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U.N. Security Council Lifts a Decade of Devastating Sanctions Responsible for the Deaths of up to One Million Iraqi Children

May 23, 2003
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The resolution gives the U.S. administration an international legal mandate to rule Iraq and control its oil until a viable Iraqi government is established.

The United Nations Security Council voted nearly unanimously yesterday to lift the sanctions on Iraq, and to give the U.S. the legal authority to occupy Iraq and to control its oil.

The Security Council vote was fourteen to zero. Syria, the only Arab nation on the council, boycotted the vote.

The resolution ends over a decade of devastating economic sanctions on Iraq. The sanctions were imposed after Iraq invaded Kuwait. According the United Nations’ own calculations, the sanctions are responsible for the deaths of between half a million and a million Iraqi children.

The resolution also gives the US administration an international legal mandate to rule Iraq until a viable Iraqi government is established.

And, it gives US occupation forces the authority to export Iraq’s oil. According to the London Guardian, expanded oil exports could bring over $20 billion dollars a year.

  • Joy Gordon, Professor of Philosophy and International Human Rights Law at Fairfield University and author of Cool War: Economic Sanctions as a Weapon of Mass Destruction for Harpers Magazine in November, 2002. She is working on her first book, A Peaceful, Silent, Deadly Remedy: The Ethics of Economic Sanctions.

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