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UN Security Council Resolution 1441


Project: History of US Interventions

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Aug 1990

       UN Resolution 660 passed, calling on Iraq to 'withdraw immediately and unconditionally all its forces to the positions in which they were located on 1 August 1990'. [UN Resolution]

Nov 1990

       UN Resolution 678 passed, which 'Authorizes Member States co-operating with the Government of Kuwait, unless Iraq on or before 15 January 1991 fully implements, as set forth in paragraph 1 above, the foregoing resolutions, to use all necessary means to uphold and implement resolution 660 (1990) and all subsequent relevant resolutions and to restore international peace and security in the area.'.

In other words, this authorizes the use of force to remove Iraq from Kuwait. [UN Resolution]


Nov 2002

       John Negroponte, U.S. Ambassador to the UN, urges support for Resolution 1441, arguing 'There's no 'automaticity' and this is a two-stage process, and in that regard we have met the principal concerns that have been expressed for the resolution ... Whatever violation there is, or is judged to exist, will be dealt with in the [Security] Council, and the Council will have an opportunity to consider the matter before any other action is taken.' [LA Times article; Article; Article; Article]

Nov 2002

       Resolution 1441 passed. It 'Recalls ... that the Council has repeatedly warned Iraq that it will face serious consequences as a result of its continued violations of its obligations' and also recalls 'that its resolution 678 (1990) authorized Member States to use all necessary means to uphold and implement its resolution 660 (1990) of 2 August 1990 and all relevant resolutions subsequent to Resolution 660 (1990) and to restore international peace and security in the area'.

In other words, it repeats a previously given warning and recalls some previous resolutions which authorized force to remove Iraq from Kuwait. [UN Resolution; Article]


Mar 18, 2003

       After it becomes obvious that the UN will not pass a resolution authorizing a war in Iraq, the US and Britain violate international law by launching the war anyway, justifying their actions with Resolution 1441. [Article; Article; Article; Article; Article; Article] Under the UN charter, military force is legally permitted only if it is sanctioned by the Security Council or in self-defense. [Article]

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