The Presidential Inauguration: Iraq hopes for new chapter in US relations
Thursday 21 January 1993
The Information Minister, Hamid Yousef Hammadi, described the conflict as not between Iraq and the international community but between Iraq and the Arab world, on the one hand, and the US specifically of Mr Bush, on the other. 'We hope,' the minister said, 'that President Clinton will seek to establish a relationship of equality that ensures the legitimate interests between Iraq and the Arabs on the one hand, and the US on the other.'
This analysis of the forces ranged against Iraq conveniently overlooked the 28 countries, many of them Arab, that had joined in the coalition against Baghdad, even if the most recent US-led attacks have stretched to the limit the cohesion of the coalition. At the same time, Iraq observed its commitment not to seek confrontation with US planes over the northern and southern no-fly zones as a gesture of intent. UN weapons inspectors stranded in Bahrain for more than two weeks leave today for Baghdad to resume work suspended by a confrontation with Iraq.
In London, however, John Major yesterday urged President Clinton to treat with scepticism President Saddam's offer of a ceasefire. Downing Street officials reinforced the Prime Minister's message, warning that President Saddam could not be trusted because he had 'lied through his teeth' since the Gulf war.
Mr Major underlined British concern at France's decision to disown the attack by US forces with cruise missiles on the nuclear plant near Baghdad. He made it clear the French had been consulted and had approved the raid. 'This was a raid made by the US rather than the allies because they had the equipment on site to do it, but there was discussion between the allies, including the French,' said Mr Major. He said the legal position was clear. 'This was within international law and I think the US were wholly justified.'
In Washington it emerged that a military coup against President Saddam, of which the US had advance notice, came close to succeeding last June, according to Brent Scowcroft, President Bush's National Security Adviser. He said it was foiled only because the Iraqi leader 'has one of the most efficient security systems in the world'.
The plotters were assured they would receive US aid if they succeeded. There were reports from Iraqi emigres last year of an attempted coup which had been defeated by forces loyal to President Saddam, but it was not previously believed that it had come close to unseating the Iraqi leader.
Gen Scowcroft told the Washington Post just before stepping down from office that, while the US had a covert plan to oust President Saddam, it had not plotted his assassination. He emphasised the degree to which the outgoing administration had tried to balance the competing threats from Iraq and Iran. He said the Tehran government was 'potentially the bigger threat'. An unnamed government official was quoted as saying that, while the US had promised support to the men plotting the Iraqi coup if they succeeded, it had not provided military, logistical or financial aid.
Andrew Marr, page 25
Malaysia Airlines plane crash exposes alarming flaw in airline security: over one billion flights made last year without stolen-passport check
Swarm of killer bees sting woman 1,000 times
Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370: Oil slicks in South China Sea ‘not from missing jet’, officials say
Steve Irwin’s final words: Cameraman present at death opens up about deadly stingray attack for the first time
Oscar Pistorius trial: Athlete throws up as court hears 'graphic details' of Reeva Steenkamp's autopsy
Britain's top vet sparks controversy with call for ban on slashing animals' throats in 'ritual' slaughters for halal and kosher meat products
If you're horrified by a flame-roasted dog, you should be shocked at a hog roast
Poor 'live like animals' says Boris's privately educated sister after going on 'poverty safari'
Exclusive: Impact of immigrants on British workers ‘negligible’
Vince Cable: Teachers 'know absolutely nothing' about the world of work
Ukraine crisis: Russia pledges to 'retaliate against sanctions' as Ukrainian president says Crimea vote will not be recognised
- 1 International Women's Day 2014: The shocking statistics that show why it is still so important
- 2 Australian man Rod Sommerville reacts to bite from deadly snake by reaching for cold beer
- 3 Kim Jong-un wins 100% of the vote in North Korean elections
- 4 David Cameron resorts to paying for Facebook fans because not enough people like him
- 5 Steve Irwin’s final words: Cameraman present at death opens up about deadly stingray attack for the first time
£12000 per annum: Inspiring Interns: Our client is a leading digital agency bu...
£40000 - £45000 per annum: Charter Selection: Global leader in its respective ...
£130 - £161 per day: Randstad Education Nottingham: Do you have a qualificatio...
£6720 - £33600 per annum: Randstad Education Nottingham: The school is much la...