Iraq will fight any new US effort to slap so-called "smart" sanctions on the country through the UN Security Council, Foreign Minister Naji Sabri warned Monday, September 3. "Iraq is ready for all eventualities and will strongly resist any new evil US proposal (to revamp sanctions) at the UN Security Council," Sabri said, quoted by the official INA news agency.
"If the United States tries to submit its evil plan again, its chances of success will be no greater than they were for the one that preceded it," he said. A US-backed British proposal to impose "smart" sanctions on Iraq was shelved at the UN Security Council in early July due to Russian opposition.
The minister also expressed "Iraq's desire to maintain relations with France despite Paris' negative position on smart sanctions." Baghdad has recently said that it would give priority to Turkey, Syria, Jordan and Russia in bilateral trade — ahead of France — in a sign of gratitude for their stances regarding the issue.
Iraq has been under wide-ranging UN sanctions since its August 1990 invasion of Kuwait, which was ended seven months later when a US-led international military coalition expelled Iraqi forces from the emirate. — (AFP, Baghdad)
© Agence France Presse 2001
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