Talk:United Nations Security Council Resolution 1441

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
WikiProject Military history (Rated C-Class)
MILHIST This article is within the scope of the Military history WikiProject. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the project and see a list of open tasks. To use this banner, please see the full instructions.
C This article has been rated as C-Class on the quality assessment scale.
WikiProject International relations / United Nations (Rated C-class, High-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject International relations, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of International relations on Wikipedia.
If you would like to participate, you can edit the article attached to this page, or visit the project page, where you can join the project and see a list of open tasks.
C-Class article C  This article has been rated as C-Class on the project's quality scale.
 High  This article has been rated as High-importance on the project's importance scale.
Taskforce icon
This article is supported by WikiProject United Nations.


Isn't this name too general? There have been many other UN resolutions on Iraq. -- voidvector

I would suggest moving this page to UN Security Council Resolution 1441; this title can be used as a disambiguation page to link to all such resolutions that have articles (currently just 1441, I expect, but potentially all of them). — Toby 10:32 Nov 11, 2002 (UTC)

These are the resolutions mentioned in 1441 as precedents. I'm putting them here so some enterprising individuals can summarize each of them on the main page:

  • Aug 6 1990 (661)
  • Nov 29 1990 (678)
  • Mar 2 1991 (686)
  • Apr 3 1991 (687)
  • Apr 5 1991 (688)
  • Aug 15 1991 (707)
  • Oct 11 1991 (715)
  • Apr 14 1995 (986)
  • Dec 17 1999 (1284)
  • Nov 29 2001 (1382)

Major Edit/POV[edit]

Quite a bit on this page was erroneous or misleading --- and in the end, there really wasn't any consideration of trying to make sense of all the legalese for the average layman.

For example, the claim that the US "hijacked" Iraq's 12,000-page report and then engaged in creative editing is both POV to a certain extent as well as ultimately irrelevant since Hans Blix's reports were all made using the unedited versions. If Blix is supposed to be considered neutral and trustworthy, then ignoring his own statements regarding Iraqi intransigence is not helpful. Neither is accusing the US of making Blix's statements for him, which did not happen. Nor is there reasonable evidence that the US had a "timetable for war" which predated Iraqi violations of the ceasefire accords.

I checked out the main site for the author's interpretations of 1441: "". Supposedly this is a group of highly-qualified legal experts paneling together to address 1441 and what it means. But most of them engage in extremely POV claims, such as: "Have we really bought the fiction, the Washington propaganda, that Iraq is a threat? We allknow -- the issue is oil, oil and more oil. And U.S. control thereof." And yet the US has seized no oil to date. He starts with an opinion and clearly allows it to subsequently color his legal advisory with absolutely no POV check of any kind.

Another good one: "According to Secretary of State Colin Powell, 'if Iraq violates this resolution and fails to comply, then the Council has to take into immediate consideration what should be done about that, while the United States and other like-minded nations might take a judgment about what we might do about it if the Council chooses not to act.' In other words, if the Council decision does notmatch what the Bush administration has unilaterally decided, Washington will implement its own decision regardless."

Except that's not what Powell actually says, is it? In fact, he doesn't even appear to suggest such a thing. He only speaks of the US taking action if the Security Council chooses NOT to act...and this is regarding 1441, where it had already been decided Iraq was in material breach and that "serious consequences" had been made necessary by Iraq's final refusal to comply. Calbeck

