The U.N.-ordered embargo on trade with Iraq is biting Baghdad "every day more and more," and should force its economy to grind to a halt by midwinter, the Finnish diplomat overseeing the embargo says.

"Nobody really thought that the sanctions would have a great effect in a few weeks," said Marjatta Rasi, Finland's deputy ambassador. She heads the Security Council's committee on sanctions."I understand that at the beginning of next year they will have serious problems," Rasi said. "It's not only food, it's everything."

"The functioning of the society will slow down because they cannot receive spare parts, even though they have taken everything they could from Kuwait," Rasi said.

"The food situation is not that bad, but the selection is not that good," she said.