-UK "treacherous aggression" has targeted civilian installations and as a result "thousands of victim have fallen". The Security Council should pay attention to stopping the war and taking care of the lives of Iraqis exposed to "daily killing and destruction" before dealing with the humanitarian aspect, he added, urging the Security Council to stand in the face of "these tricks ... invented by Britain ... and implemented by the USA". The following is the text of Al-Duri's speech, broadcast live by Qatari Al-Jazeera satellite TV on 26 March:
Thank you Mr President. In the Name of God, the merciful, compassionate. Iraq, a founding member of the United Nations, is being subjected to a criminal, barbaric US-British military aggression. This is an aggression that is killing children, women, and the elderly, and destroying the life and future of the people of Iraq, the Sumerians, Babylonians, and Akkadians. During the 13-year blockade, a full generation of children and youth was destroyed. The condolences should be extended to all of you, members of the entire international community, to you, who love peace and security in the world.
Mr President, the large-scale US-British military aggression against Iraq began at dawn on 20 March. US President Bush at the time said that the objective of this aggression is to occupy Iraq and change its political regime. Before him, his Secretary of State Colin Powell said that the objective of the aggression is to change the political map of the Middle East in order to guarantee the interests of the United States and Israel. This is a blatant violation of international law and the UN Charter, a defiance of the international community, and a violation of international legitimacy.
Among other things, the treacherous aggression has thus far targeted civilian installations, economic infrastructure, houses, schools, hospitals, mosques, and churches in Iraq's cities and villages. As a result, thousands of victims have fallen, including children, women, and the elderly. Just an example, this included the destruction of electricity and water projects in Basra, something which will lead to health problems and real genocide; the bombing of the Al-Mustansiriyah University; and today, a popular market was bombed in Baghdad.
During 20 and 21 March only, the aggressor US and British invaders dropped more than 2,000 guided long-range missiles, and staged more than 1,000 daily air raids over all Iraq's cities and villages. They used cluster bombs and new banned weapons, which they have always bragged about with the objective to terrorize Iraq. It is known that the US and British forces stormed the demilitarized zone between Iraq and Kuwait after the UN General Secretariat withdrew the border observer force, the UNIKOM preceding acronyms in English; UN Iraq Kuwait Observer Mission . This is a clear violation of UN Security Council Resolution 687, which stipulates the inviolability of border between Iraq and Kuawit. Thus, the UN Security Council should take the necessary measures to guarantee that these borders will not be violated. US and British forces have also landed in the southern and western parts of Iraq to advance towards its villages and cities. However, the Iraqi Army forces and the armed military civilian formations of the sons of great Iraq are fighting fierce and dignified battles against this tyrannical aggression and confronting it through heroic epics.
Mr President, the invader aggressors said that the aim of their aggression is to disarm Iraq, yet the entire world knows very well that the task of verifying Iraq's fulfilment of its commitments to disarm itself has not been given to the United States and Britain but to the United Nations through the Unmovic United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission and the IAEA International Atomic Energy Agency . These two organizations mentioned in their report, which was submitted to the Security Council on 7 March, that the inspection works over three and a half months have not found any evidence that contradicts Iraq's declarations or evidence of the presence of banned weapons or activities in Iraq. In addition, the entire world knows very well and realizes that the real aim of the invasion and the aggression is to occupy Iraq, to once again impose colonialism on it, and to control its oil resources.
Mr President, the international community fully knows that the Security Council did not authorize the United States and Britain to use force. Also, Resolution 1441 never authorized this. When this resolution was adopted, the United States and Britain asserted that it neither included a hidden agenda nor an authorization for the automatic use of force. Yet, despite the Security Council's overwhelming opposition to war and despite the admission of the head of the Unmovic of Iraq's cooperation, these two countries launched their aggressive and criminal war.
Mr President, the large-scale Anglo-Saxon military invasion and the aggressive war against the Republic of Iraq constitute a blatant material breach of international law and the UN's Charter, especially Paragraph 4 of the 2nd Article of the Charter and the 7th Paragraph of Article 2. This war also constitutes a material breach of all the Security Council's resolutions on Iraq. All these resolutions, without exception, stressed the UN member states' respect for Iraq's sovereignty, political independence, and territorial integrity. This aggressive, colonialist, and US-Anglo war is flagrant defiance of the international community's will and organizations, which utterly rejected the unilateral use of force, adhered to international mechanisms, and emphasized the vital role of the United Nations in preserving international peace and security and preventing the acts of aggression.
Mr President, this barbaric, colonialist, and military aggression against Iraq constitutes a serious violation of international and regional peace and security. The United Nations, especially the Security Council, is called upon to denounce this invasion and aggression and to work to stop it unconditionally. It is called upon to demand from the United States, Britain, and other aggressors to immediately withdraw their forces of aggression outside the borders of the Republic of Iraq and to hold them fully responsible for this aggression in accordance with international law, and honour and implement UNSC resolutions, including those related to lifting of the unjust sanctions against Iraq.
While thanking all the states, peoples, and figures that called for peace and for fighting the spectre of war, we continue to hope that the international community will be able to impose its will on those who are contravening international law. We hope the international community will be able to find a peaceful solution that would spare the world the consequences of this aggression, by preventing the world from entering a new colonialist era which we expect and whose features we are already witnessing because of the fact that one world power and another power affiliated with it, are controlling the fate of the world. This means the collapse of the United Nations and the current international system.
Before concluding my speech, allow me to point out that your esteemed council has been engaged these days, the days of the aggression, in tackling the humanitarian aspect of the aggression instead of tackling the aggression itself. Is it not strange that the humanitarian aspect, important as it is, should be discussed before discussing the war and aggression, given that they are the main cause for the need to discuss the humanitarian aspect? Should not the council, first and foremost, pay attention to stopping the war of aggression and taking care of the lives of the Iraqi people who are being exposed to daily killing and destruction in an intolerable barbaric and savage offensive?
Is not the discussion of this humanitarian aspect an attempt to put the cart before the horse and distract the council from its basic role of preserving international peace and security? Who stopped the oil-for-food programme? Who withdrew the inspectors and observers from Iraq? Was this not done by the council's blessings and agreement? How can the council allow itself to be used, I repeat, to be used, for an issue on which the United States and Britain failed to have a resolution issued; namely, legitimizing aggression?
We hope that the council will be able to stand in the face of these tricks, which were invented by Britain and which are being implemented by the United States. These tricks cannot deceive except those who have blindly succumbed to the orders of the United States and Britain.
Thank You, Mr President.
Copyright Al-Jazeera TV, Doha, BBC 2003. For fair use only/ pour usage équitable seulement .