US Considering Easing Sanctions Against Iraq
WASHINGTON — UNITED States officials are considering easing sanctions against Iraq to allow it to sell a limited amount of oil in order to pay for badly needed humanitarian supplies, administration sources said July 23.Until now, President Bush has refused Iraqi requests for an easing in the sanctions, imposed soon after the Aug. 2, 1990, invasion of Kuwait but kept in place after the Persian Gulf war cease-fire went into effect last February. "It's all under review," said one administration source, who stressed that "several options are being discussed among various coalition partners." British Foreign Secretary Douglas Hurd said July 23 in Turkey that Britain may support a United Nations proposal to allow Iraq to sell some oil to pay for food, but only if there are guarantees that the Iraqi army will not get the proceeds. One administration official said easing of the sanctions was being considered because of the needs of the Iraqi people. Under the various options being discussed, Baghdad would be allowed to sell some of its oil if it could be certain the money would be used for such needs as food and medicine.