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CNN article on sanctions

Sanctions send Iraq on downward spiral
July 12, 1999
Web posted at: 11:35 p.m. EDT (0335 GMT)
>From Correspondent Richard Roth and Reporter Rula Amin 
BAGHDAD, Iraq CNN) -- Years of U.N.-imposed economic sanctions have turned
Iraq from a nation of relative affluence into one of massive poverty,
according to United Nations officials. And, they add, Iraq's infant
mortality is now the highest in the world. 
"Sanctions are a legitimate tool on the U.N. charter, but sanctions can
kill," said Dr. Astrid Heiberg, president of the International Red Cross.
"They are a blunt instrument that damages the poor, the destitute and the
Contaminated water, deteriorating sewage treatment plants and a severe
decline in health care services have helped spread disease and malnutrition
among Iraq's children, according to UNICEF. A U.N. study determined that one
of every four Iraqi children is chronically malnourished. 
"If you have a constant situation of increased illness but also no food, the
child goes into a downwards spiral of increased malnutrition," said Anupama
Rao Sing of UNICEF. 
Mother of dying son pleads with doctors 
Many Iraqis have experienced that downward spiral. Nawal Radi watched it
with her two-year-old son Ameer, who had been hospitalized for a month. 
On the day he died, Ameer weighed six kilograms (13 pounds), half the normal
weight of children his age. On that day, his mother declined to receive his
share of lunch, saying he would take only milk. But the Saddam Pediatrics
Hospital had none. Nawal Radi then took Ameer's tiny body to her chest,
cradling him as he looked up to her with large eyes. 
But Ameer's condition had weakened his immunity and led to chest infections.
Needed antibiotics were not available. 
His mother screamed and pleaded with doctors when Ameer seemed to have died.
Ameer's grandmother then told her daughter he was dead. The mother was not
consoled, saying she could have saved him if the doctors would return Ameer
to her. 
Doctors tried to save the boy, massaging his tiny chest. After ten minutes
they gave up and declared the lifeless boy dead. 
U.N. ambassadors defend the sanctions 
In New York, the 15-member U.N. Security Council has decided 40 times in the
past nine years to keep the economic sanctions on Iraq. 
"The sanctions are there because of the non-compliance on the disarmament
requirements of the resolutions dating back to 1991," said Peter Burleigh,
the acting U.S. ambassador to the U.N., defending the action. 
"And the U.S. position is that the sanctions will stay on until there is
Under the terms that ended the Gulf War, Iraq agreed to disclose and
dismantle weapons of mass destruction, such as chemical and biological
agents. But Iraq blocked U.N. weapons inspectors or refused to turn over
documents, making council members suspect Baghdad is hiding military
"Iraq has used these weapons in the past against its own people and has
invaded Kuwait," said Sir Jeremy Greenstock, British Ambassador to the U.N. 
"It's still a dangerous country, so these sanctions have a serious purpose,"
he said. 
Iraq insists there are no secrets and that sanctions are used as a weapon of
"Sanctions originally should not be imposed in this comprehensive way which
kills children so they should lift it immediately," said Saeed Hasan, Iraqi
Ambassador to the U.N. 
The sanctions do not bar food and medicine, but Baghdad says they prevent
Iraq from buying humanitarian aid by preventing the government from raising
revenue, especially from its once lucrative oil trade. 
In December 1996, the Security Council adopted the so-called 'oil for food'
program that allows Iraq to sell $5.25 billion worth of oil, with a
percentage of revenue going to the Iraqi public for assistance. 
"Where Iraq is responsible for distribution, there is still some $200-300
million worth of medicine sitting in warehouses not being moved and yet they
have renewed their army vehicles and their military transport," said
Inside the U.N. Security Council, Iraq is gaining support for sanctions
"We believe that we should lift the sanctions against Iraq because the
sanctions against Iraq have been there for 8 years and people are
suffering," said Shen Guofeng, the Deputy Chinese Ambassador to the U.N. 
Even the British, with U.S. support, now favor suspending the sanctions as
long as Iraq cooperates on disarmament. 
But Baghdad says it will never agree to any plan requiring a link between
weapons and food. 
        Saddam says U.N. waging germ warfare against Iraq
        July 9, 1999
        Distrust of the United Nations growing in Iraq
        July 8, 1999
        U.N. may let Iraq rebuild vaccine factory
        July 3, 1999
        Iraq says British proposal would make sanctions 'permanent'
        June 23, 1999
        Divided Security Council mulls rival proposals on Iraq
        June 22, 1999
        U.S. supports plan to suspend sanctions if Iraq disarms
        June 16, 1999

        United Nations Home Page <>
        * Security Council <>
        * UNSCOM <>
        The Iraq Foundation <>
        Iraqi National Congress <>
        Out There News explores Iraq under sanctions
        Smart Sanctions - Targeting UN Sanctions
        The Nation.: Sanctions as Siege Warfare

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