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ARABS-UN - July 7 - 'Sanctions Hinder Production Capacity'.

Speaking at a conference on ME investment, Iraq's UN ambassador and chief negotiator for the oil-for-food programme, Abdul Al Anbari, assails some members of the UN Security Council for seeking to prolong a 10-year regime of stringent trade sanctions. He says: "The real objective of certain Security Council members is to keep sanctions in place while Iraq keeps exporting oil", adding: "They want to keep Iraq in a cage". (The UN imposed sanctions on Iraq after its 1990 invasion of Kuwait, which was reversed by US-led forces in the 1991 Gulf War. But since 1996 the world body has allowed Iraq to sell oil for humanitarian aid under its so-called oil-for-food programme.)

Anbari blasts a UN resolution passed in Dec. 1999 which would suspend sanctions once Iraq cooperated with weapons inspections. He adds although Resolution 1284 also eliminated the revenue ceiling on the oil-for-food programme, "by blocking contracts for spare parts for our oil sector, the Sanctions Committee has effectively capped our production capacity". Iraqi political analyst Burhan Mahmud Al Chalabi tells the conference: "Resolution 1284 is fundamentally flawed. It's designed to legitimise and prolong the sanctions regime". Chalabi calls on Britain to break the impasse between Iraq and the US by reopening a dialogue, which would help clarify the sanctions-easing resolution. Chalabi says the resolution fails to address the need for economic rehabilitation in Iraq. He adds an immediate injection of some US$30 bn was needed to boost the economy. A Western oil executive says: "If we could get Iraq and the US talking about economic solutions to the future oil gap, we could have a breakthrough on the political front".
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Publication:APS Diplomat Recorder
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:7IRAQ
Date:Jul 8, 2000
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