Security Council Reported Firm on Gulf Truce
The member nations of the U.N. Security Council have agreed on a draft resolution to demand an immediate, mandatory cease-fire between Iran and Iraq, West German diplomatic sources said Friday.
The sources said the 15-member Security Council is almost certain to meet in New York on Monday to pass the resolution after weeks of haggling over the wording of the text. Later Friday, a U.N. spokesman confirmed the Monday meeting.
Several foreign ministers are expected to attend the meeting. West German Foreign Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher is considering rearranging his schedule so that he can take part, according to the sources.
West Germany is currently a member of the council.
The United States, which has been pressuring the extended Security Council to agree to a cease-fire proposal since January, had hoped that the resolution could be passed before the first “reflagging” of Kuwaiti tankers in the gulf.
U.S. Navy Escort
The first Kuwaiti ship to fly the American flag is due to sail through the Strait of Hormuz next week with a U.S. Navy escort.
The sources said it is unclear what sanctions would be introduced if either Iran or Iraq failed to abide by the first mandatory cease-fire call since the gulf war began nearly seven years ago.
Iraq has declared its willingness for a cease-fire, but Iran has opposed it and is not expected to obey a mandatory resolution, the sources said.
Approval is needed by all five permanent members of the council--the United States, Britain, Soviet Union, France and China. The council also has 10 non-permanent members, but they do not have veto power.
In Tehran, meanwhile, the Speaker of the Iranian Parliament declared Friday that Iran will kill columns of U.S. troops in the Persian Gulf and that the survivors will swear allegiance to the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.
Speaker Hashemi Rafsanjani said the United States is planning to intervene in the gulf because President Saddam Hussein of Iraq cannot defeat Iran himself, according to Iran’s official Islamic Republic News Agency.
The comments by Rafsanjani, one of the most powerful men in Iran’s Muslim fundamentalist government, were made during a sermon in Tehran. The Iranian news agency, monitored in Nicosia, Cyprus, paraphrased his remarks with no direct quotes.
State-run Iranian television showed a painting of battleships and aircraft carriers, superimposed with rows of crosses depicting a Christian cemetery.
Last week, Rafsanjani warned the United States not to go ahead with its plans to escort Kuwaiti tankers. He said the United States should save its flags to drape over the coffins of U.S. soldiers who would die in the gulf.
On Friday, Rafsanjani was quoted as saying Americans who are not killed will be led to prisoner-of-war camps in Iran, each carrying a portrait of Khomeini, Iran’s supreme leader, and shouting slogans of allegiance to him.
Machine Guns, Rockets
Iran has been using small speedboats to attack commercial shipping with machine-gun fire and shoulder-fired rocket-propelled grenades.
The speedboats operate from Iranian-held islands. They are hard to detect on radar and often hide among fishing fleets, making retaliation difficult.