U.N. to allow Iraqis to sell quantity of oil

August 08, 1991|By New York Times News Service **TC

UNITED NATIONS EVB — UNITED NATIONS -- The five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council have decided to continue sanctions against Iraq, but they agreed yesterday to allow Baghdad a one-time exception to sell up to $1.6 billion worth of petroleum, with part of the money to be used to buy food and medical supplies.

Along with the permission to sell the oil comes a tough set of restrictions that would make sure that others, including the United Nations and countries with war-related claims against Iraq, get paid first.

The head of Iraq's mission to the United Nations, Abdul Amir al-Anbari, reacted in anger.

"Iraq won't accept it both as a matter of principle and as a matter of practice," Mr. al-Anbari said. "It benefits non-Iraqis rather than Iraqis. For all practical purposes, it allows Iraq to buy not one sack of rice or one sack of grain."

Baghdad had asked to sell $2 billion worth of oil solely to pay for humanitarian aid but refused demands for a detailed accounting of its gold and foreign currency reserves.

Western diplomats, noting the Iraqi importation of liquor and American-brand soft drinks, have questioned how desperate Iraqi needs are.

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