"We began with this basic proposition: Saddam Hussein must not be allowed to develop nuclear arms, poison gas, biological weapons, or the means to deliver them. He has used such weapons before against soldiers and civilians, including his own people. We have no doubt that if left unchecked he would do so again... So long as Saddam remains in power he will remain a threat to his people, his region and the world. With our allies, we must pursue a strategy to contain him and to constrain his weapons of mass destruction program, while working toward the day Iraq has a government willing to live at peace with its people and with its neighbors."

President Clinton
The White House
December 19, 1998

Meeting the threat posed by Saddam Hussein and protecting U.S. interests in the Persian Gulf has been a high priority of President Clinton's Administration. The Administration has pursued a policy towards Iraq that rests on three pillars: containment of Saddam Hussein to prevent him from rebuilding his weapons of mass destruction (WMD) programs or threatening his neighbors; humanitarian relief for the Iraqi people to minimize their suffering at the hands of Saddam Hussein; and supporting regime change to remove Saddam Hussein from power so that Iraq and its neighbors can live in peace. This policy has successfully prevented Saddam Hussein from again attacking his neighbors as he did during the Persian Gulf War and increased pressure on his regime through international isolation. The Clinton Administration remains committed to working with U.S. allies to maintain the United Nations Security Council sanctions on Iraq, while looking to a future with a new Iraqi leadership, where the United States and its allies can support the removal of sanctions and offer assistance to bring Iraq back into the family of nations.



February 4, 1999 President Clinton signs Presidential Decision Directive (PDD) 99-13 to provide non-lethal assistance to Iraqi opposition groups.
December 19, 1998 President Clinton speaks to the role of American and British troops fighting to generate Iraqi compliance with UN Security Council (UNSC) resolutions. The President announces that U.S. policy toward Iraq would seek the removal of Saddam Hussein's regime from power.
December 16, 1998 President Clinton orders air-strikes against Iraq in response to Iraq's lack of compliance with UN inspectors, as outlined in UNSCOM Chairman Richard Butler's report to the UN Secretary General. President Clinton describes Iraqi actions as a failure in their "last chance" to prove willingness to comply.
November 15, 1998 President Clinton announces that Saddam had agreed to full compliance with all UNSC resolutions.
November 5, 1998 In a statement President Clinton makes clear that Iraq must stop blocking inspectors and come into compliance with all UNSC resolutions or face consequences.
October 31, 1998 President Clinton signs into law H.R. 4655, the "Iraq Liberation Act of 1998."
April 28, 1998 Provides assistance to Americares humanitarian mission to Iraq, and calls upon the Iraqi regime to cooperate with UN Security Council Resolution 1153, which authorizes increased humanitarian assistance to the people of Iraq.
February 17, 1998 President Clinton makes remarks on Iraq at the Pentagon to delineate the threat by the present Iraqi regime to the future of regional security.
November 12, 1997 In a statement President Clinton strongly supports UNSC resolution condemning Iraq for obstructing the work of international weapons inspectors and defying the will of the international community.
September 3, 1996 President Clinton orders air strikes in response to Iraqi attacks on the Kurdish town of Irbil in northern Iraq.


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