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Re: Britain anti sanctions

> Did I just read correctly in the Times that Britain is now in favour of
> lifting the oil embargo?

Wow; yes, though.  Today's Times reports that Britain may be prepared to
support France's proposal to replace the $5.2 billion cap on oil sales
(every six months) with an unlimited cap.  There will be bargaining over
this deal in the UN.

The Times goes on to report that, as Iraq is incapable of exporting even
$5.2 billion every six months, the practical effect of this new cap would
be small.  They comment that the political impact would be large, though,
allowing Britain to claim that it was no longer harming Iraqis.  In
effect, the Sanctions Committee (which needs to approve all proposed
imports) could still deny import applications, leaving the situation no
better than before.  The Sanctions Committee is composed of the members of
the Security Council.

I would encourage people to write to the FCO (cc to their MPs) expressing
their support for such a proposal, their consciousness, "of the threat
that all weapons of mass destruction pose to peace and security in the
area and of the need to work towards the establishment in the Middle East
of a zone free of such weapons" (UN SCR 687, which established Unscom,
3/4/1991) and their hope that the Sanctions Committee will behave with the
interests of the Iraqi people foremost in mind.  Thank them but also
express this caution.

Colin Rowat
King's College                                                 
Cambridge CB2 1ST                       tel: +44 (0)468 056 984
England                                 fax: +44 (0)1223 335 219

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