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The BBC's Greg Barrow
"Russia says it cannot support the new sanctions scheme"
 real 56k

The BBC's Greg Barrow at the United Nations
"Britain will pursue an overhaul of the current sanctions policy"
 real 28k

The BBC's Chris Morris
reports from the Turkish-Iraqi border
 real 28k

Tuesday, 3 July, 2001, 03:49 GMT 04:49 UK
UN delays Iraq sanctions plan
Iraqi oil field
Iraq vehemently opposed the US-British plan
The United Nations Security Council has delayed a decision on plans to overhaul sanctions against Iraq and is likely to extend the current oil-for-food programme - due to expire on Tuesday - for another five months.


Preserving the validity of that draft resolution means... avoiding a crash over the next couple of days

British ambassador
Sir Jeremy Greenstock
The decision came after the Security Council failed to reach agreement among all 15 member states over a draft resolution being pushed by Britain and the United States.

The US-British resolution would have eased sanctions on civilian goods getting into the country, but would have also tightened the enforcement of an arms embargo imposed after Iraq's 1990 invasion of Kuwait.

Russia, however, said it would veto the plan, which was vehemently opposed by the Iraqi Government.


We will be joining the consensus for a rollover of the current resolution so that we can continue to work on the specifics

State Department spokesman
Richard Boucher
Some diplomats say Russia has been speaking on behalf of Iraq, and has put its own commercial interests ahead of support for a new sanctions policy which has the backing of the vast majority of Security Council members.

The BBC's United Nations correspondent says the council's decision is a setback for the Americans and the British, who have been pushing proposals for a re-vamped UN sanctions regime against Iraq.

Their aim was to introduce a new policy that would improve the lives of Iraqi people by opening the country up to the import of most civilian goods.

'Unjustifiable' objections

The British ambassador, Sir Jeremy Greenstock, said Russia had raised unjustifiable and negative objections to the new sanctions scheme, but discussions would continue.

He told the security council that as there was no consensus on a sanctions overhaul, Britain would introduce a resolution on Tuesday to extend the oil-for-food humanitarian program.

Sir Jeremy Greenstock
The British ambassador said discussions would continue
"Our criterion in moving ahead is to preserve the strong majority in the council for a draft resolution," he said.

"Preserving the validity of that draft resolution means... avoiding a crash over the next couple of days," he added.

US State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said: "We will be joining the consensus for a rollover of the current resolution so that we can continue to work on the specifics both in terms of getting Russia on board... and in terms of working out the rest of the elements of the resolution."

Iraq cut off oil sales on 4 June in protest at the US-British plan.

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See also:

02 Jul 01 | Middle East
Analysis: Iraq wins sanctions battle
29 Jun 01 | Middle East
Iraq outburst over UN sanctions
27 Jun 01 | Middle East
UN deadlock over Iraq sanctions
26 Jun 01 | Middle East
Russia resists new Iraq sanctions
23 May 01 | Middle East
UN faces split over Iraq proposals
05 Jun 01 | Middle East
UN debates Iraq sanctions
21 May 01 | Middle East
Saddam rejects 'smart' sanctions
27 Feb 01 | Middle East
Powell's new plans for Iraq
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