The United States refused on Wednesday a French proposal to the UN Security Council to suspend economic sanctions on Iraq, saying the sanctions should be lifted, not merely suspended.
"With the regime gone, the United States' position is economic sanctions are no longer necessary. The sanctions should be lifted, not merely suspended," White House spokesman Ari Fleischer told reporters.
The French ambassador to the United Nations called Tuesday for the immediate suspension of most UN sanctions on Iraq, allowing unrestricted non-military trade to resume.
The Bush administration has urged UN Security Council to lift economic sanctions on Iraq since the US-led coalition forces overthrew the government of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein earlier this month.