UN Security Council lifts Iraq sanctions
In 2003, President George W. Bush suspended U.S. sanctions against the old Iraq regime of Saddam Hussein. At that time, Bush attempted to convince the U.N. Security Council to follow suit, but he was unsuccessful. Seven years later, reports BBC News, the U.N. has voted to eradicate the majority of Iraq sanctions that had been imposed during Hussein’s reign of terror.
Iraq sanctions lifted in light of political progress
The U.N. Security Council reportedly intends for its latest vote on Iraq sanctions to serve as a “thumbs up” to political progress the nation has made. Among the sanctions lifted is one that had been applied to prevent Iraq from expanding its nuclear, chemical and biological weapons program during Hussein’s rule.
The bulk of U.N. Iraq sanctions were imposed against Baghdad in 1991 following Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait. In line with President Bush lifting sanctions in 2003, the U.N. lifted some trade, investment and conventional weapon sanctions.
Iraq is ‘significantly different’ now
According to the U.N. Security Council, Iraq’s political climate is “significantly different from that which existed at the time of the adoption of resolution 661,” which was levied against the Hussein regime in 1990. Control of oil and natural gas revenue has been returned to Iraq, and sanctions-related programs such as “oil-for-food” have been scrapped, as Iraqi citizens have become more self-sustaining, according to BBC News.
Joe Biden and Ban Ki Moon envision remarkable future
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, who served as chairman for the U.N. Security Council meeting, had positive things to say about Iraq’s rejection of religious and political extremism, calling Iraq’s post-sanctions position as being “on the cusp of something remarkable.” U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki Moon shared in Biden’s optimism but tempered the vice president’s remarks by stating that Iraq must work with Kuwait to decide upon borders and war reparations. Otherwise, the U.N. will not agree to end all Iraq sanctions.
Noam Chomsky on reconstructing Iraq