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DATE=10/10/1999 TYPE=EDITORIAL TITLE=EDITORIAL: IRAQ MAY EXPORT MORE OIL NUMBER=0-08480 CONTENT= THIS IS THE ONLY EDITORIAL BEING RELEASED FOR BROADCAST 10/10/99. Anncr: The Voice of America presents differing points of view on a wide variety of issues. Next, an editorial expressing the policies of the United States Government: Voice: This month, the United Nations Security Council approved a substantial increase in the amount of oil that Iraq is allowed to export. The council has authorized Iraq to sell more than eight billion dollars' worth of oil over the six- month period ending November 20th. Iraq has been subject to international sanctions since Saddam Hussein's aggression against Kuwait in 1990. But under the U-N's oil-for-food program, Iraq has been allowed to sell increasingly large amounts of oil and use the bulk of the proceeds to buy food, medicine and other humanitarian goods. The main reason for increasing Iraq's oil export ceiling was to make up for shortfalls in sales when oil prices were lower. But the U-N Security Council vote also gives the lie to those who blame international sanctions for food and medicine shortages that have caused terrible suffering, especially among Iraqi children. Contrary to Iraqi claims - which have been endlessly repeated by gullible journalists - sanctions have never applied to food and medicine. Moreover, under the oil-for-food program, Iraq is exporting nearly as much oil as it did before sanctions were imposed. But while Iraq has ample money to buy food and medicine, the Baghdad regime is not buying all that is needed - or even distributing all that it does buy. Indeed, more than two hundred million dollars' worth of medical supplies are reported to be sitting undistributed in Iraqi warehouses. The tragedy in Iraq is that Saddam Hussein is finding other uses for money that should be going to help preserve the health of children. Saddam has spent at least two billion dollars on luxurious palaces for himself and his ruling clique. The most recent extravagance is a lakeside resort called Saddam's Tharthar [Thahr- thahr] city, which has sports stadiums, an amusement park, restaurants, medical facilities, and housing for some six hundred favored Iraqi officials. By increasing the amount of oil that Iraq may export, U-N Security Council members hope to help the Iraqi people. But whether their suffering actually will be eased, unfortunately, is still up to Saddam Hussein. Anncr: That was an editorial expressing the policies of the United States Government. If you have a comment, please write to Editorials, V-O-A, Washington, D-C, 20547, U-S-A. You may also comment at www-dot-voa-dot-gov-slash-editorials, or fax us at (202) 619-1043. 08-Oct-1999 12:16 PM EDT (08-Oct-1999 1616 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .