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|Sunday, December 03, 2000, updated at 17:26(GMT+8)|
Iraq Bans Reselling Oil to EnemiesIraqi President Saddam Hussein has been authorized to take a harsh action toward foreign countries or companies which resell Iraq's oil to its enemies, the official Iraqi News Agency (INA) reported on Saturday, December 2.
The decision was made at a cabinet meeting chaired by the Iraqi president on Saturday.
In the case, any foreign countries or oil companies, which are proved to resell Iraq's crude to its enemies, will be put on "a black list" and be forbidden from acquiring Iraq's oil again or doing business with the UN sanctions-hit country, the INA said.
Iraq has been under UN sanctions ever since its 1990 invasion of Kuwait. Under the oil-for-food deal in 1996, Iraq is allowed to export 2.4 million barrels of oil a day in exchange for humanitarian goods.
Iraq's latest move seems to be primarily directed against the United States, which has been regarded by Iraq as its number one enemy for blocking the lift of the U.N. sanctions.
A recent report by the US Department of Energy said that American oil companies, directly or indirectly, bought an average of 725,000 barrels of Iraqi oil a day last year, accounting for 7.3 percent of the US oil imports.
Iraq's oil has been exported via two main outlets: Ceyhan, Turkey in the north and Iraq's southern port city of Al-Baker.
Iraq has intensified its anti-sanctions efforts this year and has taken numerous moves to challenge the UN Sanctions Committee which is dominated by the US and Britain.
This could be manifested by another decision taken by the cabinet meeting to upgrade the Saddam International Airport, which was reopened on August 17 in defiance of the air embargo insisted by the US and Britain.
The international airport has become dilapidated after a closure of 10 years.
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