Iraq has introduced the death penalty for people convicted of hoarding food, Baghdad newspapers reported Tuesday.

The law, approved by the National Assembly (parliament), was the most drastic move so far to combat a U.N. trade blockade imposed after Iraq's Aug. 2 invasion of Kuwait.They said the death penalty would apply to hoarders of wheat, wheat-flour, rice, barley and maize. It was designed to "deal with the emergency circumstances the country is undergoing and which are represented by the unjust economic embargo."

They did not say when the 250-seat house passed the law but it was believed to have been approved Monday.

The newspapers also reported that fees for issuing for exit visas and passports were going up. An airport departure tax was being increased fivefold to 10 dinars ($32).