Bioweapons sanctions against Iraq lifted

The United Nations voted last month to remove many of the sanctions it had adopted on Iraq following that country’s invasion of Kuwait 20 years ago, including the restrictions placed on the production of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons.

“This is a turning point in the history of Iraq,” Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said of the vote, according to

Other measures taken by the vote included the end of the oil-for-food program and the end of the U.N. supervised Development Fund for Iraq, which gave Baghdad immunity from legal claims during the Hussein era, according to

Despite Maliki’s hailing of the United Nations vote, others remain skeptical, believing the action should have been taken much earlier.
Abdul Hussein Shaban, head of the Documentation Center of International Law ,believes the measures taken were unjust to begin with.

“Instead of imposing sanctions on the Iraqi president and his supporters, the international community imposed its sanctions on the Iraqi people,” Shaban said, according to “Key services deteriorated and innocent people suffered and died as a result.”

Shaban said that the delay is partly due to Kuwaiti interference. U.N. resolution 1483, which called for the Iraqi sanctions to be removed, was formally adopted in 2003.

According to Shaban, Kuwait has mobilized regional and international forces against lifting the sanctions until an international resolution on bilateral relations was adopted. Officials in both countries are currently in talks over the issue, reports.

Kuwait, which still receives war reparations from Iraq, is demanding the return of stolen property, and wants to know the whereabouts of hundreds of missing Kuwaitis.