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Text of White House Statement on Iraq - 2002-05-07

One announcement I want to give you -- or a statement, I'm sorry. The Permanent 5 members, or the Perm 5 members of the United Nations Security Council have agreed on a new system to implement economic sanctions on Iraq. This is a step forward. The Goods Review List promises to tighten controls over Iraq's illicit efforts to acquire material for its weapons of mass destruction programs, and allow for the freer flow of humanitarian goods to the Iraqi people. We expect the full Security Council to discuss, and then to vote in favor of this positive action this week.

The Iraqi people will benefit from this new system. However, they will fail to realize the expected benefits if Saddam Hussein continues to manipulate the overall Oil for Food program. Saddam Hussein cut off oil exports for one month, exacerbating problems with funding in a vital humanitarian program for the Iraqi people. He undermines the program with illicit oil sales and schemes to force buyers to provide cash kickbacks.

This program -- before it was referred to by the President as swiss cheese. The President thinks it is very effective now to have a tighter sanctions regime in place that prevents the Iraqi regime from getting access to material that can help it produce weapons or engage in war, while at the same time expressing America's longstanding humanitarian concern for the needs of the people of the region.