Iraq has accused the United States and Britain of blocking imports of electrical equipment essential for the rebuilding of the sanctions-hit country's devastated power sector.
"The United States and Britain are blocking imports of electrical equipment to increase the suffering of the Iraqi people," Salah Kazir, Iraq's top electricity official, told the official INA news agency late Wednesday.
"Iraq has taken delivery of only 14 percent of equipment destined to rebuild its electricity sector from 1,434 contracts worth 2.5 billion dollars under the Oil-for-Food program," Kazir said.
Iraq's electricity installations were battered in the 1991 Gulf War over Kuwait and repair work has been hampered by a lack of spare parts due to the sanctions in force since the 1990 invasion of Kuwait.
In the provinces, electricity is cut 12 hours a day.
Iraq can import spare parts for the electricity sector under a UN Oil-for-Food accord, which allows Baghdad to export crude in return for food, medicine and other essential goods - BAGHDAD (AFP)
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com )