Iraq Seeks UN Green Light to Import Currency Printing Press
Iraq has urged the United Nations to let it import a specialized currency printing press to help combat counterfeiting, Foreign Minister Mohammad Said al-Sahhaf said Saturday.
The sanctions committee overseeing Baghdad's contract requests under the oil-for-food program has rejected the press "without justification", Sahhaf said in a letter to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan.
The official Iraqi News Agency (INA) quoted Sahhaf as saying Iraq was entitled to buy up to 20 million dollars worth of equipment to improve its financial and banking sector last year under the program.
"We need good quality bills to maintain financial stability and stop the flood of fake notes," he said.
The dinars which Iraq prints on ordinary presses today are easy to counterfeit and of poor quality.
Before international sanctions were enforced in 1990 after Iraq invaded Kuwait, Iraq's currency was printed in Britain.
But in 1993 Baghdad took the British-made notes out of circulation after they assumed greater value on the market than locally-printed money.
The UN-controlled oil-for-food scheme enables Iraq to import essential items in exchange for crude oil exports -- BAGHDAD (AFP)
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