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Security Council Chairs: Noah Bokat-Lindell and Isabelle Foley What Role Should the U.N. Play in the Iraq Conflict? A debate rages in the United States and around the world about what is to come of Iraq. Should the U.S. leave the country, as many other members of the Coalition of the Willing have already done? When will the Iraqis be able to fend for themselves? Should the United Nations get involved in Iraq, even after the United States went to war in spite of U.N. opposition? These are the questions that we as the Security Council must answer. The U.N. has had a long and varied history with Iraq and its former leader, Saddam Hussein. In 1990, after Iraq invaded the neighboring country of Kuwait in what became the Gulf War, the U.N. imposed sanctions on Iraq. The sanctions consisted of an embargo on Iraq, forcing U.N. countries to stop trading with Iraq or giving the country any goods except emergency food, medical supplies, or other humanitarian aid. The sanctions were meant to make conditions in Iraq so poor that the people would oust Saddam Hussein. They were also tied to the fear that Hussein was attempting to develop chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons. The trade embargo greatly hurt Iraq, crippling its economy and causing the deaths of as many as one million Iraqis, including as many as half a million children. Nuclear inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency in the years leading up to the Iraq Conflict have indicated that Iraq’s nuclear weapons program had been dismantled, and that Saddam Hussein posed no imminent nuclear threat. Secretary of State Colin Powell made a speech to the United Nations Security Council on February 6, 2003, claiming that Hussein had mobile weapons laboratories, that Iraq had been sponsoring terrorism, and that it had hidden its weapons of mass destruction from inspectors. The Security Council rejected the resolution for military intervention in Iraq, but on March 19, 2003, the United States, Great Britain, and the other nations of the Coalition of the Willing began what is now known as the Iraq War or Iraq Conflict. Some leaders advocate no U.N. intervention in the conflict, asserting that it would be an undue burden to a body that did not condone the invasion in the first place. They do not want the United Nations to pick up the slack on an invasion that was conducted in direct contradiction to the wishes of the Security Council. Others suggest that the U.S. and Great Britain should greatly reduce their military presence in Iraq and allow the U.N. to begin nation-building. They point to the nearly unilateral action on the part of the United States and say that only international authority in the form of U.N. support can prevent the conflict from becoming a full-fledged civil war. There are also some countries and leaders pushing for a compromise approach, only gradually reducing troop numbers while engaging in diplomacy with Iraq’s neighbors—Iran, Syria, Jordan, Egypt, and others. Iraq’s neighbors will play very heavily in the outcome of this crisis. You must decide if the U.N. has the power and the need to step in and help control the country, and to what degree. QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER: 1. Was Saddam Hussein as much of a threat to the international community as the United States government claimed in the build-up to the Iraq Conflict? 2. Could the United Nations have done more to either weaken Saddam Hussein or prevent the Coalition of the Willing from invading Iraq? Does the United Nations share any blame for the current chaos in Iraq? 3. Should the United Nations become involved in any way in this conflict? If so, in what capacity? (Negotiations, diplomacy, sending in peacekeepers, monitoring elections, etc.) 4. What action, if any, should be taken against the United States, Great Britain, and the other Coalition countries to end the current occupation of Iraq? Should the United Nations do anything? Does it have the authority to do anything? The Situation in Iraq The Security Council, 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 Seeing the destruction occurring in Iraq due to the invasion by the Coalition of the Willing, Asserting that while Saddam Hussein was a brutal dictator whose loss betters the world, his deposition came at too high a price in terms of the lives of both Coalition forces and Iraqi civilians, as well as in terms of international security, Recognizing that the United States initiated its invasion without the approval of the United Nations Security Council, Realizing that the United Nations must take immediate action to prevent the Iraq Conflict from escalating into a civil war, Cognizant of the fact that the United Nations has no standing army and that therefore soldiers from other international organizations may be necessary to help ensure the peace, 1. Demands that the United States and Great Britain begin reducing troop levels by 1 May 2008 and that continued steady withdrawals be maintained; 2. Declares that if directive 1 of this resolution remains unfulfilled by the parties in question, the invasion of Iraq will be declared by the United Nations an occupation of Iraq illegal under international law; 3. Decides that United Nations peacekeepers shall be sent to Iraq to aid in stabilization of the country; 4. Strongly urges the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and other international organizations, both governmental and nongovernmental, to send soldiers and humanitarian aid to Iraq; 5. