I.P.O. Information Service


Iraq -- Renewal of call for independent international inquiry over alleged use of arms of mass destruction

-- Revelations in The New York Times --

Vienna, 1 February 2003/P/RE/18062c-is

In a statement issued today, the President of the International Progress Organization, Professor Hans Koechler, renewed his organization's call for an independent international inquiry into the allegations over the use of poison gas in Halabja (Iraqi Kurdistan) during the Iran-Iraq war. The repeated allegations by the United States that Iraq had used poison gas in March 1988 in the town of Halabja form a major part of the efforts at legitimizing a potential war against Iraq in 2003.

The concerns raised by the President of the I.P.O. have now been confirmed by Stephen C. Pelletiere in an op ed article published yesterday in The New York Times ("A War Crime or an Act of War?").

As the Central Intelligence Agency's senior political analyst on Iraq during the Iran-Iraq war, Pelletiere had access to classified information on the Iran-Iraq war. He headed a 1991 investigation of the US Army on Iraqi military capabilities.

In his article in The New York Times, Pelletiere writes: "Before we go to war over Halabja, the administration owes the American people the full facts. ... Until Washington gives us proof of Saddam Hussein's supposed atrocities, why are we picking on Iraq on human rights grounds, particularly when there are so many other repressive regimes Washington supports?" For Pelletiere, the real motive behind the US threats against Iraq are the country's oil reserves and its water reserves - Iraq having the most extensive river system in the Middle East.

In view of these concerns raised by one of the best-informed members of the CIA during the Iran-Iraq war, a former professor at the US Army War College, the President of the I.P.O. urged the member states of the Arab League to finally assume a proactive role in the defense of Arab national interests including those of the Republic of Iraq, so as to avert  aggression against a member state of the League. The President of the I.P.O. affirmed his organization's view, expressed in the Memorandum of 19 February 2002, that a settlement to the dispute between the United States and Iraq has to be found within the framework of the United Nations Organization.

Stephen C. Pelletiere, "A War Crime or an Act of War?" - The New York Times,  31 January 2003

I.P.O. Memorandum to the United Nations concerning the threat of the use of force against Iraq, 19 February 2002

END/Iraq -- Renewal of call for independent international inquiry over alleged use of arms of mass destruction/2003-02-01/P/RE/18062c-is