Baghdad fears US will impose ''smart'' sanctions after May 2002
Iraq said on Thursday, December 7 it feared the United States might succeed in imposing its proposal for "smart" sanctions on the country at the end of the current phase of the oil-for-food program. UN Security Council resolution 1382 contains a "suspicious angle linking the XIth phase of the program to the imposition of 'stupid' sanctions," the official daily Al-Qadissiya said.
The 15-member Security Council voted unanimously on November 29 to renew the "oil-for-food" program for 180 days to May 30, 2002, and on that date to adopt a goods-review list designed to prevent Baghdad from importing items with a military potential. Iraq promptly announced it would not agree to the new review list or accept fresh constraints on Iraqi trade.
Al-Qadissiya warned the United States and Britain against any "attempt to pass their proposal for 'stupid' sanctions within the framework of keeping the Iraqi economy under a protectorate ... This game will never wash with Iraq." The paper was referring to the US-backed British proposal for a revamp of the sanctions regime which failed at the UN Security Council in July after Russia threatened to use its veto in opposition to the plan.
Washington and London want to target items which are potentially of military use to Iraq more tightly while allowing in more of other goods, in what they call "smart" sanctions and Baghdad has dubbed "stupid".
Ath-Thawra newspaper, mouthpiece of the ruling Baath party in Baghdad, reiterated that Iraq "refuses any new restriction on its trade and rights." "Iraq will not accept anything less than an unconditional lifting of the embargo", Al-Iraq paper stressed.
The oil-for-food program allows Iraq to sell oil under UN supervision to meet the humanitarian needs of its people, who have been hard hit by the sanctions in force since Baghdad's 1990 invasion of Kuwait. Iraq maintains it has fulfilled its disarmament obligations and qualifies for an unconditional lifting of sanctions — (AFP, Baghad)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)