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Sunday, 1 March, 1998, 12:32 GMT
Iraq say it can't meet new UN oil export target

The Iraqi Oil Minister, Amir Muhammad Rasheed, has said that Iraq will be unable to meet the new oil production target set for it by the United Nations because of the low price of oil and because of a lack of spare parts.

A new expanded food-for-oil deal, recently approved by the UN Security Council, more than doubles the existing two-billion dollars' worth of oil Iraq is allowed to export every six months.

Mr Rasheed said that Iraq was currently negotiating with the UN to allow it to import the necessary equipment to enable it to increase production.

Iraq has been prevented from selling its oil freely on the open market since the imposition of UN sanctions in 1990 following the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service

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