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter. Nuclear Proliferation in Iran In the 1950s, Iran launched their nuclear program with the help of the United States. This program was temporarily suspended after the Islamic Revolution in 1979, but it was brought back again—this time with much less Western assistance. In 2002, an Iranian dissident announced the existence of a uranium enrichment facility and a “heavy water” (or deuterium oxide, which can be used to produce tritium) facility in Iran. In 2004, after facing pressure from the U.K., the U.S., France, and Germany, Iran stopped uranium enrichment programs under the Paris Agreement in order to establish trust with other nations. However, in August of 2005, Mahmoud Ahmedinejad was elected president of Iran and uranium enrichment was resumed. On April 11th, 2006, President Ahmedinejad went on television and said, "I am officially announcing that Iran has joined the group of those countries which have nuclear technology." The uranium was enriched enough so that a nuclear reactor could be made, but not a nuclear bomb. This made many other nations uneasy, and in August of that same year George W. Bush said, “The world now faces a grave threat from the radical regime in Iran. The Iranian regime arms, funds, and advises Hezbollah.” However, Iran has always insisted that their nuclear capabilities are for peaceful purposes only, such as their plan to use nuclear power plants to generate 6,000 megawatts of electricity by 2010. Nonetheless, in December of 2006, the Security Council of the United Nations passed a resolution that bans the supply of specific nuclear materials and technology to Iran, and freezes the assets of people and companies linked to Iran's nuclear program. Today, the general belief among a few power nations such as France, Germany, the U.K., and the U.S. is that Iran has weapons of mass destruction in the form of biological and chemical weapons. If this is true, then they are in violation of Biological Weapons Convention, the Chemical Weapons Convention, and the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. However, all 118 members of the Non-Aligned Movement (or the NAM—an international group that considers themselves not formally aligned with or against any major power country) declared their support of Iran's nuclear program for non-military purposes in September of 2006. This is the majority of the United Nations who wish to allow Iran's nuclear program to continue, yet some of the permanent five countries with veto power (the United States, China, France, Russia, and the United Kingdom) are strongly in favor of placing further sanctions upon Iran. The questions we are faced with is: Is Iran only trying to manufacture an alternative to oil and natural gas, as the Iranian government suggests, or is the country attempting to create nuclear weapons? What action, if any, should be taken to ascertain the truth? And If Iran is attempting to create nuclear weapons, what should be done? QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER: 1. Is Iran’s nuclear program peaceful or malevolent? Is the Iranian government attempting to generate only nuclear energy for fuel, or is it secretly creating nuclear weapons? Can Iran be trusted? 2. Iran claims that it has a right under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, of which it is a signatory, to develop nuclear technology for peaceful purposes. In light of its refusal to allow nuclear inspectors into the country and its refusal to suspend uranium enrichment until the United Nations guarantees the country this right, how valid is Iran’s claim? 3. If your country believes that Iran does have a nuclear weapons program, how should the United Nations go about eliminating this program? If your country believes that Iran is only developing nuclear technology for energy use, how can Iran work with the UN to show that it is not lying to the world? The Situation in Iran The Security Council, 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 Cognizant of the fact that Iran has participated in nuclear arms negotiations with Great Britain, Germany, and France, Recognizing that the Iranian government divulged that Iran does have a nuclear program, though it claims the program is strictly for energy purposes, Noting that there is evidence that Iran may be using its nuclear program to create weapons of mass destruction, Recalling that in late 2006, new traces of plutonium and enriched uranium — potential material for atomic warheads — were found by the IAEA in a nuclear waste facility in Iran, 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 1. Condemns Iran for continuing hidden nuclear programs whilst in violation of various agreements and treaties such as the Paris Agreement and the Nuclear NonProliferation Treaty; 2. Believes that, for the welfare of third party countries and nations neighboring the area in question that are expressing concern, the United Nations should encourage Iran to continue negotiations with Great Britain, Germany, and France, and begin negotiations with other world powers such as the United States and China; 3. Calls on Iran to allow access to members of the International Atomic Energy Agency so that the agency can determine, through nuclear inspections, whether Iran’s nuclear program is for the purpose of creating nuclear weapons; 4. Demands that the United Nations Security Council be unhesitant in implementing further economic sanctions banning trade with Iran if the nation refuses to negotiate or allow access to United Nations inspectors; 5. Strongly urges that the United Nations place elimination of nuclear weapons foremost on its agenda, as it is clear that the select countries that do possess vast quantities of such arms threaten many nations in the world; 6. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.