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Another Top U.N. Official Resigns Protesting the Iraq Sanctions

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Iraq this week called for compensation for United States and British attacks in December 1998 that it said destroyed sites monitored by the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Iraq’s U.N. representative Saeed Hasan, addressing a conference reviewing implementation of the 1970 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), of which Baghdad is a signatory, also said those countries should be condemned for the attacks.

The treaty aims at preventing the spread of nuclear weapons but permits the peaceful uses of nuclear energy under Atomic Energy Agency monitoring to ensure there is no diversion for weapons purposes.

This comes in the wake of the second major resignation at the UN over the US and British led sanctions. On March 31, Hans Von Sponeck, a German national with a more than 30 year career at the UN, resigned his post as the UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Iraq in protest of the US and British led sanctions. He was the person in charge of the UN’s Oil for Food Program in Iraq. Von Sponeck’s resignation comes just more than a year after the resignation of Denis Halliday from that same post for the same reasons. Von Sponeck and Halliday both testified at a Congressional hearing on the sanctions yesterday along with former UNSCOM inspector Scott Ritter who has now begun to speak out against the sanctions. Interestingly, Von Sponeck’s resignation has gotten very little attention from the media as has Scott Ritter’s opposition to the sanctions. When Ritter resigned as an UNSCOM inspector, however, it was all over the newspapers.

Guest:

  • Hans Von Sponeck, recently resigned as the UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Iraq.

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