Links do not have to be NPOV. Besides, I see little problem with what you quote; the formulation is the author's, but the essence seems mainly correct.
Furthermore, the edit in question [1] includes a variety of different things, some of which are rather ridiculously apologetic to the US-led aggression and frankly out of subject; for instance,
  • "All three [France, China and Russia] were later found to have continued illegal types of trade with Iraq during the sanction periods." one-sided and tendencious, why not mention this Abramov person, while we are at it ?
  • "It should be noted, however, that France's declaration of intent to veto any military action in Iraq effectively prevented the Security Council from remaining seized of the matter since at that point it could take no action to enforce the standing Resolutions." Original research and ill-informed personal speculations. The Security Council has a variety of sanctions at its disposal to enforce resolutions.
  • The "Aftermath" section, after failing the mention that "the weapons inspection teams that have investigated Iraq since 2003" were under the very same executive which ordered the invasion in the first place, goes This has generally been ignored by commentators on grounds that assassination agents do not technically count as "WMDs", being targeted at single people rather than whole populations.; perhaps because commentators will stick to what is written in the resolution... Rama 12:46, 16 April 2006 (UTC)
  • Citing a POV site as the main source for interpreting a given subject does not suggest that the material is particularly factual. And which author are you referring to? The one who claims the US started the war in order to seize Iraq's oil? In fact, the US is not receiving any of Iraq's oil, nor are any US companies currently in possession of any Iraqi oilfields, facilities, docking areas, etc. The tankers are instead going to Europe and Japan, Iraq's historical customers, just as they did in 1991. The other author's claim that the Bush Administration "unilaterally decided" to invade Iraq prior to the Security Council making a decision on the matter is likewise strictly POV. There's no evidence to support the claim.
  • That's quite a stretch. France, China and Russia all had economic motives to protect Iraq from enforcement of the UN Resolutions. That they did says nothing about whether the US should be exonerated of anything or not, so it can hardly be considered "apologetic". And your term here, "US-led aggression", indicates your own POV. It was not the US that violated half a dozen of UN687's ceasefire terms...that was Iraq, from refusing to repay Kuwait for looting damages all the way down to building brand-new missiles they were prohibited from having. Hussein started the war by invading Kuwait, got thrown out of Kuwait, agreed to a ceasefire, broke it, and got removed from power. What part of this amounts to "US-led aggression?"
  • Sanctions could not longer be legally applied. 1441 stated specifically that Iraq had received (and lost, after the deadline) its last chance to comply with the UN Resolutions. Sanctions require compliance to be successful. Therefore sanctions could not be applied since it would violate 1441's prohibition on giving Iraq any further opportunities for compliance.
  • You are unfortunately misinformed. UNSCOM was not under the Bush Administration, it was the inheritor of UNMOVIC's mission and as such was a United Nations operation. Playing the "guilt by association" card does nothing to invalidate Iraq Survey Group's findings, it merely means you're making an unfounded allegation. And perhaps you should read the Resolutions: Iraq was prohibited not only from having WMDs but also from having any programs, parts, equipment or materials for making them. Having the capacity to churn out lethal biological agents, whether they kill one person at a time or a thousand, means a simple retooling gets you WMDs. Iraq wasn't even allowed to have this kind of dual-use equipment in the manufacture of NORMAL things. Calbeck
  • Then find a better one and characterise this one. Merely removing a valuable reference is not acceptable.
  • Economics interests of France, China and Russia belong to their respective articles not here. Furthermore, the formulation suggests that these countries vetoed the invasion because of these economic interests, which is far from certain to say the least (the benefits of these trades were minutes proportions of the yearly products). It also fails to document whether the USA and UK also did trade with Iraq, and fails to report corruption in the other direction in the USA notably. But that is beside the point, this article is about a UN resolution, not about alledged corruption or propaganda among the permanent members of the Security Council.
  • I do not understand anything of what you say. It seems that you saying that a country has to comply to UN resolution to earn the right to get economic sanctions, which makes no sense.
  • I was unaware that the UN had inspectors in Iraq after the US invasion. You might want to check this. As for the resolutions, please provide clear quotations; mostly any high-tech equipment can be used somehow for military purpose, the term "dual-use" is very vague, and therefore I very much doubt that the text of the resolution will match your interpretation. Furthermore, suggesting that Iraq would have been invaded on the basis of minute quantities of toxic agents "generally ignored by commentators" is simply egregious. Rama 15:57, 16 April 2006 (UTC)
