Legal grounds for expulsion of Iraqi diplomats
Bernard Hibbitts at 8:01 AM ET
[JURIST] The US State Department confirmed Thursday that it has expelled three Iraqi diplomats from the Iraqi Interests section of the Algerian Embassy in Washington, DC, and has also expelled two members of the Iraqi Mission to the UN. Expulsions of diplomats to the United States are governed by the terms of the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations [text], Article 9 of which states:
The receiving State may at any time and without having to explain its decision, notify the sending State that the head of the mission or any member of the diplomatic staff of the mission is persona non grata or that any other member of the staff of the mission is not acceptable. In any such case, the sending State shall, as appropriate, either recall the person concerned or terminate his functions with the mission.Expulsions of UN mission personnel are governed by the 1947 Headquarters Agreement [text] between the United States and the United Nations, Article IV, Section 13(b) of which states:
Laws and regulations in force in the United States regarding the residence of aliens shall not be applied...in such manner as to require any such person to leave the United States on account of any activities performed by him in his official capacity. In case of abuse of such privileges of residence by any such person in activities in the United States outside his official capacity, it is understood that the privileges referred to in Section 11 shall not be construed to grant him exemption from the laws and regulations of the United States regarding the continued residence of aliens...The State Department also announced Thursday that it was asking countries around the world to expel Iraqi diplomats from their jurisdictions:
Through our diplomatic missions overseas, the United States has made a formal request to those countries in which the Iraqis have a diplomatic presence to suspend Iraq's diplomatic presence in country on a temporary basis. We've also asked them to take steps to assure the prompt departure of the leading representatives of Saddam Hussein's regime.Review the complete transcript of Thursday's State Department briefing. In what may be a related development, the website of the Iraqi Mission to the UN [the link is to an archived version from November 18, 2002] is at this hour offline.
We've made this request because Saddam Hussein's refusal to comply with 12 years of United Nations Security Council resolutions to disarm and has left the international community with no option but to disarm him forcefully. For this reason, the United States has commenced military action that will permanently disarm Iraq and bring freedom to the Iraqi people.
Our expectation is that once an interim Iraqi authority is in place it will name interim replacement representatives and diplomatic missions that can reopen and truly represent the interests of the Iraqi people rather than represent a corrupt and ruthless regime.
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