HL Deb 10 February 1998 vol 585 cc151-2WA
Lord Kennet

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they or the United States are seeking a Resolution in the United Nations Security Council which would find Iraq "in material breach of the ceasefire" that ended the Gulf War, and would legitimate attacks on Iraqi targets; and whether they are prepared to support United States unilateral action against Iraq in the event of such a Resolution not securing United Nations Security Council approval. [HL329]

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean

We are still pursuing a diplomatic solution to the crisis with Iraq, but cannot rule out military action if Saddam fails to back down.

Iraq's obstruction of UNSCOM is a clear breach of its obligations under SCRs. Iraq has threatened regional peace and security many times over the last 20 years. Its WMD programme is a clear threat to its neighbours in the region.

The main purpose of the action we are promoting in the Security Council is to send a tough and united message to Saddam Hussein. If he fails to heed that, then the legal justification for the use of force would depend on the precise circumstances at that time.