  • At issue is whether or not a heavily-POV site is "valuable" to the mission of creating a non-POV view of Resolution 1441. I submit that it is no more valuable than a revisionist site describing the Holocaust as a "Jewish plot" would be to a Wiki article on the Holocaust itself. If we have a Wiki article on the various conspiracy theories surrounding 1441, then yes, such a site would be of distinct value, but not here.
  • I concur with your second point. I can see how a reader might improperly draw the conclusion that economic motives "automatically" led to subversive voting. As the material leads to unconfirmable speculation, I shall remove it.
  • I suggest no such thing. The fact is that 1441's language prohibited further use of sanctions on grounds that Iraq would be given no further chances for compliance. Sanctions do nothing more than pressure a nation to change its ways and adopt a state of compliance...hence, adding new sanctions would have violated 1441. This is why military action was legitimized under 1441: it was the only remaining enforcement option.
  • The UN's website details the UNSCOM/UNMOVIC reports. I've read these from front to back. It's the original source material, from an unimpeachable source. There's nothing to "check". As to dual-use technology, that is also noted on the UN website. Mere "military" use is a gray area, but I am not discussing "military", I am discussing WMD use. And no, Iraq was not invaded merely on grounds that it was illegally producing assassination biotoxins which it had already killed a number of human subjects with via testing. The fact remains, nonetheless, that Iraq was indeed in breach of the WMD protocols, and did so with malice aforethought.
  • BTW, error on my part, caught and corrected: UNMOVIC replaced UNSCOM, not vice-versa. It was UNMOVIC that conducted postwar inspections. Calbeck
  • Please refrain from gratuitiously grave accusations.
  • Glade to see that we agree on this.
  • I am sorry, but I still fail to understand how you can be so positive while proeminent experts in international law have expressed their doubts as to whether 1441 did authorise an invasion (or their certainty of the opposite).
  • This is out of topic. The point is that inserting this sort of anecdotes mixes what was known about Iraq before and after the invasion. This article is about 1441, which was written, as you might know, before the US aggression. At this point, Hans Blix was still requiring more time, which the USA denied in spite of their assurance that they wanted to avoid war. Besides, further evidence did prove that Blix was right and that his inspection would have indeed avoided war; but again, this is out of the subject (and I do not understand how you can doubt for a second that the US government would have made a fanfare of the slightest possible a posteriori excuse for its aggression; they even tried to make a case of traces of toxic agents in empty shells 10 years old. If any sort of material excuse had been found, it is evident that the White House would be hammering it night and day; but they speak of "will to have a programme" and now mainly of "necessity to topple the regime" -- that they did...). Rama 23:02, 16 April 2006 (UTC)
  • The fact is that it is POV to claim that something is true when in fact it is either not true or nonconfirmable. The "accuracy" site contains very little information on 1441 that is not simply a product of someone's unconfirmed or inaccurate personal opinions. Posting a blog as a reference would be similarly useless to the purpose of this entry.
  • The simple fact of the matter is that 1441 specifies a point of no return for Iraqi compliance. That is the only possible interpretation of "last chance" and the context in which it is used. Up until 2003 Iraq was given many chances for compliance through the use of sanctions. Therefore the use of sanctions is the same as allowing further chances for compliance. Therefore sanctions were no longer an enforcement option under 1441's terms. No amount of experts, for or against the actions of the US, can overturn these basic facts.
  • Two points: first, Blix did not have the authority to "require" more time. He requested it, and giving it would have violated the "last chance" deadlines set by 1441. Iraq had over twelve years to achieve compliance, and instead got caught making all-new violations when the inspectors went in, in the form of the Al Fatah and Al Samoud missile systems. Second, the confirmable facts are that Iraq deliberately and with malice aforethought attempted to hide, rather than turn over, as much of its nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons programs as it could, with the intent of jump-starting entirely new programs once the UN had been satisfied. A specific portion of those hidden programs have been discovered, placing Iraq in violation of the ceasefire terms of 687 (even if we count none of the other known, non-WMD-related, violations). The only reason the data on Iraqi WMDs was inaccurate was because of deliberate acts of obfuscation on the part of the Hussein regime.

