The New York Times reported on Saturday the Bush administration is planning to ask the United Nations to lift the sanctions against Iraq in phases. The UN would maintain its supervision of Iraqi oil sales for now.
This comes after Russia, France and other Security Council members made it clear they will not support the lifting of sanctions unless the UN is given a central role in the rebuilding of Iraq.
The Times also reported some Bush administration officials fear a messy situation in which the US or US-occupied Iraq could be sued for selling oil in defiance of UN measures and in violation of international law.
This appears to be the first evidence that the Bush administration had been considering selling Iraq’s oil illegally, before the sanctions are lifted.
- Dennis Halliday, former UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Iraq and former Assistant Secretary-General.