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US Senate Passes Amendment to Prohibit Import of Iraqi Oil - 2002-04-19

The Senate voted (88-10) Thursday to bar Iraqi oil imports. The measure is contained in an amendment to an overall energy bill that still awaits Senate action.

The measure would prohibit Iraqi oil from being imported into the United States until Iraq agrees to United Nations inspections of suspected weapons sites and stops giving financial aid to survivors of Palestinian suicide bombers.

The amendment is sponsored by Republican Senator Frank Murkowski of Alaska. "We have known for some time that Saddam Hussein has been fostering, supporting terrorism," he said.

Under the amendment, Mr. Bush could resume Iraqi oil imports only if he determines they are important to national security interests.

House-passed energy legislation does not include the provision, and once the Senate passes its energy bill, the two versions will have to be reconciled before a final bill is sent to President Bush for his signature.

Iraqi oil accounts for 8.6 percent, or about 780,000 barrels a day of U.S. oil imports.