United Nations involvement during the conflict, Military inspection teams, Resolution 598, Acceptance of resolution 598, Technical mission
Mandate, Advance parties, Ceasefire, Deployment, Operations, Relations with the parties, Ceasefire violations
Strength reductions and changes in mandate, Agreements on separation reached, Security in Iraq worsens, Completion of UNIIMOG's mandate, Civilian offices

In August 1988, after almost eight years of war, and following a period of intensive negotiations between the Secretary-General and the two Foreign Ministers, the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Republic of Iraq agreed to a suggestion of the Secretary-General, which combined the coming into force of a ceasefire and the beginning of direct talks between the two Foreign Ministers under the auspices of the Secretary-General. The United Nations Iran-Iraq Military Observer Group (UNIIMOG) was established to verify, confirm and supervise the cessation of hostilities and the withdrawal of all forces to the internationally recognized boundaries without delay. It was deployed in the region several days before the formal commencement of the ceasefire on 20 August 1988.


United Nations involvement during the conflict

Attempts by the United Nations to seek an end to the war dated back to 1980, when an outbreak of armed conflict between Iran and Iraq prompted Secretary-General Kurt Waldheim to offer his good offices to work for a peaceful settlement of the conflict. On 23 September 1980, in accordance with Article 99 of the United Nations Charter, he brought to the attention of the Security Council the threat to the maintenance of international peace and security. In resolution 479 of 28 September 1980, the Council, among other things, called upon Iran and Iraq to refrain immediately from any further use of force and to settle their dispute by peaceful means. It had little effect.

On 11 November, Mr. Olof Palme, former Prime Minister of Sweden, was appointed as the Secretary-General's Special Representative to Iran and Iraq and shortly thereafter undertook a mission to the region. Some progress was made over the freeing of merchant shipping caught by the hostilities in the Shatt al-Arab waterway and, in 1981 and 1982, over the exchange of limited numbers of prisoners of war. Yet a settlement remained elusive.

While these efforts stalled over the issues of responsibility for the war and control of the Shatt al-Arab, the United Nations was able to play a role in the issue of the bombing of purely civilian population centres of both countries. Furthermore, missions dispatched by the Secretary-General confirmed the use of chemical weapons and investigated the situation of prisoners of war in both countries.

Military inspection teams

The year 1984 saw the establishment of the first resident United Nations presence in the area. On 9 June, Secretary-General Javier Pérez de Cuéllar appealed to both sides to refrain from deliberate military attacks on purely civilian centres of population. When both Iran and Iraq agreed to this, the Secretary-General informed the Security Council of his decision to deploy inspection teams in the region. Their task would be to investigate alleged attacks on civilian areas. This became known as the truce in the "war of the cities" and lasted for some nine months.

By the end of June, two teams, each composed of three officers seconded from the military personnel of the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO) and one senior official of the United Nations Secretariat, were installed in Baghdad and Tehran. Their presence in the capitals four years later helped to expedite the establishment of UNIIMOG.

In 1986 and 1987, escalation of the war had increasing international repercussions. Attacks on merchant shipping in the Persian Gulf, including repeated strikes against commercial oil tankers, became more frequent. In response, several countries unilaterally dispatched mine-sweeping and escort craft in an attempt to facilitate safe commercial passage through international waters.

In January 1987, the Secretary-General undertook a new diplomatic initiative to reach a settlement. Enlisting the cooperation of all the members of the Council at a meeting in his office on 23 January 1987, he suggested a number of elements for their consideration. On 20 July, after extensive consultations, the Council adopted resolution 598 (1987), which included those elements and the ceasefire which came into effect one year later. The Secretary-General's endeavours benefited from a growing readiness by the five permanent members to work together to seek an end to this long-standing conflict.

Resolution 598

In the preamble to resolution 598 (1987), the Council reaffirmed its resolution 582 (1986) (which, among other things, had called for an immediate ceasefire, the withdrawal of all forces to the internationally recognized boundaries without delay and a comprehensive exchange of prisoners of war); expressed its deep concern that the conflict between Iran and Iraq continued unabated with further heavy loss of human life and material destruction; deplored the initiation and continuation of the conflict, the bombing of purely civilian population centres, attacks on neutral shipping or civilian aircraft, the violation of international humanitarian law and other laws of armed conflict, and, in particular, the use of chemical weapons contrary to obligations under the 1925 Geneva Protocol. It expressed its deep concern that further escalation and widening of the conflict might take place, its determination to bring to an end all military actions between Iran and Iraq, and its conviction that a comprehensive, just, honourable and durable settlement should be achieved between Iran and Iraq.

