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Profile: Peter Burleigh


Positions that Peter Burleigh has held:

  • US Ambassador to the UN (9/1998-8/1999)
  • Deputy Representative of the United States to the United Nations (8/1997-12/1999
  • U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka and the Republic of Maldives (1995-1997)
  • Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Personnel (1992-1995)
  • Coordinator of the Office of Counter-Terrorism (1991-1992)
  • Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Intelligence and Research (1989-1991)
  • Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, Bureau of Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs (1987-1989)
  • Assistant US Secretary of State
  • Assistant US Secretary of State




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Peter Burleigh actively participated in the following events:


May 1988      US-Iraq 1980s

       During a symposium hosted by the US-Iraq Business Forum, Assistant Secretary of State Peter Burleigh encourages US companies to do business in Iraq. The business forum reportedly has strong ties to Baghdad. [Jentleson 1994, p. 84-85]
People and organizations involved: Peter Burleigh

December 16, 1998      Events Leading to Iraq Invasion

       UNSCOM executive chairman Richard Butler orders the withdrawal of weapons inspectors from Iraq accusing the Iraqis of not cooperating. His actions follow a phone conversation with Peter Burleigh, the American representative to the United Nations [New York Times, 12/18/1998] , basically warning Butler that the US intends to strike Iraq. In his book, Saddam Defiant, Butler will recall: “I received a telephone call from US Ambassador Peter Burleigh inviting me for a private conversation at the US mission... Burleigh informed me that on instructions from Washington it would be ‘prudent to take measures to ensure the safety and security of UNSCOM staff presently in Iraq.’... I told him that I would act on this advice and remove my staff from Iraq.” Butler's order to withdraw is made without the permission of the UN Security Council. [Butler, 2000, pp 224; Znet, 7/6/2004] Years later, the American press and government will say that on this day Saddam Hussein “kicked out” inspectors. [Extra!, 10/2002]
People and organizations involved: Peter Burleigh, International Atomic Energy Agency, Richard Butler, United Nations Special Commission

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