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Thursday, 26 October, 2000, 13:48 GMT 14:48 UK
Iraq oil threat over dollar row

There are reports that Iraq is threatening to suspend oil exports from next week unless the United Nations allows buyers to pay in Euros rather than dollars.

A specialist regional publication -- the Middle East Economic Survey -- said there was a serious possibility of this happening.

Iraq announced last month it would stop using the dollar in foreign trade, calling it the currency of an enemy state.

The proposed switch to the Euro is due to be discussed on Monday by the UN committee supervising Iraqi oil sales, which is said to be split on the matter.

The BBC Middle East analyst says the issue is largely political for both Iraq and the United States, and that if the threat were carried out, oil prices would climb higher still. Iraqi oil sales account for five per cent of world crude exports.

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