In the operative paragraphs, the Council demanded that, as a first step towards a negotiated settlement, Iran and Iraq observe an immediate ceasefire, discontinue all military actions on land, at sea and in the air, and withdraw all forces to the internationally recognized boundaries without delay; it requested the Secretary-General to dispatch a team of United Nations observers to verify, confirm and supervise the ceasefire and withdrawal and further requested the Secretary-General to make the necessary arrangements in consultation with the parties and to submit a report thereon to the Security Council; it urged that prisoners of war be released and repatriated without delay after the cessation of active hostilities; called upon Iran and Iraq to cooperate with the Secretary-General in implementing the resolution and in mediation efforts to achieve a comprehensive, just and honourable settlement, acceptable to both sides, of all outstanding issues, in accordance with the principles contained in the Charter of the United Nations, and upon all other States to refrain from any act which might lead to further escalation and widening of the conflict.

The Council requested the Secretary-General to explore, in consultation with Iran and Iraq, the question of entrusting an impartial body with inquiring into responsibility for the conflict and to report to the Council as soon as possible; to assign a team of experts to study the question of reconstruction; and, in consultation with Iran and Iraq and with other States of the region, to examine measures to enhance the stability of the region. He was asked to keep the Security Council informed on the implementation of the resolution.

Iraq welcomed the resolution and informed the Secretary-General of its readiness to cooperate with him and the Security Council in its implementation. Iran, while not rejecting the resolution, criticized "fundamental defects and incongruities" in it.

In September 1987, the Secretary-General travelled to Tehran and Baghdad, and a period of intense diplomatic activity ensued, with negotiations in the region and at United Nations Headquarters in New York. In October, the Secretary-General tabled the implementation plan of the resolution which he had originally presented to the Council in September. In the spring of 1988, he met repeatedly with representatives of both countries in an attempt to reach accord on the implementation of resolution 598 (1987). In March 1988, the Secretary-General invited both sides to send special emissaries to New York for consultations which took place in April 1988.

Meanwhile, the war continued, with the ever-present risk of a widening of the hostilities. Naval vessels sent by a number of countries to escort merchant shipping in the Persian Gulf were involved in incidents with one or other of the combatants. On 3 July 1988, the USS Vincennes, a United States cruiser, mistakenly shot down an Iranian commercial airliner, killing all 290 passengers and crew on board.

Acceptance of resolution 598

On 17 July 1988, Iran notified the Secretary-General of its formal acceptance of resolution 598 (1987), expressing the need to save life and to establish justice and regional and international peace and security. The following day, Iraq also reaffirmed its agreement with the principles embodied in the resolution.

Between 26 July and 7 August, the Secretary-General met with the Foreign Minister of Iran nine times and with the Representatives of Iraq six times in talks aimed at bringing about implementation of the resolution. After these intensive efforts, and with the assistance of regional diplomacy, on 6 August the President of Iraq declared his readiness for a cease-fire to be followed by direct talks. In letters dated 8 August 1988, the Secretary-General informed the Permanent Representatives of Iran and Iraq that both Governments had agreed that direct talks between their Foreign Ministers should be held under his auspices, immediately after the establishment of the ceasefire, in order to reach a common understanding of the other provisions of Security Council resolution 598 (1987) and the procedures and timing for their implementation.

Resolution 598 (1987) addressed the need both for verification and supervision of a ceasefire and for mediation to resolve all outstanding issues between the two countries. In pursuance of the latter, on 1 September 1988 the Secretary-General appointed Ambassador Jan Eliasson (Sweden), as his Personal Representative on Issues Pertaining to the Implementation of Security Council Resolution 598 (1987).

Technical mission

With formal agreement to a ceasefire in sight, the Secretary-General sent a technical mission to Iran and Iraq from 25 July to 2 August to work out the modalities for the dispatch of the United Nations observer group. Lieutenant-General Martin Vadset (Norway), Chief of Staff of UNTSO, led the mission, which included a senior political adviser, a civilian logistics expert and four military observers from UNTSO. It was assisted by the small teams which had been stationed in Baghdad and Tehran since 1984. In the course of three working days in Tehran and three in Baghdad, the mission held detailed discussions with the political and military authorities in both capitals about the method of operation of the military observer group called for in resolution 598 (1987), its deployment in each of the two countries, and the cooperation and facilities it would require from both parties.



