In a rather baffling statement, Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister says UN sanctions on Iraq should remain in place until a new Iraqi government is put into place

“Now Iraq is under an occupying power and any request for lifting sanctions must come when there is a legitimate government which represents the people… and which can comply with its duties toward lifting sanctions,” Faisal told reporters after the meeting in the Saudi capital Riyadh.

The United States wants a quick end to the 12-year-old sanctions, which would allow Iraq to sell oil to help pay for postwar reconstruction following Saddam’s overthrow.

The first postwar regional forum also rejected U.S. accusations that Syria was sheltering aides of the former Iraqi president and developing chemical weapons. Syria denies both charges.

Faisal said the U.N. embargo on Iraq should end only when a representative government took control.

“(The ministers) affirmed that the Iraqi people should administer and govern their country by themselves, and any exploitation of their natural resources should be in conformity with the will of the legitimate Iraqi government and its people,” he said, reading from a joint statement.


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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. P239 says:

    It is not amazing that Saudi’s, French and Russians don’t want the sanctions lifted. Just check the oil and arms contracts that had the “cancel with regime change” clause in them. You will find Billions of Dollars lost by the Saudi’s, French and Russians because of their “smoke-filled back room” deals that vanished like smoke when Saddam and the Kids either went up in smoke or left town.

  2. MommaBear says:

    Methinks they’ve not yet thought the whole thing through to the inevitable result that, if sanctions are not lifted, then, as the occupying force, the US, UK, and Australia get to call the shots on who get contracts, who gets to administer funds, who decides which countries benefit, who determines which countries get left out of any economic activity from, to, or with Iraq.

    Shoot-self-in-foot syndrome seems to be spreading all over the place!

  3. rkb says:

    Actually, that’s not true. So long as the sanctions are in place, so too is the food-for-oil program which is controlled by the UN, who in turn take 2.5% of the revenues off the top for their own “expenses”.

    I agree that the Saudis are in no hurry to let that oil flow, tho … right now prices are very high & they are making extra profits. When Iraq comes online for real, the price of oil will drop a lot.