Iraq on Saturday reversed its opposition to a U.N. Security Council resolution allowing it to buy spare parts for its oil industry.
A Foreign Ministry spokesman quoted by the Iraqi News Agency said the Baghdad government now believes the resolution contains nothing that would transform the oil-for-food program into an indefinite measure to be applied until U.N. sanctions on Iraq are lifted.The Security Council passed resolution No. 1175 unanimously Friday, permitting Iraq to spend $300 million of revenues from the oil-for-food program to buy spare parts to repair and upgrade its oil industry.
The program allows Iraq to bypass sanctions imposed after its 1990 invasion of Kuwait and sell limited amounts of oil to finance purchases of food, medicine and humanitarian goods.
The resolution passed Friday also ended a provision that required Iraq to submit a food and medicine disbursement plan when the program is renewed every six months. Now, previous arrangements will stand if Iraq delays submitting a plan.
Iraq had often delayed turning in the plan in an attempt to whittle away international support for the sanctions.
Iraq had objected to the resolution out of concern that it would enshrine the program as permanent.
Iraqi Foreign Minister Mohammed Saeed al-Sahhaf sent a letter this week to the Security Council criticizing the measure, saying Baghdad "totally rejects the transfer of the oil-for-food program from a temporary measure to a permanent and ongoing formula."