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Iraq Demands Lifting of UN Sanctions - 2003-03-08

Iraqi President Saddam Hussein demanded Saturday that the U.N. Security Council remove sanctions imposed after Iraq's 1990 invasion of Kuwait, saying it is complying with U.N. disarmament demands. The United States and some European countries have rejected Iraq's disarmament moves as insufficient and are threatening to use military force to gain Iraqi compliance.

A statement issued by the Iraqi leadership following a meeting chaired by the Iraqi president insisted that Iraq had met U.N. weapons inspectors' expectations, and called for the 12-year embargo against the country to be totally and comprehensively lifted.

The statement also says sanctions should be removed now that the world realizes what it called "America's motives," and that Iraq has followed the Security Council's resolution on disarmament.

The statement called on the Security Council to denounce as liars the United States and Britain. It also demanded Israel be stripped of any weapons of mass destruction it may posses and called for the country's withdraw from Palestinian territories.

U.N. sanctions were imposed on Iraq following the country's 1990 invasion of Kuwait. These measures enforced a ban on Iraq's oil exports, but a U.N. deal has allowed Baghdad to sell some oil in order to buy food and medicine.