Bush calls for lifting of UN sanctions on Iraq

17 April 2003
President Bush on 16 April called for an end to UN sanctions against Iraq on the grounds that Saddam Hussein is no longer in power. 'Now that Iraq is liberated ,the UN should lift economic sanctions on that country,' Bush told Boeing workers in Missouri. A White House spokesman said that the US would be proposing a resolution in the UN to allow trade to resume. However, the issue looks set to be contentious. UN Security Council members are reluctant to lift restrictions on the sale of Iraqi oil while the US is in sole control on the ground. The sanctions resolutions demand that Iraq proves itself clear of weapons of mass destruction, which has not yet taken place. The US has so far failed to find any such weapons and has refused to allow UN weapons inspectors to return to Iraq, setting up its own teams to carry out searches. Head of the UN weapons inspections teams in Iraq before the war, Hans Blix, has called for UN teams to be allowed back to Iraq. 'The alliance arrived as a liberator and an occupier and that can have its disadvantages. If their experts actually find weapons of mass destruction, their veracity could be doubted,' Blix said in an interview with German magazine Der Spiegel. 'Therefore I am in favour of having these tasks put back under the responsibility of specialists with international legitimacy.'

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