The disclosure that Iraq lied to the U. N. Security Council about its nuclear and chemical weapons stocks should, by now, be no surprise at all. Iraq told the world it would not attack Kuwait, then attacked. U. S. forces, aided by Western and Arab troops, evicted Iraq from Kuwait but stopped short of dismantling its forces or its government.
Also not surprising is the behavior of Iraq's government, which in cold blood gassed people it claimed as citizens in the northern Kurdish towns at the close of the Iran-Iraq war, then launched new mechanized attacks on the Kurds as the dust of Desert Storm settled. What is surprising is that anyone in authority in the United States or the United Nations expected anything other than duplicity, evasions and attempts to mislead from an Iraqi government obviously determined to regain ascendancy in the volatile Mideast region.
That determination is matched by the expressed will of the Security Council to put an end to the threats Iraq has directed at its neighbors. Thus, International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors have placed under tamper-proof seal the remnants of the 45 kilos of enriched uranium Iraq said it stocked, the remainder of which allegedly lies under tons of rubble from American bombing. Thus, agency inspectors did not accept Iraqi blandishments about the limited amount of chemical weapons and missiles Iraq claimed to own April 18, and have prodded Iraq to surrender substantially more.