Bush opposes lifting sanctions against Iraq until Hussein goes

May 21, 1991|By New York Times News Service

WASHINGTON -- President Bush said yesterday that the United States would oppose the lifting of the worldwide ban against trading with Iraq until President Saddam Hussein is forced out of power in Baghdad.

His statement, along with earlier remarks by the White House spokesman, Marlin Fitzwater, indicated strongly that the United States has decided to try to drive Mr. Hussein from power through a postwar policy of economic strangulation.

Implicit in the statements by Mr. Bush and his spokesman was a threat to use the veto authority that the United States holds as one of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council to oppose lifting the sanctions.

A mechanism for a controlled lifting of the trade ban, approved yesterday by the Security Council, would permit Mr. Hussein's government to begin selling its crude oil to pay reparations to Kuwait. Also, Iraq has asked for permission to finance urgent cargoes of food, medicine, and basic raw materials by selling its oil.

But the council has not yet taken the decisive action to allow the sale of oil to begin.

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