The information furnished by the technical mission was used in defining the terms of reference and concept of operations of UNIIMOG. On 7 August, the Secretary-General presented to the Security Council a report containing his proposals for the composition and precise mandate of UNIIMOG once a date for the ceasefire had been agreed. This was achieved on 8 August, when he announced the agreement of both Iran and Iraq to a ceasefire with effect from 0300 GMT on 20 August; direct talks between the two countries would begin under his auspices on 25 August in Geneva.

UNIIMOG's mandate, in accordance with resolution 598, was "to verify, confirm and supervise the ceasefire and withdrawal". Its terms of reference were set out in the Secretary-General's report of 7 August in the following terms:

(a) to establish with the parties agreed ceasefire lines on the basis of the forward defended localities occupied by the two sides on D-Day but adjusting these, as may be agreed, when the positions of the two sides were judged to be dangerously close to each other;

(b) to monitor compliance with the ceasefire;

(c) to investigate any alleged violations of the ceasefire and restore the situation if a violation took place;

(d) to prevent, through negotiation, any other change in the status quo, pending withdrawal of all forces to the internationally recognized boundaries;

(e) to supervise, verify and confirm the withdrawal of all forces to the internationally recognized boundaries;

(f) thereafter, to monitor the ceasefire on the internationally recognized boundaries, investigate alleged violations and prevent, through negotiation, any other change in the status quo, pending negotiation of a comprehensive settlement;

(g) to obtain the agreement of the parties to other arrangements which, pending negotiation of a comprehensive settlement, could help to reduce tension and build confidence between them, such as the establishment of areas of separation of forces on either side of the international border, limitations on the number and calibre of weapons to be deployed in areas close to the international border, and patrolling by United Nations naval personnel of certain sensitive areas in or near the Shatt al-Arab.

In his report of 7 August, the Secretary-General also drew attention to four essential conditions that had to be met for UNIIMOG to be effective. First, it had to have at all times the full confidence and backing of the Security Council. Secondly, it had to enjoy the full cooperation of the two parties. Thirdly, it had to be able to function as an integrated and efficient military unit. Fourthly, adequate financial arrangements had to be made to cover its costs.

In its resolution 619 (1988) of 9 August, the Security Council approved the Secretary-General's report and decided to establish UNIIMOG immediately for a period of six months. Major-General Slavko Jovic (Yugoslavia) was appointed to the post of Chief Military Observer and served in this capacity until November 1990. Upon his departure, Brigadier-General S. Anam Khan (Bangladesh) took command of UNIIMOG as Acting Chief Military Observer.

At its peak, the total military strength of UNIIMOG was approximately 400 all ranks, including some 350 military observers. Military observers were contributed by Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Ghana, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Kenya, Malaysia, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Peru, Poland, Senegal, Sweden, Turkey, Uruguay, Yugoslavia and Zambia. New Zealand operated an air unit, and the Observer Group also included military police provided by Ireland and medical orderlies from Austria. At the beginning of the operation, and pending the establishment of a civilian-operated communications system, a signals unit from Canada ensured the vital communications which UNIIMOG needed. Like other peacekeeping operations, UNIIMOG also included international and locally recruited civilian staff.

Advance parties

On 10 August 1988, one day after the enabling resolution of the Security Council, the first elements of UNIIMOG's two advance parties arrived in Iran and Iraq. Each group consisted of twelve military observers (nine of whom were temporarily drawn from UNTSO) in addition to team leaders and a civilian component. In the days before the arrival of the main body of military observers, the advance parties established liaison with Iranian and Iraqi authorities and conducted reconnaissance of the forward locations where UNIIMOG would be deployed.


The ceasefire came into effect at 0300 GMT on 20 August 1988. By that time, 307 military observers and the main elements of the Canadian signals unit were present in Iran and Iraq and 51 patrols were deployed on the first day. These patrols had the double task of establishing the forward defended localities occupied by the two sides when the ceasefire came into effect and of defusing confrontations resulting from actual or alleged breaches of the ceasefire. In some areas there existed disagreement between the two sides over the precise position of the forward defended localities on 20 August 1988, and this became one of the principal causes of tension at certain points on the line.


It was originally envisaged that UNIIMOG group headquarters would be divided between Baghdad and Tehran, with its Iran detachment headquarters at Bakhtaran, and the Iraq detachment headquarters alongside group headquarters at Baghdad. To increase efficiency, however, and to release more military observers for patrol duty on the cease-fire lines, group and detachment headquarters were merged into a single UNIIMOG headquarters in Baghdad and another in Tehran.

