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De Cuillar: Iran entitled to call for identification of aggressor

Former UN secretary general Javier Perez de Cuillar referred to the eight-year war imposed on Iran by Iraq's former regime and said that Iran is entitled to call for identification of the aggressor, IRNA reported from Tehran on Wednesday.

Speaking to the reporter of the Persian daily Iran in an exclusive interview printed in its Wednesday edition, Cuillar added that Iran had earlier called for identification of the aggressor following the breakout of Iran-Iraq war.

According to the daily, the former UN secretary general said that in response to Iran's call, he had appointed a special committee consisting of Belgian lawyers to follow up the issue.

"Their extensive survey showed that Iraq had initiated the war based on hasty miscalculations, given Iran's unstable position at the time. Iraq mainly aimed to get back the privileges earlier yielded to Iran and get hold of Arvandroud waterway once more.

"Upon hearing the announcement, Iraqis were enraged and I was even accused of backing Iran. However, I was just attempting to uncover the truth and work out a peace plan. Besides Iran's request was rational and Saddam Hussein's blunder was quite obvious," added the daily quoting de Cuillar.

In response to a query about the reason that the UN Security Council did not officially announce Iraq as the aggressor, he replied, "Given that the UN Security Council includes 15 member states and even its five permanent members fail to reach consensus on issues on the agenda, this was quite unlikely."

Turning to Resolution 598 issued by the UN Security Council at the end of the Iraqi-imposed war and the committee proposed for estimating the amount of compensation to be paid to Iran, the reporter asked about the reason it was never materialized.

In response to the specified question, de Cuillar said that given any committee formed by UN consists of representatives of its member states, if the appointed members refrain from holding a session, the secretary general could not talk them into it.

In reply to the reporter's remark that this was not the case about Kuwait, the former secretary general said, "Kuwait's case was quite different. When Iraq launched an attack against Iran, its army did not even come close to Tehran, while Kuwait was entirely occupied by the Iraqi forces. They even plundered the museums and banks."

Concerning the last resolution issued by the UN Security Council on Iraq upon a US proposal, he said, "None of the resolutions issued by the council are flawless. They are rather drawn up on the basis of the talks held by the UNSC permanent members.

"However, the specified resolution seems to be theoretically helpful in establishment of order, security and democracy in Iraq following the transition of power there."

Expressing his outlook on the veto right in relation to the resolutions issued by UN, he said that with respect to the the Middle East issue the Security Council should form a group of peace-keeping forces in line with the request of the member countries.

"However, the Americans are against the establishment of the international peace-keeping forces in the region under UN supervision."

A major part of de Cuillar's tenure as UN secretary general coincided with the Iraqi-imposed war.

The former secretary general is currently serving as Peru's plenipotentiary envoy to France and its permanent representative to the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

... Payvand News - 7/15/04 ... --

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