UN ends Iraq sanctions

The 15-nation council passed one resolution lifting sanctions imposed in 1991 "on the grounds that to stop Iraq building nuclear, chemical and biological weapons."

UN ends Iraq sanctions

The UN Security Council has ended international sanctions imposed on Iraq in a major move toward bringing closure on the Saddam Hussein era.

Three council resolutions halted punishing international restrictions to prevent weapons of mass destruction proliferation and ended the UN oil-for-food program for Iraq.

The action will allow Iraq to start civilian nuclear activities.

The 15-nation council passed one resolution lifting sanctions imposed in 1991 "on the grounds that to stop Iraq building nuclear, chemical and biological weapons."

Saddam's alleged arsenal of weapons of mass destruction was among the main justifications for the US-led invasion in 2003, but no such weapons were found following his ouster.

A second resolution formally ended the oil-for-food program which allowed the late Iraqi president to use billions of dollars of oil money to buy food and medicine between 1996 and 2003.

A third resolution extended UN work by six months for hundreds of millions of dollars in the Development Fund for Iraq which was set up after the 2003 war to handle oil and other revenues.

France abstained from the oil-for-food vote, saying additional financial guarantees were required. The others were passed unanimously.

Iraq has been the target of about 70 UN resolutions since its 1990 invasion of Kuwait.

A Security Council statement recognised "that the situation now existing in Iraq is significantly different from that which existed at the time of the adoption of resolution 661" after Iraq's invasion of Kuwait.

Iraq still pays five per cent of revenues from its oil sales into a reparations fund for Kuwait, which is demanding that Iraq pay another $US22 billion ($A22.35 billion).

The UN Security Council agreed in February to lift civil nuclear curbs on Iraq after it ratified a number of international agreements, including the International Atomic Energy Agency's Additional Protocol, which allows for extra international nuclear checks.

Iraq has been applying the accord, which has yet to be ratified by its parliament.

Last Mod: 16 Aralık 2010, 16:39
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