UK approves sale of arms to Iraq
The British Foreign Office has approved the export of light weapons to private Iraqi security companies. Included on the list of items up for sale are assault rifles, machine guns and pistols.
According to British Junior Foreign Office Minister Bill Rammell, the arms are to be sold to firms that provide "close protection for employees of the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA)," reported AFP. Thus, the arms embargo would not be broken since the policy does not apply to the occupying CPA authorities.
Seeking to launch a new era of "ethical foreign policy", Tony Blair's Labor government passed a law in 1997 stipulating that arms cannot be sold to a country "if there is a clearly identifiable risk that the intended recipient would use the proposed export aggressively against another country."
Britain is overrode its own policy when it sold Israel sophisticated navigation and targeting equipment for F16s last year. Israel has employed the fighter planes in its assaults on the Gaza Strip. — (menareport.com)
© 2003 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)