I've added a POV tag. The article is full of obviously POV language "Regrettably" for example, leading up to POV claims, mostly endorsing the US/UK interpretation of 1441, not shared by the majority of UNSC members at the time.

I've removed the tag. The latest edits go a long way to restore the balance.
And I'll note for the record that the view of "the majority of UNSC members" is just as irrelevant as the "US/UK interpretation", and that my points are based on NEITHER. The simple fact is that one cannot read 1441 and come away with the conclusion that "last chance to comply" means anything more or less than what it says. It is the commanding language, and personal opinions, either for or against, do not trump it. Regardless of whether the UNSC "remained seized of the matter", its choices remain strictly limited to: 1) go to war to enforce the ceasefire (France would vote against), 2) declare Iraq to be in compliance regardless of the fact that Blix says it's not (US/UK, and probably others would vote against), or 3) repudiate 1441 entirely in an attempt to put something else on the table (US at the very least would vote against).
Now, if anyone can come up with a FOURTH option that the UN might possibly have had before it, I'm all ears. As opposed to just insisting there "must be one" and leaving it at that. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Calbeck (talkcontribs) 18:11, 16 March 2007 (UTC).
4) Do what the resolution actually states, and convene the UNSC on receipt of a report of non-compliance.
An aspect that has been ignored in this article is the kind of language that was being used by the US President in the run-up to 1441 - threatening that unless the UNSC passed a strong resolution the US would see to its own security. Countries like Syria were, at the time, openly commenting that they were forced to passed the resolution in order to restrain the US, not because they supported an attack. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:14, 13 January 2009 (UTC)


Calbeck says:

He only speaks of the US taking action if the Security Council chooses NOT to act...and this is regarding 1441, where it had already been decided Iraq was in material breach and that "serious consequences" had been made necessary by Iraq's final refusal to comply.

The 'it' who had decided Iraq was in material breach was the US of America not the UN Security Council - this is central to the dispute of the legality of the 2nd Iraq war!.

Dispute 2006 National Ground Intelligence report[edit]

The article states:

In June 2006, the national Ground Intelligence Center, a Department of Defense Entity, released a report detailing the weapons of mass destruction that had been found in Iraq, including pre-1991 sarin gas and mustard agent. The report stated that, "While agents degrade over time, chemical warfare agents remain hazardous and potentially lethal."[2]"

The report was never released to the public. 7 pages of spin crufted from the report and designed to confuse and booster Santorums failing re-election campaign were released by Santorum and Hoekstra. The DOD denied their fantastical claims. see 1 see 2 This needs a rewrite. - F.A.A.F.A. 10:24, 16 December 2006 (UTC)

Regardless of the accuracy or lack thereof concerning the WMD finds, this is an article on UNSCR 1441, the enforcement of which is not reliant on the discovery of WMDs. Even Hans Blix said before the invasion that, according to Iraq's own paperwork, the Hussein regime was in violation of the ceasefire terms in over a dozen different ways. Since all the ceasefire terms held equal weight and validity under UNSCR 687, with no single category being listed as having priority, it does not ultimately matter which term he broke. The fact is, you can take your pick. Calbeck 16 March 2007

Given that the UN source text contains the phrase "Reaffirming the commitment of all Member States to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Iraq" - is it not misleading to begin the article with "a final opportunity to comply with its disarmament obligations"? This carries the implication that no further resolutions are required - seemingly in contradiction with the reaffirmation of Iraqi sovereignty. Regardless, this is the most contentious legal issue of the century and it does Wikipedia a disservice to gloss over it in this manner. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:54, 6 September 2007 (UTC)

My response is over three years later: is this a wikirecord? A "disputed" tag was inserted at the time of this discussiion [3] but the discussion has petered out leaving the article substantially unchanged. Without taking any view on the issue (I have no view), I am removing the tag. Thincat (talk) 19:33, 27 January 2010 (UTC)


