CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL
Iraqi Trade Minister Statement
Aired January 30, 2003 - 11:05 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: All right, we want to take you back now to Baghdad, Iraq there, where the Iraqi foreign minister, Tariq Aziz, is expected to speak right after the trade minister, and let's listen in right now.
MOHAMMED MEHDI SALEH, IRAQI TRADE MINISTER (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): The first resolution to impose sanctions on Iraq was taken by the American administration in September 1988, two months later, after the end of the Iraq-Iran war and emergence of Iraq as a regional industrial and technical power, and two years before what is called the second gulf conflict.
And the blockade that was imposed as a result of Resolution 661 was a comprehensive and total blockade that stopped the arrival of medicine and food and any other commodities exported to Iraq and stopped Iraq from exporting its oil.
This what Resolution 661 was about, and Iraq stayed under the shadow of this resolution for seven years. Then Iraq resumed the export of its oil according to the agreement between Iraq and the United Nations. This was the result of the activity of the Iraqi people.
Iraq exported oil in the region of 62 billion U.S. dollars in the last six years. The Iraqi people only received $22.8 billion dollars, which means $11 per person per month. The United Nations has deducted $20 billion for various expenditures and compensations, and the rest represent outstanding contracts that have not reached Iraq yet.
The number of these contracts until now, 3,686 contracts, including contracts -- food contracts in the region of -- it's about 893 contracts worth $165 million, and the rest, as will be explained by the minister of health for the Ministry of Health and other humanitarian.
This is the crime that was committed by Bush and his administration against Iraq. The oil of Iraq is being stolen at the behest of the American...
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