Iraq protests U.S. Navy acts against Iraq-bound ships : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

Iraq protests U.S. Navy acts against Iraq-bound ships

BAGHDAD, Oct. 1, Kyodo - Iraq asked U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan on Sunday to help end U.S. ''acts of piracy and terrorism'' against Iraqi and Iraq-bound passenger and cargo vessels, the Iraqi News Agency (INA) reported. Iraq's Foreign Minister Naji Sabri made the request in a letter that said U.S. Navy personnel have been ''harassing and beating the crews of these vessels and sometimes sinking their ships.''

Sabri said the Iraqi-bound vessel Georgy was seized for 34 days with its 12-member crew, and then it was sunk Aug. 5.

The foreign minister also said that on Sept. 11, a group of 15 U.S. Marines boarded a passenger vessel bound for Iraq's Um-Qasr port and stormed the captain's cabin and the engine room, keeping the crew and the captain out.

The Marines even searched the pockets of the crew and seized their identity cards and documents, which they took to their warship for copying, he said.

The letter said, ''The misbehavior of American troops toward the movement of trade in the Arab Gulf has surpassed all limits...and the acts of the Marines of the American fleet have even become more terrorist and aggressive, including physical attacks on the crew of these vessels.''

''Such continuous American piracy is an act of terrorism that threatens peace and security in the whole region,'' the letter said.

The U.S. says its fleet in the Persian Gulf is enforcing the U.N. sanctions on Iraq. Sabri, however, said in his letter the enforcement of the sanction in Gulf waters did not fall under Chapter 7 of the U.N. Charter that makes the relative measure mandatory.

''Iraq reserves the right to measures it would take for demanding material and moral compensation for these terrorist acts in accordance with international norms,'' the letter said.

-- Martin Thompson (, October 02, 2001

Moderation questions? read the FAQ