I propose that we merge Implementation of resolution 1441 with Iraq disarmament crisis years 2002 to 2003, to avoid inconsistent interpretations of the disarmament process. This page could then simply explain 1441 in a matter-of-fact manner without detailing the disagreements. Aftermath could also be deleted since it is disputed, irrelevant, and done better elsewhere. smb 12:43, 17 September 2007 (UTC)

Some help[edit]

Supporters of the US Administration have argued, however, that France's declaration of intent to veto any military action in Iraq effectively prevented the Security Council from remaining seized of the matter since at that point it could take no action to enforce the standing Resolutions.

I could make no sense of this and couldn't correct it? Could someone have a go?--Lo2u (TC) 02:24, 2 November 2007 (UTC)

No point of trying to make sense of it - it assumes that Tony Blair's claim that France had threatened to veto any military action was accurate. France categorically denied making any such declaration and objected to the translation Blair used. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:14, 18 November 2010 (UTC)

Confused about all these diplomatese...[edit]

According to Gen. Wesley Clark (Ret.), former Supreme Allied Commander, Europe, UNSC Res 1441 is worded in such a way that while it is nice to go back to SC to get further authorization, 1441 was actually worded in a way that no further authorization was needed. (_Winning Modern Wars_ by W. Clark, ISBN 1-58648-218-1). I don't see that in the version sourced by Any one know which passage was used to justify the use of force? -- Kschang77 (talk) 18:43, 11 March 2008 (UTC)


I think it would be relevant to add some more background that includes the ultimatum that was presented by one of the sponsors -

George Bush, 24 September 2002: Press Conference, Washington, DC "And I again call for the United Nations to pass a strong resolution holding this man to account. And if they're unable to do so, the United States and our friends will act..."

At the moment, the article reads like all the member states voted for 1441 because they agreed with the sponsors. Now it is a fair argument that countries like Syria didn't just side with the US out of ideological agreement but did so because a literal gun was being held to Iraq's head. Of course, that sort of an assumption, however reasonable, has no place in an encyclopaedia.

I therefore suggest that the revelant information is added so the reader can reach their own conclusions. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:48, 17 November 2010 (UTC)

Worth pointing out that the Iraq WMDs went to Syria and that Saddam provided a 707 fuselage for the 9/11 terrorists to practice on.

You should avoid accusing other editors of "lying", which is a personal attack. It is entirely speculation on your part that the weapons inspections would have failed to confirm that no WMDs existed. As you are no doubt aware, while the UN Security Council had passed Resolution 1441 on 27 November 2002, they were happy to allow the inspections to continue before giving the U.S. authorization for a legal invasion. The fact that the inspections were likely to succeed may have increased the urgency of the invasion, as other reasons were unlikely to be as credible or persuasive, and the opportunity may have been lost. TFD (talk) 22:00, 2 August 2013 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

Hello fellow Wikipedians,

I have just added archive links to one external link on United Nations Security Council Resolution 1441. Please take a moment to review my edit. If necessary, add {{cbignore}} after the link to keep me from modifying it. Alternatively, you can add {{nobots|deny=InternetArchiveBot}} to keep me off the page altogether. I made the following changes:

When you have finished reviewing my changes, please set the checked parameter below to true to let others know.

Question? Archived sources still need to be checked

Cheers.—cyberbot IITalk to my owner:Online 23:05, 27 February 2016 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

Hello fellow Wikipedians,

I have just added archive links to 3 external links on United Nations Security Council Resolution 1441. Please take a moment to review my edit. If necessary, add {{cbignore}} after the link to keep me from modifying it. Alternatively, you can add {{nobots|deny=InternetArchiveBot}} to keep me off the page altogether. I made the following changes:

When you have finished reviewing my changes, please set the checked parameter below to true or failed to let others know (documentation at {{Sourcecheck}}).

Question? Archived sources still need to be checked

Cheers.—cyberbot IITalk to my owner:Online 20:11, 18 March 2016 (UTC)