The following is an archived copy of a message sent to a Discussion List run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.

Views expressed in this archived message are those of the author, not of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.

[Main archive index/search] [List information] [Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq Homepage]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

SmSanc and Reinflation - Kamil Mahdi Comments

Kamil Mahdi on Smart Sanctions and Reinflation of Iraqi Economy

Dear all

The Re-Energise! Anti-Sanctions Conference in London was judged a 
big success by virtually all the people who've I've spoken to, or who 
filled in evaluation forms (12 out of 22 gave it 10 out of 10, 4 gave it 9 
out of 10).

The Denis Halliday/Kathy Kelly keynote speeches were inspirational, 
the experiences from Canada, Italy and the US were cheering and 
thought-provoking, and the information/skills workshops were much 

One very interesting workshop was by Kamil Madhi, economist at 
Exeter University, who is a regular speaker at anti-sanctions events 
around the country (last heard at the Leeds and Cambridge 

Kamil said that the UK "smart sanctions" proposal would be harmful 
to the Iraqi people even through its relaxation of controls on Iraqi 
imports of civilian goods. There would be more finished goods coming 
in, but no resources available to purchase raw materials and inputs 
for Iraqi industry. This would have a negative impact on employment, 
income distribution and poverty in Iraq.

Kamil also said that in many areas Iraq now had a competitive edge, if 
it were allowed to resume normal economic activities/relations with 
other countries, largely because of the low level of pay in the country, 
a feature he expects to persist for some time.

If economic sanctions were lifted now, there would need to be very 
careful management to avoid excessive property speculation and 
inflationary pressures and economic disruption.

If there were careful management, Iraq had 'a great deal of positive 
potential' for re-inflation of the Iraqi economy, in such areas as 
handicrafts and arts (labour-intensive industries), textiles (longer-
term), infrastructure rebuilding, and rehabilitation of the existing 
industrial plant. 

These areas of potential employment generation would depend on 
some external finance and technical support, said Kamil.

Just to remind everyone, in March 1999, the Security Council’s own 
‘Humanitarian Panel’ of experts said, ‘the humanitarian situation in 
Iraq will continue to be a dire one in the absence of a sustained revival 
of the Iraqi economy’. 

And the UN Food and Agricultural Organisation said in 1995 that 
solving the nutritional crisis meant restoring the ‘viability’ of the Iraqi 
Dinar, and ‘creating conditions for the people to acquire adequate 
purchasing power’: conditions which could be fulfilled ‘only if the 
economy can be put back in proper shape enabling it to draw on its 
own resources, and that clearly cannot occur as long as the embargo 
remains in force.’ 

Hence our emphasis on re-inflation as a key theme of anti-sanctions 

These quotations are featured in the Voices UK postcard to Tony 
Blair, to be available with a new image from Emily Johns at the Sun 5 
August March in solidarity with the Iraqi people (1pm, Temple Place, 
London, Embankment tube).



Milan Rai
Joint Coordinator, Voices in the Wilderness UK
29 Gensing Road, St Leonards on Sea East Sussex UK TN38 0HE
Phone/fax 0845 458 9571 local rate within UK
Phone/fax 44 1424 428 792 from outside UK
Pager 07623 746 462
Voices website

This is a discussion list run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq
For removal from list, email
Full details of CASI's various lists can be found on the CASI website:

[Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq Homepage]