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Dear List, The article "Background: UNSCR 986 “Oil for Food” program From the UN Liaison Office of the Kurdistan Regional Government dated May 16, 2003, included the following: >As General Tommy Franks remarked when in Baghdad, it > was more of an “oil for palace” program. I don't want to comment on the reliability of General Franks or his integrity, nor his level of intelligence.. It is enough he is a pal of G. Bush. His record during the illegal attack on Iraq, and his lies and denials are all known and need no explanation. He is currently being accused of war crimes in Belgium. Nor do I want to comment on the conclusions reached by the UN Liaison Office of the KRG which contradicts conclusions reached by international organizations. I leave that to the list members. I am posting an article from Reuters which gives a different view, from inside Iraq; a country Franks knows very little about.. He just sneaked in and out in a hurry. HZ ----------------------------- http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=worldNews&storyID=2777711 Iraq Made $2 Billion a Year in Sanctions-Busting Tue May 20, 2003 09:56 AM ET By Peg Mackey BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Saddam Hussein raked in $2 billion a year in a sanctions-busting ploy that kept the former Iraqi president in luxury and the dilapidated oil sector alive, an Iraqi oil industry executive said Tuesday. In the eyes of the United States, Iraq was smuggling 280,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil to Syria and Turkey illegally to fill Saddam's coffers and purchase components for banned weapons of mass destruction. But for many in Iraq, the former Oil Minister Amir Muhammed Rasheed was conducting "barter trade" outside United Nations supervision, helping to generate cash to buy equipment for the country's cash-starved oil network, the executive said. "I considered it a patriotic duty to break the embargo. It was Amir Rasheed's greatest achievement," the executive, who requested anonymity, told Reuters. "Some of the money went to the presidential account to build palaces and buy luxury cars for Saddam's cronies. But the remainder was used for medicine, spare parts and equipment." Payment to Baghdad was made in cash and in kind. Goods made up about 70 percent of the invoice, and the rest was paid in hard cash, some $600 million a year. "In local terms, that's a lot of money," he said. Iraq sold most of its oil under U.N. control via the oil-for-food program, but Baghdad managed to break out of the sanctions straitjacket. Its most daring bid to gain control over oil revenues was made two years ago when it started to ship 180,000 bpd of oil to Damascus via the Iraq-Syria pipeline, an arrangement which netted about $1 billion a year, the executive said. A pumping station on the pipeline was targeted by U.S. bombers in the early days of the war to cut off the flow to Syria. The deals with Iraq's neighbors -- led by Rasheed and carried out by the rank and file -- reaped benefits for all. Syria and Turkey got cheap oil, while Iraq got cash and goods while living under a stringent economic embargo. "Syria's economy started to boom thanks to Iraq," said the executive. "Let us see what happens when Iraq's economic motor has stopped." Iraq sold its crude to Damascus and Ankara at a steep discount versus the international market. The formula was the declared price of oil at Turkey's Ceyhan outlet for Iraqi crude, minus a hefty discount of $7 a barrel, the source said. Syria paid for half the oil in manufactured goods and the remainder went into Iraqi bank accounts in Syria. "Thanks to this trade we were getting most of the contracts that were not approved by the U.N. sanctions committee, vital spare parts for the refineries, chemicals and spare parts," said the oil executive. The Turkish deal was tighter in terms of the cash component, which was only 30 percent, he said. Some 80,000 bpd of crude and some quantities of fuel oil netted Iraq close to $1 billion a year from Turkey, he said. Iraq was also exporting fuel oil out of the Gulf at the cheap rate of about $50 a ton. __________________________________ Do you Yahoo!? The New Yahoo! Search - Faster. Easier. Bingo. http://search.yahoo.com _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-discuss To contact the list manager, email email@example.com All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk