US, Britain Reject Annan Criticism on Oil-For-Food Scandal

The United States and Britain have rejected U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan's allegations that they are partly to blame for the Iraq oil-for-food scandal. Mr. Annan made the comment in what he thought was an off-the-record meeting.

美国和英国拒绝接受联合国秘书长安南的指责,安南认为美英两国在伊拉克石油换食品丑闻中应该负一部份责任。安南这番话是在一个他认为是非正式的会议中说的。

The secretary-general's remarks came Thursday at a reunion seminar of current and past U.N. spokesmen. Answering a question from a former top U.N. official, Mr. Annan defended the world body's role in the scandal-plagued Iraq oil-for-food program. He said The United States and Britain, as members of the Security Council Committee that authorized and oversaw the program, had turned a blind eye to oil smuggling by Saddam Hussein's government.

安南这番话是星期四在前任和现任联合国发言人的聚会上说的。安南在回答一名前联合国高官提问时,为联合国在备受丑闻困扰的伊拉克石油换食品项目中扮演的角色进行辩护。他说,美国和英国作为授权监督这个项目的安理会委员会成员国,对萨达姆政府走私石油行径视若无睹。

"The bulk of the money that Saddam made came out of smuggling outside the oil-for-food [program], and it was on the American and British watch. They were the ones who had interdiction, possibly they were also the ones who knew exactly what was going on, and that the countries themselves decided to close their eyes to smuggling to Turkey and Jordan because they were allies," he said.

安南说:“萨达姆在石油换食品项目之外通过走私获得大量金钱,这是美国和英国都看到的。这两个国家可以予以阻止,而且这两个国家可能知道到底发生了什么。是他们自己决定对伊拉克在土耳其和约旦的走私活动视若无睹,因为他们是盟国。”

The comments drew an immediate reaction in both London and Washington. British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw called the charges "inaccurate".

伦敦和华盛顿对安南的言论立即做出回应。英国外相斯特劳称这是不准确的指责。

A State Department official noted that what Mr. Annan was referring to were exemptions for Turkey and Jordan that had been highly publicized, and made with the full knowledge and understanding of the United Nations.

美国国务院一名官员指出,安南所指的是那些对土耳其和约旦予以的豁免决定,这一直是非常公开的,整个联合国对此完全知情,也了解这种情况。

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said anyone who was not aware of the exemptions had not been paying attention. He said it was a "red herring" to try now and claim that this was some shocking new revelation.

这名不愿透露姓名的官员说,任何不知道豁免事宜的人都是不关心这件事的人。他说,现在试图把这些东西称作令人震惊的新发现,这是在转移人们的视线。

The U.S. mission to the United Nations Friday sent U.N. correspondents a transcript of a Congressional hearing earlier this week at which the Turkish and Jordanian exemptions were explained in detail.

美国驻联合国代表团星期五发给各国驻联合国记者们一份本星期早些时候国会听证会的记录。在那次听证会上,对于土耳其和约旦的豁免决定进行了详细的解释。

Spokesman Richard Grennell said the mission's reaction to the smuggling allegations was the same as it has been for some time.

美国代表团发言人格伦耐尔说,代表团对走私指控的态度一直没有改变。

"There's a fundamental difference between oil smuggling, illegal oil smuggling that was done under the table and behind closed doors, and the very public process that the American government went through to exempt certain countries. Don't forget that this exemption came before the oil-for-food program was even established," he noted.

他说:“石油非法走私和美国政府同意豁免的某些国家的公开行为有着本质的区别。非法的石油走私是桌子下面和门背后的行为。别忘了豁免决定是在石油换食品计划之前做出的。”

Asked to explain Mr. Annan's comments, U.N. spokesman Fred Eckhard said the secretary-general had thought he was speaking off the record.

当有人要求联合国发言人埃克哈德解释安南的言论时,他说, 秘书长当时以为自己的发言是不供引用的。

"It was my fault,” said Mr. Eckhard. “I didn't tell him that the UN TV camera was on and everyone in the building was listening to his remarks. He thought he was talking to a private seminar."

他说:“这是我的错,我没有告诉他联合国电视网的摄像机正在录像,联合国大楼里的每个人都在听他的发言。他以为他是在一个私人研讨会上讲话。”

The oil-for-food program ran from 1996 to 2003. It allowed Saddam Hussein's government to sell oil to buy critical supplies for Iraqi civilians at a time when the country was under a U.N. economic embargo.

石油换食品计划从1996年到2003年间实施,该计划允许萨达姆政权在联合国经济制裁期间可以出售石油以便为伊拉克人民换取生活必需品。

Investigators say, however, that Saddam's regime made billions of dollars in illegal profits, both by corrupting the humanitarian program and through illegal oil sales totaling as much as 20 billion dollars.

调查人员说,但是萨达姆政权从中赚取了数百亿美元的非法利益。他们通过腐蚀人道主义项目和非法出售石油获利200亿美元。

Mr. Annan has been harshly criticized for U.N. mismanagement of the program, and for his son's involvement with a key oil-for-food program contractor. One U.S. Senator has repeatedly called on the secretary-general to step down.

安南由于对该计划管理不当和他儿子同一名石油换食品计划中的主要合同商有瓜葛而受到了严厉的谴责。美国参议员科尔曼多次要求安南下台。

But in what he thought were off-the-record comments Thursday, Mr. Annan bristled at the criticisms, which he called politically biased and ideologically inspired. He told the media seminar he sees the oil-for-food scandal as largely "an American story." He said in the rest of the world, there is still a lot of respect and enthusiasm for the world body and what it does.

但是在安南以为不会被引用的星期四的发言中, 他对这些指控义愤填膺。他说,这些指责是政治歧视,是受到意识形态的支配。他告诉媒体研讨会,石油换食品丑闻完全是“美国编造的故事”。他说,在世界的其他地方,许多国家尊重和热情对待联合国以及它的所作所为。