The embargo continues, but not Iraqi weapons programs, according to ex-UN official
September 2002

As a former UN Assistant Secretary General, Hans Von Sponeck headed the UN "oil-for-food" program until he resigned two years ago in protest over the continued sanctions on Iraq. He was in Iraq [in August] visited sites purported to be weapons sites and found them to be "defunct and destroyed."

He said: "Evidence of al-Qaida/lraq collaboration does not exist.... Six years of revisions to sanctions policy on Baghdad have repeatedly promised 'mitigation' of civilian suffering. Yet, in 1999, UNICEF confirmed an estimated 5,000 excess child deaths every month above the 1989 pre-sanctions rate. Four months ago, UNICEF reported that more than 22 per cent of the country's young children remain chronically malnourished. Credible opposition groups outside Iraq have called for delinking economic and military sanctions. At the March Arab summit in Beirut, all 22 Arab governments (including Kuwait) called for the same. If the economic embargo on Iraq is not in their interest, then in whose interest is it?"

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