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BBC: Iraq claims victory in UN

Iraq claims victory in UN
              oil deal

              Iraq's oil industry was targeted during the Gulf War
              Iraq has described the United Nation's moves
              to allow it to spend more on oil industry repairs
              as a victory of good over evil.

              On Friday the UN Security Council unanimously
              adopted a resolution allowing Baghdad to
              spend $1.2bn a year on oil industry spare parts
              - double the previous figure.

              Before the vote, when a favourable outcome
              already appeared likely, Iraqi oil minister said:
              "When good insists ... evil backs down."

              He described the UN
              action a victory for

              Under a council
              resolution adopted last
              December, Iraq is
              allowed to sell as much
              oil as it wishes within
              the UN oil-for-food

              However, Iraq had not
              been able to increase
              oil production because of damage sustained by
              oil pumping stations.

              Iraq's oil industry was specifically targeted
              during the Gulf War and has been decimated
              by neglect during nearly 10 years of sanctions.


              The UK's ambassador to the UN, Jeremy
              Greenstock, urged Iraq to take advantage of
              the new resolution.

              He said it would enable Baghdad to export
              more oil and buy more goods to meet the
              needs of its people.

              "This extra revenue and the welcome decision
              by the government of Iraq to increase its oil
              production will bring a significant new element
              of cash into the oil-for-food programme", Mr
              Greenstock said.

              The oil-for-food
              programme permits Iraq
              to sell crude to buy
              humanitarian supplies
              to ease the effects of
              punishing sanctions
              imposed after its 1990
              invasion of Kuwait.

              About 60% of the
              money raised through
              the oil sales goes for
              the purchase of civilian
              necessities, under tight
              UN monitoring.

              The remainder is siphoned into UN accounts to
              pay reparations to Kuwait and to meet other
              costs stemming from the Gulf War.

              Annan's warning

              The council said it was acting on the
              recommendation of Secretary General Kofi

              The secretary general had warned in a report
              on 10 March that unless Iraq had more access
              to industrial spare parts, oil production would
              drop off, causing the flow of humanitarian
              supplies to Iraqi people to decrease

              In a debate on the humanitarian situation in
              Iraq last Friday, Annan told the council that
              the deterioration of Iraq's oil industry
              threatened to undermine the oil-for-food
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