Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki discussed the government's effort to get rid of the resolutions with Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and separately with the five permanent veto-wielding members of the Security Council — the U.S., Russia, China, Britain and France. He then flew to Washington for a meeting with President Barack Obama.
The Security Council decided on Dec. 22 to review all Iraq-related resolutions adopted after the Kuwait invasion and asked the secretary-general to consult the Iraqi government and report on facts for the council to consider in deciding what actions are needed "for Iraq to achieve the status it enjoyed prior to the adoption of such resolutions."
Al-Maliki told reporters he emphasized in Wednesday's meetings that Iraq now has an elected democratic government.
"We were able to clarify to the United Nations as well as to the permanent (Security Council) countries that Iraq doesn't appear to be a threat to the international community any more," he said, and since the country poses no threat to global peace and security the resolutions are no longer required.
The Security Council has passed more than 70 resolutions on Iraq since the Kuwaiti invasion, several imposing sanctions and requiring Iraq to pay Kuwait compensation, return looted treasures and archives, and account for missing Kuwaitis.
In May 2003, the council lifted economic sanctions, opening the country to international trade and investment and allowing oil exports to resume and in June 2004, it lifted an embargo on the sale of conventional weapons to the government. Some activities related to the possible production of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons remain on the books, and missiles with a range of more than 150 kilometers (93 miles) are still banned.
Al-Maliki said Iraq is waiting for the secretary-general's report, which U.N. deputy spokeswoman Marie Okabe said "will be issued shortly."
Asked what assurances he got from the five permanent Security Council members, al-Maliki said they recognize that Iraq has made major progress in building a democratic government under a new constitution and that "dictatorship will never have time or chance to come back."
U.S. officials have strongly backed Iraq's efforts to get rid of the resolutions, many adopted under Chapter 7 of the U.N. Charter, which is militarily enforceable.
But council diplomats, speaking on condition of anonymity because the issue has not been discussed publicly, said Kuwait still has concerns and therefore a review of the resolutions will take some time.
"We think this is now an opportunity to address the Saddam era resolutions," Britain's U.N. Ambassador John Sawers told the Associated Press.
"There are a number of obligations on Iraq that relate to the Saddam era that we need to look at again, need to review. Some of these relate to sanctions and proliferation regimes. Some of them relate to the outstanding issues vis a vis Kuwait," he said.
"We hope that all the parties, and on the Kuwait issues both sides, Iraq and Kuwait, will find a way forward to build confidence and to resolve their outstanding issues," Sawers said.