Lull in Gulf attacks raises hopes - and skepticism. Iranians hint at cooperation with UN on cease-fire
United Nations, N.Y.
The UN is moving rapidly to bring Iran and Iraq into high-level consultations on Monday's Gulf war cease-fire resolution. Officials from both sides are expected to meet UN Secretary-General Javier P'erez de Cu'ellar in a few days on how to carry out the resolution. The foreign minister of Iraq, which welcomed the UN action, was scheduled to meet with the Secretary-General last night. Iraq's acceptance of the resolution is conditioned on Iran's agreement to comply with the resolution fully.
Despite criticism by Iranian officials in Tehran, neither UN officials nor Security Council members view Iran as having rejected the resolution. Nor does Iran itself.
``We are not either accepting or rejecting the resolution,'' said Iran's UN Ambassador Said Rajaie Khorassani recently. ``We are simply saying that the content of the resolution is not yet defined.''
When asked if Iran intends to observe the cease-fire, he replied, ``The cease-fire is part of a package. To Iraq, a cease-fire is given. To us, some promises .... We will be ready to consider everything when we see the package.'' The promise, according to Mr. Khorassani, is the resolution's request that the Secretary-General entrust an impartial body to inquire into responsibility for the conflict. ``Probably this is the only area in the resolution which encourages us to be very, very receptive.''
An Iranian response to meeting with the UN chief is expected soon. Under terms reportedly being discussed, Iran's foreign minister or his deputy will attend.