Iraq: June 4, 2001

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Iraq will stop shipping oil for one month to protest the UN plan to loosen the sanctions. The new UN plan, called "Smart Sanctions" is designed to make it easier to trade with neighbors for non-military items and to stop the thriving oil smuggling that goes on between Iraq and its neighbors. Iraq does not want to stop the smuggling, for this is the only way for the government to get oil money. All the oil revenues from legal oil shipments are held in escrow to pay for humanitarian aid and reparations to Kuwait and other victims of Iraqi aggression. The Iraqi government does not want to lose the smuggling revenue as long as the UN has control of Iraq's legal oil revenues. The smuggling is also profitable to Iraq's neighbors, as would be legitimate trade. Iraq uses the prospect of trade to gain the support of neighbors Turkey, Jordan and Syria. 

 

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