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Friday, 1 December, 2000, 13:19 GMT
Oil exports: The Iraqi statement
Iraqi oil refinery
Iraq wants to be able to set the price of its oil
The following is the text of a statement broadcast by Iraqi radio explaining its stand in the dispute with the UN over oil pricing.

In the name of God, the merciful, the compassionate.

A spokesman for the Oil Ministry has made the following statement:

Let the bad ones be accursed

Ever since Iraq and the United Nations reached the so-called agreement on oil for food, medicine, and other basic needs, the pricing of oil presented by Iraq has been adopted without any objection by international observers and the ill-reputed [United Nations] Committee 661.

In accordance with this, the Oil Ministry presented a price for its oil.

And when the price was presented to the observers, in their capacity as advisers to Committee 661, the committee surprised us by not approving the price we presented, relying in this on the advice of the international observers.

Any pricing of Iraqi oil or any other oil depends on the market and its conditions.

Thus the buyers would not buy at a higher price of oil, particularly since there is no fixed price.

The paradox that exposes the real intention of the players, who have their own objectives, is that on one hand they propagate the saying that the price of OPEC members from the Third World Countries is high.

Wealth concerns

And on the other hand they say that the price of Iraqi oil presented by the Iraqi Oil Ministry is low and they call for raising this price.

Raising the price of Iraq's oil will not make it competitive and will not attract buyers.

Iraq is concerned about its wealth and its people's interests. Any pricing of Iraqi oil or any other oil depends on the market and its conditions.

So, raising the price of Iraq's oil will not make it competitive and will not attract buyers.

Therefore, the Americans and Britons in Committee 661 are responsible for any negative effects for not raising the oil price and for the buyers' refraining from buying Iraq's oil because the committee did not approve the price. And their bad action will rebound upon them.

In order to abort all the pretexts of the evil ones, the Oil Ministry calls for holding a dialogue with the supervisors to make them understand the facts as they are. Otherwise, Iraq, which is determined not to relinquish its rights, will adhere to its stand.

Let the bad ones be accursed.

BBC Monitoring, based in Caversham in southern England, selects and translates information from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages.

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