The Chief Military Observer and his senior staff spent alternate weeks at each headquarters. An Assistant Chief Military Observer was permanently stationed in each capital and directed UNIIMOG's operations in the country concerned, under the overall command of the Chief Military Observer.

Originally, the military observers were deployed in four sectors on the Iranian side, with sector headquarters at Saqqez, Bakhtaran, Dezful and Ahwaz, and three on the Iraqi side, with sector headquarters at Sulaymaniyah, Ba'qubah and Basra. Each sector controlled a number of team sites, which were located as far forward as possible in order to minimize the time spent by military observers travelling between team site and ceasefire line. The length of the ceasefire line monitored by a team site varied from 70 kilometres in the south to 250 kilometres in the north.

The air wing of UNIIMOG consisted of three fixed-wing aircraft, for communications, observation, and freight and passenger duties. It was envisaged that UNIIMOG would also operate a squadron of United Nations helicopters for observation of no man's land and the ceasefire lines but one of the parties would not agree to that arrangement. As a result, UNIIMOG military observers had to use helicopters provided by the parties themselves and which could therefore fly only behind the respective ceasefire line. This inhibited UNIIMOG's ability to maintain close observation of the ceasefire.


The ceasefire lines, which extended approximately 1,400 kilometres, covered a wide variety of terrain. UNIIMOG's method of patrolling was adapted accordingly. Teams of two or more military observers conducted mobile patrols by vehicle, by helicopter, by boat in the southern marshes, and by mule-back or on foot in the mountains of the north. In winter some patrols used skis. UNIIMOG deployed a daily average of 64 patrols which operated around the clock.

The patrols' primary task was to check that the side to which they were assigned was complying with the ceasefire. They did this through their own regular observation of the forward defended localities and by verifying complaints received from the other side; they also transmitted complaints to their counterparts on the opposite side of the ceasefire line. Wherever possible, they negotiated a return to the status quo with the commanders on the spot. Where this was not possible, the matter was referred to the relevant sector headquarters so that it could be taken up with the liaison authorities of the side concerned.

In addition to investigating alleged violations, the military observers engaged in such humanitarian and confidence-building measures as the exchange of war dead found on the battlefield.

Relations with the parties

Preliminary agreements concerning the status of UNIIMOG were concluded with the Government of Iraq on 5 November 1988 and with the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran on 28 March 1989. They embodied the principles of the Charter of the United Nations and of the Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations, as well as the experience of previous United Nations peacekeeping operations. They were intended to ensure UNIIMOG's ability to function independently and, in particular, the freedom of movement and communications and other facilities that were necessary for the performance of its tasks.

Both Iran and Iraq established interdepartmental groups to coordinate cooperation with UNIIMOG and both provided liaison officers, as well as the logistic facilities requested of them.

Ceasefire violations

Throughout the mission, UNIIMOG received frequent complaints of alleged ceasefire violations; in the first nine weeks, 1,072 such complaints were recorded, but the number declined steadily as the ceasefire stabilized. All complaints were investigated; of those which have been confirmed, many were minor in nature.

However, more significant violations did occur. On 23B24 August, shortly after the commencement of the ceasefire, several hundred Iranian soldiers were taken prisoner in a serious incident near Eyn-e Khowsh. Another serious violation began on 13 September 1988 when Iran started flooding an area of no man's land in the Khusk region. This created a water obstacle between the forward positions occupied by the two armies, which in this area lay immediately to the east of the internationally recognized border. The area under flooding was the scene of several military confrontations. The flooding ceased to affect Iraqi positions after the withdrawal of Iraqi forces in 1990.

There were also some firing incidents. Other violations included the movement of troops, the establishment of new observation posts or other positions forward of the forward defended localities, and the reinforcement of defensive positions by wiring, mining, improving bunkers and general engineering works. In all such cases, UNIIMOG endeavoured to persuade the side concerned to stop work and restore the status quo.


Strength reductions and changes in mandate

The situation in the region worsened significantly following the Iraqi invasion and occupation of Kuwait in August 1990. Although this development complicated the work of UNIIMOG, the Iran-Iraq border remained calm. Despite continuing ceasefire violations of the nature described above, the implementation of UNIIMOG's mandate proceeded overall without major hindrance. By the end of September 1990, the withdrawal of all forces of both sides to the internationally recognized boundaries had been almost complete, although there were a few locations where, in UNIIMOG's view, the forces of each side remained on the wrong side of the boundaries.

