- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 7, 2002

From combined dispatches
The United States yesterday introduced a U.N. Security Council resolution to revise sanctions against Iraq and allow for a freer flow of civilian goods to Baghdad.
Diplomats said they expected a vote in the 15-member body as early as today. The United States worked on the draft resolution with Russia, and the other three permanent members of the council Britain, France and China supported the document.
The vote also would clear the way for Iraq to continue its crude-oil sales under U.N. supervision until late November.
The resolution "would lift U.N. controls on purely civilian goods, while focusing U.N. controls on preventing Iraq from acquiring militarily useful items to rearm itself with," State Department spokesman Richard Boucher told reporters.
"This change should further improve the flow of humanitarian and civilian goods to the Iraqi people," he said.
Another U.S. official said the resolution "codifies a goods review list and the procedures set forth to implement the list."
The list contains goods that may not be barred necessarily from entering Iraq but need to be reviewed by the United Nations on a case-by-case basis.
The new procedures are part of the oil-for-food program, which allows Iraq to sell oil and purchase food, medicine and a host of other goods to ease the impact of U.N. sanctions, imposed when Baghdad's troops invaded Kuwait in August 1990.
The new plan was what remained of "smart sanctions" the United States proposed last year. All other suggestions, such as monitoring Iraq's borders against smuggling, have been dropped after protests from neighboring countries.
The six-month phase of the oil-for-food program expires on May 29. The new phase, running from May 30 to Nov. 25, would be the 12th since the program began in December 1996.
Iraq has not expressed an opinion on the new regulations but has said it will end its self-imposed oil export suspension after 30 days tomorrow. Iraqi President Saddam Hussein called the suspension as a protest against Israel's incursion into Palestinian territories.
Oil industry sources say it will take days if not a week before Iraqi crude is shipped.
Iraq's oil exports before the suspension were averaging about 1.7 million barrels per day, or about 500,000 barrels per day less than its sustained exports capacity.
Mr. Boucher said the new system "will only work if the Iraqi regime begins to cooperate fully with the oil-for-food program, rather than working to undermine it, in particular by using its oil as a propaganda tool, such as turning the flow off, or now on again, for purely political reasons."

Copyright © 2019 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide