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Public Papers - 1992 - February

Message to the Congress Reporting on the National Emergency With Respect to Iraq


To the Congress of the United States:

I hereby report to the Congress on the developments since my last report of July 26, 1991, concerning the national emergency with respect to Iraq that was declared in Executive Order No. 12722 of August 2, 1990. This report is submitted pursuant to section 401(c) of the National Emergencies Act, 50 U.S.C. 1641(c), and section 204(c) of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (``IEEPA''), 50 U.S.C. 1703(c).

Executive Order No. 12722 ordered the immediate blocking of all property and interests in property of the Government of Iraq (including the Central Bank of Iraq) then or thereafter located in the United States or within the possession or control of a U.S. person. In that order, I also prohibited the importation into the United States of goods and services of Iraqi origin, as well as the exportation of goods, services, and technology from the United States to Iraq. I prohibited travel-related transactions and transportation transactions to or from Iraq and the performance of any contract in support of any industrial, commercial, or governmental project in Iraq. U.S. persons were also prohibited from granting or extending credit or loans to the Government of Iraq.

The foregoing prohibitions (as well as the blocking of Government of Iraq property) were continued and augmented on August 9, 1990, by Executive Order No. 12724 that I issued in order to align the sanctions imposed by the United States with United Nations Security Council Resolution 661 of August 6, 1990.

1. Since my last report, important and rapid progress has been made in establishing the framework for processing U.S. and other nations' claims against Iraq for damages arising from its unlawful invasion and occupation of Kuwait. The Governing Council of the U.N. Compensation Commission has adopted criteria for various categories of claims, including small and large claims of individuals, claims of corporations, and claims of government and international organizations (including environmental damage and natural resource depletion claims). In addition, the Governing Council agreed to begin expedited consideration of claims of individuals for up to 0,000 as of July 1, 1992, and set July 1, 1993, as the deadline for filing this category of claims with the Commission.

In a claims census conducted by the Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control (FAC) during the first quarter of 1991 pursuant to section 575.605 of the Iraqi Sanctions Regulations, 31 CFR Part 575 (``ISR''), reports of claims from approximately 1,100 U.S. nationals were received. Included were claims for items such as personal property looted or destroyed in Kuwait, loans or other obligations on which Iraq has defaulted, and lost future business or concession rights. Inasmuch as these claims have not been submitted to a formal claims resolution body, much less adjudicated, their actual aggregate value is not known.

2. FAC has issued 199 specific licenses (51 since my last report) regarding transactions pertaining to Iraq or Iraqi assets. Specific licenses were issued for payment to U.S. or third-country creditors of Iraq, under certain narrowly defined circumstances, for pre-embargo import and export transactions. Additionally, licenses were issued for conducting procedural transactions such as the filing of legal actions and for legal representation. Pursuant to United Nations Security Council Resolutions 661, 666, and 687, specific licenses were also issued to authorize the exportation to Iraq of donated medicine, medical supplies, and food intended for humanitarian relief purposes.

To ensure compliance with the terms of the licenses that have been issued, stringent reporting requirements have been imposed that are closely monitored. Licensed accounts are regularly audited by FAC compliance personnel and by deputized auditors from other regulatory agencies. FAC compliance personnel have also worked closely with both State and Federal bank regulatory and law enforcement agencies in conducting special audits of Iraqi accounts subject to the ISR.

3. Various enforcement actions discussed in previous reports continue to be pursued, and additional investigations of possible violations of the Iraqi sanctions have been initiated. These are intended to deter future activities in violation of the sanctions. Additional civil penalty notices were issued during the reporting period for violations of the IEEPA and ISR with respect to attempted transactions involving Iraq, and substantial penalties were collected.

After investigation by FAC and the U.S. Customs Service, a Virginia corporation and its export director were convicted in U.S. District Court for conspiracy and violations of the ISR. Investigation revealed that the corporation and its export director continued to engage in activities that were in violation of the Executive orders and the ISR after August 2, 1990. The corporation and its export director performed contracts in support of a government industrial project in Iraq, and engaged in prohibited transactions relating to travel by a U.S. person to Iraq. After conviction, the corporation was fined ,000 and the export director sentenced to 5 months' incarceration, 5 months' supervised work release, and 2 years of supervised release administered by the Department of Justice.

4. The various firms and individuals outside of Iraq in Saddam Hussein's procurement network continue to be investigated for possible inclusion in the FAC listing of individuals and organizations determined to be Specially Designated Nationals (``SDN's'') of the Government of Iraq. In practice, an Iraqi SDN is a representative, agent, intermediary, or front (whether open or covert) of the Iraqi Government that is located outside of Iraq. Iraqi SDN's are Saddam Hussein's principal instruments for doing business in third countries, and doing business with them is the same as doing business with Saddam Hussein himself.

Since the Iraqi government tends to operate its international fronts as interlocking networks of third-world countries and key individuals, the SDN program is an important tool in disrupting Saddam Hussein's nuclear, military, and technological acquisitions efforts. The impact is considerable: all assets with U.S. jurisdiction of parties found to be Iraqi SDN's are blocked; all economic transactions with SDN's by U.S. persons are prohibited; and the SDN individual or organization is exposed.

5. The expenses incurred by the Federal Government in the 6-month period from August 2, 1991, through February 1, 1992, that are directly attributable to the exercise of powers and authorities conferred by the declaration of a national emergency with respect to Iraq are estimated at ,992,210, most of which represents wage and salary costs for Federal personnel. Personnel costs were largely centered in the Department of the Treasury (particularly in FAC, the U.S. Customs Service, the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement, the Office of the Assistant Secretary for International Affairs, and the Office of the General Counsel), the Department of State (particularly in the Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs and the Office of the Legal Adviser), and the Department of Commerce (particularly in the Bureau of Export Administration and the Office of the General Counsel).

6. The United States imposed economic sanctions on Iraq in response to Iraq's invasion and illegal occupation of Kuwait, a clear act of brutal aggression. The United States, together with the international community, is maintaining economic sanctions against Iraq because the Iraqi regime has failed to comply fully with binding United Nations Security Council resolutions calling for the elimination of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, an end to the repression of the Iraqi civilian population, the release of Kuwaiti and other prisoners, and the return of Kuwaiti assets stolen during its illegal occupation of Kuwait. The U.N. sanctions remain in place; the United States will continue to enforce those sanctions.

The Saddam Hussein regime continues to violate basic human rights by repressing the Iraqi civilian population and depriving it of humanitarian assistance. The United Nations Security Council passed resolutions that permit Iraq to sell .6 billion of oil under U.N. auspices to fund the provision of food, medicine, and other humanitarian supplies to the people of Iraq. Under the U.N. resolutions, the equitable distribution within Iraq of this assistance would be supervised and monitored by the United Nations and other international organizations. The Iraqi regime has refused to accept these resolutions and has thereby continued to perpetuate the suffering of its civilian population.

The regime of Saddam Hussein continues to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States, as well as to regional peace and security. The United States will therefore continue to apply economic sanctions to deter Iraq from threatening peace and stability in the region, and I will continue to report periodically to the Congress on significant developments, pursuant to 50 U.S.C. 1703(c).

George Bush

The White House,

February 11, 1992.

George Bush Presidential Library and Museum
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