In these circumstances, the Secretary-General recommended that the Security Council extend the mandate of UNIIMOG for a limited period of only two months, instead of six months as it had done on three previous occasions. This, in his view, would permit UNIIMOG to complete its tasks related to the withdrawal of the forces and would allow time for the parties and the Security Council to judge whether there was a continuing requirement for an impartial third party to monitor the ceasefire.

During that period, UNIIMOG would concentrate on the following tasks: (a) verify, confirm and supervise the remaining stages of the withdrawal; (b) help the parties to resolve any local tensions that might arise, e.g., as a result of differences about the exact line of the border, moves forward, accidental firings, etc.; (c) assist the parties in establishing an area of separation C an area on either side of the border into which each party would agree not to deploy military forces. It was judged that only 60 per cent of UNIIMOG's existing strength would be required to perform those tasks.

Following the adoption of resolution 671 (1990) of 27 September, in which the Security Council concurred with the Secretary-General's recommendations, the strength of UNIIMOG was reduced to 230 all ranks, including 184 military observers. In the course of that reduction, the military observers were redeployed in three sectors on the Iranian side, with sector headquarters at Saqqez, Bakhtaran, and Dezful, and three on the Iraqi side, with sector headquarters at Sulaymaniyah, Mansuriyah and Basra.

In the following two months, both sides continued the process of withdrawal of their forces to the internationally recognized boundaries. Both sides, however, continued to occupy or re-occupied positions in the proposed area of separation. In some cases local tension occurred when the two sides established positions in close proximity to, or even co-located with, each other, but there were no serious incidents. Difficulties also occurred because of the presence of unmarked minefields in areas from which the forces were withdrawing, especially on the Iranian side of the border.

In the meantime, the Secretary-General undertook consultations with the two parties about the future of UNIIMOG after the expiry of the two-month mandate period. The Secretary-General's position was that after the withdrawal of the forces had been completed, UNIIMOG would have a continuing role to play in facilitating the early solution of residual problems arising from the withdrawal and in helping the parties to negotiate and implement agreements on an area of separation and an area of limitation of armaments. The Secretary-General thought that the mandate should be extended for a longer period than two months and that UNIIMOG could be reduced to 50 to 60 observers on each side.

The parties had divergent views on those issues. The Iraqi side expressed a strong preference for the mandate to be renewed for a full period of six months, with UNIIMOG remaining at its existing strength. The Iranian authorities refused to accept an extension of the mandate for more than two months, although they did not exclude the possibility of a further extension thereafter, and insisted on a reduction to 50 to 60 observers on each side. In these circumstances, the Secretary-General had no choice but to recommend that the Security Council extend the mandate of UNIIMOG for a period of two months, with a strength not exceeding 120 military observers, plus the necessary support personnel. The Council did so on 28 November by adopting resolution 676 (1990).

As agreed with the parties, during that period UNIIMOG was mandated to resolve the remaining problems on the border, to try to arrange an exchange of information between the parties about unmarked minefields, and to help in the negotiation and implementation of an area of separation and, subsequently, an area of limitation of armaments. The reduction in the number of military observers (to 60 on the Iranian side, 56 in Iraq and 3 in the Command Group) necessitated a further reorganization of UNIIMOG's deployment. On each side a small number of observers were deployed at headquarters with approximately 15 military observers in each of the three sectors. All former team sites were closed as permanently manned locations and became forward patrol bases, which were manned as the situation demanded.

Agreements on separation reached

In January 1991, the two parties agreed to convene a technical meeting of military experts to discuss and resolve the questions relating to UNIIMOG's mandate that were still outstanding. The agreement was reached bilaterally, and the meeting itself was organized outside the framework of the Mixed Military Working Group that UNIIMOG had previously been trying to establish. The meeting was attended by the Acting Chief Military Observer of UNIIMOG. The two sides also reached agreements on the question of disputed positions along the internationally recognized boundaries, an area of separation along those boundaries, and the exchange of information on minefields. These agreements were fully consistent with UNIIMOG's mandate and they provided for UNIIMOG to monitor their implementation within a specified time-frame.

The disputed positions were all to be removed by 22 January 1991, and UNIIMOG was then to verify and confirm the completion of the withdrawal of all forces to the internationally recognized border described in the 1975 Treaty concerning the State Frontier and Neighbourly Relations between Iran and Iraq. The agreements on an area of separation provided for a one kilometre withdrawal on both sides along the entire length of the recognized borders. Its establishment was to take place between 10 and 27 January, with UNIIMOG helping in the implementation.

