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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Albright Asks UN for More Iraq Sanctions

UNITED NATIONS -- U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright has personally intervened to try to persuade Russia and France to agree to more sanctions against Iraq for not cooperating with UN weapons inspectors.

But it remains uncertain whether the personal diplomacy of the former UN ambassador will be enough to persuade the two governments to agree to a foreign travel ban against Iraqi military and intelligence officials.

In Paris, French Foreign Ministry spokesman Jacques Rummelhardt said negotiations were continuing on the issue, indicating no agreement had been reached with Washington.

Rummelhardt said the French foreign minister, Hubert Vedrine, had received phone calls from both Albright and Russian Foreign Minister Yevgeny Primakov on the possibility of imposing new sanctions.

The ban would be in addition to economic sanctions imposed in 1990 after Iraq invaded Kuwait.

That would present Washington with a dilemma: Either use force to demand compliance or risk the UN monitoring operations that have kept close tabs on Iraq's military since 1991.

But France and Russia are negotiating with Iraq for lucrative oil exploration contracts once sanctions are lifted. As permanent members of the Security Council, both can veto any council resolution.

In an attempt to maintain council unity, U.S. diplomats agreed Monday to delay the travel ban until after the next UN inspection report in April.