Due to the outbreak of hostilities in the Persian Gulf region in mid-January, however, the implementation of the agreements did not proceed fully according to the schedule. By the end of January, Iran had withdrawn 13 out of 17 disputed positions and Iraq had withdrawn 23 out of 29 such positions. There was little progress made in relation to mine clearing and an area of separation.

Security in Iraq worsens

UNIIMOG's capacity to fulfil the role assigned to it was seriously affected after the adoption of Security Council resolution 678 (1990) on 29 November, authorizing the use of all necessary means by a multinational coalition if Iraq did not withdraw from Kuwait by 15 January 1991. UNIIMOG undertook detailed planning to ensure the security of its personnel without compromising operational efficiency. With the deterioration of the situation in the second week of January 1991, it was decided to thin out both military and civilian staff in Baghdad. Following the Secretary-General's visit to Baghdad on 12B13 January, a decision was taken to relocate UNIIMOG personnel temporarily from Baghdad to the sectors closer to the border. The command group moved to Tehran on 14 January. After the outbreak of hostilities on 16 January 1991, all remaining UNIIMOG staff in Iraq were also moved either to Cyprus or Iran.

Despite these difficulties, the Secretary-General recommended to the Security Council that the mandate of UNIIMOG, set to expire at the end of January 1991, be extended for another month, so that the Group "may fulfil completely its important responsibilities". He stated that the implementation of Security Council resolution 598 (1987) as related to UNIIMOG was very close to completion. To implement what still remained to be done, the role required of the Secretary-General was mainly political, and he intended to recommend how that could be done. On 31 January, the Security Council unanimously adopted resolution 685 (1991), extending the mandate of UNIIMOG to 28 February.

Completion of UNIIMOG's mandate

In the following month, as a result of the continuing hostilities in the Persian Gulf region, UNIIMOG continued to operate in the Iranian part of its area only, but maintained regular contact with the Iraqi authorities through meeting on the border. At the beginning of February some 20 military observers from the Iraqi side whose tours of duty were due to expire, returned home. The balance of the observers who had come from Iraq were temporarily relocated to Cyprus to await a possible return to Iraq when circumstances permitted.

During that period, UNIIMOG continued to assist the parties in the implementation of the January 1991 agreements. On 20 February, the Group reported that the last of the disputed positions along the internationally recognized boundaries had been withdrawn. UNIIMOG thus completed verification and confirmation of the withdrawal of all forces in accordance with resolution 598 (1987). Both sides informed UNIIMOG that they had begun C and, in the case of Iraq, had completed C the establishment of the area of separation, but UNIIMOG was not in a position to verify that. The parties also continued their cooperation with regard to the exchange of information on unmarked minefields.

Reporting to the Security Council on 26 February,11 the Secretary-General described the general situation along the Iran-Iraq border as very calm. He also reported "with considerable satisfaction" that the forces of the two sides had withdrawn fully to the internationally recognized boundaries, and that the military provisions of resolution 598 (1987) could thus be considered implemented. The remaining tasks under that resolution were essentially political and therefore the Secretary-General recommended to replace UNIIMOG with small civilian offices in Baghdad and Tehran. Accordingly, the Secretary-General recommended that the Council take no action to extend the mandate of UNIIMOG.

After the Council had informed the Secretary-General of its concurrence with the proposed arrangements, UNIIMOG completed its mandate on 28 February 1991. At the time of withdrawal, UNIIMOG comprised 96 military observers. The Group also included 16 military police and a small medical unit.

Civilian offices

The civilian offices were established in February 1991. A few military officers attached to them allowed the United Nations to continue to respond promptly to requests by either Government to investigate and help resolve matters for which military expertise was required. The offices were also important in the Secretary-General's efforts to complete the implementation of resolution 598 (1987).

In December 1991, the Secretary-General commented on the responsibility for the conflict, which was referred to in resolution 598 (1987). He added, however, that no useful purpose would be served in pursuing the matter further. Rather, in the interest of peace, he suggested it would be imperative to move on with the settlement process.

By the end of 1992, the offices in Baghdad and Tehran were phased out, and the Permanent Missions of Iran and Iraq became the channels of communication between those countries and the United Nations for matters related to resolution 598 (1987).


© United Nations

Peace and Security
UN Home Page